Too many brands are creating content with the sole aim of converting people, not educating or entertaining people, believes Elise Strachan, CEO of online brand My Cupcake Addiction. And if a brand is aiming to have its piece of content shared across social media, it needs to be educational or entertaining.
In between regaling the Ad:Tech audience in Sydney this morning with decadent videos of cupcakes and slices, Strachan explained how to build a brand on social media, specifically on Facebook and YouTube, and stressed the importance of mobile.
“If you have the chance to create content that looks beautiful on TV, looks beautiful on the big screen or beautiful on mobile, go with mobile every time,” she told the audience.
“Desktop is the way of the past when it comes to social media.”
Strachan first started her online series on YouTube and expanded to various other social media channels. Her target audience is mainly women, specifically mums and teenage daughters.
In the beginning people flocked to her educational cake-making videos because they were free, clear and easy to follow. When expanding to other social platforms though, putting the same content on each didn’t result in audience growth.
Below are Strachan’s tips for building an audience on Facebook and Youtube, the two channels she has her biggest audiences.
Handy Hints for YouTube
Videos should be between five and 10 minutes long, said Strachan. Unless the piece of content is amazing and really engaging, most people won’t stick around for longer than 10 minutes. Strachan noted too the algorithm has changed, where YouTube now looks at how long people watch the content for, not how many views it has.
If a video is attracting long viewings, it gets pushed to the top of the list, she said.
Also, make sure the video is horizontal.
Strachan noted people often mistake YouTube for a social media platform, when it’s actually a search engine. People can search for content on YouTube, so make your content searchable.
The audience for YouTube videos, according to Strachan are time rich, engaged, accustomed to advertising (they’re used to pre-rolls for example) and vocal, meaning they often leave honest feedback.
Handy Hints for Facebook
A basic one – cut the Facebook video to a square, said Strachan. When viewers are watching on mobile – which more and more are now – a square video takes up most of the screen on mobiles, meaning there’s less chance for the viewer to become distracted by external factors.
Make sure the video is no longer than a minute. As people are scrolling through Facebook, a minute video can feel like a long time to watch.
Strachan believes the audience for Facebook is generally time poor, they’re looking for snackable content. They’re likely to share things, are very vocal – not always in a good way – and eager to click.
Negative Comments And Sharable Content
If someone has a legitimate complaint about a brand, don’t ignore it, said Strachan.
However, it the comment is hurtful and hateful, Strachan said she deletes them, otherwise it breeds the hate. Strachan used the example of people commenting on her new haircut. Sure, some people might not like it and leave horrible comments about on social media, but what does that have to do with her educational cake-baking videos?
And when it comes to sharable content, while there isn’t on formula for virality, there’s no no harm in resharing content that went well once before. Content doesn’t have to be a one-time thing, said Strachan. Where one person might see something one day, someone new might see it the next. If you’ve got a great piece of content that’s getting traction, or that’s timely (such as around Easter) don’t hold back sharing it again.