Here at Creative Solutions, we’re lucky enough to have some very talented and experienced social media managers on our team who are dedicated to running our clients’ social media accounts. Their job is to help our awesome clients spread awareness, engage their audience, and build trust and brand presence through social media. They do a ton of work, and are rock stars at what they do.
Almost once a day someone asks me, "What should I post on social media?"
When it comes to social media engagement, the most important thing to do is plan to have different types of content on your social media pages. You want to ensure that your audience is receiving relevant, timely, and contextual content that cover things such as educational content (tips & tricks, updates, how-to’s), announcements, entertainment, and other engaging content such as thought leadership, blogs, videos, infographics, etc.
If you’re a company that doesn’t have a social media manager on staff, or an agency working with you, you may feel overwhelmed – where the heck do I start with my own feed?! Don’t worry! Our awesome social media managers, willing share their best tips and tricks for creating and posting content so that you can manage your social media content like a pro. While all of our team members have a slightly different approach to how they do it, it’s important to know that there’s no right or wrong way to get content! Just start!
HERE'S WHAT SAMANTHA DOES
Sam takes a very organized approach, which focuses on doing the work up front before she posts, such as curating content and hashtags. She sets aside time each week or month to plan and then executes based on that. Here’s a bit of a deeper dive into her process from Samantha herself:
1. Create a weekly themed calendar
Knowing what theme I will post every day of the week helps me come up with ideas faster, ensures that I am sharing educational, engaging and entertaining posts with the audience. For example, I find themes such as #motivationalmonday, #FAQFriday, #TipsTuesdays, etc.
2. Collect + Create Graphics or Videos
Next, I search for stock photos (Unsplash or Rawpixel are my favourite websites) and add text or logos to them in Canva or Wordswag. I may also make a video of a home tour (for a client in real estate, for example) or create a sliding video of testimonials. I like to mix up the week with posts and videos! I create content in batches, like if I’m creating a testimonial graphic I will create four at one time and spread them out throughout the month. This saves a lot of time!
3. Add Text + Hashtags
My next step is to add a description of the image/video in the tone of the brand/client. I add in hashtags, and I like to keep my hashtags organized by category and store them in a Word document so I can just copy and paste into the post. Many of the clients have call-to-actions that are repeated weekly. I copy and paste these from word as well.
4. ProWritingAid is My Everything
I usually write the posts in ProWritingAid, which is a grammar, style editor, and writing tool. Then, I copy and paste them into Planable, a paid tool which allows me to create, approve, and schedule posts in collaboration with our clients.
5. Save Ideas + Client Notes Throughout the week
I keep a Word document for each client where I add in information about upcoming sales, ideas, etc. I rely a lot on the “saved” folder in Instagram – it’s a Godsend. I am always saving graphics from other posts for inspiration or photos from relevant accounts I can repost. I also take a lot of screenshots of graphics from other brands, photos, ideas, etc. to save for ideas for later posts.
HERE'S WHAT MICHAEL DOES
Michael takes a different approach for each client, but spends time finding content and doing research as well as planning in a way that leaves him room for flexibility as the week goes on. Here’s what Michael says about his process:
Generally, I start by looking over Instagram hashtags of relevant accounts or competitors to see what posts they do. Once I have a bit of a grasp on what the market is like and what people are responding to, I look at our clients goals and social media plan (especially if our client has already provided picture archives, articles, has a website/blog).
Lastly, I create a weekly outline following our 3 Es – educational, entertaining, and engaging. I tend to draft two posts per week for each day to have freedom to swap things around.
Monday - Blog post / #motivationalmonday
Tuesday - taco Tuesday / company post
Wednesday - community interaction (Netflix vs. Hulu)
HERE'S WHAT DAYNNA DOES
Daynna is a whiz when it comes to creating content, and she has a very in-depth approach to planning, organizing, and making sure her clients’ content is the best it can be. She shares some of her content planning tips and tricks:
1. Create a daily schedule with the 3 Es
Here's an example:
Monday: #MondayMotivation - Engaging OR Entertaining
Tuesday: #TipTuesday - Educational
Thursday: #ThrowbackThursday - Entertaining
Friday: #FeatureFriday - Engaging OR Entertaining
Saturday: PROMO or extra of whatever E I haven't used a lot of that week
NOTE: This outline isn't strict, I just use it as a guideline for ideas if there isn't a specific promo going on that week or I need ideas for content.
2. Finding content for the 3 Es
· Use client content (photo, articles) first
· EDUCATIONAL posts - I usually use articles or share facts or tips. Some of the ways I find relevant articles is through Google searches (I also set up weekly Google alerts for relevant keywords so I get recent articles emailed to me every week), Facebook searches, Twitter searches, and then looking at relevant websites that clients have said they trust to take content from. When creating the caption, I usually take a quote or excerpt from the article itself to use for the caption and give credit to the source in the caption itself by tagging them. For facts or tips, usually a Google search or hashtag search on Instagram is the way I go.
