Social media is not a one-way channel where brands can schedule prepared content to keep the masses happy. Brands on social media need to understand it’s a dynamic platform for engagement and that being ‘always on’ not only means 24/7 monitoring but also being responsive – actively listening to your audience and engaging with them. And being aware of what’s happening and therefore flexible enough to take a topical stance.

Brands still need to decide what is right for them and their audience on each chosen channel, from the style of messaging to the frequency, whether that’s once or twice a month, or multiple times a day. But a social media strategy is not just creating and sharing content for content’s sake. Quality will always outperform quantity in a world where social media users are overwhelmed with content, advertising and media on a daily basis.

So, how do you feed the hungry beast that is social media while creating something special enough to cut through?

  1. Create your own

    If you have a distinct style or need to set the tone for your brand engagement, creating your own content gives you the most control, but also requires the most effort. Invest time in the initial stages to figure out what you want to say and how the crew you choose – the model/actor, stylist, hair and makeup artist and photographer – will express it. Consider also that you may need props, a studio or location, and/or extras to support your vision.

  2. Work with influencers

    Established your own style and want to mix it up a little? Find an influencer who aligns well with your brand values. Influencers are niche celebrities who understand how to build a following through offering informed, specialised content.

    They already know how to create visually appealing posts that generate great engagement on their channel – it’s what makes them an influencer and is probably why you’ve heard of them. By partnering with an influencer on a project or campaign, you share their content on your channel, combining your following with exposure to their audience. Double win!

  3. Outsource content creation

    Brands that are happy to give others creative freedom might be interested in assembling a team of content creators such as a photographer, videographer and/or content specialist, for example a food flat-lay expert, to do all the hard work on their behalf.

    It’s not a completely hands-off approach, as you will still need to give them a brief and a budget, but select them carefully after reviewing their profiles and portfolios, and trust your judgement and their experience to let them create the magic.

  4. Collaborate with other brands

    Find complementary brands that share your values. Collaboration means both brands are getting access to great content while potentially doubling their exposure to the other’s audience, all while splitting the costs of producing it.

    For example, if you are an automotive brand, perhaps you could collaborate with a tourism brand to create travel content that features your vehicle on a road trip. Or if you’re a software brand, you could collaborate with a hardware or accessories brand that embodies what you’re doing with your software in terms of addressing a problem or need.

  5. Share good content – even if it’s not yours

    Curating good content is as important as creating it so don’t be afraid to use content created by others, and don’t forget to credit them. You can take an active approach by sourcing relevant industry content that reflects your brand values, or simply remain open to sharing good content as it arises.

    This approach is great for thought leadership pieces and media articles that give a bigger context to what your brand represents. If you’re sharing on a social channel like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, using a relevant hashtag is also a great way to get exposure as it trends.

Don’t think of social media posts as a factory where you churn out content because the calendar says to. It’s better to invest your time and energy in creating something that will engage your audience and increase your brand sentiment than merely to tick a marketing box. Rethinking the way you produce and partner with others to create content will ensure it remains fresh, capturing the attention of your audience without the exercise feeling like a chore.