10 Proven Strategies to Diversify Your Social Media Content and Boost Engagement in 2024

In the crowded arena of social media, where 4.76 billion users vie for attention, brands are locked in a constant battle to stand out and connect with their audience. Gone are the days when a simple product photo or link to your latest blog post would suffice. In 2023, the key to social media success lies in content diversity.

Just as a balanced diet nourishes the body, a diverse content mix nourishes your social media presence. By serving up a variety of formats and flavors, you keep your audience engaged, interested, and always craving more. In fact, a study by Sprout Social found that 45% of consumers will unfollow a brand on social media if their content is dull or repetitive.

But diversifying your social media content isn‘t just about staving off boredom – it‘s a strategic move that can pay off big in terms of reach, engagement, and conversions. A Hootsuite experiment found that by diversifying their Instagram content with more video and user-generated content (UGC), they increased their follower growth rate by 75% and engagement rate by 27%.

So, how can you achieve this coveted content diversity and reap the rewards? Here are 10 proven strategies to mix up your social media posts and keep your audience hooked in 2024:

1. Embrace the Power of Native Video

In the age of TikTok and Instagram Reels, video is king. Cisco projects that video will account for a staggering 82% of all internet traffic by 2023. But not all videos are created equal when it comes to social media performance.

Native videos, or videos uploaded directly to a social platform rather than shared as a link, consistently outperform their linked counterparts. A quintly analysis of 167,000 Facebook profiles found that native videos earned, on average:

  • 109% more interactions
  • 477% more shares
  • 530% more comments

Why the stark difference? Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn give native videos preferential treatment in their algorithms, meaning they‘re more likely to appear in users‘ feeds. Native videos also autoplay in the feed, catching users‘ attention as they scroll.

To maximize the impact of your social media videos:

  • Keep them short and punchy (under 2 minutes is the sweet spot)
  • Use eye-catching thumbnails and titles to entice clicks
  • Add captions for the 85% of users who watch without sound
  • Experiment with different video styles (tutorials, interviews, behind-the-scenes, etc.)
  • Always include a clear call-to-action

Real-World Example: Nowness‘ Native Video Strategy

Nowness, a video channel showcasing contemporary culture, saw a 1200% increase in Facebook video views after shifting to a native video strategy. By uploading videos directly to the platform instead of sharing YouTube links, they were able to capitalize on Facebook‘s autoplay feature and algorithm prioritization of native content.

2. Tap into the FOMO of Ephemeral Content

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful psychological driver, and ephemeral content plays right into it. This content, which disappears after a set period of time (usually 24 hours), creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity that prompts users to engage before it‘s gone.

Popularized by Snapchat and later adopted by Instagram and Facebook Stories, ephemeral content is now a staple of social media. And it‘s not just a gimmick – it‘s an effective engagement tool. Research by Block Party found that:

  • 62% of people are more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories
  • 1 in 4 Millennials and Gen Z-ers look for Stories of products and services they‘re considering buying

To leverage the power of ephemeral content:

  • Give sneak peeks of upcoming products or events
  • Share authentic, behind-the-scenes moments
  • Offer limited-time promotions or discount codes
  • Poll your audience or host Q&As
  • Highlight user-generated content

Real-World Example: Sephora‘s Instagram Story Strategy

Cosmetics retailer Sephora uses Instagram Stories to give followers an inside look at new products, store events, and beauty tips. They also frequently link to product pages, driving traffic and sales. In a single month, Sephora‘s Stories received over 30 million views.

3. Plan Ahead with a Seasonal Content Calendar

Timeliness is the secret sauce of resonant content. By aligning your social media posts with holidays, seasons, and trending topics, you become part of the larger conversation and cultural moment.

The key is advanced planning. By creating a content calendar and scheduling seasonal posts ahead of time, you ensure a steady stream of timely, relevant content while saving yourself the scramble of last-minute ideation.

Use tools like Google Trends, BuzzSumo, and EpicBeat to identify trending topics and hashtags in your industry. Then, plug them into your content calendar along with major holidays and brand-relevant events.

