Countless posts, ads, and messages capture people’s attention nowadays.

And it is hard to stand out from them.

You need to make your brand stand out, drive more traffic to your platforms, and increase the likelihood of conversions if you want to succeed.

But how?

Today, we will share secrets of creating content that is worth clicking and sharing.

Let’s get started!

What are the key elements that contribute to content engagement on social media?

People want to see something that can interest them. Although algorithms of social media platforms are very developed and essentially pinpoints content-intent match, not all content is worth an engagement.

That’s why you need to keep in mind the key contributors of engagement-worthy content creation:

  • Relevance: Content must match with the audience's interests, needs, and preferences.
  • Value: Whether it’s educational, informative, or entertaining, content should offer something valuable to the viewer.
  • Timeliness: Content that is topical or timely often sees higher engagement because it's more likely to be relevant to the audience at that moment.
  • Visual Appeal: Attractive visuals are crucial as they are often the first element that catches the eye.
  • Interactivity: Content that invites the audience to interact, such as polls, quizzes, or open-ended questions, can significantly boost engagement.
  • Personalization: Tailoring content to the audience’s preferences or past behavior can increase relevance and engagement.

Understand Your Audience

Identifying target demographics—such as age, location, interests, and behaviors—enables you to tailor your content more effectively. If you know your audience you can create content that speaks directly to their preferences and needs, which in turn increases engagement.

For instance, content aimed at teenagers on TikTok might include more trending music and dynamic visuals, whereas content for professionals on LinkedIn would be more polished and information-driven.

You need a comprehensive understanding of your audience's preferences and behaviors, to adjust your content strategy dynamically to meet their expectations and maximize engagement. That’s why using an social media analytics tool is a great idea.

There are several analytics tools you can use to understand your audience’s behavior and current trends:

  • Built-in platform tools: Most social media platforms offer native analytics that provide insights into follower demographics, engagement rates, and best-performing content.
  • Social media management tools: Platforms like Planly offer in-depth analytics that help track engagement across multiple social media channels from a single dashboard.
  • Audience segmentation tools: Tools like Audiense provide deeper insights into audience segments, enabling personalized marketing strategies.

Use Visual Content

Visuals are key to capturing the attention of users quickly. A TikTok video, an Instagram reels or a YouTube Shorts is a goldmine for people looking to optimize their social media engagement.

Visuals can convey emotions, information, and calls to action faster and more effectively than text alone. Even if you do not have a video format, you can still make use of visuals to generate engagement.

For example, an eye-catching infographic can simplify complex data and make it more accessible, while a well-timed video can tell a compelling story that resonates emotionally with viewers.

What types of visuals perform well on social media?

Hands down, the best performance comes from vertical short-form videos like reels, TikToks or shorts. Aside from them, here are all the types of visual content and how they perform:

  • Photos: High-quality, original photos that showcase real people and behind-the-scenes content tend to engage audiences by providing authenticity. Great for outdoor, travel and food content.
  • Infographics: These are excellent for distilling data-driven content into digestible, engaging visuals that are easy to share. Great for SaaS businesses
  • Videos: From short-form videos on platforms like TikTok and Instagram to longer content on YouTube, videos can significantly increase dwell time and engagement. Hands down the best.
  • Memes and GIFs: Often humorous, these can humanize your brand and make your content relatable and shareable. Great for social media focused companies with a decent user base.

What are the best practices for creating eye-catching and relevant visuals?

To create visuals that not only catch the eye but are also effective in conveying your message, consider the following best practices:

  • Consistency in Branding: Use consistent colors, fonts, and logos that align with your brand identity to make your content instantly recognizable.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Invest in high-quality graphics and photography. Blurry, pixelated images can harm your brand's perception.
  • Optimize for Each Platform: Each social media platform has different optimal dimensions and formats for visuals. Tailor your content accordingly to ensure it looks its best on each platform.
  • Test and Learn: Use A/B testing to see what types of visuals resonate most with your audience. Adjust your strategy based on what visuals generate the most engagement.

Effective visuals are a direct path to higher engagement, making them an essential component of any successful social media strategy.

Craft Compelling Copy

Captions are a pivotal element in social media posts because they provide context to the visuals and invite interaction. An engaging caption can compel a user to spend more time on your post which boosts algorithms. Effective captions can turn a passive viewer into an active participant by encouraging likes, shares, and comments.

