Role of Creativity in Social Media to Build Brands and Connect With Consumers
The sheer amount of information has led to newer phenomena like banner blindness, reduced attention spans, etc. that greatly reduce your brand’s reach. Your content is bound to get lost in the shuffle unless it captures users’ attention and makes them scroll up or compels them not to click on the Skip Ad button.
Brands that are not able to break the code of social media tend to make the same mistake of using it as a content distribution platform. Rather than creating native social content, they “share” content that gets abysmal reach.
To break through this spiral and grab the audience’s attention, brands need to be creative. Creativity is a complex phenomenon that is often vaguely defined. For instance, when talking about being creative on social media, some common answers include, use videos, infographics, and images, be quirky, follow the latest trends, etc. However helpful these suggestions might be, they don’t precisely explain the concept.
Creativity, in its most basic element, is part imagination and part innovation. It’s about viewing things from a different perspective and presenting them in various formats. Creativity is a dynamic phenomenon and needs to be used differently in different instances. For example, creativity on social media will be vastly different compared to the creativity required for writing a sales copy.
The Pivotal Role of Creativity In Brand and Community Building
So, creativity undeniably plays a crucial role in social media content. Brands need to tweak their current workflow or adopt new strategies to ensure that their brand stands out as a creative one.
1. Adopt the Culture of Creativity
Brand managers, marketers, and the creative team have to stick to the brand guidelines to project a consistent and coherent brand image. Sometimes, this can get in the way of creative expression. How many times has it happened that you had to scrap an excellent marketing creative just because it wasn’t according to the guidelines? Disheartening as it might be, this shouldn’t stop you from making creativity a priority for your social media.
Social media is a digital intersection that lets you express your brand values while entertaining and educating your audience. And although social media works at the whim of its platform algorithms, trends, and content restrictions, using these boundaries to your advantage will make your creativity thrive.
One essential trait for adopting the culture of creativity is to ask open-ended questions to your audience. Social media is a storytelling platform, and why waste it by asking simple yes/no questions when you can encourage them to tell stories? Right?
Or rather what do you think?
2. To Do Social or To Be Social?
Many brands make the mistake of using social media as an avenue to promote their existing content. While social media is an integral part of the omnichannel approach, it shouldn’t be exclusively used as a promotional channel.
The same goes for social media advertising. Not tailoring your content for social media will be a colossal waste of your ad expenditure. For example, when working with influencers for a marketing campaign, the results would be much better if you let influencers speak in their tone and voice, rather than providing them with boilerplate messaging. After all, people come on social media to be “social.”
Instead of looking at social media as a social bookmarking tool, look at it as a channel where your brand comes to communicate with its audience. Therefore, when it’s not clear whether to do social or to be social, choose the latter. Always.
3. Work With Your Audience
Social listening tells you what people are talking about your brand. You can also eavesdrop on what people are talking about your competitors. But social listening just doesn’t stop there.
When using creativity to wow your audience, you need to know what creativity means for them. Technically, classical music is more creative than contemporary pop music, but people sway towards pop music because it is easy on the ears and doesn’t require intense concentration to understand.
Working with your audience gives you a chance to understand their tastes, preferences, interests and helps you know the language they speak. Working with your audience includes conducting focus group sessions, surveys, feedback, or encouraging user-generated content. Be empathetic while listening and as discussed, ask open-ended questions to get new ideas and insights into creativity.
4. Think In Terms of Campaigns
Churning out creative content without a clear goal in mind can get repetitive and exhausting because you might get stuck in a rut after a while. A solution to this problem is to think in terms of campaigns. Creatives that stand out in the crowd or hailed as novel are often a part of a marketing campaign.
Goal-oriented creativity is not constricting. It is rather freeing because you are working on a timeline with an end date, and there is no unconscious encumbrance that you might run out of creative ideas. You can let your creativity run on all cylinders.
5. Sweat the Small Stuff
It’s essential to be mindful of the tiniest of the details as much as the big stuff when producing creatives for social media campaigns. This includes ensuring high production value for videos or podcast episodes, following platform guidelines for video length, image dimensions, etc.
Tailoring the same content for different platforms will bring you better results. For instance, if you are promoting a YouTube video clip in your Instagram stories, make sure to resize the video vertically to deliver a better experience.
Slightly misinterpreted content easily goes viral on social media ensuing significant brand damage. Be acutely aware of the lingo, phrases, slangs, sensitive topics, etc. of the region you are targeting to ensure that nothing goes awry.
6. Collaborate With Creative Minds
Working with an in-house team can lead to an idea echo chamber where the team keeps suggesting the same stuff over and over again. It helps to work with a creative agency or consultant to break the monotony.
Roping in a creative agency enables you to tell relevant stories that your audience can relate to while being innovative. Since the agency stays updated on what works and what doesn’t on social media, your content will get better reach, engagement, and a boost in following.
The agency can also help the in-house team create a framework to generate micro-content on the go while the agency takes care of the macro-content.
7. Use Data for Decision Making
Social media provides an opportunity for brands to track the performance of their creatives and enhance their strategy accordingly. The availability of better reporting tools and hyper-focused insights can pinpoint what you can do to boost your engagement. Also, tracking the performance of individual platforms can help you tailor your strategy for each of them. For instance, Facebook can inform, Instagram can inspire and engage with well-curated storytelling and manicured images, while Twitter can focus on building two-way interaction across communities.
Once you know how each audience is responding to the content, then you just keep making small creative changes to optimize the results.
Despite the availability of a wide array of content formats for brands on social media, only a few brands manage to convert their casual followers into ardent fans. And the answer mostly lies in creating innovative content that resonates well with the audience. The underlying role of all this is creativity. Always.