Content creation is the true heart of social media. Without any content, there would be no reason for anyone to interact with your social media channels. A lot of people stick to just posting text because it is easy, but neglect to get their creative juices flowing. Learning how to creatively generate content will really help your brand’s social media succeed. First and foremost, figure out what kind of content you want to create. Is your brand all about providing helpful information? Or do you want to be more fun and entertaining? Some brands are better off being both, but figuring out what you are aiming at can really help when creating content. In many cases, using a combination of formats of content is the best way to go because it gives your brand a wider reach than if you just stick to one type. There are three main things that make up content: written content themes, visuals and video. If you are only including one or two forms in your social media strategy, then it will definitely come off as narrow-minded and kill any engagement with followers on that particular channel. You do not need to spend a ton of time writing every single post on social media – unless you have an entire team dedicated to doing that – instead try adding some short tips or
These content creation tips for social media are based on my experience using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to generate leads for myself and clients. Content creation is a core element to every successful social media strategy.
What Motivates Users to Share Content?
There is a science behind what motivates users to share digital content. Researchers have discovered a number of psychological triggers that inspire people to engage in online activities, and here are some of the most important ones:
- Social Approval: People love to express their attitudes and receive affirmative feedback from their circle of friends and acquaintances. Sharing content is a way to express one’s personality to a group.
- Communication: Humans are social beings. We all want to nurture relationships with other people, and digital content enables us to do this more easily and frequently.
- Support Ideas: Social media is often used to signal support for ideas, political views and personal beliefs; in this is way, users connect with a greater, altruistic good.
- Entertainment: At the end of the day, plenty of people use social media to wind down. Entertaining content includes humor, memes, videos, music, and more.
It can be difficult to segment the way people interact online, since these categories can and frequently do overlap. However, thinking about these basic motivations is still a useful starting point for developing content that will motivate users to get involved. With that being said, here are:
Do your research
If you want your audience to notice and engage with your social posts, you need to make them highly relevant to your target group.
The more relevant your posts are, the more success you will have – but relevance, in general, is not enough. You need to take the time to truly understand your audience. Start with the general demographic information and then go deeper.
What needs, obstacles or challenges do they have? Pick a need or challenge that might be a high priority for them right now, then develop content and social media posts which provide them with a solution.
PRO TIP: To connect with your audience on an emotional level, share success stories from your previous satisfied customers. This will help them envision their own success as a result of using your product or solution, and make them feel positive about you.
Speak their language
Take your research further and learn what language your ideal clients use to communicate their needs or challenges. Use this language when writing your posts to ensure your content resonates with your audience. This will help to show them that you truly understand them and their challenges.
For example, a post you write on LinkedIn for senior-level executives will read very different to a post you write on Facebook for new moms. Not only do these two groups of people have different challenges and points of view, but their language – the exact phrasing they use to speak about their needs and challenges – differs significantly also.
Which Platform Are You Using?
The first thing to put in mind when you’re creating content is the platform.
Each platform has its own type of content! In other words, if you’re using Instagram then you will mostly depend on visuals, either videos or pictures, but if you’re using Facebook then you have to focus on both visuals and written content.
The same goes for Twitter, since it has a certain number of characters, you have to create content that is short and straightforward.
When you think about your audience, there are many things to put in mind, such as, who they are, their behavior, their preferences, and many other things.
Who is your audience? The answer to this question depends on the brand and product you’re writing content for. You have to know who your audience is, which segment you’re targeting, and if they’re females or males; this will set the base of your content.
Your content must be relevant and your customers must relate to it; this means that when you create content, it has to urge your customer to engage, by either a comment, like, or share.
Also, one of the things that comes to your mind when you think about your audience is how to build a bond with them. What can help you form this bond is speaking directly to them.
In other words, your content must be direct, the customer has to feel that you’re asking them this question or telling them this information. This can make them feel that you as a brand care about them as individuals.
Like most things in life, it is critical to have clear objectives and a plan to ensure success and maximize your exposure.
Some tips include:
- Constructing a brand voice
- Mapping out key dates relevant to your business or industry
- Researching associated hashtags
The use of hashtags is proven to increase engagement and impressions, so it is important to stay up-to-date. Hashtags allow the grouping of your content into a specific category and also allows organic discovery of your brand.
Finding key dates in the calendar will help with your hashtag selection. Whether it’s a nationwide holiday, a day related to your content or a simple social traffic driving date, these will help you stay relevant. Planning a content calendar ahead of time will streamline your workflow ultimately saving you time.
Find Your Voice
The common misconception with social media is that running the same post across all platforms saves time and gives you a similar outcome in analytics. However, one of our ultimate social media tips and tricks is to adapt your style and voice across different platforms.
A good place to start is to construct an audit of your community to see what brand voice would retain maximum engagement across your platforms. Study how your audience speaks, who they follow and what they interact with. This can provide invaluable information to aid your strategy.
Next up, remember that each platform has a different audience in itself:
- Instagram -1.05 billion monthly active users, ⅓ of top viewed stories are business based and overall a more creatively led outreach.
- Twitter – 199 million monthly active users and the preferred social media platform for up-to-date news and updates.
- Facebook – 2.85 billion monthly active users with increasing average age.
- LinkedIn – 310 million monthly active users, posts with images get 2x higher engagement and users are 20x more likely to re-share a video.
- TikTok – the newest social media platform, 689 million active users, perfect for quick and engaging video content.
Ultimately, you do not have to spread yourself too thinly across multiple platforms. Focus your energy on a few, to begin with. You may find that your audience is more receptive to imagery, therefore video-based media is not the optimum tool for you. It’s all about experimentation.
Share user-generated content
People turn to social media to share details about their life, from the mundane (sandwiches, sharing a great song or keeping up with a faraway aunt and uncle) to the extraordinary (wedding proposals, graduations and career achievements).
They also use it to talk about the brands they’re loving at the moment, including yours. We know that folks trust their peers more than companies trying to sell to them, which is why reading Amazon reviews before ordering is a must for digital natives, and why and using micro-influencers is an incredible way to get conversions.
If someone takes the time out of their day to tweet a compliment to you or write a review, you should be paying attention to them and sharing that content. We’re talking about social media content creation here, though, and this is pre-existing content. So what gives?
You can actually download, creatively repurpose and share user-generated photos and videos posted by your customers. That also means that there’s no need to go out and create new content if you’re on a time crunch. And since folks find UGC more trustworthy and authentic than something brand-produced, you’ll be on the path to success. You’re rewarding these individual customers when you reshare their posts, too, making them more likely to be brand-loyal in the future.
For a little inspiration, just take the shot below from Buffer‘s Instagram feed, which often shares relatable UGC from its community members. There was no location scouting or content creation involved in this at all, but it works to Buffer’s advantage even more than a brand-produced photo would.
Create content for your social media accounts that tells your company story and helps you to connect with prospective employees in just one click!