One in seven of the world’s population is on Instagram, with over 200 million users visiting business profiles every day – a potentially vast audience for your brand.

And with 71% of businesses now active on the platform, they’re signed up to a whole new market demographic, one that craves personalised visual content.

Some businesses are guilty of creating content for the platform that does not add value or engage the audience. What can they learn from the charitable sector?

Many charities and not-for-profit organisations have been establishing themselves on the social media site for some time – and have a lot to teach corporates in how to leverage those square tiles to deliver powerful brand messages. 

Here are five lessons:

Use people power

Research shows that images with faces in them are 38% more likely to be ‘liked’ and 32% more likely to be commented on. Instagram is a platform that rewards you for humanising your brand. Unicef, the world’s leading organisation working for children in danger, has grasped this. Take a look at some of its recent posts:

 

 

 

 

At the time of writing, these were Unicef’s most liked images from the last seven days. Unicef is using its key personnel and the children it helps, as its subjects. 

Businesses should replicate this. Use real people, strong images and human examples where you can to make your posts more relatable.

 

 

Unlock emotion

Charities know that using images and real life examples evokes emotion in the reader or audience. Follow Greenpeace and Doctors Without Borders for strong examples.

B2B companies might not be telling stories that have the same emotional resonance as those from charities, but it is still possible to find stories from your organisation that build a connection. 

Consider how you can engage your own people to share their thoughts, purpose and passion on your Instagram feed.

Think of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. If you’ve got a product to sell, communicate either through evocative imagery or compelling captions why what you’re doing is important.

Captions are also a useful storytelling tool. Instagram allows up to 2,200 characters on its captions which is ample room to complement the imagery beside it. 

Well-written captions bring the story to life, and can act as the post’s main emotional pull if the supplied image lacks sentiment.

Use Stories

500 million people use Instagram Stories every day – and a third of the most viewed Stories are from brands. This is an area for marketers to exploit, especially as they are expected to outpace feeds in 2019.

Dogs Trust regularly posts Story content to its channel as a way to extend brand awareness even further. The charity also makes use of the highlights feature, allowing it to save past stories permanently to the top of its profile, instead of disappearing after 24 hours. Because of this, Dogs Trust can share powerful evergreen content to its followers, such as health tips and dog safety. 

50% of businesses are creating Stories every month, an interestingly low statistic given the obvious advantages.

Stories are an effective way of driving traffic to your website using the ‘swipe-up’ instruction. A strong call-to-action in an Instagram story can direct people to relevant pillar content hosted on your site.

Unleash the power of video

Video content receives 38% more engagement on Instagram than regular posts – and 2.1 times the amount of comments. 

Pencils Of Promise and The World Economic Forum are prime examples of not-for-profit organisations exhibiting quality video content across their Instagram channels. 

The accounts have high volumes of followers and specialise in posting informative, short-form videos commentating on world news and topics. 

Bearing in mind Instagram’s one-minute cap on video content, both organisations ensure that their message is conveyed clearly and concisely within the timeframe. 

The Forum’s content has caught the attention of influencers such as Leonardo DiCaprio, who has reshared many videos on environmental issues. 

Post often and keep it relevant

This isn’t as obvious as it sounds. If you’re posting to Instagram once a day, but the actual contents of your post doesn’t add value or spark joy in some way, then there’s no point. Focus on quality over quantity.

The most successful charitable Instagram accounts focus on ensuring that every post shows what they’re working towards; whether that’s a cure, global aid, rehoming animals or caring for people with disabilities. 

Even if it’s only twice a week but it’s relatable, captivating imagery, your followers will appreciate it far more and wait eagerly in anticipation of the next instalment.

READ MORE: 

How present should a CEO/CMO be on social media?

Lessons in content marketing: why your ‘why’ should come before your ‘what’

 

If you would like to know more about how Formative Content can optimise your social media strategy, please email seb.budd@formativecontent.com

About the author: Seb Budd is the Content Marketing Executive for Formative Content. He is responsible for planning, executing and driving the social media and blog content for the company. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Trust is hard to win and easy to lose – easier than ever, in fact, in today’s world where news travels fast across multiple networks, driven by users, companies and organisations, as well as traditional publishers. 

