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This Is the Content that Drives Social Media Engagement

In the marketing world, we’re always experimenting with content to figure out what drives social media engagement. I recently found an infographic that sheds some light on this topic.


Note I said “some.” The data below is not a magic bullet, but it may be helpful for your social media strategy.


Content that drives social media engagement


Let’s first look at who is using the biggest networks and what information they find most engaging. This data, though it’s kind of broad, should drive your social media content calendar.




Baby Boomers and Gen X like engaging content, such as photos and videos.




Businesspeople are looking for company news, product information and testimonials.




Gen Z and Millennials love product photos, videos, behind-the-scenes, how-to’s and Stories.




Young adults (older Gen Z and younger Millennials) want to see original and curated content, mostly news in text format.


Remember, these are not hard-and-fast rules. Once you experiment with these recommendations, you’ll have a much better idea of the best content to share with your audience.


Top three reasons consumers follow brands on social media


  1. Learn about new products or services (50%)
  2. Be entertained (48%)
  3. Stay current with company news (40%)


What’s surprising is how low some other types of content scored. People aren’t very interested in learning about promotions (38%), being inspired (36%) or being educated (35%).


Nor are they very interested in being social. Only 36% of users want to connect with people like them, 20% want to connect with people who are different and 20% want to communicate with the brand.


With that said, take these findings with a grain of salt. The data isn’t broken out by network. If you look at what to share on Twitter and LinkedIn (above), those audiences do want to be educated.


I am very surprised at how few people want to use social media to communicate with brands. They want to consume brand information, but they don’t necessarily want to interact.


Top three reasons consumers un-follow brands


  1. Poor customer service (56%)
  2. Irrelevant content (51%)
  3. Too many ads (43%)


Those reasons make sense. The rest of the list leaves me a bit puzzled. Consumers also un-follow brands for sharing too many promotional posts (35%), talking about politics/social issues (34%), ignoring posts/mentions from followers (29%) and working with influencers (14%).


So, people follow brands to hear about new products and services and company news. But if you talk about yourself too much, you could lose users. This conflicting data is likely because, as I mentioned above, how people use different platforms is not taken into account.


I do find it very interesting that only 20% of people follow brands on social to communicate with them. But if the brand’s customer service sucks or the brand doesn’t recognize posts and mentions from their followers, people are quick to say, “Bye Felicia.”


My final caveat


The best way to understand what content might be best for your audience is to look at what your competitors are doing.


I recently completed a massive content marketing strategy for a new client. The recommendations I made were directly influenced by what was working (and not working) for their competitors. Some of the findings were really eye-opening (like the number of complaints on one company’s Facebook page that were going un-answered – and this is an established company!).


If you need help with your social media strategy, give us a shout. We’d love to help.


Photo by Meghan Schiereck on Unsplash

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