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How do you create engaging content for social platforms?
12th November 2018 By Ian Bailey

No media brings brands closer to their audience than social media. The sheer reach of the main platforms, and the opportunities they offer for genuine conversation ensures social media is essential for engaging your audience.

However, these environments are noisy, with a myriad of conversations going on as brands constantly fight to be heard.  So what makes you stand out from the clutter?

The answer is content. If your content doesn’t land, your efforts will be lost amid the maelstrom of mildly amusing pets, wedding photos and Give Me Sport’s entry level clickbait.

What works for one brand probably won’t work for another. So how do you deliver content that resonates with your audience?  

It may sound obvious, but there are two factors that should shape your content: the audience you’re speaking to, and the platforms you’re using. Understand the relationship between the two, and you’re on your way to engaging content.

Apparently it’s all in the detail, so rather than stop at the obvious, let’s pull the first trick in the media playbook, and take a “deep-dive” into each…


Your audience

Empathy – People use social networks to share daft memes, memories and photos with each other, not to check out your brand’s latest innovation. Social media is effectively a house party thrown by your audience, to which brands are invited guests. Brands need to understand what makes their audience’s party bounce, and what they can bring to the table.

Relevancy – Don’t try and force your brand into every conversation your audiences are having. Understand what they are talking about and identify those points where your brand is relevant and can aid the conversation. Build a positive perception with relevant content that demonstrates your brand values, rather than just push a product.

Behaviour – Understanding how your users behave on social media can help steer your seeding strategy. When is the best time to post? How frequently? An understanding of how your audience behaves should also guide the metrics you use to measure engagement.  Are they more passive media consumers who are happy to sit back and be entertained, or are they more likely to pro-actively share and comment? Engagement comes in various guises and looks different for different audiences.


The platforms

Purpose – Each social platform has its own pros and cons, and reasons for why people use it. Understanding why people use a certain platform is key to creating content that fits well on that platform. It also provides insight into what good engagement on each platform looks like. Audiences on YouTube are likely to invest more time into watching content that interests them, so strong engagement could be reflected by the number of videos people watch per session. On Twitter, where users scroll through their feed quicker than on any other platform, likes and retweets may be the best indication of genuine engagement.

Format – the functionality of each platform should be reflected in the content you create. Making the most of a platform’s formats will allow you to capitalise on elements that help promote engagement, such as the lack of sound on Facebook versus YouTube videos, or the stories format on Instagram.


Here’s a quick outline of the best content style for the main social platforms:



  • Purpose: Emotional boost
  • Style: Cheerful


  • Purpose: Visual demonstration
  • Style: Aesthetic focus


  • Purpose: Introductory info
  • Style: Sharp and informative


  • Purpose: Detailed exploration
  • Style: Cinematic


  • Purpose: Thought leadership and business insight
  • Style: Opinion and expertise

So, in order to provide a pithy summary for everyone to use while they re-post this article, here’s a concise recap that’s more of a snorkel than a deep-dive:

Understanding why your audience use social platforms, and understanding the purpose of these platforms, will allow you to create content that is tailored to your audience, that leverages the platforms functionality, delivering engagement.

At Media Zoo, our award-winning film team work hand in hand with our digital team to help create content that resonates with your audience. If you’d like to have a chat about any content related questions, please get in touch!

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