Monitoring social media is now a full-time job for brands. But just reacting to events is no longer enough. Investing in digital communications to help build trust is crucial to any marketing strategy. 

The importance of this to brand guardians is highlighted in a recent piece of social listening research we carried out at Formative Content.

Chief marketing officers and comms bosses, the research reveals, regularly use the keyword “trust” when tweeting about content.

Why trust matters

Other research, too, shows that trust isn’t just a big concern for brands – it’s also a big opportunity.

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, people trust businesses more than they do governments and the media. Almost three-quarters of people are worried about fake news, but a similar proportion look to company CEOs to take leadership on important issues.

So organisations have a chance to step into the void created by a lack of trust elsewhere. And the content they put out on social media will play a key part in this.

What’s the secret?

Creating content that builds trust requires a focus on quality and authenticity.

“Write about what you know” is the advice often given to budding novelists and it’s even more true for businesses. Companies that produce blogs and videos about things they understand are much more likely to be considered genuine sources of useful information.

Messages should articulate the views of the organisation with clarity. And, of course, honesty is a given – pretending to be something you’re not is likely to have the opposite effect to that you intended. 

Find the emotion

The most successful content makes a connection with the person reading or watching, and central to this is acknowledging that person is human. 

As I write in my forthcoming book on brand journalism, it is a mistake to ignore the emotional side of business communications.

Marketers and comms professionals all too often think that’s just for consumer brands.

People want to feel an affinity with anyone they’re buying from and trust is imperative in building that relationship. But you can’t just communicate and expect to get attention.

To be effective, content needs to embody the qualities that make the best journalism compelling. It must be relevant, reliable and credible. It needs to keep the reader engaged and offer a fresh perspective on an issue the audience cares about. 

The value of trust

In short, your content needs to deliver real value. If it does, it will help grow meaningful and enduring relationships with your audiences. Over time trust will grow, and in turn give a tangible boost the brand.

Marketing expert and author Michael Brenner says people want to learn new things, and expert thought leadership builds trust. He cites the example of consultancy Capgemini, which created a corporate storytelling website to showcase the talents of its consultants.

The initiative delivered nearly one million new visitors to its brand website and attracted more than 100,000 new followers to the firm’s LinkedIn page, as well as 1.8 million shares of their content. 

A boost in trust can directly impact on a company’s bottom line, according to a recent Accenture report

“In this age of transparency, how a company does things has become equally important to what it does,” says the report. 

“Companies need to very intentionally create a culture of building, maintaining and preserving trust, and bake it into their DNA, strategy and day-to-day operations.”

READ MORE:

Lessons in content marketing: Why your ‘why’ should come before your ‘what’

Consumer trust and digital skills will be key to business success in post-Brexit Britain

 

If you would like to know more about how Formative Content has helped build trust amongst client audiences, please email gay@formativecontent.com

About the author: Gay Flashman is the CEO and founder of Formative Content. In April, she was named in Thrive Global’s Top Female Creatives of 2019 list. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

It has half a billion users and was the App Store’s most downloaded app of 2018, beating the likes of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. It’s active in 154 countries around the world and is showing no signs of slowing.

Its name is TikTok and it bills itself as the “destination for short-form mobile videos”.

But should B2B marketers be taking note?

What is TikTok?

Beginning life in Asia and then launched in 2017 by ByteDance for markets outside China, TikTok is the way for primarily teens and Generation Z to engage with each other through music, dances and videos lasting between 15 and 60 seconds. 

Now though, global news organisations such as The Washington Post and NBC News have joined the platform. Consumer brands such as Burberry and Calvin Klein are on board and even sports teams like Liverpool Football Club are using TikTok to generate content aimed at raising brand awareness amongst a younger audience, in a way that resonates with them.

The question is: how can B2B brands harness TikTok’s power? Is it just a brand awareness tool? Or is there more to it?

