Guest blog: How to tackle the big three of social media to increase engagement and enhance your brand

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

By Lee Esposito

When it comes to the "big three" of social media-Facebook, Instagram and Twitter-many marketers become distracted by studying analytics and forget that these very different platforms were designed by intelligent people who created each one to engage with users in unique ways.

And since it's not simply about expanding, but also about engaging with the followers you already have, it's important to realize that you're creating native content, which means creating posts that are native to one of the big three platforms to achieve maximum engagement. In other words, not all posts are created equal, and content that might generate many likes, comments, and shares on Facebook, might leave your Instagram followers quickly scrolling past your image in search of something more engaging.

Recently, a colleague came up with these distinct descriptions for each of the big three platforms, and what to keep in mind when creating content for each one:

Facebook is basically like a television morning show, with stories about an array of topics, from news stories to human interest features to spotlights on people and events. Think of yourself as the news and entertainment producer for your page. Post entertaining news and updates about your products and services, and videos of your company in action. When selling food, post short videos of your product being used in recipes.

Instagram is like a fine magazine with beautiful photos and stories you're interested in-think Architectural Digest or Vanity Fair. For an Instagram feed to gain followers, the content must be visually stunning and carefully curated. All images must work together as a body of work. It's why following Instagram users in the hopes that they will follow you back doesn't work-the platform is based on the eye being entertained.

Twitter is like a ticker on the bottom of a 24-hour news show. Use Twitter's power to give a complete message in 140 characters. Tweet your key message points, and then provide a link back to the posted news story or other social media platform. Never tweet without providing a link back to the original news source or to your native content.

Finally, remember these key points to gain traction with your social media campaign.

  • Avoid using programs and apps that automatically post across multiple social media platforms, as it creates a uniform, rather than a creative, look to your posts.

  • Remember to feature photos on your Instagram feed from your followers to expand your community. Create proprietary hashtags to find your followers easily to build your community base. For Twitter, re-tweet-and comment on-appropriate content from your followers.

  • Always respond to comments, even if it's only a fun emoji to convey a short thought. If possible, respond by asking a question. Ideally, you want to keep the conversation going to increase engagement.

Remember, avoid getting too wrapped up in expanding your audience. It's also about engaging and building a community with your fans and followers which, if you think about it, is the reason it's called social media in the first place.

Lee Esposito is principal of Lee Esposito Associates, a public relations and social media management firm. He can be reached at (614) 761-0200, lee@newsangle.com, and through his firm's Facebook page.