Seasonal content ideas:

  • Holiday gift guides featuring your products
  • Seasonal how-to‘s or recipes (e.g. "5 Fall Skincare Tips")
  • Festive branded graphics or animations
  • User-generated content campaigns (e.g. a Halloween costume contest)
  • Newsjacking relevant trending topics (tastefully and with tact)

Real-World Example: Starbucks‘ Seasonal Social Media Campaign

Every fall, Starbucks‘ highly anticipated Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) returns. To build hype, Starbucks employs a multi-pronged social media campaign involving countdown posts, behind-the-scenes content, user-generated content (encouraging customers to share their PSL photos with a branded hashtag), and even an interactive Facebook Messenger bot that shares PSL-related content. This integrated seasonal campaign helps Starbucks dominate social conversations and sales each fall.

4. Borrow Authority with Influencer Quotes

In the age of influencer marketing, borrowed authority is a powerful trust builder. When an influencer or thought leader in your industry vouches for your brand, some of their clout and credibility rubs off on you.

While full-blown influencer campaigns can be costly, you can capture some of that magic simply by sharing quotes from respected figures. The key is choosing quotes that align with your brand messaging and values. Pair the quote with an eye-catching graphic (canva.com is great for this), and be sure to properly attribute the source.

To extend the impact, tag the influencer in your post. This not only gives proper credit but also increases the likelihood of them engaging with or even sharing your post with their audience.

Real-World Example: HubSpot‘s Influencer Quote Graphics

Inbound marketing platform HubSpot regularly shares quote graphics from marketing and sales influencers on their social media channels. By borrowing the authority of respected figures like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk, HubSpot bolsters their own credibility while also providing valuable, share-worthy content to their audience.

5. Engage with Interactive Polls

Passive content consumption is out; active engagement is in. The more you can get your audience to interact with your social media content, the more the platform algorithms will favor and surface your future posts.

Polls are one of the easiest and most effective engagement drivers. People love sharing their opinions, and polls make it quick and painless for them to weigh in. Use polls to:

  • Gather feedback on your products or content
  • Spark conversation around industry topics
  • Learn about your audience‘s preferences and pain points
  • Gamify your feed with trivia or "this or that" polls

Different platforms offer different polling options:

  • Twitter allows single-question polls with up to 4 choices
  • Facebook has poll options in Groups and Stories
  • Instagram Stories has an interactive Questions Sticker
  • LinkedIn rolled out native polls with up to 4 responses

Real-World Example: Airbnb‘s Twitter Polls

Airbnb regularly uses Twitter polls to engage their audience and gather insights. From "Which destination would you rather visit?" to "What‘s your favorite type of Airbnb stay?", these simple polls generate thousands of responses and valuable data for the brand.

6. Remix and Repurpose Your Content

Creating quality content is time and resource-intensive. To squeeze the most value out of every piece, think like a DJ and remix your content for multiple platforms.

Let‘s say you put together a meaty, 10-tip blog post. You could:

  • Pull out each tip and pair it with a graphic for social media posts
  • Expand on each tip in a series of quick how-to videos
  • Combine all the tips into an infographic to share on Pinterest
  • Use the post as a script for a podcast episode
  • Turn the post into a series of slides for a LinkedIn carousel post
  • Go live on social media to discuss and expand on the tips

By repurposing content across formats and platforms, you not only save time but also cater to the different content preferences of your audience.

Real-World Example: Gary Vaynerchuk‘s Content Model

Entrepreneur and marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk is the master of content repurposing. His "pillar" content – usually a long-form video or interview – is chopped up, remixed, and repackaged into dozens of smaller pieces of "micro-content" to be distributed across social media, his blog, newsletter, and podcast. This allows him to reach the maximum audience with the minimum amount of effort.

7. Team Up on Collaborative Content

Two heads – or brands – are often better than one. Partnering with complementary brands or creators to co-create content can help you:

  • Tap into new audiences
  • Lend credibility and authority to your brand
  • Provide more comprehensive and valuable content to your shared audience

Some collaboration ideas:

  • Co-hosted webinars or live social media Q&As
  • Joint research reports or industry surveys
  • Roundup blog posts featuring insights from multiple experts
  • Social media "takeovers" where a partner brand posts on your channels for a day
  • Co-branded guides, eBooks, or templates
  • Combined special offers or product bundles

The key is finding partners that share your values and audience but aren‘t direct competitors. Look for opportunities to pool your expertise or resources to create something of value that neither of you could have created alone.

Real-World Example: Spotify & Uber‘s "Soundtrack for Your Ride" Campaign

In 2016, music streaming giant Spotify teamed up with ride-sharing app Uber to create "Soundtrack for Your Ride". The feature allowed riders to control the music in their Uber directly from the Spotify app. Both brands cross-promoted the partnership on their social media channels, tapping into each other‘s user bases. It was a win-win-win: a better experience for the customer, and increased exposure and usage for both brands.