Scepticism

Not everybody seems to be convinced. According to some, B2B marketers can safely ignore TikTok in 2019 and possibly forever. This is unsurprisingly down to the young audience, clique-like nature and time restrictions on message delivery.

Whilst the demographic at the moment sits in 18-25 range, the older generation is expected to arrive in due course, as happened with Facebook. So arguably, now is the time for businesses to invest in TikTok and establish a following through expressive and compelling content that explores what makes them fun and interesting. 

Think of it in the same way many B2B businesses conduct themselves on Instagram – using the network to share captivating, cultural content. Instagram began as just a way to share pictures with friends, and now there are more than 25 million brand accounts who regularly connect with and, most crucially, sell to their audience. 

TikTok has a long way to go, though.

With its young userbase, the decision makers just aren’t there yet, so there’s not much for B2B brands to market to – and there really is no way to tell when they’ll show up. 

By the time they’re in senior level roles, will TikTok still be around? Just look at the demise of MySpace and Bebo.

There’s also a pertinent question B2B brands will have to ask themselves – do they want to create a new innovative side to the business, without jeopardising their authenticity and integrity? Do they want to completely shift their tone of voice? 

If the answer’s yes then brands have got to be willing to experiment and test new ideas fully knowing they may fail. This could put a lot of well-established corporate players off.

Waiting game

So why then, have The Washington Post taken the gamble and joined in the first place?

Dave Jorgenson, the driving force behind the Post’s TikTok page, said: “The long-term plan has always been that we’d use this as we use any other platform. [Someday we will] post news in the way that reflects the platform. [Right now the plan is to] jump in and be part of the fun.”

Jorgenson, who primarily serves the newspaper as a producer and editor in the Creative Video team developed a seven-page proposal for his bosses – and they approved his plans. 

Clearly, The Washington Post is confident in TikTok’s future. But it does have the advantage of being able to wait a decade or so to see if it brings in readers in the future. 

TikTok is also currently in the very primitive stages of allowing brands to advertise on the platform, so this could be another route in. However, it circles back around to that key factor of who the brands would be advertising to.

It seems that, for the short term at least, TikTok might not be the best place for B2B brands to be advertising. Building brand awareness is apparently the strategy for those already there, but any selling is going to have to wait a while.

READ MORE: 

4 steps to building your business a better Instagram strategy

10 common social media myths busted

 

If you would like to know more about how Formative Content can optimise your social media strategy, please email seb.budd@formativecontent.com

About the author: Seb Budd is the Content Marketing Executive for Formative Content. He is responsible for planning, executing and driving the social media and blog content for the company. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Why are you reading this? Your purpose, we’re guessing, is to find out more about content marketing and because that catchy headline piqued your interest.

But do you know why your clients and their audience would read anything you create? 

Tim Williams, CEO of Onalytica, says people aren’t interested in ‘what’, they want ‘why’. 

Speaking at a session on influencer marketing at B2B Ignite at the Business Design Centre in London, he said that as marketers we should be asking ourselves ‘why will people want to read this?’ ‘Which pain points am I addressing?’ 

If you can’t think of any, how can you be sure there are any? Maybe it’s a sign to re-evaluate what your audience needs from you.

Whys matter

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this why question.

Simon Sinek, author and TED Talk(er) extraordinaire, developed the ‘Golden Circle’ concept to explain how businesses can differentiate themselves and build their value proposition.

His theory goes that if a business strategy starts with the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’ or the ‘how’, your message will carry much more meaning. He says: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

The Golden Circle

smartinsights.com

Sinek uses tech-giants Apple as a perfect example of a brand whose philosophy begins with ‘why’ – challenging the status quo, thinking differently. The ‘what’ – making computers – is almost irrelevant.

The same principle can be applied to content marketing. 

People first and foremost, want to know why your content will help them achieve their goals, not what it is.

Take a step back to think about what the ‘why’ of your content is and then lead your copy with it. People will take much more notice of it when you address the issue straight away. Why should they read on? The ‘how’ and the ‘what’ then follows.

