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Digital Platforms Overview & How To Utilise Them

Discover new ways of reaching your audience

 

The use of digital platforms is growing across all age groups. With digital platforms taking the lead in terms of media consumption volume, it’s important you consider them not only to reach younger age groups, but also those 35+ too.

This article aims to give you an understanding of how to best use each of the various social media platforms, as well as providing some useful resources to creating some of the more complex social formats.

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Facebook


Facebook is the largest social network. It's a platform primed for sharing every kind of content, from articles and ads to live video, memes and more. With more than a billion active users worldwide, the potential for scale is significant.

Best practice for posting on Facebook


Posts are often the first impressions people have of your business, so make sure they attract and engage potential customers. Use these best practices to reach your business goals:

  1. Use high-quality creatives: Every post should include creative, like images, GIFs or videos. Make sure these creative assets are high quality. Avoid creative that doesn't accurately reflect your brand or message.
  2. Make posts actionable: Share articles or blogs from your website. Provide links to your newsletter sign-up form. Ask your fans to answer a question or share their opinions in the comment section of your post. While not every post needs to encourage action, actionable posts may increase engagement and provide business value when the action is directly related to your business goals.
  3. Know your audience: Understand who's in your audience to develop engaging posts. If you're still trying to grow your audience on Facebook and don't have enough insights yet, try creating different types of posts. Pay attention to the engagement each post gets. Look for spikes in the number of likes, comments or shares.
  4. Keep posts simple: In general, simple posts with clean creative are best at capturing an audience's attention. Try these steps: Keep your colour scheme clean and consistent, include recognizable images and use minimal, concise and impactful text
  5. Pin significant posts: If you have major news or an announcement, pin it to the top of your Page. Anyone that visits will see it first. It can encourage engagement or inform your community of upcoming changes or events.

Instagram


The key to Instagram is that it is based on visual content. Everything on Instagram revolves around photos or videos, unlike Facebook or Twitter, which support a wide variety of content and media.
 

Best practice for posting on Instagram

 
  1. Only post quality content that makes sense for your club: The name of the game for Instagram is quality over quantity. Carefully consider what you post and why. How does it relate to your brand? Will your followers like and engage with it? What purpose does it serve for your club or community?
  2. Tell stories: Since Instagram has become so big, it's easy to tell when a user or brand is just "doing it for the 'gram" and not because they have a genuine message to share. Focus on telling your story through images, video and text, and seek connections with your audience.
  3. Be visually consistent: Users will expect visual consistency when they click on your club page. What kind of look or vibe do you want your profile to give off? Whatever you choose, it should be consistent with the rest of your club branding and recognizable to your Instagram followers.
  4. Be choosy with hashtags: Hashtags can be the difference between your post rising to the top of a feed or being buried in a sea of other posts, so it's important to learn which ones work for you and your club. Use Rugby, or club specific hashtags that are easy for users to find and help your content stand out from the crowd.
  5. Take advantage of user-generated content: Try creating a branded club hashtag that followers can use to submit content, then repost applicable and appropriate content to your club page for all to see.
  6. Use Stories for lighter content.: Instagram Stories is a great place for your club to show a little more personality, day-to-day content or personal bits about your club and community. Try livestreaming club events too.
  7. Engage in the comments: One of the best ways to build engagement on your posts is to engage yourself. Respond to customers' comments as much as you can – this will help build your credibility by showing that you care what your community have to say.


Facebook & Instagram Formats

 
In-Feed Video - Instagram Feed is the constantly updating list of photos and videos that appears when you open the Instagram app. The Instagram Feed displays photos and videos from accounts that people follow and from advertisers.

Stories - Instagram Stories can bring your business to life in an immersive format, with options to add stickers, emojis and other creative elements. These full screen vertical ads appear to viewers between organic Instagram Stories.

Reels - You can use Reels to help tell your brand story in ways that are unique and authentic. Whether it’s participating in trending moments through challenges or educating potential customers through tutorials and product education to inspire.

In-Stream Video - Instagram In-Stream video ads are inserted in videos longer than one minute after a user taps from the 15-second preview in Instagram Feed or Profile Feed to continue watching the video. 

