Why Your Business Needs Platform-Specific Content
Every social media platform holds the key to a unique audience and style of communicating that is tailored specifically to that app.
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This article was written by Alex Sixt, a member of the Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble content team. Entrepreneur NEXT is our Expert solutions division leading the future of work and skills-based economy. If you're struggling to find, vet, and hire the right Experts for your business, Entrepreneur NEXT is a platform to help you hire the experts you need, exactly when you need them. From business to marketing, sales, design, finance, and technology, we have the top 3 percent of Experts ready to work for you.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok… the list of social media platforms that exist today goes on and on, and if you work in marketing, you've likely heard of almost all of them. Although the number and type of platforms constantly shifts, one thing is for certain: social media is here to stay and audiences are only becoming more particular about the content they consume.
Every platform holds the key to a unique audience and style of communicating that is tailored specifically to that app. For example, Instagram uses visuals such as photos, video and IGTV whereas Twitter relies on witty, 280 character limits to convey ideas. For brands looking to expand their following and influence on social media, the typical one-size-fits-all mentality toward content no longer works.
As much as we all love TikTok dances, this type of content wouldn't work perform as well as a LinkedIn update, as the audiences on these two platforms differ greatly (i.e. your boss likely doesn't want to see you dance to "Toosie Slide). Every brand has at least a few different buyer personas, which is why it's crucial that audiences across platforms receive content that is suited specifically to them and the channel itself. Implementing a varied content strategy will help your brand better target audiences and develop content that performs well. If you're still feeling committed to cross-posting, here are three reasons you should customize content for each platform.
Different audiences and the importance of buyer personas.
Every platform has its audience. Facebook is typically more popular with the baby boomers and Generation X while Twitter hosts younger millennial and Gen Zers, with more than 80 percent of users under the age of 50. For brands hoping to appeal to multiple generations, platform-specific content is vital to building a relationship across age groups.
While it's common knowledge that most adults today use social media in some capacity, it's important to avoid falling into the trap of boxing a generation or audience into one platform. Most social media users are active on various platforms, and use each one for a specific purpose. For example, within Gen Z, Instagram is the most popular app for brand discovery, with 45 percent of teens utilizing the app to discover new products, whereas 24 percent of teens claim YouTube is their first choice for shopping recommendations. Although every audience has a platform they typically gravitate toward, it's important to consider how they utilize every platform and create content specific to not only the channel, but also the user's intent.
Individualizing every piece of content for each platform your audience is active on can seem overwhelming, but you can simplify the process by first creating buyer personas: what they like, current trends and what types of content they consume the most. Once you feel confident, create a content calendar for each platform to help you visually lay out every post and ensure they are relevant to that channel.
Related: 8 Ways to Grow Your Audience to a Million Followers
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Some formats are suited for other types of content.
Most of us wouldn't take the time to watch a three-minute video while aimlessly scrolling through our Twitter feeds; you can't even post a video longer than two minutes and 22 seconds. While almost every social media platform allows users to post some type of visual element, not every kind of content is suited, or allowed, to be posted on multiple platforms.
Every social media platform has its own content specifications such as size or speed (in the case of videos) that make cross-posting an ineffective method for brands hoping to post their content across multiple channels- and still have it be high-quality. A long-form video is better suited for Instagram or Facebook, whereas a quick clip demonstrating how to use a product, for example, would likely perform better on TikTok.
Higher-quality images are more likely to have a higher click-through rate (CTR) than blurry or low-resolution content. To maintain the quality of images and graphics on social media, each asset should be tailored to the individual platform's size specifications, and videos must be the correct length. Otherwise, you risk your content being potentially ignored by users who continue to keep scrolling.
Related: Content and Content Marketing Are Not the Same. Here's How to Frame the Top 11 Content Formats
People naturally communicate differently when in various settings, and this applies to social media as well. The same way you would tweet your stream of consciousness on Twitter is not the same style you would use to write a job update on LinkedIn (if you do, consider this a desperate plea to stop). Every social post should be adjusted to the style of language and communication that each specific platform uses, or else you risk coming across as unprofessional and lose credibility with users.
Learning how to tailor your content to various language styles can feel like a tremendous challenge, but there are strategies to help make the transition smoother. When posting to a certain platform, head over to your competition's account and take a peek at how they communicate. This will not only help you plan your own language but also identify any gaps in their content that you can add to your own. Also, feel free to experiment with various captions lengths (adhering to character limits), hashtags and tone of voice to find what works best for your brand. There's no penalty for trying new things to find what works for you.
Before posting content, re-evaluate it and ask yourself if it fits on the platform you're posting on. If the answer is no, do some exploring on the app to gain inspiration as to how your caption and language can better match the platform. As you create more content with this in mind, your communication will improve, and you'll be able to better engage with your audiences.
Related: A New Era Of Digital And Social Communication Awaits Us In 2020
Hire an expert to help.
Creating exceptional content for multiple social media platforms can be extremely beneficial for your brand's following, but it also requires a considerable amount of time to manage. Not every business owner or marketer has the hours it can take to craft a platform-specific social media strategy, especially while dealing with other functions of the business. Luckily, there are talent platforms that can help you with content creation without breaking the budget.
Platforms such as Assemble can help you find the talent you need to help create outstanding content that engages your audiences, without needing to worry about typical onboarding and hiring processes. By hiring an external Expert, you'll ensure your brand is putting its best foot forward on social media while saving yourself the precious time needed for other tasks.
Related: 7 Things to Look for When Hiring Experts
The days (and benefits) of cross-posting are long gone, but that doesn't mean your content has to be doomed along with it. Creating platform-specific content will not only help your brand improve its connections with audiences but also reach new users and expand its following across multiple channels.
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