You’ll quickly see that if you can communicate the core purposes of your content before anything else, the trust between you and your audience will grow and solidify. People buy from people, and if you can embody the same fundamental beliefs as your market, you’ll see that trust blossom.

How to communicate purpose

Forbes identified three effective methods for communicating purpose. They are: 

  1. Challenge vs Overwhelm
  2. Clear but unfinished
  3. Repercussions and rewards

Starting with Challenge vs Overwhelm, content needs to excite people and challenge them to stretch themselves to be a greater version of themselves. However, we mustn’t overwhelm them with unachievable goals, unmanageable expectations or statistics that scare the reader. Inspire hope, don’t instil fear.  

The goal with the second point here is a little harder to define. It’s important to outline a clear direction for your reader in which to propel themselves, but with flexibility on the route to get there. Forbes describes it as the ‘fine line between governance and guidance’. 

Ultimately our content should be sparking an image of a company where processes are streamlined, productivity is increased and ROI is greater. However, every client is different and has their own USPs, so it’s vital to offer variation in how to achieve their vision.

The third and final method speaks to what energizes people. In a survey of workers, 98% believed meaningful work was ‘important’ or ‘very important’. So it follows that content that carries greater meaning delivers greater rewards and is more likely to be followed. 

In short, people are tired of products. What they’re interested in now is context. A piece of content is nothing without purpose. 

To demonstrate why our content is going to help somebody, we must communicate with honesty and direction. Illuminate all the reasons why this information is key to their success and do it before you try to explain anything else.

Begin with the ‘why’ in everything you do. It’s an unbreakable foundation for success.

Gay Flashman, founder and CEO of Formative Content, is one of just eight women named in the Thrive Global Top Female Creatives of 2019 list.

The list showcases women who are “reshaping the creative space and paving the way for future female leaders to shine and inspire our next generation”. It recognises the importance of the creative industries in helping inspire positive, transformational change. But it also acknowledges there are often barriers to access and progress that women in all business sectors face that their male counterparts do not.

Set up in the UK in 2014 by Gay Flashman, Formative Content has grown at around 70% year-on-year. With an almost 50:50 male-female split at all levels of the business, and a wide spread of ages, the company combines commercial acuity with a flexible and inclusive outlook.

Formative’s list of blue-chip private and public sector clients includes the World Economic Forum, KPMG, Nestlé, Tata Consultancy Services, Microsoft and many others. They have come to rely on the team at Formative for high-quality editorial and visual content that deploys journalistic integrity to support clients’ business objectives.

The team at Formative is made up of journalists who have a depth of high-level editorial experience, from the BBC, Bloomberg, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITN, the Press Association and more.

Featured alongside novelist Candice Carty-Williams, the journalist Marissa Miller, and the actress and activist Jameela Jamil, Gay Flashman said her inclusion was something she was extremely proud of, but which reflects the achievements and contribution of the whole Formative team: “This is fantastic recognition of my desire to build a business that can exceed clients’ expectations by delivering content of the highest possible standards at a speed other agencies struggle to match. But it’s also a huge compliment to the team here at Formative who have taken that vision and made it our reality.”

We all want to be noticed. What’s the point in making all that shiny content if no one is looking at it?

And for most of us we want that content to be noticed – and enjoyed – by an ever-increasing number of people.

The internet is a crowded space though, with lots of brands shouting, stomping their feet and jumping up and down for attention.

What can your business do to rise above this noise?

At the newsrewired event at Reuters in London earlier this month, Vogue International head of audience growth Sarah Marshall shared her top tips.

 

1) Set KPIs

Marshall suggests you have three to four KPIs, specific to what you want from your audience. This could be the classic metric of unique users, or it might be looking for a little more loyalty through the tracking of repeat visitors. Others you might want to consider include Facebook shares or Instagram likes.

 

2) Get the business onside

You could have some pushback internally on why you need to grow your audience. If you’re focussed on luxury, or a specific target audience, you might need to explain to senior leadership (or even members of your own team) why growing your audience matters.

