Social media is a part of most everyone’s daily lives. Chances are you have an account on a social media platform, and if you’re one of the few who don’t, you know someone who does. In fact, more than half the world (59%) is on social media today, making it more prevalent than ever.
While you can pose the argument that social media is more popular than ever because these apps didn’t exist 15-20 years ago, they are still growing in accounts. According to DataReportal, 227 million new users have come online within the past 12 months (as of July 2022), an increase of 5.1% over the previous year.
With so many people and businesses on social media today, if your company isn’t, you’re missing out on a piece of the pie. Although social media content creation takes time and effort to get right, there are some great tools and templates online today that can make it easier to develop and execute your social media strategy.
So whether you’re new to social media or need some tips and tricks to refine your approach, we hope this article will help you refine your craft.
What is Social Media Content Creation?
Creating content – whether it’s videos, graphics, gifs, or blogs – with the intention of posting it to social media is what it’s all about. It doesn’t necessarily matter what type of content it is, but simply that you’re creating it with a purpose to live (and hopefully thrive) on social media.
Social media content has to be designed in a specific way for each platform. For instance, the photo you want to post to Instagram has a different aspect ratio than one you would post on Facebook. Different apps also have different content that works well on them:
- TikTok is quite obviously a video platform.
- While Instagram started off as a still-photo platform, it has shifted to prioritizing video.
- Facebook is a combination of photos and videos, but has also been prioritizing video more often.
Social media content creation also includes the strategy that goes on behind the scenes. While it might seem easy to post a picture to Instagram and not put too much thought into it, your social media results will probably be lackluster. Involving strategy within your content generation will help improve your engagement and results.
5 Steps to Create Great and Impactful Content
With so many people and companies on social media nowadays, it’s harder and harder to stand out from the crowd in the saturated environment. Below are 5 tips to create impactful content and a robust social media strategy that will help you grab your target audience’s attention.
1. Research First
Research your competition and make note of what kinds of posts resonate with their followers. Also look into some not-direct competitors, but other brands or products your target audience might be interested in and see what their social media strategy looks like.
Outside of competitors and other brands, you should also research social media trends and determine if any make sense for your company to do. Be realistic with what makes sense for your brand identity. It’s pretty rough when a brand tries too hard to be trendy for the sake of being trendy, and misses the mark.
Social listening is another effective way to keep a gauge on what’s happening in your industry and what your audience is interested in. Social listening entails tracking conversations and mentions related to your product or brand on social media. In addition to that, trending hashtags and topics can also help keep you up-to-date with the latest news.
2. Set Your KPIs
After you’ve scoped out the competitive landscape and have a good idea of what your audience might be interested in, it’s time to set some KPIs, or key performance indicators.
This involves deciding what you want to achieve through social media. Do you want to grow your social media following? Increase your monthly blog subscriptions? Hit a certain number of ecommerce sales? Figuring this out first will help tell you what your KPIs should be to ensure you’re working towards achieving those goals. It can also help you determine what kind of content will be best to achieve your objectives.
3. Develop Your Content Calendar
Now that you know what you want to achieve, you can start developing your content calendar. A few things to keep in mind when creating your calendar include
- What type of post works best on each platform
- The best time to post for maximum engagement
Depending on what social media management tool you choose – should you choose any – it might have a template (maybe even a free one) or guidelines on when you should post to each platform. Scheduling a few weeks in advance is typically a sweet spot, with some days left open to slide in more timely content if needed.
Once you have everything planned, you can start scheduling it for your desired dates and times.
4. Start Creating an Asset Library
If you’re just starting off with social media, chances are you don’t have a ton of assets to work with. Whether that be post templates or approved photos, it can be difficult and time consuming to create these from scratch or scour the internet for copyright-free images.
Start gathering these assets as you work on your content calendar to build a library you can pull from in the future.
An easy way to start this is when you’re working on creating your posts in step 3, develop the template first and save it, then customize it to the post you’re currently scheduling.
5. Analyze Your Results
The only way to improve your social media content creation strategy is to review your results and start tracking the KPIs you set in step 2. Obviously one or two posts aren’t enough to make an informed decision about whether or not that type of post is working, but it’s important to start noting what’s working well with your audience and what isn’t.
Did a certain type of infographic get people to read your blog more? Did a certain product or type of product image result in more purchases? Take these findings back to your content planning phase and allow them to inform what you should do for your next round of social media posts.
Tools to Level Up Your Social Media Content Game
The steps in the section above might seem daunting to take on all at once, but there are some great tools and apps for content creation. The ones listed below are just a few of many that help make social media content generation easier and more streamlined.
Social Media Management
There are a lot of social media management tools out there. These tools allow you to schedule your social media content for weeks or even months in advance, analyze your results, and engage with people who message your page directly or @ you.
A big part of social media is creating eye-catching graphics. This can be hard if you don’t have a background in design, but luckily there are some easy design tools out there so anyone can create stunning graphics.
Canva is a popular design tool, even for graphics outside of social media. Another option and competitor to Canva is VistaCreate. Check out both and see what suits your needs best. If you’re looking for infographics specifically, Visme is a great option.
If your company is just starting out, you might not have a lot of photos to choose from to post on social media. That’s where stock photos can save the day until you have enough of your own photos to replace them.
Popular sites to check out for copyright-free images are Pexels and Pixabay. If you’re not opposed to paying a subscription for more variety, you can also checkout DepositPhotos, Shutterstock, and FreePik.
Video is one of the most prioritized types of media on social platforms today. From Facebook to Instagram, it seems like the algorithm is only making video more popular. It’s crucial to a good social media content strategy, but many companies shy away from video due to the time and money it typically takes.
There are options out there that are quick, easy, and affordable to use. Powtoon and Animoto are a couple of popular options to start your search. Canva also recently introduced a video-making option, so you could create graphics and videos all in one platform.
Social Media Content Creation Services
Social media might sound easy on the surface. You just type a tweet, attach a photo, and BAM, you should get hundreds of likes and retweets now, right?
As you’ve probably learned through this post – and maybe even before it if you were researching social media content creation – social media takes time and research to get right. There’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes to ensure you’re producing the right type of social media content that will resonate with your target audience and inspire action.
If handling it yourself or in-house isn’t feasible, many agencies now offer social media management services to their clients. It can be worth it to take a look at some local agencies to see if outsourcing your social media content needs makes sense.