In-Feed Carousel - You can use the carousel format in the Instagram Feed to showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. With more creative space within an ad, you can highlight different products, services or stories.

Lead Ads - Promoted forms in-app that allow marketers to capture details from customers while offering opportunities to connect, such as newsletter subscriptions, demo requests, or contest registration.
 

SnapChat


Snapchat is a mobile messaging application used to share photos, videos, text, and drawings. It has become hugely popular in a very short space of time, especially with young people. There is one feature that makes Snapchat different from other forms of texting and photo sharing: the messages disappear from the recipient’s phone after a few seconds.

Best practice for posting on Snapchat

 
  1. Check that your audience is on Snap: If your target audience contains Millennials then Snap will be the right place for your audience. 30% of Millennials use Snap daily.
  2. Keep videos under a minute: Like copywriting, Snap marketing is often more effective when the video clocks in at a shorter time frame. Largely thanks to the disappearing, impermanent content, Snap focuses more on the brief snaps of a moment instead of long content.
  3. Tell stories with your stories: Stories are the Snap pictures or videos that you can choose to share with your entire audience, instead of a Snap that you send to individuals. These stories will be displayed on the Snap newsfeed and users can re-watch them for 24 hours.
  4. Use Snap memories: You can upload images and videos that you’ve already taken to create Snaps and stories, instead of needing to shoot the content right away. Meaning you can upload content that you’ve edited out the app, including the additions of club logos and content.
  5. Don’t just snap a picture: That’s what Instagram is for! Snap is fun and quirky, and since there are no captions, you should use Snap’s in-app editing / add-on tools to adapt your content to the platform, i.e the filters, drawing tools and emojis.
  6. Track your metrics: Snap marketing is difficult to track. To get the data from your story, you need to tap on it after it’s been viewed. You’ll be able to see how many views it’s had, and number of screenshots taken right next to it. You can manually track this data over time.
 
SnapChat Formats
 
Snaps - Snaps take many forms: videos, photos, gifs and are full-screen, appearing between different types of Snapchat content. They allow viewers to take immediate action, e.g installing an app / clicking through to a URL.

Filters - Filters offer stylised text and images, and are targeted at specific demographics or can be targeted based on geographical location)

Lenses - Lenses create various edits and face overlays to make it look like, for example, consumers have giant anime eyes, or are wearing an especially absurd type of hat.

Story Ads - Story ads are a collection of Snap Ads all in rapid succession. Story ads appear in the “Discover” feed, with a cover photo and headline aimed to lure you in.

Product Ads - Want to shine a light on your products and services? Upload your catalogue or list of services and create “shoppable” ads (AKA Product ads).

Commercials - Snapchat commercials—which are only available in certain countries—are just what they sound like. They clock in at six seconds long and are unable to be skipped.
 

TikTok


TikTok is a popular social media app that allows users to create, watch, and share 15-second videos shot on mobile phones. With its personalized feeds of quirky short videos set to music and sound effects, the app is notable for its addictive quality and high levels of engagement.

Best practice for posting on TikTok

 
  1. Take Advantage Of Existing Trends: TikTok’s algorithm prioritises content based on popularity and the number of views. Therefore, you should utilise trending hashtags and memes to create relevant content appealing to their target audience.
  2. Find A Balance Between Entertainment And Promotion: While TikTok offers an opportunity to inform and entertain your target audience, there is also the necessity to promote the club. If a video appears to be too much of an advertisement, viewers will skip over it. It is important to inform and entertain first, bringing in an audience to engage with your videos when just starting.
  3. Connect Through Call To Action Opportunities: Displaying a call to action (CTA) within the ad creates a connection with the viewer and gives them a clear next step after watching your video. Depending on your club’s goal, customers can click to shop deals, tickets, view offers, learn more, find a location, and more. Clickable buttons can create more traffic on your website and seamlessly connect your product with the audience.
  4. Maximize Impact With Effective Timing: According to TikTok metrics, videos that fall between 21 and 34 seconds are ideal for video ads to be effective. Therefore, maximizing your message for this time frame gives you the best opportunity to create an ad that will connect with your audience and drive conversions.  
  5. Post Often With Authentic Content: A key to success when marketing in TikTok is making sure you post regularly with original content. By posting often, you can also see what is working and what isn’t. you’re first starting out, posting often can help them try out various content types. If you find a design that works, follow that formula for continued marketing success.
  6. Have A Sense Of Humour: The best way to engage with TikTok users is to have fun and connect through humour. Users on this platform are looking to be entertained. It takes time to figure out your niche and how to create content that highlights your brand. Creating playful videos and fun can make your product memorable.  
 

