No one wants to hang out with the guy pitching insurance at a party. No one wants to be that guy, either. So how should brands behave at the social gathering that is the Timeline? To drive both brand and demand, you can’t rely on mind-blowing, thumb-stopping content that won’t move the needle—or the thumb to a link. Nor is dry product information appropriate.

The good news is that it is possible to pull people in with product-centered creative. With the targeting power of social, the relevance of a brand’s product attributes is more assured than ever. As to how to deliver that information in the social space, here are seven tried-and-true best practices:

  • Think visual-first. Tell a complete story in every photo or video. Don’t rely on post text to get your message across—people rarely read it.
  • Identify yourself. Users want to know which brand is delivering a message right away. But they don’t want to be bored right away. So, introduce yourself—in a compelling way.
  • Front load your videos. People scan feeds quickly. If your video catches their eye, that’s great. But don’t expect to hold their attention for long. Make sure important messages happen in the first couple of seconds.
  • Be authentic to your brand. Don’t be a wacky comedian on social if your brand is refined elsewhere. Keep your content rooted in your areas of expertise. If you’re an exercise brand, definitely give people workout tips. But don’t do it if you’re a car company.
  • Make it easy. Unless you’re making a movie promo, make sure users don’t have to watch complete videos, scroll through multiple screens, or navigate extensively in order to take an action.  
  • Follow traditional DR practices. It may be a digital world but many of the same DR techniques we used on envelope stuffers still apply. A strong and clear call to action. A clear and compelling offer.
  • Stay flexible with creative executions. Even with the best data, we can’t account for everything. Sometimes what we think will perform well doesn’t deliver and we need to pivot. Make sure you can swap out visuals, change copy direction, move elements around without having to start the creative process again. Sometimes, the smallest tweaks can turn a losing campaign into a winner.

    — Sariah Dorbin and Daniel Quentin Zuber

related posts