Quick tips on social media content creation for small businessesBy Solange Messier
Accessibility and cost make social media is an indispensable marketing tool for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). A good social can enable your brand to stand out and communicate with a broad audience regardless of your company size or budget, provided you have an effective social media content creation strategy in place.
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Your social marketing approach should focus on high-quality content that delivers value to your audience using visual mediums such as video, which 87 percent of marketers say increases their website traffic (Wyzowl). In this article, we discuss social how to create a social media content strategy in-house for your clients and considerations to make about outsourcing your content creation for social media.
Table of Contents
- Tips for developing a social media content strategy for SMB clients
- Tips for creating small business social media content
- Create a content calendar for clients
- Write attention-grabbing headlines
- Best practices for using visuals in social media content
- Develop an engaging call to action
- Incorporate user-generated content
- Should you consider outsourcing social media content creation?
- Frequently asked questions
Tips for developing a social media content strategy for SMB clients
If your SMB clients want to build their online presence and gain engagement from their target audience, it’s crucial to develop a clear strategy for their social media content.
Defining the target audience
Knowing the intended audience and understanding their behaviors is a critical part of developing social media strategies for your clients. Your audience should guide the planning and creation of your content for social media, as well as for other mediums.
For example, if your client is marketing real estate or mortgage services, the best platform to create social media content on is one that’s frequently used by Millennials, who represent 43 percent of homebuyers (National Association of Realtors). Likewise, a client that provides business-to-business services may have more success with posting on a platform such as LinkedIn, where user intent is more geared toward building connections with other businesses and professionals.
Setting goals and objectives
Your client needs to see the benefit of your social media content creation services and without setting measurable goals and objectives, proving your worth won’t be easy. Before you provide any client with social media services, work with them to determine what they want to get out of a social media content strategy. Is it more website clicks? Higher engagement levels? Brand awareness?
Whatever objective your client has in mind, set realistic milestones and goals for achieving it, and regularly compare those goals with the metrics and analytics provided to you by their social media platforms. If you’re not meeting those goals for your clients, you may need to adjust your social media content creation strategy.
Choosing the right social media channels
The most prominent demographics on each social platform should help you determine where your social media content creation ideas are most appropriate to post, or if your content is appropriate to post on a particular platform at all.
When you develop a social media content strategy, keep in mind that on the most popular platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the average user is aged 25 to 34 (Statista). While LinkedIn’s most prominent age group is 25 to 34, as well, it’s worth noting that over 56 percent of users are male (Data Reportal). Once you’ve nailed down your target audience, take time to research demographics and interests of users on the social media channels you’d like to use.
Conducting a competitive analysis
Staying on top of the competition is a vital component of any marketing strategy and social media content strategy isn’t any different. Before you start posting on your client’s social channels, conduct a competitive analysis using the following steps:
- Identify their primary competitors: Make a list of similar brands and accounts that exist on the same social media platforms.
- Do an in-depth review of competitors’ content: Note how often they post, the type of content they create, the tone of their messages, and which types of post have the most likes, shares, and comments.
- Evaluate how they engage with their followers: Watch how your clients’ competitors respond to comments and whether they tend to comment on, like, or share content from other brands and creators.
- Analyze their growth: If possible, monitor your clients’ competitors’ follower growth over an extended period of time. Note what they post when followers increase, as well as whether any posts they’ve made have led to a decrease in followers.
- Compare your clients’ metrics: Download your clients’ metrics and compare them to that of their direct competitors. Look at engagement rates, reach, and growth.
The data you gather from conducting a competitive analysis helps you determine what is and isn’t working for your clients’ competition. It gives you the insight you need to identify gaps in the market and develop social media content creation strategies that your target audience relates to.
Identifying the type of content that resonates with your client’s target audience
Before you share your social media ideas with your client, get to know what type of content their target audience responds best to. There are several ways you can do this effectively:
- Look at your client’s current content: Analyze which posts over the past several months have the most likes, shares, and comments.
- Understand your client’s audience: Do some due diligence and research so you can get to know what your client’s target audience is into. Discover which demographics are most likely to engage with them and what type of content that particular demographic commonly responds to.
- Look at similar accounts: Check out posts from other accounts in the same industry and take notes on what content their audiences are responding to best.
- Test, optimize, and monitor: Don’t be afraid to try new things. Post a variety of images, infographics and videos to your social media channels to see what performs best. Analyze using metrics, tweak, and post again.
Tips for creating small business social media content
Social media content creation is an art form that requires careful planning and skillful execution. Utilize the tips below to ensure you’ve got the right social media content strategy in place for your clients.
1. Create a content calendar for clients
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when your scheduling daily or even weekly posts on behalf of your clients. Brainstorming social media ideas, writing effective captions, and designing graphics or videos to accompany them can feel like a lot of work when you don’t plan ahead.
To avoid getting behind, create a detailed social media calendar for each of your clients. Calendars should be created with the following in mind:
- Select platforms based on target audiences: Research demographics and use cases for platforms before posting to ensure they align with your target audience.
- Follow recommended post frequencies: Algorithms vary from platform to platform and preferred posting frequencies do, too. While Twitter posts should go up two to three times daily, it’s recommended to only post to Instagram between three and five times per week (Hootsuite).
- Increase engagement with themed content: Utilizing themes in your social media content strategy can help keep audiences more engaged while making it easier to come up with ideas for valuable posts.
- Post on important dates, events, and holidays: Don’t forget to include posts for holidays, upcoming events that are hosted by or include your clients’ company, and important dates. If you’re struggling to come up with content creation ideas for social media, squeeze in some insignificant social media holidays, too (Hubspot).
