Face it, creating engaging social media content is hard! We get it, it’s what we do for people every day and honestly, we don’t see how people that don’t do it for a living survive! You’re only competing with THE REST OF THE WORLD!
The key to increasing your following on social media is creating content that catches the attention of other users and keeps them coming back for more. It’s important to use unique content that your followers haven’t seen before, but you should also be sure to engage with your followers regularly as well. In this article, we’ll discuss several tips and tricks you can use to create unique content that will increase your following on social media.
What Makes Social Media Content Unique?
You might be wondering how you can create unique content for social media. How do you make sure that your posts stand out? And, most importantly, how do you ensure that other people will actually read it and appreciate what you’re trying to say? Just like any other type of content, creating unique social media content can take a lot of time and hard work. It requires effort – but it is worth it!
Let’s start by defining the word unique – ‘being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.’
So are we saying you need to invent content that no one has ever seen before? Well… no, not exactly. What makes your content unique is specifically how you make the message that you post relevant to your audience.
Let me give you two scenarios. In both scenarios a salon has a new product they are excited about sharing with their followers.
In scenario 1 the salon makes a post with a photo of this product (supplied by the vendor) and announces the amazing things it does for your hair. People like it, right? They may even think that they need it and act on it.
In scenario 2 the salon makes a post with the headline ‘Bye Bye Split Ends (4-EVVVAAA) !’ The wait is over… XYZ product is here and we want YOU to celebrate with us! If you come in for a trim this month, you’ll go home with a generous sample! Use it, and post your review on your social media with the hashtag #ByeByeSplitEnds. Be sure to tag us!
– Instead of using a product photo, they choose to use a photo of over-exaggerated split ends to relate to the problem, and then use product photos in subsequent posts.
You need your followers’ attention and interest – and you can get that by sharing interesting content, delivered to them in a way that they haven’t seen before. That’s where the word UNIQUE comes into play. By doing this consistently, you’ll add enough value that they’ll want to follow you to find out what’s next.
Why is Unique Content Important?
You have very little time to capture your readers’ attention, in fact, the current statistics say that at any given time, people today are being bombarded with over 10,000 advertisements each day.
Because of this, we’ve gotten really good at aimlessly browsing social media, and only tuning into content that really speaks to us. It’s a survival mechanism. If we tried to check out every post that even remotely interested us we would never get off of our devices, and we would feel disgusted with ourselves for wasting so much time.
You don’t have an option anymore. If you don’t make posts on social media that are creative and delivered in a unique way, you’ll be left in the dust. Being present on social media is not enough.
Face it, This is What You Have To Do.
#1 Even if you ‘didn’t sign up for this’, you need to keep the social media switch on at all times, day and night.
I’d suggest keeping a small notepad near you at all times and whenever an idea crosses your mind, jot it down. Even if you think it’s ridiculous. Keep a stash of ideas handy when you’re stumped. When ideas are in motion they tend to trigger other ideas. Never, ever stop thinking up ideas.
#2 Gear up.
You need to have a good camera for both photos and videos – new phones work just fine. You’ll also need to have a tripod, and lighting. Depending on the content that you’re creating, you may want to invest in some fun lenses (see links below), a gimbal, props, or microphones.
- Joby Flexible Phone Tripod Mount: https://amzn.to/3oBu9I8
- Ring Light: https://amzn.to/35QEkSu
- Wide Angle/Macro Phone Lens: https://amzn.to/35URduR
- Gimbal (Phone Stabilizer): https://amzn.to/3Lk9Icl
You need to practice – not only with your equipment but with your content. Every single day you will have an opportunity to create something. Yes, your spouse may get totally annoyed with you when you record every step of him making your espresso so that you can practice making a TikTok, but do it anyway. Some of your creations may live eternally in drafts but the practice will make you better and better.
#4 Learn Apps.
You’ve heard it before, there’s an app for everything. And, literally, there is. Don’t struggle with making videos without exploring the apps available to make them. Don’t settle for your current scheduling tool because you are familiar with it, find something that works for YOU. Need influencer connections? Need to analyze your followers? Need to generate trending hashtags? Yes, there are apps for all of those things!
Side note: If you’re an instagram-first company, here’s an amazing scheduling tool that we use, that I’m not paid to promote but authentically love: www.skedsocial.com
#5 Stay Curious.
If I had to pick one characteristic that I think has gotten me the furthest in my quest to create interesting content for our clients, I’d say it’s my insatiable curiosity. I probably ask myself “I wonder if…” at least 5 times a day. Sometimes it leads me down a spiral of weird ideas that never amount to anything but more often at not it is the starting point for some very creative ideas that turn into engaging and effective campaigns for our clients. And if you don’t start by saying “I wonder if…’ then you’ll never get to the other side of that thought.
A few ways to make generating content easier on you.
- Start with a blog. If you have an idea, start writing a blog about it. A blog is your gold mine for content. This blog that I’m writing right now will get posted on our website, go out in an email to our subscribers, be posted on LinkedIn as an article, and bits will be pulled from it to create social media posts to direct traffic back to our website.
- Create a series. There’s a reason #motivationmonday and #tuesdaytips are so popular. Because they’re EASY to piggyback on for content ideas. Create your own unique series that will be helpful and interesting to your audience. It can be a short-lived or long-lasting series, and weekly, monthly or even daily for a week. Whatever it is, make sure that you follow through with it. If you say that you’ll be creating a series, do it. Don’t create the first and let it die.
- Have a bucket to pull ideas from. We call this the dump. Get together with your team, or your friends and come up with as many types of posts as you can think of. Then, make a graphic/video template for each of them in whatever graphics program you are using. Each time you’re struggling to figure out how to fill a hole, go to your bucket. These ideas should be things that are easy to populate.
Donkey vs. Unicorn
At IBA we categorize content in 2 ways. 1) Donkey or 2) Unicorn
We realize that it’s virtually impossible for every single post that you make to be creative, engaging and earth-shattering. And the social media algorithms will punish you if you’re not consistent. That’s where the Donkey content comes into play. Donkey content doesn’t mean it’s sh*%, but it’s not mind-blowing. It’s filler content to please the social media algorithm gods.
Some examples of donkey content would be: Industry tips, Employee highlights, FAQ answers, Recommendations, etc. Donkey content can be whipped out quickly and doesn’t need a lot of creativity to roll it out. (Note: Donkey content can still be delivered in a creative way!)
Then, there’s the Unicorn. The Unicorn content is composed of clever campaigns, highly engaging posts, juicy insider info, emotionally intriguing stories, well-produced videos, etc. Unicorn content needs to be weaved into your social media strategy consistently to increase followers and keep them tuned in. This type of content needs to be planned in advance, and is typically content that has specific beginning date and end date (such as a grand opening announcement, new product launch, first quarter campaign, etc.)
You want to shoot for 20% Unicorn, 80% Donkey.
But the 20% Unicorn Content should take (at least) 80% of your time.