5 Varieties of Social Media Content with Examples

What better way to connect with your audience than by selecting the most suitable social media content type and channel? Continue reading to discover which options work best for your brand.

Social media has long been a cornerstone of digital marketing, and there's no indication of this changing in the near future. In fact, we continue to witness the emergence of new social media channels and platforms, accompanied by a diverse array of content types, features, and formats.

This article will delve into the top social media content types and their ideal platform matches. Additionally, we'll showcase some standout examples of brands excelling in each content category.

Let's begin this exploration.

1. Short-Form Video

If you've been active on social media in recent years, you're well aware that short-form video has risen to prominence as one of the most prevalent and well-received types of social content.

Short-form video can be broadly characterized as video content lasting under 10 minutes, with brevity often being a key virtue. When envisioning short-form video, one typically imagines content that falls within the 0-3 minute range.

Platforms like Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts have demonstrated the remarkable efficacy of short-form video as a format for engaging and captivating social media audiences.

Why is short-form video so effective? Because, when executed skillfully, it encapsulates engaging visual storytelling within a bite-sized, easily digestible format – precisely what today's increasingly distracted and time-strapped users crave.

Moreover, short-form video offers remarkable versatility. It can be employed to accomplish various objectives, whether that involves showcasing internal thought leadership, spotlighting a customer case study, or featuring your product.

Ideal Social Media Platforms for Short-Form Video Content

Considering the widespread demand for short-form video, it finds success across a multitude of social media platforms, ranging from TikTok to LinkedIn. Nonetheless, the following platforms emerge as particularly well-suited for this format:

Instagram – Since the launch of Instagram Reels in 2020, the platform has wholeheartedly embraced short-form videos. If you craft concise videos on Instagram, the algorithm is likely to recognize and reward your efforts.

Snapchat – The originator of the fleeting video story, Snapchat may have receded from the forefront of social media discussions, but make no mistake – it boasts more than 530 million monthly active users.

YouTube – Although YouTube is primarily renowned for its long-form video content, as we'll explore later, the platform has also ventured into the realm of short-form videos. The introduction of YouTube Shorts in 2020 has garnered a substantial following, boasting over 1.5 billion monthly users.

TikTok – This one's quite evident. As the global leader among social media platforms, TikTok takes the crown when it comes to short-form video content.

Brand Example: Short-Form Video

CAVA, the Mediterranean fast-casual food brand, serves as a prime illustration of a company harnessing short-form video on social media.

The brand has cultivated a following of more than 87,000 TikTok enthusiasts by crafting enjoyable, concise video content that showcases CAVA's products while frequently incorporating popular TikTok sounds and formats.

Here's an instance of a video where CAVA transformed a customer's comment into engaging video content:

2. Long-Form Video

Long-form video comprises video content that extends for a duration of 10 minutes or more.

Although you might not encounter it as frequently in your everyday social media interactions, it undeniably serves a significant role in brand marketing.

Long-form video can be a potent instrument for immersive brand storytelling and content creation.

Consider exploring the following examples of long-form video content for your marketing endeavors: documentaries, branded series, video profiles, interviews, and more.

Best Social Media Platforms for Extended Video Content

If you're looking to share long-form video content on social media, YouTube is the platform of choice.

YouTube holds the top position for extended video content, making it the ideal destination to connect with your audience.

While it's advisable to share shorter excerpts and edited versions of your videos on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok, it's worth noting that many of these platforms have limitations on the length of videos you can upload.

Brand Example: Long-Form Video

The creative minds at BuzzFeed's Tasty are well-versed in the art of crafting exceptional social videos, including long-form content.

Tasty's YouTube channel boasts an extensive library of video content, spanning from speedy recipes and helpful tips to captivating series like "I Draw, You Cook." Below, you'll find an episode from this engaging series as a prime example.

3. User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content, commonly referred to as UGC, constitutes content generated by individuals unaffiliated with your brand but pertaining to your brand. It serves as compelling evidence of the inherent power of social media content.

Over the past decade, UGC has emerged as one of the most ubiquitous forms of brand-related content on social media, and with good reason.

UGC harnesses the potency of word-of-mouth marketing to cultivate trust and foster a sense of community among your target audience. This stems from the fact that people are inherently more inclined to place faith in recommendations originating from their peers rather than endorsing content directly from a brand.

UGC manifests in diverse formats, ranging from image or carousel posts to brief videos and Instagram Stories, among others.

The Best Social Media Channels For UGC

Instagram stands out as the natural platform for disseminating UGC.

With its inherently visual nature, a fervently engaged user community, and diverse content-sharing options, Instagram offers a spectrum of avenues and formats tailored to the content at hand—ranging from Stories and Reels to posts featured on your grid.

Additionally, X (formerly recognized as Twitter) can serve as a viable platform for UGC sharing, contingent upon your industry and the specific audience you aim to engage.

Brand Example: UGC

Adobe showcases a wealth of UGC created by its customers across its array of products. Here's an illustration sourced from the Adobe Creative Cloud Instagram account.

4. Live Streams

Live streaming has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, with brands progressively joining the trend.

Its widespread appeal is evident, with platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and even TikTok introducing dedicated live video features.

Moreover, entirely new platforms centered around live streaming have emerged to cater to enthusiasts of this content format.

For brands, live streams offer a unique opportunity to engage in real-time with their communities, providing an authentic and unscripted "behind the scenes" perspective that crafted content often can't replicate.

Best Social Media Platforms for Live Streaming

As previously mentioned, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, and TikTok Live are excellent platforms for your live-streamed content.

Your choice of platform should be influenced by your target audience's primary online presence and the nature of your content.

Additionally, Twitch stands out as a formidable option for live streaming. Although originally centered on video gaming content, it has diversified to encompass a wide range of live content and may be the ideal destination for your next live stream!

5. Polls & Questions

The most effective type of social media content is one that captivates your audience and entices them to actively participate.

Introducing audience polls and questions.

Whether you employ a poll feature native to a particular social platform or pose open-ended queries, asking questions to your audience proves to be a straightforward technique for fostering engagement and gathering valuable insights.

These questions can encompass topics related to your brand, products, industry trends, or even the type of content your audience desires from you.

Best Social Media Platforms for Polls and Questions

Here are the prime platforms for creating poll and question content:

Instagram – Utilize Instagram Stories for crafting both polls and questions, as it provides separate tools for each. Additionally, you can design an image with a question for your grid, allowing your audience to respond through comments.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn offers a dedicated poll feature and is well-suited for posing questions where your audience may be inclined to share their experiences or opinions in comments.

Twitter – With its built-in poll feature and text-oriented nature, Twitter proves to be an excellent platform for all types of question-related content.

Facebook – Engage your audience through polls within Facebook Groups or pose questions in any of your Facebook content.

Reddit – If your brand maintains an active presence on Reddit, consider making use of the platform's poll function or inviting your audience to participate in discussions by posing questions.

Example: Polls & Questions

Fortune is a notable illustration of a brand that frequently employs polls to captivate its audience.

On LinkedIn, the company consistently harnesses poll content to quiz its followers about specific topics, subsequently directing them to related articles for further insights.

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