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By Jacob Freedman

You’ve got your social media campaign all ready. Posts are scheduled and proper tags and hashtags are loaded up. But wait… Social media managers know this too well, but simply pressing ‘publish’ is no guarantee for success.

For your content to succeed, your audience must care about it. Unless you’re an iconic brand like Apple or Nike, simply shouting “we’re amazing” from the rooftops is not an effective social media marketing strategy. Here are three easy tips to remember when creating social media content.

1) 3-Second Rule

People’s attention spans are short – as short as this sentence. As a general rule, your marketing content has to grab someone’s attention in 3 seconds, if not sooner. Users will scroll down, exit out, and move on if it doesn’t capture attention at a glance.

This doesn’t mean someone must read your entire caption, view your video, or even understand what your post is in only two seconds. But they must be interested enough to turn two seconds of attention into 20 seconds or 2 minutes. Social media gives people a massive ocean of content to change to with the flick of a finger, much different than television or more traditional forms of media. If you confuse people, you lose people.

2) Elicit Emotion

Have you ever had a bad day, but then saw a funny TikTok or a heartwarming Facebook post that slightly lifted your spirits? Social media is ultimately about people, which is why social media content that gets people to feel emotions tends to see higher engagement and performance.

How can you do this? When posting pictures of people, make sure their faces are visible and convey the desired emotion you want the audience to feel. For example, smiles and warm colors usually signify happiness, while frowns and muted colors more appropriately communicate sadness.

Strive to have the tone of your captions match your desired tone, and pair well with your visual. For example, exclamation points and smiling emojis would go well in the caption for a video announcing a brand-new business opening its doors or a fun promotion. But at the same time, they would be less appropriate for a more solemn piece of content.

3) Be Useful

Content can be helpful far beyond making you smile or laugh. When creating content, consider how it will add something valuable to your audience’s lives.

For example, a soda brand could create a video featuring five snacks that go well with their drink. Or a car company could share an infographic highlighting cool in-car features that most drivers may not know about.

Social media, especially for companies and brands, is about engaging with, and delivering value to current, past, and future customers. Finding some way to make someone’s life easier, more interesting, or even better will go a long way in social media success.