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digital marketing, digital strategy, social media marketing

Social media marketing – are you posting what customers want?

A new report has revealed a discrepancy between what social media marketers are posting on the channels they use, and what customers actually want to see on those channels.

The Sprout Social 2018 Index, published by the social media management developer Sprout Social over in the US, looked at whether online marketers were focusing on the right content. What the research produced was a chart listing the top kinds of content for each group – marketers and consumers.

What are marketers posting about?

At the top of the list of what marketers are posting about are ‘posts that teach something’, which 61% of marketers believe is a top content priority. Just below this were:

  • Posts that tell a story (58%)
  • Inspirational posts (53%)
  • Announcements on new and events from the company (51%)
  • Entertaining posts (47%)
  • Posts showcasing new products (46%)
  • Content that reveals the company’s personality (44%)
  • Posts showcasing company employees (24%)
  • Sales or discounts (18%)
  • Influencer posts (16%)

What do consumers want to see on social?

The research then turned away from what kind of content is being supplied on social media to look at demand. What are customers really interested in, and what are they taking the time to seek out and read? The list of priorities for customers was quite different, with posts featuring sales and discounts favoured by a massive 72% of people at the very top of the list. The remaining priorities were:

  • Posts that showcase new products (60%)
  • Posts that teach something (59%)
  • Entertaining posts (56%)
  • Inspiring posts (49%)
  • Announcements of company news (41%)
  • Posts that tell a story (37%)
  • Content that reveals the company’s personality (23%)
  • Posts showcasing company employees (13%)
  • Influencer posts (12%).

Interestingly, both groups rated posts that teach something at around the same level. There was just 2% difference between marketers and consumers, demonstrating the obvious value of this kind of content. Inspiring posts were also equalled valued by both groups.

Both groups also named posts by influencers as the least most important content type, with just 12% of consumers saying they wanted to see this kind of post. While marketers continue to place importance and spend money on influencer posts, consumers don’t seem to be directly interested in this content. Perhaps further research analysing the level of consumer interest based on the nature and type of influencer post (as not all consumers will realise that certain posts are from influencers) could shine a brighter light on this statistic.

Why does this gap exist?

Sprout Social’s experts posit that the reason that marketers are missing the mark when it comes to posting what consumers want to see on social media is because of the blinkered pursuit of return on investment (ROI). With a need to demonstrate tangible results and value for money, marketers are pushing too hard on clicks and conversions and losing sight of the need to develop stronger relationships between brand and consumer.

For help producing a social media strategy and content that will really reach and engage your target audience, please feel free to get in touch with the experts at Ambos Digital.

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