What type of social media content works best?

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Answered by: Christopher, An Expert in the Social Media Marketing Category
Social media content comes in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the platform, you may see a variety of media and subject matter. Generally, images and video along with other rich media will grab more attention. If the appropriate image size and ratio is used on your website, you can really maximize the space allowed by Facebook when you share a link post due to the Social Graph. On Twitter, you can do something similar with Twitter cards. However, if you really want to stand out, get attention and not annoy your audience, you might not want to be linking out at all. Instead, try creating content that is native to each platform.

In a world where everyone is trying to get traffic back to their own website or simply taking the easy way out by sharing or curating all their social media content from other sources, a post which contains value in and of itself without a link is a rare sight. Lately, when I scroll through my social media feeds, all I see are links. Everyone is trying to drive traffic to their website or share some article they found. I used to click on all the interesting articles. Now? Not so much.

I don't have time to wait for your content to load. I'm usually met with ads, unexpected click-throughs or redirects. It's not worth it. Seconds matter. Everyone is busy. Tell me you don't get upset when someone calls you instead of texting. Time is precious. Everything else is a commodity. Compound this with the fact that over half of your audience is viewing their social media through a mobile device and you will begin to understand the magnitude of the problem. People don't really want to click your links anymore. Once bitten, twice shy. They've been conditioned to expect slow load times and disappointment.

So, what's the solution? Stop doing it. Stop linking out. Be "native" to the platform you are participating in. Create content that presents itself wholly and completely in the context of a single post or tweet or pin or whatever else it is that you're doing. Provide value to your audience in the ways that each platform has intended.

Aside from the obvious scenario described above wherein you may conjure images of standing in line or sitting on the throne with your cell phone scrolling furiously through Facebook or Twitter, let me paint another picture. I typically receive a 15-50 person reach with a Facebook post where I link to a Youtube video. After I started uploading my videos directly to Facebook, my video posts were reaching 200-300 people with no more fans or other variables. Social media platforms favor their own tools. They like to keep people on the platform. Play the game accordingly. Leverage each platform for it's strengths. Just because you can link out, doesn't mean you should do it every time... or even often. Algorithms and data aside, it's common sense. Everyone is linking out. If you want to stand out, be native. If you want to provide immediate value to everyone who sees your post, be native.

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