Like a hungry teenager, social media always wants more content.

To attract an audience on social media, you need to know your prospects, customers, influencers and social media followers. Ideally create a social media persona.

  1. Which social media platforms do they use? Guides you to the optimal social media platforms.
  2. What information and topics attract their attention on social media?Determines your social media content focus. It should be promotion-free!
  3. Why are they using social media? Do they want specific information or are they just filling time? Influences the information content and format.
  4. When do they check social media? Supports your social media posting schedule.
  5. Where are they when they check social media? Also consider the type of device they’re using. Helps determine the content focus, format and context.

By understanding your target social media audience, you can create social media content to achieve your business objectives.

To ensure your information attracts attention, engages followers and builds influence, use a variety of the 5 social media content formats.

A mix of social media content formats yields content tailored to each special social media platform to appeal to the largest audience.

5 Social media content formats

There are 5 key social media content formats. Each has its own specific characteristics to attract your target audience on social media.

1. Social Media Content Format: Text

Text tends to be the densest and most difficult to consume social media content format.

Users read about 20% of the text on the average page according to usability expert Jakob Nielsen. While adding additional words increases read time, visitors only read about 18% of them. Write easy-to-understand information on novel topics to convert text social media content into social media shares.

900 words is the sweet spot for blog post length according to Orbit Media’s Blog Survey. But 8% of bloggers are going deeper with 1,500 words.

Social media options

  • Blogs are the jewel in the crown of social media. You own the content and the media entity. You retain all intellectual property rights. BTW, blogs also handle other social media content formats! (For a deeper conversation as to why blogging isn’t dead, check my viewChris Brogan’s view and Gini Dietrich’s view.)
  • LinkedIn Publishing (as well as PDFs on LinkedIn Slideshare) enable everyone to publish long form content.
  • Medium remains below the radar as a social media entity. It’s worth using.
  • Facebook Articles and Twitter are expanding the amount of text allowed. (BTW, Ann Handley called BS on Facebook for saying that text was going to disappear. )
  • It’s important to note that you can republish your blog posts on LinkedIn Publishing and Medium. BUT there’s a good chance it can be considered duplicate content.
  • Make each slide stand on its own. View each slide as shareable content.
  • Create direct-to-social media presentations. While at SAP, Michael Brenner developed content marketing based on executive talks. (BTW, SAP updated this Slideshare to increase views.

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