TikTok Formats

 
In Feed - In-Feed posts appear as you scroll through your For You page. These are usually videos and can be anything length up to 3 minutes. You can add special effects, music and emojis.

Brand Takeover - Brand Takeover Ads appear upon opening the app — presenting a full-screen video ad to your targeted audience for a few seconds.

Hashtag Challenge - Encourages users to participate in user content challenges. When a user clicks on a sponsored hashtag, they’re taken to a landing page with the brand logo, website links, description of the challenge, and videos using the hashtag.

Branded AR Content - Branded AR Content Ads appears as branded lenses, stickers, and other 2D/3D/AR content for TikTok users to use in their videos.
 
Custom Influencer Package - Custom Influencer Package Ads appear as part of sponsored content created by a TikTok influencer.

Shoppable Livestream - Users can watch and discover content live and also purchase products promoted live within the app.
 

Twitter


Twitter is an online micro-blogging platform that enables you to post short updates with images and videos attached. The social network was launched in 2006 and has more than 300 million monthly active users around the world.

Best practice for posting on Twitter 


From community-building to sparking conversations to participating in a viral trend, Twitter’s superpower is in giving brands and users the ability to connect 1:1 and communicate on a more conversational level.
  1. Engage and Interact: You can encourage engagement on Twitter in numerous ways, whether that’s directly responding to someone’s tweet (if and when appropriate), prompting your audience to share stories or opinions, or asking questions. One easy interactive element to incorporate in your tweets is a poll. Creating a poll is a great way to get your audience involved and engaged. If you do run a poll, just be sure that it’s on-brand and makes sense for whatever your company offers.
  2. Establish a clear brand voice: It’s fair to say that Twitter popularized the personified brand when it comes to social strategy. From fast food chains to retail brands, when brands personify their accounts they take on the voice of an individual rather than a business in an effort to shake off their corporate image and reveal a more casual, human side. 
  3. Jump on the trends: While your Twitter strategy shouldn’t be based solely around trends, it’s a good idea to incorporate them every now and again to boost engagement. Keep in mind that not every trend may work for your club, so don’t force it if it doesn’t make sense. The key to successfully executing this is knowing your audience and understanding what tone resonates with them.
  4. Have a plan for customer service: Because of the conversational nature of Twitter, it’s not uncommon for users to visit a club’s page seeking answers for their questions about recruitment, fixtures, tickets etc. Make sure you respond promptly with either an answer to their question or a clear next step. 
  5. Diversify your hashtags: A hashtag that performs well on Instagram might not carry the same weight on Twitter, so before you copy and paste the hashtags from your latest Instagram post, do your research to see which hashtags have high engagement and impression rates on Twitter. We recommend limiting your hashtags to no more than two per tweet.
 

Twitter Formats


In-Feed - Twitter’s standard Promoted Ad shown in the user’s feed are versatile, they can be used in multiple ways across each stage of the marketing funnel. They can be used with an image, video, text, carousel.

Carousel Ads - They give advertisers up to six horizontally-swipeable images or videos to showcase multiple products or promotions and advance a narrative across several visuals.

Takeover - Twitter's Takeover products are the most premium, mass-reach placements that drive results across the funnel by taking over the Timeline and Explore tabs. They give brands exclusive SOV.

Amplify - Twitter Amplify allows advertisers to align their ads with premium video content from the most relevant publishers. Amplify offerings are broken out into two ad formats: Pre-roll and sponsorships.

Interactive - Twitter offers a corresponding suite of standard and branded features that can be applied across the other five format categories. These include: Polls, conversation buttons, branded hashtags, Website buttons etc. 

Spaces - Spaces is a new way to have live audio conversations on Twitter. Spaces are public like Tweets, which means they can be accessed by anyone. They will automatically appear at the top of your Home timeline, and each Space has a link that can be shared publicly. 
 

