How To Tailor Your Content To Platform
Remember the days when social media was simple? You know, you just had a Facebook and a Twitter, and maybe a Tumblr too if you were artsy and subversive. In those days it was easy to determine where you would post what. But these days, we’ve also got Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, Periscope-- the list goes on and on and there’s always a new platform that someone is trying to push.
As an influencer and content creator, you don’t have the capacity to build and maintain a presence on every channel-- it’s simply not humanly possible. But you shouldn’t feel bad about that, because your audience doesn’t want to consume your content across 4+ platforms. Your best bet is to make a strong, well-voiced presence on a few (2-3) platforms, and ensure that you’re sharing unique content on each.
So the first thing you need to do is determine which platforms you’re going to focus your efforts on. This is simpler than you may think-- think about who your audience is, and where they are. And don’t just think about where you have the most followers-- followers does not equal likes and comments. So look at where your audience is most engaged and that’s likely where you should be. The other thing to take into account is what YOU enjoy doing. You’ll create more authentic content when it’s not forced.
Once you’ve determined which platforms you’re going to invest your creative energy into, it’s time to tailor the content appropriately to each one. The same content shared across different platforms likely will not perform as well as tailored native content. So we threw together this handy little guide to help you better customize your content to suit your platforms of choice.
Tailoring content to TWITTER
Twitter is fast paced, so you should be concise, post often, and respond quickly. Your content should be straight to the point and catchy, and include one or two targeted hashtags. Use actionable language, like “follow,” “check out,” “share,” and “help” or ask a question. An effective call-to-action is crucial if you want to turn your passive audience into an active one.
Visuals significantly boost engagement on Twitter, so include photo and video regularly. Videos should be on the shorter side (they can’t be longer than 140 seconds anyways) since people come to Twitter for quick and digestible content.
Tailoring content to FACEBOOK
Facebook is the most forgiving platform when it comes to word length-- if you have something longer to say then say it here. Visuals are key on Facebook as well, and images will do the job, but videos perform the best on Facebook newsfeeds. Like Twitter though, people want to view something relatively quickly then keep scrolling through their feed, so don’t post anything too long (cap it around 3 or 4 minutes). Facebook’s auto-play muted format necessitates that your videos be eye-catching without the sound. Consider captions so people don't miss out on your content when they don't have access to audio.
If possible upload your content natively to Facebook rather than linking out. Facebook algorithmically prioritizes native content, especially native videos, and even more so if it’s live video. Additionally, your page’s organic reach depends on people sharing your posts, so post shareable content.
Tailoring content to INSTAGRAM
Instagram is all about aesthetics so visually stunning content is key, and your caption is secondary. Visuals can be photos, videos, hyperlapse videos, or boomerangs--just make sure they are high quality or you will not be taken seriously. Captions can be super short or super long, do what makes sense for your audience and the type of content creator you are. For instance, if you’re a poet, and you want to share a nice photo with a poem in the caption, then that will fly if that’s what your audience is expecting from you.
Like I’ve noted for all of the other platforms, short and sweet is the way to go when it comes to video. Instagram now caps you at 60 seconds, but don’t feel the need to utilize the entire 60 seconds if you can convey your story in 15 or 30 seconds.
Note that Instagram is less about driving traffic externally to your website or product, and more about building brand recognition. Additionally, since the newsfeed algorithm is based on timing, engagement, and previous interactions, it’s paramount that you create images and captions that motivate people to like and comment.
Tailoring content to SNAPCHAT
Snapchat is the platform on which you can let your imagination run wild and let your freak flag fly. This is where you should post fun, experimental, and creative content without limitations. All content should be in the vertical format, and like Twitter, it should be short and to the point. You can post one-off singular pieces of content, but you will benefit by stringing multiple snaps together to create a longer (but still brief) storyline.
Snapchat content generally should be exclusive to Snapchat-- your followers go there for the real, behind the scenes, humanizing stuff, and more intimate interactions with you. They want to feel like they’re part of your more immediate circle of followers.
Since Snapchat content is temporary, you need to incentivize people to tune in. Give teasers or hints about when you’re releasing something new or special on Snapchat (you can share this teaser on Snapchat itself or on another platform to direct people to follow you on Snapchat to see the exclusive content.)
Tailoring content to YOUTUBE or VIMEO
YouTube and Vimeo are both good for your longer form video content (5+ minutes), since your audience will come to those platforms specifically to watch videos. Think longer more in depth stories, or educational/instructional content. Here you should not be looking for immediate conversions, rather you should think about this content as evergreen-- create things that will continue to provide value for your audience months and years down the road.
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.