Marshall created a two-page document for each head of department at Vogue so that everyone received the same message and could share it with their teams.

 

3) Agree targets – and remind people what they are

Marshall worked to create a simple email update at Vogue. It tells key people how far they are from monthly audience targets relative to how many days are left.

The simple visual format doesn’t rely on opening a spreadsheet and can be viewed on desktop and mobile, with it landing in each editor’s inbox every Monday.   

 

4) Get the key people in the same room

No matter how big you are, it’s vital to get the important people in the same room. Whether you’re agreeing targets, sharing best practice or planning campaigns, workshops and growth days can save weeks of back-and-forth via email.

This is especially vital if you have key staff based across the globe, distributing content across multiple platforms in multiple languages.

 

5) Compile a growth book

Your staff are the best source of knowledge you have – what works, what doesn’t and simply what has been tried – so share it.

Marshall, for example, asks editors to share three growth initiatives from their newsroom.

A growth book can be a great help in getting the best ideas on paper, literally.

 

6) Growth plan

It might sound obvious, but have a plan.

You need to make sure you have a regular flow of content, distribute it on the appropriate channels, and engage with your community regularly.

Marshall sends her team a form to complete that asks key questions about what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it.

 

7) Have monthly check-ins

You’ve got a plan, you’ve got KPIs, you’ve got best practice, so what’s next?

Check-ins.

Again, it sounds pretty obvious, but if you want growth, you need to monitor it, discuss it and adapt as necessary.

 

8) Respond to changing algorithms

Just because something has worked in the past, doesn’t mean it’ll work indefinitely – particularly when you’re at the mercy of social media algorithms.

Stay agile, diversify and ultimately respond to changes. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind.

 

If you’d like us to help you get the most out of your social media strategy, get in touch.

Email: office@formativecontent.com or call our team on +44 (0) 20 7206 2687.

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Joe Myers is Managing Editor at Formative Content and leads our Social and Web team.

Marketing has a critical role to play in driving business growth in post-Brexit Britain. But to do so effectively, the industry needs to embrace digitalization, build trust and develop its talent base. At the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Digital Summit 2018, marketers discussed the importance of the industry sitting at the heart of disruptive trends shaping business, Brexit amongst them.

 

Paving the way into new markets

As the UK sets out to trade with new international markets, a study by the CIM and PWC finds that many businesses lack the required export marketing skills and capabilities. And marketing is well placed to step into this breach, according to CIM marketing director, Gemma Butler. She pointed to the profession’s unique ability to help businesses with challenges such as adapting their strategies internationally and overcoming cultural and language barriers.

Adding to the challenges of Brexit, the industry still has to master its own digital transformation. The CIM Digital Summit brought together both ‘digital natives’ and established brands that have used digital channels to reinvent themselves and their relationships with customers.

SortedFoods is an example of the former. It was started by a group of university freshers who found their cookery skills distinctly lacking and started exchanging recipes and cookery videos on social channels.  Fast forward to today and SortedFoods is a social business with nearly 2 million subscribers. Co-founder Jamie Spafford ascribed the company’s success to its community values and focus on storytelling rather than selling – which chime with millennials’ marketing weariness.

And digital communities like SortedFoods are not alone in answering to modern consumers’ preferences. The CIM Summit showed that established organisations can also make the transition successfully. Lonely Planet’s ‘Best In Travel’ annual was designed with millennial audiences’ need for immediacy in mind, according to editorial director Tom Hall.  Instead of old-fashioned guide books – which easily become dated – Best In Travel works multiple digital platforms to place up-to-date, highly shareable content at readers’ fingertips. Last year, it reached 3 billion people and garnered 10 million video views on YouTube and Lonely Planet’s own platforms.

 

GDPR as an opportunity to build trust

But no matter how good a company is at making itself relevant to its audiences, overseas medications online goodwill can easily be shattered – not least by the impact of ‘fake reviews’. As the CIM’s James Farmer highlighted, the only bulwark against this is to have all your marketing “P’s” aligned, from a quality product to customer interactions that reassure the market that your brand deserves their trust.