2. Write attention-grabbing headlines
The best way to attract the attention of your audience is with a well-crafted, attention-grabbing headline. Your headline is the first thing readers will see and studies show that only two out of 10 people will actually read beyond the headline (Copyblogger), so it’s best to make it interesting.
Keep headlines short and concise
The average consumer has an attention span of just eight seconds (Microsoft)—a number that’s decreased rapidly since 2000. That means you have eight seconds or less to gain your audience’s attention. To do this, create short, concise headlines that clearly state what your content is about and how it’s going to provide value.
Use numbers, questions, and power words to make them more compelling
Did you know that your audiences is more likely to view and engage with your content if the headline contains a number, a question, or power words? In fact, 36 percent of social media users prefer a headline that a number (Moz).
Address a pain point or offer a solution to a problem
The majority of consumers value quick resolutions and the number of those who say they prefer that that their problems are solved fast is on the rise (CGS Inc.). Instead of offering your clients’ audiences a roundabout way to find the solutions their after, find their pain points and offer up a solution from the get-go. By doing so, you’ll build trust and confidence in the brand much faster.
Personalize the headline to your target audience
A catchy headline is great but if it doesn’t appeal to consumers who are likely to spend money with your customer’s brand, what’s the point? The best content creation for social media techniques involve piquing the interest of a niche audience and it doesn’t cater to the masses.
3. Best practices for using visuals in social media content
While it’s okay to use captions to convey some or even all of your message on a social media post, your social media content strategy should rely heavily on the use of visual content. 91 percent of consumers prefer content that’s interactive or visual over text-based media (Forbes), so be sure to incorporate plenty of infographics, videos, slideshows, and images.
Use high-quality images and videos that align with your clients' brand
Pay attention to the quality of videos and images you post. Whether you’re using authentic images and videos that have been captured specifically for your client or you’re curating stock visuals and memes, the quality is imperative. Ensure the visuals you select match the overall aesthetic of your client’s brand, paying close attention to elements such as tone and colors.
If you’re capturing your own photos and videos for your client, pay attention to details like lighting, composition, and color, all of which can have a significant impact on the look and feel of your visuals.
Use visuals to tell a story or convey a message
Share powerful stories and brand messages through with visual content. For example, you can use a slideshow or video to show how a product was designed or different ways it can be used. Regardless of the story you’re telling, ensure the visuals are consistent with the brand’s tone.
Incorporate your branding elements such as logos, colors, and font
Cohesive branding is the key to designing a beautiful social media feed. Your visual content strategy should include the use of branding elements like logos, colors, and fonts on every post. This technique for social media content creation also reinforces brand identity and ensures that target audiences can recognize your client’s posts.
Optimize the visuals for each platform’s requirements
Each social media platform has its own post requirements when it comes to elements such as word count, aspect ratio, and video length. Make sure that your posts are optimized to work with the platform’s requirements by utilizing the captions when the text is too much for your visuals and reformatting content that’s being cross-posted to suit each platform.
4. Develop an engaging call to action
A text-based call-to-action (CTA) on a social media post can increase conversion rates by as much as 120 percent (Digital Oasis). Utilize these tips to make a CTA that effectively entices your target audience:
- Make your CTA clear and specific: Content creation for social media includes writing copy that’s easy to understand and that includes writing CTAs that provide readers with clear directions.
- Use action-oriented language: Words like subscribe, buy, and share tell readers exactly how to take action on your post.
- Offer an incentive or value proposition: Give the audience a reason to take action by providing a reward for doing so. That might include access to exclusive content, free resources such as how-to guides, or a discount code.
- Place the CTA within the content strategically: CTAs work best when they’re placed within the visuals or at the end of a caption.
5. Incorporate user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) builds credibility for your brand. In fact, 79 percent of consumers say that UGC impacts their buying decisions (Stackla). Social media reputation management largely relies on the incorporation of UGC such as testimonials and reviews, unboxings, and case studies.
Encourage customers to share their experiences with your product or service
After purchasing from your client’s brand or interacting with their business, encourage customers to share their experiences online. Ask them to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other websites, request video testimonials, or have them share photos and videos of the product on their own social media channels.
Curate the best UGC and showcase it on your social media channels
Content creation for social media doesn’t always have to rely on your own creativity. Incorporating UGC that you’ve found online, such as reviews, unboxing videos, and blog posts, can be a great way to fill out your client’s content calendar with valuable convent.
Give credit to the original poster
If you’re curating UGC, make sure to request permission from the original poster before using their content and give them credit in your captions or visuals.
Should you consider outsourcing social media content creation?
White label social media management is a service that includes social media content creation and management for your clients, giving you time to focus on building your own brand.
Benefits of outsourcing social media content creation
For many agencies, the benefits of social media content services are significant. They include:
- Affordability: Social media content services are a cost-effective way to manage your clients social media accounts.
- Saved time and resources: Increase the amount of time and energy you have for building your own business by subscribing to social media content services. Reducing time-consuming tasks like posting to multiple networks, content creation, and brief creation for social media means you can focus on increasing your own revenue as well as your clients’.
- Expertise and experience: While you may not be an expert in your clients’ industries, you can typically find social media content services provided by someone who is.
Choosing the right social media content creation service provider
- Post creation and publishing for multiple social networks
- Onboarding for your clients
- Dedicated creative writers with industry-specific expertise
- Detailed analytics in real-time
Frequently asked questions
How do I create a social media content strategy?
Define your target audience, analyze what competitors are doing, and identify the types of content that resonate with your target audience most. Once you have this information, start setting goals, creating content, and tweaking your strategy until you get it right.
Should I outsource my social media content creation?
Subscribing to outsourced social media content services is a great way to save time and resources so you can focus on building your own business. If you’re putting too much time in to content creation and scheduling, consider outsourcing content creation for social media.