Social media is moving faster than ever before, and brands need to keep up or they’ll be left behind.
I know that this is a pretty big, sweeping statement, but it’s also true. The half-life of the average social media post on the majority of platforms are decreasing, especially for branded content, just because there’s so much content out there. New posts are published so quickly that everything else is fading into the background quickly, requiring fresh, nearly-daily content if you want to stay relevant in the feeds.
In this post, we’re going to look at exactly why social media “freshness” is essential to stay visible in the 24-hour social cycle, what this means for your business, and how you can create enough content to do this.
Why “Fresh” Content Is Needed in the 24-Hour Social Cycle
When we say “fresh” content, we mean that content will typically disappear from the feeds or have severely limited visibility after its first 24 hours of being published. If you want to show up towards the top of most users’ feeds after this point, you need new, “fresh” content that’s posted at this point.
We’ve also got a big focus on 24-hour only content, particularly in the form of Stories. Stories were adapted from Snapchat by Instagram, and have since been adapted by Facebook and are now even in testing on YouTube. This content literally only exists for 24 hours (even though you can create Highlights on Instagram), forcing brands to continually produce video content faster than ever to stay relevant.
Keep in mind that you need to be engaging with your audience regularly on multiple platforms to stay at the forefront of their minds. You also need to factor in that not every follower will see every post from you; it’s not uncommon for your Facebook followers to see only a small percentage of your content, for example, and if someone doesn’t log in for two days, they’ll miss every Story you post during that time.
Creating content based on the 24-hour social cycle is now practically a requirement in social media marketing, to the point where some of our content (read: Stories) actually exists with time postings to tell you how long it will visible for.
How to Create Enough Content to Stay Relevant
You need a massive amount of content to keep your audience engaged on a regular basis, and that’s before you even factor in creating posts that are tailor-made for each one of your individual audience segments. The thought alone can be overwhelming to businesses and marketers, especially if they’re in charge of creating the content and managing it.
Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take and tools you can use that will help you streamline this process significantly, allowing you to create content at the scale you need without draining your time, energy, and resources. Let’s take a look at each one.
Map Out Your Content Calendar In Advance
Trust me when I say this: It’s a heck of a lot easier to sit down for an hour and map out your entire month’s work of content (or even two month’s!) at a time then it is to try to come up with a witty status or interesting post on a daily basis.
When you’re taking a disjointed approach, it’s hard to keep track of what you’ve already published, and it’s hard to keep the creative juices flowing.
It’s much easier to create interesting, diverse content calendars far in advance, and it’s definitely easier to intentionally space out different content like videos, sales announcement, event promotion, and sharing of resources so your followers are getting an even blend of content.
When you’re mapping out content in advance and creating the posts themselves, it will save you an enormous amount of time as the month goes on, both in terms of idea development, post execution, and publishing.
There are tools that can help with this, too. Agorapulse, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social are all outstanding social media management and publication tools. You can upload your content long in advance, reschedule or make changes if needed, and even automate some posting with evergreen queues.
And don’t forget to prepare your Stories in advance, too. You can use StoriesAds to prepare most of your Stories content in advance (which is an enormous asset because they take so long to create), and use Later to schedule them.
Leverage More Platforms
Facebook is a given for most brands when it comes to social media channels that they want to market on, but it shouldn’t be the only platform you’re using. Facebook has notoriously low organic reach, so it’s really not an ideal platform for engaging customers consistently.
Instagram, on the other hand, has much higher engagement rates (across the board, and for brands and businesses in particular), and LinkedIn is a must-use for B2B businesses.
Diversifying your platforms can make it easier to have fresh content published for every 24-hour social cycle without overwhelming your audience or running out of ideas. Posts on Instagram need to be hyper-visual, for example, while on LinkedIn they should be industry- or professionally-driven.
Create Diverse Content
You need the actual content that you create to be diverse; none of your followers like a one-trick pony after all.
Think of just the video content alone that you can create, for example. You can create videos featuring your products and services, videos showing behind-the-scenes content, educational videos, Q&A videos, and so many more. And again: that’s just for the videos.
While we’re on the subject, video should be a core part of your social marketing strategies, as it typically gains priority in some algorithms, it allows you to connect more meaningfully with your audience, and typically performs well to boot.
As crazy as it may have sounded a few years ago, we’re absolutely operating on a 24-hour social cycle as social media marketers. The onslaught of content means that you need to be producing new, fresh content that’s hyper-relevant to your audience on a frequent basis to stay connected, and the tools and tips in this post can help you do exactly that.