A great way to sharpen your content is using storytelling, which we will talk about next.

How can storytelling be used to connect with followers on social media?

Storytelling is a powerful tool that can give life to your brand and create emotional connections with your audience. Stories help to humanize your brand and make abstract concepts tangible. Here are some tips to use storytelling effectively:

  • Share Customer Testimonials: Let your customers narrate their experiences. This not only provides authenticity but also relatable stories that prospective customers can connect with.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Posts: Give your audience a peek into the daily workings of your brand. This transparency builds trust and loyalty.
  • Brand Milestones: Share your brand’s journey, challenges, and successes. This can inspire and engage your audience by making them feel part of your story.

Some tips for writing calls-to-action that convert?

A call-to-action (CTA) prompts your followers to take a specific action, such as visiting your website, signing up for a newsletter, or participating in a giveaway. Here are some effective CTA writing tips:

  • Be Clear and Concise: Your CTA should be straightforward and tell users exactly what you want them to do.
  • Use Action-Oriented Verbs: Start your CTAs with verbs like "Discover," "Learn," "Join," or "Get" to create a sense of action and urgency.
  • Create a Sense of Urgency: Phrases like "limited time offer" or "while supplies last" can motivate users to act immediately.
  • Make It Stand Out: Ensure your CTA is visually distinct from the rest of your content, using buttons or contrasting colors to draw attention.

Hashtags serve as a tool to categorize content, and makes it more likely to be discovered and get boosted by the algorithm. Plus, when users click on or search for a hashtag, they can see all public posts associated with it. Here are some best practices for using hashtags:

  • Relevance is Key: Use hashtags that are relevant to your content and audience. This helps attract users who are genuinely interested in your topic.
  • Trending Hashtags: Incorporate trending hashtags where appropriate to gain visibility during peak interest times. However, make sure your content is actually relevant to the trending topic to avoid appearing spammy.
  • Custom Brand Hashtags: Create and promote a branded hashtag unique to your business for campaigns or general branding. This can help foster a community and make user-generated content easily accessible.

How to stay trendy and relevant at all times in social media?

Staying abreast of trends and integrating them into your content is the best way to grow. In order to stay ahead of the trends you either can create them or be the first joiners. Here are some effective tips to keep a list of all the trends happening:

  • Social Listening: Use tools to monitor social media for emerging trends that resonate with your audience. This can inform your content strategy to include topics that are currently engaging users.
  • Participate in Conversations: When a topic relevant to your brand is trending, join the conversation to increase visibility. This can include sharing your expertise, offering opinions, or simply engaging with users' posts.
  • Timely Responses: Being quick to engage with a trend can make a big difference in visibility due to the fast-paced nature of social media.

Don’t Forget Real-Time and Contextual Content

Timely content that aligns with current events or cultural moments can significantly enhance engagement.

Think about it, people always want to stay up to the latest trend or news. People have immediate needs and desires and whoever satisfies them first gets to be remembered.

  • Follow Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the news and create content accordingly.
  • Create a list of RSS feeds and check them on a regular basis (daily is best).
  • Join smaller niche Slack or Discord groups to get latest information and take it to a larger audience.

Be Original. Be Creative

Social media is a crowded space. Even if you keep up with the trends and join the wave at the beginning, you might still not make the cut. In such a world, original and creative content can capture attention, make memorable impressions, and encourage sharing, which naturally extends reach and impact.

Unique content helps differentiate your brand from competitors, it shows that you are not just a repeater and you have something valuable to say. Some key reasons on the importance of originality is like the following:

  • Brand Identity: Creative content reinforces your brand's identity and values, helping to build a strong, recognizable brand.
  • Audience Engagement: Original content can stimulate more engagement from users who appreciate innovation and distinctiveness in their feeds.
  • Viral Potential: Uniquely creative content has a higher potential to go viral, significantly boosting visibility and engagement.

How to encourage creativity in their content creation and presentation in your team?

Encourage creativity and innovation within your team by implementing brainstorming sessions, creative challenges, and cross-functional collaboration.

1. Brainstorming Sessions:

  • Organize regular brainstorming sessions to generate new ideas.
  • Promote thinking outside the box by encouraging participants to come up with unconventional solutions.

