Tressa Sloane

As content marketing continues to evolve, so too does the way content is created, formatted and promoted. One example is in the use of visual elements within blog posts: A majority of marketers (53 percent) currently incorporate visuals into between 91 and 100 percent of their content.

That’s a lot to look at!

If you’re looking to get in on the game, some of the most effective visuals to include in your blogs are social media posts. If your prospects love seeing elements like videos, illustrations and graphics in the content they read, they’ll love social media even more. So why not combine the two to make your content really stand out and grab their attention?

Below, we offer up some of the best practices for embedding social posts from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram into your blogs to take your content strategy to the next level.

Showcase your brand with Facebook

Facebook is the most widely used social network in the world. There are currently over 1 billion active users who access the platform daily. Basically, you can’t afford not to take advantage of the marketing benefits that Facebook offers.

But just because so many people like to use Facebook, it doesn’t mean you can slap any old post from the site into your blog and see results. Aim to incorporate posts that feature videos, graphics or photos that are relevant to your topic and audience.

If you attend an industry event or conference and create a blog about it, use Facebook updates, photos and videos – either from your own page or those of other experts who also attended – to showcase the meeting.

When you’re talking about one of your products or services, include a video, review or picture. This helps to build trust and establish authority, both of which are vital at creating successful relationships with potential leads and customers.

This, for example, shows how you can use a Facebook post to add more to your blogs while also directing readers to your other content:

Build relationships with Twitter

Although not as popular a platform as Facebook, Twitter has made a name for itself in the social media sphere. With 319 million monthly active users, this microblogging tool allows people to easily share and retweet messages that are perfect for embedding.

For marketers, incorporating Tweets into your blogs is a great way to highlight industry thought leaders and build relationships with them. Using insight from other professionals in your sector not only helps to support your topic, but also boosts your own social media presence.

If you feature a Tweet from an industry expert, reach out directly to that person and let them know. Chances are they’ll retweet your blog out to their own followers, giving your brand more exposure and possibly more leads.

Tweets also help to break up the stock image monotony that many companies fall into. Sure, there are some nice and interesting stock images out there, but after a while, they get boring and predictable. Spice up your visual strategy by inserting a Tweet that features a video, graph or picture that supports your message.

Additionally, many companies are increasingly embedding Tweets into their content, as evidenced by this one from Ryan Heath:

Instagram is for influence

Instagram has exploded in use over the past few years – on a daily basis, there are approximately 400 million active users. The app’s popularity continues to grow as it launches new features.

One of these features is the ability for users to now add multiple photos or videos per post. Much like Twitter, Instagram helps marketers break up – or get rid of entirely – stock imagery. With this new tool, inserting Instagram posts means you can have a slideshow of up to 10 photos or videos within your blog. Prospects can scroll through the Instagram post without needing to leave your content or site.

Another benefit of inserting Instagram posts is you can use your influencers. The app has become the best way for companies to work with influential figures in all industries to feature their products and services. Highlighting a post from one of these individuals in your content showcases your offerings to prospects, giving them a better view of how well your products are made, used and reviewed.

Check out this post from lifestyle and travel photographer Kirsten Alana, who partnered with luxury hotel chain The Luxury Collection to showcase a beach in Crete:

YouTube adds engagement

You may not think of YouTube as a social media network, but it actually is, and it’s an incredibly important one at that. Individuals between 18 and 49 years old are more likely to watch YouTube videos than cable network programming.

This makes the video sharing network an ideal channel for reaching your prospects, and you can increase your chances of getting their attention by incorporating YouTube videos in your blogs.

These videos, either from your company or from other industry experts, can serve as stepping stones for your topic, helping to introduce or explain it. Or you can use them to expand upon a certain subject and provide more insight in a format that is easier to digest.

YouTube videos are also effective for highlighting your own products and services. Check out the example below of Brafton’s own animation services reel:

A few things to keep in mind

Incorporating social media posts into your blogs is a surefire way to increase engagement, but be sure you are using them the right way.

Don’t overload your visitors with too many visual elements. Sure, social posts help to break up the content, but using too many makes your blog hard to read, and your message can easily get lost in between those Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram photos and YouTube videos. Keep an eye on how many social features you’re using, and analyze how well the blogs are performing to see how your readers are responding.

Also, be sure to introduce the social posts within your content. Including them without providing any context leaves your prospects wondering how they tie back to your message and company, so don’t risk leaving them confused.

Embedding social media posts into your content doesn’t just make your blogs more engaging and enticing for readers – it exposes your brand to new audiences who may not have otherwise known about your social presence.