Buzzfeed is my favorite social media tool. Of all time. You really get to play with words, images and audience. You get to slip into a sassier brand voice and pour yourself a glass of GIFs. But there are some definite 👍 and 👎
My last blog about Buzzfeed focused on IF your brand should get in on the Buzzfeed action. Here are my top seven tips for actually creating a Buzzfeed post.
1. Keep your title simple and direct
Let your audience know exactly what they’re about to get into. Is it 13 pictures of puppies that will make your audience want to come home for homecoming? Then name it that.
We typically always include “Colorado State” in the headline, because we’re always talking to a very specific audience: our own. We like to make the headline branded so the people we want to read it know the Buzzfeed post is about a topic they’re invested in. This might not be the best approach for every brand.
I’m the biggest fan of puns. If you want to get punny with it every once in awhile, I support you and I’ll definitely read your Buzzfeed article.
Other than that, a fancy New York Times headline isn’t necessary for Buzzfeed.
2. We’re drawn to listicles like moths are drawn to light
For whatever reason, we like lists. I think it goes back to the whole ‘letting your audience know what they’re about to get into’ thing. I bet you even clicked on my blog because you thought, “Seven tips? I have time for that.”
If you can turn a topic into a listicle, do it. This past academic year, we wanted to show the hilarious things our students were sharing on social media about the dreaded finals week. We turned their words into a numbered list, added some GIFs and…BAM. We reached more than 100,000 people by posting the Buzzfeed listicle to Facebook. Which leads me to my next tip…
3. Take advantage of curated content
Our finals-week Buzzfeed posts are the perfect example of this. All we did was monitor social media for a few days, gather the funniest phrases, pair them with equally funny GIFs and publish the article.
It was relateable, authentic and humorous — all the makings for a good Buzzfeed post.
4. Include original content, too
While you don’t want to over-promote your brand on Buzzfeed, it is a great opportunity to show off some of your best Instagram photos and Vine videos.
If you have a photo or video that represents what your text says, there’s no shame in throwing that in your Buzzfeed.
5. Use GIFs
GIFs are so wonderful because they express the exact emotion you’re trying to convey. We all know that text doesn’t always translate well. But adding a GIF will provide context to what you’re trying to get your audience to feel.
We are hopelessly devoted to Giphy when it comes to finding GIFs. They describe themselves as the Google for finding GIFs and it couldn’t be more accurate.
Our “16 Signs Spring Can’t Make Up Its Mind At Colorado State” Buzzfeed listicle is one of my favorite GIF examples, mostly because it’s just too real (anyone from Colorado will agree).
6. Keep it short and sassy
Let your visuals do the majority of the talking. But make sure your voice matches the typical Buzzfeed style…while also staying on brand. This can be really tough, especially for brands that don’t typically use a laidback/snarky voice in general. Just remember, Buzzfeed is a place where your brand can let its hair down (a little). The voice can even be grammatically INcorrect. It feels so good to be wrong.
The best way to understand the Buzzfeed voice is by consuming, consuming, consuming. Take time out of your day to read popular Buzzfeed articles. You’ll start to catch on.
7. Keep it fun — Not promotional
When you sign up for a Buzzfeed account, you’ll see a message that says this is not the place to push an agenda or promote an organization; it’s a place to build engagement and personality. If Buzzfeed was a religion, this would be commandment No. 1.
Don’t go into this hoping to promote your organization. Go into this to have fun with your audience and to bring personality to your brand. Think of it like this: You’re going to a party and you want to make friends. You don’t want to be the person who goes on and on about herself. You want to be the funny person making everyone laugh. Buzzfeed is your social media party. So have fun with it.
All GIFs are courtesy of giphy.com