Social media moves quickly. Trends come and go. But the question that always needs answering is simple: What makes a piece of content compelling?
You need to create content that gets people talking, without losing sight of your company’s values. Kelsi Yamada joins Matt to talk about how HubSpot thinks about social content and explains why data might not always give you the answers you’re looking for.
Hi. I’m Matt Brown from HubSpot, and this is Skill Up, the show where you’ll learn how to take your sales, marketing, and service skills to the next level.
We all want to create compelling content. Fire posts that convert and engage audiences. Right?
[KELSI: It's called social media for a reason.]
[KELSI: My name is Kelsi Yamada. I am an associate social media campaign manager here at HubSpot.]
What I might call compelling, a thousand other folks might call.. meh. Either way, ‘compelling’ can be ambiguous. So, Kelsi, let’s make like Grand Designs and kick this project off with some good old groundworks.
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What makes a piece of social content compelling?
[KELSI: I think the difference between compelling content and content that's just okay is content that gets people talking.. If it's something that they just kind of read, move on, forget about, then that's just okay to me. If you're a little bit more dry, boring, your content can almost be disruptive in the feed.
I'm definitely on the less volume, more compelling content team.I would think it would be better to have that really helpful, engaging, delightful moment on social rather than just a bunch of moments that are just blah, boring.
Also, social media is super fast-paced, like always changing, quickly moving. So I think people are always looking for something new. People get bored super quickly.
So bringing something fresh and new to the table, a new perspective will help make your brand in general more compelling on social. Not just post by post, but as an account.]
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Marketers, especially ones on smaller teams, know that efficiency and repurposing are often the names of the game. But Kelsi warns against that when it comes to social content.
[KELSI: I think a lot of marketers just copy and paste stuff from Twitter to Instagram and like Instagram to LinkedIn.
[breathe deep] ohh it cuts deep.
[KELSI: But a lot of those channels have different audiences and have different purposes for everyone. Like LinkedIn content is not the same as Instagram. People are not looking for the same content on those two channels.
So I would try to diversify your content, tailor it to a specific platform, and if you don't have the bandwidth to do different content for every channel, just pick some, um, that is more effective for your audience, where your audience is, um, and prioritize those first and make unique content for those channels that fit naturally on those channels.
You could put an image on Twitter and Instagram, but then there's stuff like dimensions that don't really work for both. And then if you're not using like Instagram stories, which is very unique to Instagram, um, that could be a huge missed opportunity if it works for your brand.
Cause there are 500 million people that use Instagram stories every day. So not embracing the unique features of the platform and the unique purposes of the platform I think is a huge missed opportunity that marketers tend to do sometimes.]
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So I wanna talk a bit about your work here at HubSpot. Where do you guys start when it comes to your social content strategy?
[Kelsi: We have our own perspectives and values that we like to communicate through all of our content, not just on social, but in general as a brand. So we like to find ways to communicate those values and points of view through telling stories about our customers or industry, news and just showing examples of our values in different ways.
So I think that's really important is getting our message across and like getting our point of view across to our audience while also telling a very compelling story.
And then another thing we're focusing on is just kind of like mixing up execution styles and seeing what our audience prefers, what they find most interesting to come from us.
What’s that look like, right? Is it always like late 90’s, juiced up Mark McGuire type swings here? Or are we also talking about small ball, too?
[KELSI: It could be as small as just like, does one sentence on Instagram stories work better than two sentences or does like a square picture work better than a like wider picture, or does IGTV work better than like a normal Instagram wall video and kind of stuff like that. So seeing what our audience responds better to and what we can fit our stories into the best.]
Tell me about a piece of content that you think, even today really stands out as something compelling on social.
[Kelsi: So a while back we posted a video called ‘How evaluating my own gender made me become a better product designer.’
And where did we post that?
[KELSI: We posted it on Facebook.]
Ok, so for you, why does this one sort of tick all the boxes for compelling content?
[KELSI: So I thought that was super interesting because it's a perspective that was new.
Um, and gender equality is something that we really believe in at HubSpot. So I think it was a good way to kind of communicate our values in a format that highlighted someone's story and showed that it actually does relate to professional life and working life. So I think that compelled me just because it was a different perspective.]
And I feel like a lot of times, right, here at HubSpot, we’re very data-driven. And we’ll get into why you absolutely should be data-driven with social a bit later in the season, but at this point in the game, you think it’s more of a balancing act.
[KELSI: It's harder to try new things when you're focused so hard on data. Um, because new things won't fit into. The data you collected and the research that you did and the analysis that you did.
I think experimenting is important because social moves so quickly, everyone is trying to find the next kind of thing that captures attention, especially because a lot of people follow a lot of accounts.
So it's kind of harder to get attention, um, sometimes. But if you're creating something really awesome all the time, a new fresh, then you'll kind of earn that, but earn my attention. Don't steal it. Customer code, tenant number, whatever haha.]
I looked it up. And, of course, it’s tenant number one.
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So to summarize: Compelling content for social is content that gets people talking is authentic to your brand and is original. Your brand’s competing for eyeballs and earholes, so make sure you’re creating content specific to the platform you’re posting on.
Copy & paste is tempting, trust me. But people will see through it in a heartbeat. Or worse, they won’t even look at all.
Craft your social content to be an extension of your brand values. And Don’t be afraid to experiment. By that, I mean don’t let data get in the way of a good story.
How’d I do, Kelsi?
[KELSI: I think… um, not this is pretty good.]
I’ll take it. Next episode, we look at the first platform of the season -- that little blue bird we call Twitter, and we talk conversations and communities. So hey, I’ll see you there.
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