Critically, this must include data protection. The Royal Mail’s Emma Fletcher suggested that brands embrace the new EU GDPR framework as an opportunity to become more relevant to their customers. They should adjust how they communicate to overcome rather than encourage consumers’ tendency to ‘opt out.’ Fletcher highlighted that combining digital and ‘offline’ methods of delivery – like traditional mail – can play an important role in personalizing brand communications to establish consumer trust.  

 

Skills still at large

While the opportunities of digital marketing are evident, some raised concerns that the profession is being held back because digital marketing knowledge is “shockingly bad.” This is how Target Internet’s Ciaran Martin summarised the findings of the latest Digital Marketing Skills Benchmark, conducted jointly with the CIM.

Across all levels of seniority, there is little understanding of digital marketing tactics – whether it’s SEO, analytics, social media or content marketing. Only email marketing is widely understood – and hence relied on heavily.  

While junior ranks have a better understanding of digital tactics, they are missing key strategic skills. The reverse is true for senior marketing roles who appear to guard their strategic knowledge.  

Dr Geraint Evans of Swansea University and recruiters Mark Lawson Jones and Huw Jones from Page Group echoed Ciaran Martin’s assessment. Senior players need to increase their understanding of the breadth of digital tactics and analytics to keep up to speed. More, the industry to invest in giving those coming through the ranks the strategic capabilities to become future leaders.

 

Marketing 2018 – a patchy landscape

Marketers are uniquely placed to help British business conquer new global markets, but the sector is missing key skills to harness digital channels for this purpose. The industry needs to embrace the latter more holistically and commit to boosting its digital nous if it wants to remain relevant in post-Brexit Britain.

Social media is a constantly changing landscape for marketing professionals. Algorithmic updates on both Facebook and Twitter – which affect how corporates promote themselves on these platforms – show that marketers need to be aware of the wider social network opportunities available.

One of these is Instagram. Launched in 2010, this is a platform that has grown increasingly popular with brands and marketers. A big reason for this is an algorithmic change in 2016. Before this the site would show your posts in chronological order. Now the algorithm tailors your newsfeed in response to the posts users engage with; this means that the posts people like, comment on and share are more likely to be seen by a bigger audience.

At first this change was unpopular with users, but the platform now reports that people are “engaging with the community in a more active way” following the update. What this means is that Instagram offers untapped potential for brands to explore, so here are some tips to help you get started.

What to post

The difference between Instagram and other social networks is that you are not able to include links on posts, so the focus of your content is photos and videos rather than text. While it is easy to think such posts are not well suited to corporate brands, with the right strategy you can make them work for your company.

Types of content that do well on Instagram are:

Choose a theme

At first sight, your Instagram profile can seem a confusing place as it displays all your images at once; so it is important to think carefully about how your visuals work both individually and collectively. The crucial thing here is to have a posting strategy and plan what events or announcements you want to place on it and when.

Alongside this you might want to consider how background themes and reoccurring motifs in your posts can help to bolster your corporate identity on the platform. For example, (RED) uses pastel backgrounds that give all of its images a gentle brand identity while UNICEF mostly posts photos of people and children, which reinforces its emphasis on young people and families.

Hashtags

Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more user engagement on Instagram. The more that people interact with your content, the more chance your posts have of being featured on a hashtag page, which increases your potential reach.

Credit: Instagram

People who follow the hashtags will then be able to see your post, giving you the chance to reach a new audience.

Stories and Live

Instagram Stories – used by more than 300 million people a day –  are short videos or photo sequences that can provide insight into one topic. These live on the platform for 24 hours and, if you have a verified account with more than 10,000 followers, you can add links that can gain traffic, generate leads and increase sales.

The kinds of stories that brands can produce varies enormously. One method is to use them as a type of video. National Geographic, for example, uses them to tell a narrative that makes great use of wildlife and natural photography that is clearly aligned to the brand’s core identity.

Others use Instagram Stories to give behind-the-scenes views of an organization; NASA uses them for events but also to explain what employees do.

