It can be easy to fall back on tried and trusted formats when developing content for social media channels. Sometimes there isn’t time to think more widely about the types of content you produce.
So for those who need a new wave of content inspiration, this post is for you. I will break down some of the major trends in content formats. The examples are from a selection of industries and brands, but they can easily be applied across an entire range of communities.
Finish the Sentence
“Finish the sentence” is a format where the beginning of the sentence is presented in image format. It has always proved engaging on Facebook, as shown above in this new interpretation from budget gym brand Xercise4Less. This allows you to grab more real estate in the news feed and benefits from Facebook’s algorithm that rewards visual content.
The throwback moments trend is especially relevant to brands and businesses with a strong history. Volkswagen uses this visual style to play up its credentials in automotive history and strengthen its brand reputation. Many other brands also take advantage of the throwback Thursday hashtag (#tbt) to join the weekly conversation around sharing past events.
Many brands use inspiring quotes as a way to engage fans and encourage them to share a popular sentiment. In previous years these would have been text posts. But we now see more companies using branded templates to turn a standard quote into an ownable piece of content.
Many businesses struggle with how to bring their products to life each day without becoming boring and repetitive. Lifestyle photography can be an expensive option. As a result, the product arrangement layout has become popular for brands and bloggers on Facebook and Instagram. It allows you to style a product selection in a quick and affordable manner by simply displaying the items selected in a stylized way.
I’ve also seen this used widely for simple recipes, such as U.K. department store John Lewis using the format to show recipe ingredients — which it sells in its stores.
This video example above comes from the Nike Facebook page. But I don’t think I’ve seen a single brand page recently that doesn’t incorporating video into its content mix. The key aspect for social media channels is to ensure that video is suitable for a smartphone — all text is readable on a small screen — and that the content is short and punchy to play to ever-shorter attention spans.
One Product, Different Interpretations
This content format come from the fashion world, where one product is shown styled in many different ways. Brands are now taking this idea and expanding it into other products to showcase their versatility and provide inspiration for their consumers. In the example above, we see how Starbucks shows how an espresso can be used for different coffee drinks. It’s not only a pleasing image, but it can also add value in the minds of your fans as they apply new ideas to use your products.
An easy way to stimulate discussion and engagement with your Facebook content is to ask a simple open question. When posing these questions, I’ve found it’s best to avoid those with a straight yes or no answer, as they don’t typically lead to discussion. Open questions like the example above from Tommie Tippee, a baby products manufacturer, gives fans more space to share their experiences and tell their story.
Sharing Brand Experiences
If you have customers sharing images of their experience with your business, then using these moments can be a fantastic way to encourage more of your fans to do the same. This can be especially effective where it includes pictures of pets and children, which your followers are often eager to share.
What other formats have inspired you to create content in a new way?