6 Types of Social Media Content That Your Audience Really Needs

social media content types
social media content types

Social media in 2022 is just part of the way we live. People spend more than two hours scrolling their feeds every day, and they use 7+ different platforms every month!

It’s a huge opportunity for brands to grow their visibility and connect with potential customers where they already are.

But figuring out the types of social media content to post can feel complicated. There are so many options! What works well for one platform might not perform well on another. Users have different preferences depending on their age and other demographic factors. Not to mention that social media trends and best practices change at a rapid pace.

Before you figure out exactly what your social media plan will look like (or how you’ll update it if you already have one), it’s important to know what types of social media content are already getting the most traction. That’s what we’ll cover in this article. In the sections that follow, you’ll learn why social media is so critical to your content strategy, plus 6 types of social media your audience needs to see on your platforms.

Let’s dive in!

Quick Takeaways

  • Finding content (i.e. articles, videos, etc.) is one of the top five reasons people use social media.
  • Social media stories are a great channel for sharing more casual, everyday content with your audience.
  • Infographics are shared 3x more than any other type of visual content on social media.
  • You can use social media to amplify your blog articles and other content to drive more traffic to your website.
  • Half of adult internet users report they purchase products from social media ads.

What’s the deal with social media and content marketing?

It’s kind of crazy to think about the ways social media has evolved in the nearly 20 years since MySpace (what’s that, again?) and Facebook put it on the map. What used to be a way for young people to connect with their friends became a way for anyone to share updates on their everyday lives and eventually evolved into the massive platforms for sharing and consuming news and media that we now know today.

Social media is critical to your content marketing strategy because it meets your audience where they already are — and where they’re going specifically to look for brand content! Recent research from Hootsuite found that “finding content (e.g. articles, videos) landed in the top five reasons internet users aged 16-64 use social media platforms.

Finding content is one of the top five reasons internet users use social media platforms.

Image Source: Hootsuite

For brands, social media is a place to share original posts and amplify your content from other channels (i.e. your blog, video library, etc.). It’s also a way to connect with your audience and engage with them in an ongoing way. This is important — about 90% of consumers report that they’re more likely to visit a brand’s website, buy their products, and choose them over a competitor when they follow them on social media.

Image Source: Sprout Social

The foundation of any brand’s ability to succeed with social media marketing is to create and share tons of engaging, high-value content on a frequent basis. To do that, you’ve got to know which types of social media posts your audience wants to see.

In the next section, we’ll walk through 6 of the top-performing types of social media content and how you can incorporate them into your strategy.

6 Types of Social Media Content That Your Audience Really Needs

Videos (with captions!)

Video is the most-consumed and most-preferred type of online content for internet users. Cisco predicts video will account for a whopping 82% of all online traffic by the end of 2022. Even more importantly, 9 out of 10 people report wanting to see more videos from brands. On social media, video posts earn 48% more views than posts without them.

In other words: the numbers are hard to ignore.

HubSpot also found that social media is the second-most common purpose for videos created by brands.

Social media videos are the second most common purpose for the videos created by brands.

Image Source: HubSpot

Fortunately, creating video content is simple today. Smartphones are the only tool you need to record HD videos. You can post videos from external channels (like your YouTube page or website) or you can do it directly on the platform (like social media stories and live streams).

It’s a good idea to experiment with different types of videos to see what your audience responds to the most!

Stories

Stories are one of the best channels for video content on social media, but they’re also a great place to post photos, highlight important posts, and share interacting content like surveys, polls, and other more.

The great thing about stories is that by nature, they’re a more casual way to interact with your audiences. While of course you need to maintain the same level of care and quality standards you do for other types of social media content, you can also share more everyday-type content that keeps your brand visible and top-of-mind to your followers.

Interactive posts

Interactive posts have huge potential to boost your social media marketing ROI. There are many different ways to be interactive on social media, but here I’m referring to more than just comment sections. I’m talking about content that’s interactive by nature — live streams, polls, surveys, Q&A content and more.

The exact way you can post this type of content depends on the platform. Instagram, for example, pioneered interactive social media stories with features like rating scales, Q&A boxes, polls and more. Twitter is known for its in-tweet (and anonymous) poll feature where people can be totally honest in their responses. Facebook Live was one of the first places we saw users interacting directly with brands over live streams.

Interactive content is an awesome way to grow engagement. They also present an opportunity to collect really valuable insights from your audience about product preferences and other opinions that matter to your larger strategy.

Infographics

Infographics are great for condensing complex, detailed content into a digestible social media post. If you’re covering a technical topic, lots of numbers and statistics, or just a high volume of information that needs to be in one place, infographics can be a great tool for doing it.

Infographics lend themselves especially well to social media as the most shareable type of visual content — they’re shared 3x more than videos or any other type of regular images on social media.

Here’s a list of 40 great infographics to inspire you.

Links to external content

Social media should absolutely be leveraged as part of your larger content strategy to amplify the content you create in other places — on your blog, YouTube channel, website and more.

I recommend sharing every blog post on social media. You can also revive older content or timely topics when it makes sense. Encourage your readers to share your content, too, by adding social share buttons on your blog article pages.

Social sharing buttons appearing at the top of a recent MIG blog post.

Image Source: Marketing Insider Group

You can also consider sharing content from other brands and news sources to give your own take on current events and topics. It’s a great way to encourage discussion and engagement with your audience.

Promotional content

Say what?! Promotional content? You might be wondering why this one’s on the list. After all, organic traffic is best, right?

Well, yes. But that doesn’t mean promotional content is never a good idea — especially on social media. Here’s why:

  • 40% of internet users between the ages of 18-34 report having bought a product on a social media platform
  • 80% of consumers report purchasing a product after seeing it recommended by an influencer
  • 50% of all adult internet users say that social media ads help them find products and services that interest them

Promoting content by paying to boost posts or running social media ads increase brand awareness and help drive traffic back to your social pages and website. Don’t shy away from mixing promoted content with other content you share organically.

Boost your social media success with great content

You can’t share great content on social media unless you create it regularly! The team of writers and SEO experts at Marketing Insider Group can deliver you optimized, ready-to-publish content every single week for a year (or more!).

Check out our SEO Blog Writing Service to learn more or schedule a quick consultation with me to get started.

Erin McShea is a full-time writer with Marketing Insider Group. She specializes in topics covering content marketing, technology solutions, and financial services.

2 thoughts on “6 Types of Social Media Content That Your Audience Really Needs

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this write-up Norman. Unrelated question: are you swedish?

    Back to the article, your choice of words clearly portrayed your thoughts and stated the facts as is.

    I loved the part of exclusivity. Most content marketers miss the point with exclusivity especially in today’s world of rehashed information and garbage.

    About cashing in on trending topics as the vehicle for creating contents that resonate with ones audience personality, I must confess that I’ve not travelled that route as much as I’m supposed to.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your thoroughly researched article and I also found it informative.

    Have an awesome rest of the week.

    Cheers,
    @toluaddy

    1. Hi Tolulope,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I was born in Sweden, but I lived the main part of my life in the United States.

      Well, I’m glad that you’ve found this article useful and enjoyable, and now I’m preparing one more article for the publishing. It would be great to hear your opinion about it too, of course if you are interested. Thank you again, have a great day.

      Kind regards,
      Norman

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