YouTube


YouTube is used to watch music videos, comedy shows, how to guides, recipes, hacks and more. Teens also use the video-sharing service to follow their favourite vloggers (video blogger), subscribe to other YouTubers and celebrities they are interested in.

Best practice for posting on YouTube

 
  1. Design Content for Your Audience: The key to growing your YouTube channel is to consistently provide value for your target audience. Creating regular videos that provide interesting and useful content, along with good humour and personality.
  2. Make Your Videos Longer than Ten Minutes: In the early years of YouTube, videos were limited to ten minutes. Eventually, they bumped that to fifteen minutes, and then they removed the limit altogether. Ironically, these days YouTube encourages creators to make videos that are longer than ten minutes, because it keeps people watching and provides more opportunities for ads and ad revenue.
  3. The First Minute Needs to Grab Them: Attention spans are shorter than ever. With millions of videos to choose from, YouTube viewers are quick to drop out of a video if it doesn’t grab them right away. You’ve got about a minute to gain their full attention, so put some compelling information up front.
  4. Deliver Amazing Content: Viewers today expect interesting content that is well-written, designed, and presented.
  5. Invest in High-Quality Editing: Similarly, viewers today expect videos to be well-edited, with crisp video, good sound quality, and creative visuals or special effects. Invest in some good video editing software (or hire a video editor), and spend time developing high-quality content.
  6. Pick a Compelling Title: In just a few short words, the title of your YouTube video must communicate the value of the content in a way that will make potential viewers notice and want to watch. However, the title also has to accurately tell them what they’re going to see.
  7. Create Vibrant Thumbnails: Your video thumbnail gives viewers a glimpse of what they’re going to be watching if they click on your video. That means it needs to be compelling. It’s also usually the first thing viewers see when browsing for content on YouTube. Be creative and find a way to represent the video in a way that will grab attention.
  8. Optimize for Keywords and Tags: Keywords and tags are used by YouTube’s algorithm to categorize your video. This is how your video can appear in search results and recommended video lists for potential viewers. While some keywords might seem obvious, it’s worth spending a little time to research what’s working for other Rugby clubs’ content.

YouTube Formats

 
Skippable In-Stream Video Ad - Skippable in-stream video ads AKA. Pre-roll or mid-roll – consumers can skip them after the first 5 seconds

Non-Skippable In-Stream Video Ad - Ads where consumers aren’t able to skip and must watch up to the full 15 seconds or 6 seconds (bumper ads).

Discovery Ads - Ads that show up alongside organic YouTube search results.

Non-Video Ads - Display ads or in-video overlay ads.
 

Podcasts


A podcast is a form of on-demand, internet talk radio that is focused on a particular topic and is delivered in an episodic format. 

Best practice for creating podcasts 

 
  1. Create the content your audience is looking for: It’s easier to create the content an existing audience is looking for rather than finding an audience for the content you want to create. A great way to find out what people in your club or target market are looking for is through online communities.
  2. Think about the structure: A dedicated podcaster who wants their work to follow the podcast best practices will make an effort to create a structure for the podcast. You don’t have to make a script and follow it completely. A simple guide with key points is all you need. It also helps to know the length of your podcast. To make it easier, break it down into segments and pack quality and in-depth information in every part.
  3. Have guests on your show: Interviewing guests is a way to change the pace, tone, and perspective of your podcast. But it’s also a great strategy to share your podcast’s message with new audiences.
  4. Create shareworthy social media assets: You’ve done all the hard work to create great content that your audience is looking for. Don’t fall one step short by not creating interesting assets to share on social media. Additionally, pull quotes from the episode’s most interesting soundbites to promote it on Twitter. Crafting a custom featured image for each episode is another great way to stand out from the crowd.
  5. Publish regularly: This doesn’t mean you have to publish episodes every week, but whatever it is, stick with it. Every week, every other week (probably not less often than that), or even twice a week is all fine. Just stay consistent and let your audience know when to expect each episode.

Useful Resources to Guide you in Creating some of the more complex social formats


Instagram:
Facebook
TikTok 
Snapchat
Twitter
 Podcasting
 

For more support you can also speak to one of our Business Advisers by phone or web chat. Wondering what you can ask? Our team can help with a range of digital topics

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