8. Fuel Your Feed with User-Generated Content

Your customers are your best content creators. User-generated content (UGC) – any content created and posted by your fans and followers – serves a triple purpose:

  1. It engages and rewards your brand advocates, turning them into loyal promoters.
  2. It acts as powerful social proof for potential customers.
  3. It fills your content calendar without you having to create anything from scratch.

In fact, UGC is 35% more memorable and 50% more trusted than other media and content, according to a study by Reevoo.

To encourage UGC:

  • Run social media contests and giveaways
  • Create a branded hashtag for customers to tag their posts with
  • Incentivize reviews and testimonials
  • Repost and spotlight the best UGC on your own channels (with permission)

Always credit the original creator when reposting UGC, and consider offering some kind of reward or recognition for the best submissions.

Real-World Example: Aerie‘s #AerieREAL Campaign

Intimate apparel brand Aerie has built a devoted following and differentiated itself from competitors with its commitment to showcasing real, unretouched women in its marketing. The #AerieREAL hashtag encourages customers to share unedited photos of themselves in Aerie products. The brand features this UGC across its social media, website, and even in-store displays. By celebrating real women‘s bodies, Aerie has fostered a powerful sense of community and authenticity around its brand.

9. Go Live and Off-Script

There‘s something magnetic about live video. It‘s authentic, unpredictable, and instantly engaging. According to Facebook, users spend 3X more time watching live video compared to pre-recorded video.

Use live social media video to:

  • Host Q&A sessions and AMAs (Ask Me Anything)
  • Interview industry experts or influencers
  • Demo your products or provide tutorials
  • Give behind-the-scenes tours of your office or events
  • Make special announcements or unveil new products

The unpolished, unscripted nature of live video adds a layer of authenticity and human connection that polished, pre-recorded video can‘t match. And because it‘s happening in real-time, it creates a sense of urgency and FOMO that drives viewership and engagement.

Real-World Example: Buzzfeed‘s "Tasty" Live Cooking Videos

Buzzfeed‘s Tasty, known for its viral overhead cooking videos, regularly goes live on Facebook to walk viewers through recipes in real-time. These live videos often garner hundreds of thousands of views, with viewers eagerly asking questions and commenting along in real-time. The live format adds an interactive, participatory element to Tasty‘s already popular content.

10. Educate with Bite-Sized Insights

People scroll social media not just to be entertained but also to learn. Sharing quick, actionable tips and insights related to your industry is a powerful way to provide value, establish your authority, and keep your brand top-of-mind.

This bite-sized wisdom could take many forms:

  • Step-by-step instructographics
  • Short tutorial videos
  • Data visualizations of interesting stats or survey findings
  • Quotable tips overlaid on branded graphics
  • Excerpts or takeaways from your longer blog posts or articles

The key is making the information easy to understand and easy to share. If your followers find it valuable, they‘re likely to save it and share it with their networks, expanding your reach organically.

Real-World Example: Hootsuite‘s Social Media Tips

Social media management platform Hootsuite regularly shares quick social media tips and best practices on its channels. These range from simple text posts sharing a useful stat or insight, to short how-to videos walking through a specific tactic. By providing these bite-sized lessons, Hootsuite reinforces its authority and helpfulness in the social media space.

Data-Driven Bonus: Experiment and Analyze

While these 10 content types are all proven engagement drivers, there‘s no universal "best" mix. What works for one brand may fall flat for another. The key is constant experimentation and analysis.

Use your social media analytics to track how different types of content perform in terms of key metrics like:

  • Reach
  • Engagement rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Shares/Saves
  • Comments
  • Follower growth

Over time, patterns will emerge showing which content formats resonate most with your unique audience. Double down on those winners while continually testing new variations and ideas.

The landscape of social media is ever-shifting, with new features, platforms, and trends constantly emerging. By keeping your content fresh, diverse, and data-driven, you‘ll be well-positioned to ride the waves of change and keep your audience engaged, no matter what the next big thing may be.

So go forth and diversify – your followers (and your bottom line) will thank you.

Content Type Average Engagement Rate
Native Video 0.25%
Live Video 0.17%
Photos 0.15%
Questions/Polls 0.13%
Influencer Posts 0.10%
Shared Links 0.07%
Text Status 0.05%

*Data based on a RivalIQ study of 100,000+ Facebook posts.

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