What Makes Social Media Content Successful

Social media usage and social media marketing are both on the rise. It is hard for businesses not to be on leading social media platforms. Because that’s where their target audience is. And when it comes to engaging with your audience on social media, you need content – lots of content. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you must know what makes social media content successful.

Here is the thing: Simply publishing content on social media isn’t enough. This is what everyone is doing. You need to create and publish the best content that no one else is posting. This is a sure way to be successful on social media.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it like a pro (even if you don’t have any experience):

What Makes Social Media Content Successful?

There isn’t an exact formula that you can apply to make social media content successful. This isn’t how it works, unfortunately (or fortunately?). However, you can use best practices that are proven to make social media content successful:

1. Catchy Headline

The headline or title is the first thing that your target audience will see. It has to be nothing less than epic. It must grab the reader’s attention immediately. If not, consider your content failure.

According to David Ogilvy:

On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

The success of your social media content relies on the headline. If it grabs attention, people will read the description, engage with your post, and click the link to visit your website. You can increase website traffic up to 500% with a headline:

headline stats

Amazing, right?

How to write catchy headlines for social media? 

BuzzSumo analyzed 100 million Facebook headlines back in 2017, and here is what they found:

top headline phrases for facebook

Using the phrase ‘will make you’ will result in the highest engagement. Why? Because this phrase is personalized, emotionally appealing, and is focused on the reader. It shares something personal that is appealing to the reader.

And here are the worst-performing phrases that you must avoid using in headlines:

worst headline phrases ever

If you want to use numbers in the headline (e.g. sharing a list article with your audience), use number 10. It is the most engaging number in headlines:

most engaging numbers in headlines

The ideal headline length to boost engagement on Facebook is 15 words:

number of words in facebook headline for best engagement

The most engaged headline phrase on Twitter is ‘this is what’:

top headline phrases for twitter

This analysis will give you a nice idea of how to create catchy headlines that engage your followers and will be successful eventually.

2. Emotional Connection

If you link social media content success with its virality, then focus on emotional content. Your content (including the headline) must appeal to the reader’s emotions. 

A study found that content geared towards awe, surprise, and anger was 28% more likely to go viral. Another study (that analyzed 10,000 most shared content) found similar results that awe, laughter, and amusement make content go viral because it appeals to people’s narcissism:

most popular emotions stats

Integrating these emotions into social media content will make it successful and viral at the same time. Here is how to do it in two simple steps:

  • Add psychological details to your buyer personas such as things that make your audience awe, what makes a buyer persona laugh, and so on. This will give you an idea of the type of content that appeals to your audience emotionally.
  • Create content with emotional hooks. Test and tweak and see what types of content work best for your audience.

3. Post Positive Images

Social media is all about visual content, especially images. Instagram, for instance, is simply a photo-sharing app. Your content can’t do well if it is all text. It will seem boring and dull especially when everyone else around you is posting visual content on social media.

When it comes to sharing images on social media, positive images work best. Images that embark emotions like happiness, surprise, love, hope, and satisfaction have the highest engagement:

emotional response to viral images

This means you have to focus on images and visuals that hit the positive emotions rather than negative ones. People visit social media sites to socialize and have fun, they aren’t usually interested in seeing things that lead to negative emotions.

Additionally, if your social media content creates negative emotions, it will have a negative impact on your brand. In any case, images are a must for social media content.

4. Go for Video Content

Video content is the best content type for social media. It will never disappoint you in terms of engagement and success. Video is the favorite content type on social media:

video content stats

Video content helps generate leads and sales. As much as 79% of people purchase a product after watching a brand’s video. Not to mention, video content is expected to drive 82% of internet traffic by the end of 2022:

video content stat

So, video content works both ways. Your audience loves it and marketers drive traffic, leads, and sales with it. This is the best way to make social media content successful on any channel. Start publishing video content.

5. Use Influencers

Seek help from influencers if you want to make your content successful. This is the easiest way to boost engagement and drive traffic but it comes at a cost.

Airbnb uses influencers and celebrities a lot to promote its content on social media. Here is an example:

influencer marketing example

Here is another example:

influencer marketing example

Partnering with influencers helps you make your brand, products, and social media accounts stand out from the crowd. Influencers will tag your social media accounts that will lead to an increase in the number of followers. Consequently, new followers will engage with your social media content that’s already published.

This is an indirect technique to make your social media content successful because it will be published on an influencer’s account. But it works great. Don’t miss it if you can afford it.

Final Words

There isn’t any single factor that will make social media content successful. It comes in a bundle. And it is really hard to identify individual factors and their weightage in the success bundle. Your best bet is to use these best practices and see what works best for your audience.

At the end of the day, anything that makes your followers and audience happy is successful.

Featured Image: Pexels

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