Marketing

Content strategies for the era of private social media

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Let me guess… you’re a social media manager getting less engagement on your posts, thinking the algorithm hates you, and wondering what social media strategy you need next to keep your clients happy.

Good news… it’s not you… it’s them (your audience, not your clients 😉) Algorithms haven’t changed; people have. Even Adam Mosseri says the biggest growth areas on Instagram have nothing to do with the feed.

For years there have been ton of reasons people don't engage with your content. But recently, we are all being more private with our own content and engaging less openly with public content. We’re engaging more through private channels like DMs, WhatsApp & emails.

You’ve sent a screenshot to a friend instead of sharing or engaging publicly haven’t you? Your audience is doing the same!

So, what can we do about it?

Time for a new social media strategy…

1. Switch Your Content Focus

If you’re someone who gets the hump and blames the algorithm when hardly anyone sees or comments on your content…

Try this instead: Pay more attention to private metrics (like saves or messages) and put more focus on creating content that people will be confident to engage with publicly.

But remember that most people still won’t bother to engage unless they have a really good reason to.

2. Shareable Content

Savvy marketers already create content their audience wants to see instead of just telling them what they want them to know.

But now you need to get to know your audience even deeper so you can create content they want to see in their feeds and SHARE with their followers publicly.

You’re asking them to stake their reputation on your content by ‘hanging it on their (virtual) wall’ because people judge others by what they share. So, think about what makes someone look good to their followers when you want public shares.

3. Start More Private Conversations

When you’re in work mode, you probably make a concerted effort to proactively find and engage with public posts, but it’s time to put more effort into starting private conversations.

Try it: send personalised replies to stories and more direct messages… we all hate getting cold pitches in our inbox, so just act like a normal human, please… there’s no place here for Spamela Anderson, ok?

4. Better Tracking

If you’re used to relying on platform analytics to report to your clients, you’re gonna need a new strategy to deal with the move to private social.

Make a habit of using UTMs in every link you share, including your bio and messages. Then use Google Analytics to report on the data those links give you.

Don’t panic… it sounds harder than it actually isgrab our UTM builder here to get started.

Bonus tip: Asking better questions in post-purchase surveys can also help a business understand where people are coming from.

5. Human-first approach

Can we agree on something? The algorithm is NOT punishing you; you’re not shadow-banned, and no hacks actually work!

Try this instead…Think more about the people you’re creating content for by starting with a Reaction Goal®, using psychology to get them to take action and rewarding people who publicly engage by responding to them or highlighting their comments or content.

6. Optimise for Discovery

You’re probably creating content for your existing followers and no doubt using Reels to get more reach… coz that’s what everyone is telling you to do!

Instead, try optimising for the search and explore feeds. That doesn’t just mean using keywords for SEO (although that is important, so keep doing it).

You need to start thinking about what someone sees in the tiny teeny squares they get shown on those feeds, and make sure you give them something worth clicking, a big headline, for example, so they open YOUR content, not someone else’s.

7. Remix Your Content More

It's not enough to share your content once these days, in fact its a huge waste of time if you're constantly thinking of new ideas. Repurpose and remix your content as much as possible to get your message out there in the right format for every member of your audience. Some people (like Laura D) prefer scannable lists while others (like Laura M) love an in-depth detailed post. Grab The Ultimate Guide To Remixing Your Content to make this easier.

Need more help?

If you need more help creating high-converting content, for any platform, check out The Social Media Managers Toolkit which includes the only psychology-driven social media marketing programme for social media freelancers.

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