2. Creative Challenges:

  • Establish challenges or mini-competitions.
  • Set specific themes or limitations for these challenges to spark creativity.
  • Challenge team members to come up with innovative content ideas based on these themes or limitations.

3. Cross-Functional Collaboration:

  • Invite team members from different departments to participate in brainstorming sessions.
  • This diversity of perspectives can lead to fresh ideas and innovative solutions.

Then the question remains, how can you measure the impact of creativity?

Well, aside from the analytics tools we mentioned before, you can conduct A/B testing and ask your audience for their opinions, which usually works out for the best.

How to balance out the creativity in social media?

While creativity is overwhelmingly a positive thing, it sometimes can have negative impact.

Highly creative content can sometimes stray too far from established brand identity. This can be mitigated by ensuring all content aligns with brand guidelines, even when it's creative.

Creative content can be misunderstood. To prevent this, consider pilot testing content with a small segment of your audience or seek feedback from diverse team members before going live.

Creative initiatives often require more time and resources. Effective project management and clear ROI tracking can help ensure that creative efforts are sustainable and beneficial.

Focus on User-Generated Content

Interactive content such as polls, quizzes, and interactive stories can significantly boost engagement by actively involving the audience in your content. This type of content encourages more than passive consumption.

People actually invest in your brand and whatever little game you put there serves a much bigger aim than just engagement.

What are some effective types of interactive content?

  • Polls and Surveys: Quick and easy for users to participate in, these can provide valuable feedback and increase engagement.
  • Quizzes: These can be both fun and informative, offering personalized results that users often like to share.
  • Interactive Videos: Videos that allow user interactions, such as choosing the storyline, can greatly increase engagement and viewing time.
  • Contests: Hosting contests where users submit their own content can drive massive interaction and also generate valuable user-generated content.

Overall, user-generated content (UGC) is incredibly valuable for brands because it acts as a peer endorsement. People participate in the content you produce, signaling other people that investing in this brand is worth a shot.

Here is how you can increase UGC in your social media content:

  • Feature User Content: Regularly share content created by users, such as photos or videos using your product, which can encourage others to share their own content for a chance to be featured.
  • Create Hashtag Campaigns: Develop a brand-specific hashtag and encourage users to use it when posting content related to your brand. This not only aggregates content for easy discovery but also builds a community around your brand.
  • Testimonials and Reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences on social media and use these testimonials in your promotional content.

How to ensure regular UGC creation?

UGC is good, but it is most powerful when it is consistent. While it is hard to keep going, once you get a few successful rushes of UGC, it will become easier as you will have plenty social proof.

Regardless, here are a few tips to ensure constant UGC:

  • Regular Challenges and Prompts: Offer regular prompts or challenges that encourage users to create content, keeping engagement high and ensuring fresh content is always coming in.
  • Rewards and Recognition: Provide incentives such as discounts, freebies, or public recognition for users who create content, motivating continued participation.
  • Engaging Community Management: Actively engage with users who post content, commenting on and liking their posts, which reinforces positive behavior and encourages more content creation.

Be Consistent

Consistency in posting is key to building and maintaining an audience on social media. Regular posts keep your brand at the forefront of your audience's mind and help maintain a steady stream of engagement.

Consistency also aids in algorithm optimization, as most social media platforms favor accounts that post regularly by showing their content to more users.

To create consistency in your content, a scheduling solution is a must. That’s where our specialized team comes into play. Here in Planly, we take pride in our quality and dedication to your success. Give Planly a try to get consistency in your engaging contents.

How to determine the best time to post on social media?

If you schedule your content on social media, you should be aware of the best times to post on social media. The best way to find the optimal post sharing time is looking at platform-provided analytics to see which times of the day could give more engagement.

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If you are looking for general advice, you can take a look at our best time to post on social media series.
- Best time to post on Instagram
- Best time to post on Facebook
- Best time to post on TikTok
- Best time to post on LinkedIn

Wrapping up

Creating engaging social media content is an essential skill, especially when your work depends on it. The key to success is not just in posting content but in creating meaningful interactions that resonate with your audience.

While the journey to mastering social media content creation is ongoing, the rewards of increased engagement and a loyal following are well worth the effort. Keep exploring new ideas, optimizing your strategies, and engaging with your audience—your persistence will drive your social media success.