Credit: Instagram

Meanwhile, Instagram Live is a real-time streaming service that can be particularly useful for event coverage and generating a conversation with your audience. Like the stories, these are available for 24 hours after the livestream has ended.

While instagram does not follow a similar pattern to Facebook or Twitter, the potential for promoting corporate content should not be ignored. By using all the available features, and having a carefully planned posting strategy, you will be able to reach a new audience on a platform that is rapidly growing in popularity.

 

If you’d like us to help you get the most out of your social media strategy, get in touch. 

Email: office@formativecontent.com or call our team on +44 (0) 20 7206 2687.

Enjoyed this post? Read How to curate quality social media content

Laura Nash is a Content Producer at Formative Content and specialises in digital content and writing for social media.

Today’s news that Facebook is changing its Newsfeed algorithm will undoubtedly have a major impact on those publishers, organisations and companies relying on the platform for much of their traffic, engagement or ad dollars.

In his statement, Mark Zuckerberg says that public content has been crowding out personal content on Facebook, as the volume of articles, videos and messages being created has exploded.

Facebook is now telling us they will promote on our news feeds the content with which we interact the most (especially between ourselves), rather than those messages we passively ingest. How should B2B content publishers respond to the news?

Think quality not quantity

We have, for some time, advised our clients to reduce the volume of their Facebook posts or face being ‘squeezed’ by the Facebook algorithm. Consider posting less, but make what you post of high quality. Where possible, reduce your automated posts and ‘generic’ posting.

Put audiences first

Think carefully about how you can develop content – of whatever format – that engages your target audience. Go back to the first principles of communication, i.e. What is keeping your audience awake at night, what is challenging them or concerning them? Take those issues and build content around the areas that are most likely to provoke reaction or comment.

Have a point of view

If you want to encourage dialogue then you need a point of view – what is your stand on a particular issue faced by your industry? Will your CEO get off the fence and talk about a concern or challenge to a sector? Having a strong point of view could stimulate the type of back and forth discussion that Facebook wants to see happen.

Speak with a human voice

For organisations and brands it’s even more important now that you speak with a ‘human voice’ and don’t publish bland PR information that doesn’t get any sort of response from clients. Encourage your audiences and customers to become your evangelists by developing messages that reflect the spirit and ethos of the company.

Be prepared to engage

If you start to create content that is designed to elicit discussion and debate between your followers then you will need to be more alert to those discussions, when and where they are taking place. Be ready to respond.

Develop live content

One area that the Facebook team specifically mentions that provokes more debate is live video. Live video is ridiculously easy to create and can be a straightforward way in which to engage with very niche and targeted B2B audiences.

Experiment with new approaches

The key outcome is engagement and dialogue, but that can be difficult to provoke. Consider ways in which you can encourage audiences to chat and engage with each other. This could be through carefully crafted thought leadership with a real point of view, it could be through humour or comedy, if that’s appropriate, or through responding to a piece of industry news with a live discussion or debate.

Create a strategy for Facebook groups

Groups will become a key aspect of future Facebook engagement. Consider how you can engage with key groups for your industry, sector or company using groups as well as straightforward page activity. See this great article from the team at Buffer for more insight.

Review and monitor

As never before, you should constantly review and monitor what works and what doesn’t for your audiences on Facebook. When you see that you have had success with a post, dissect what worked and why and aim to leverage that tactic again.

Broaden your engagement strategy

Finally, many of us have become dependent on Facebook for much of our organic traffic over recent years; today’s news is another reason to review your content strategy to ensure you maximise all possible platforms and routes to your audiences.

 

If you’d like us to help you get the most out of your social media strategy, get in touch. 

Email: office@formativecontent.com or call our team on +44 (0) 20 7206 2687.

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Gay Flashman - Formative

 

Gay Flashman is the CEO of Formative Content, creating corporate digital content to build reputation, brand and community for clients including the World Economic Forum, Tata Consultancy Services, the Varkey Foundation, Global Education & Skills Forum, FundForum International, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nestle.