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6 tips for social media imperfection

Meta says brands can undermine their social media marketing strategy when they aim for perfection. Instead, be unpolished.

2 min read

Social Media

A person shoots a smartphone video.

Angela Compagnone / Unsplash

Forget “dress to impress.” When it comes to social media marketing, Meta says nobody should be caught wearing a suit to a house party.

In fact, low-production content is the way to share brand messaging as social media culture increasingly celebrates the informal. Meta’s latest post on social media marketing best practices says brands are publishing content that is too polished for the channels where they share it.

The surge of user-generated video content available online is leading to what Meta calls a “huge democratization” of content that favors “immediate, lo-fi, in-the-moment snapshots of our lives.”

The Facebook and Instagram owner cited two studies from 2019 as proof that brands should follow suit.

One came from in-house data about Instagram Stories and found that content shot on mobile devices with “a more lo-fi, language of the platform” performed better than studio-produced ads.

The other is from YPulse, a market researcher, which found 84% of young people say they like imperfect content from brands and 79% say they are tired of depictions of perfection in ads.

The basic premise is that brands need to forgo stilted, formulated content so that their brand voice shines through more clearly. (That’s essentially your brand’s personality.)

How to “unpolish” your social media marketing

Meta offers six tips for brand to better match the unpolished format of social media content:

  1. Feature real people, such as employees and customers, rather than actors.
  2. Embrace the target platform’s trending content formats, such as dance effects.
  3. Work with creators.
  4. Offer behind-the-scenes content to “lift the veil on artifice.”
  5. Don’t overedit the content. Meta points to luxury brands as particularly effective in “using lo-fi production tools and techniques to suggest a sense of hand-crafted intrigue.”
  6. Make people laugh.

The key is to ensure that whatever you post is consistent and in line with your brand values, as we highlighted in a recent SmartBrief article. Document the strategy and plan routine reviews to make sure it is in line with the latest trends and practices.

There are many other ways to make sure social content resonates with your audience. We write regularly about this topic in our free newsletter. Subscribe to make sure you never miss a story.