· ENGAGING posts – One of the first things I do is look at similar accounts for inspiration. For a realtor, for instance, I look at other successful realtor accounts to see how they're engaging conversation on their posts and getting people to comment. Asking questions in a post is a great way to do this, but keeping it simple is key, especially when you haven't developed that engaged audience yet. People are more likely to answer a simple multiple choice question than having to type out an entire paragraph because it's quick and easy for them. Back to the realtor example, I love doing posts like "rate this room on a scale of 1-5" or "would you rather live in a house or a condo".
· ENTERTAINING posts – This could be anything from a #ThrowbackThursday to an inspirational quote to a #FeatureFriday. I go based off of the client and what's relevant to them. For Throwback Thursday posts, I usually go through the client's old Facebook photos (or they send me ones they want to use). For a Feature Friday post, an Instagram hashtag search is the easiest way to find content. For an inspirational quote, Google or Instagram is the way to go. Usually I'll recreate it so that it's branded to my client. I also sometimes look to Facebook videos for entertaining content. This could also just be a behind the scenes photo, although I have to rely on clients sending me that content in order to use it.
· *PROMO posts – I often, again, look at similar accounts for inspiration when it comes to structuring it. I usually create branded graphics in Canva for my clients' promo posts. Usually the client already has copy available for their promos, so I'll generally just use that for the caption. If I'm doing multiple promos per week, I'll modify it a bit by adding an engaging question or a witty entertaining caption to make it pop, or I'll take segments of their copy and use it throughout the week.
3. Layout posts
I always do my posts for one platform and send that to the client for approval first. Once they approve or make changes, I apply those changes and then transfer them over to the other platforms. Sometimes I'll do an outline in Planable of the five posts I want to create so I can get an idea of the flow first, making sure there's a good balance of the 3 Es, and then I'll plug in the actual photos and captions.
4. Ensure consistency
I also make sure all content looks good together on the Instagram feed. I don't try to make it too matchy or themed, but the photos that sit beside each other need to complement one another. (Ex. A quote graphic with a white background can't sit beside another photo with a white background, and I try to mix up photos with words and not with words so that it doesn't look too cluttered). I also try to incorporate their branding into the look of their feed.
5. Add hashtags
For hashtags, I have a Google Doc with all of the hashtags I use the most for each client that I pull from. I don't copy and paste because using the same hashtags in the same order every single post can get you shadowbanned on Instagram, so I use the ones that are most relevant to that post. A shadowban is when Instagram feels you are not posting within their terms – maybe you’ve been flagged as a bot. They’ll stop your content from showing up in hashtag feeds and you’ll be “blocked” without really knowing. You will likely notice it, however, when your posts stop receiving the engagement you typically receive.
6. Plan ahead
I always do posts the week before they're meant to go out in order to give time for approvals and feedback to be made. For clients who tend to make a lot of changes or need more time to go over posts, I do their posts at the beginning of the week for the following week. Generally I do 1-2 client's posts in one day (depending on the depth of their posts).
In order to avoid chaos if a client wants something posted last minute, I don't generally schedule things ahead of time unless I'm going to be away, because then I can easily replace the content that was supposed to go out with the content they send last minute. I also sometimes create extra, generic content to be pre-approved for clients who have trouble getting to approvals in time so we can still post something if they don't approve in time.
HERE'S WHAT EMMA DOES
When Emma first receive a client, she like to do extensive research about the company and brand in order to understand their voice, what they do and what they want to achieve.
Once she has a grasp on who they are, she then set out a monthly schedule working with the 3 E’s:
ENGAGING: Posts about Special Days in the month/ Providing useful information about a specific subject usually following up with a question to engage their audience and receive feedback.
EDUCATION: Providing information about the company/ services/ who they are/ their mission/ tips.
ENTERTAINMENT: Happy (day)/ fun cartoon relating to the business/ joke/quote.
Emma likes to create all of the clients captions and then find the images that match the caption best.
She likes to keep the heart of the company present in every post, as every post will represent the brand. Emma is always looking for new and fun ideas to bring into the content and will find herself going down rabbit holes searching for them. #WeCanAllRelate
Finding inspiration for posts can come from a lot of different places, she like to look at similar brands to see what they are doing and if they have any cool ideas that could be fitting for the client. Emma loves photography and beautiful pictures and loves looking for inspiration for them on Instagram/ Pinterest while of course giving recognition to the original creator.
When it comes to hashtags, Emma likes to look up ones relating to the posts and then choose them based on the number of shares it has. Something she has learned was to stay away from hashtags that have a ton of shares as posts with common hashtags can get lost in the sea of social media. Rule of thumb is to add at least 10 hashtags to each post.
For Emma, being organized is a MUST and planning ahead is a huge part of that. This gives time for changes to be made and content to get approved before it needs to be scheduled. One of her favorite tools is Onlypult!
How to manage your social media content strategy
As you can see, there’s a bunch of different ways you can approach creating content for your feeds. The theme from our team is that organization and putting in the pre-work is key to success. All of our social media managers take the time to think of content calendars, organize ideas, content, hashtags, and plan accordingly before they go onto the various social media platforms to post the content.
The more work you can do to ahead of time to make content creation easier, the better.
By taking the time to plan and source, you will be able to quickly grab from your library of content when it comes time to post or schedule.
There’s no right or wrong way to approach content. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, reach out to us today and we’ll help you out!