Everybody today has a social media account, but not everyone knows what it means to create compelling social media content. After all, your boss, your client, your team, will likely use each social platform differently.
Given that creating social media content for an organization requires more planning and more stakeholders, how do you go about making sure that you’re crafting relevant content, on a larger scale?
We invited Kyle Stuef, Director of Content Development at Ignite Social Media to drive a discussion around just that. He and his talented team have worked with brands like Jeep, Samsung, and FIAT, to create great content, at-scale.
Here’s what we learned are the four keys to success:
1. Planning Ahead
Just like the food pyramid, your social media content offering should be made up of a variety of different types. Layer one over another to create a balanced diet of content for your audience.
- Base – Weekly “Always-On” Content: The foundation of the pyramid is your weekly “always-on” content. This is the vast majority of content for most users, and ties directly back to your marketing or editorial calendar. Since you can plan ahead for this type, it will free-up more time to be reactionary as a steady stream of posts is already created.
- Middle Tier – Partnerships & New Initiatives: This is content that you probably have some lead time for, but it may not exist on your editorial calendar ahead of time. Often, this is dependent on other content that either you have created (like announcing a new brand collaboration) or is created by another company. Leave some space in your scope plans for this tier, but don’t have it outweigh your base content.
- Top Tier – Trends & News: The tippy top of your pyramid is full of trends and news. This is the time where you can be reactionary and engage your brand with the outside world in the spur of the moment. You’ve planned your bottom two tiers already, so now you can focus on being more reactionary. Your bottom tiers are heavily focused on your offering, so this is a great opportunity to turn the lens back on the outside world.
Whether it’s creating a shot list and equipment list for a photo shoot, or covering a live event, you need to have a plan on how you’re going to get what you need.
- Step 1: Plan your high level topics, what channels you’re going to serve, and tactics to create that content. This is where you should be tying your editorial calendar directly back to your goals. Pick a cadence that works for your organization and stick to it to ensure your content is relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Step 2: It’s time to start creating. Write your posts, compose your copy, get your shots, and focus on the execution of all of your hard planning in Step 1.
Great Tip: Plan based on what you know. If you have a schedule of a live-event, annotate ahead of time what needs to be captured when, and where, so you don’t miss your chance.
2. Use a Collaborative Planning Space
Technology can be unstable and storing all your files locally can lead to a whole new set of problems. Avoid losing time because of upload/download lags, equipment failure, and confusion over file versioning by creating a space that lives digitally in the cloud. You can send and receive files while tracking the progress of your work, and the work of your team. Updating in real-time, your team can collaborate in one place without creating a versioning nightmare.
And don’t forget, to keep this collaborative ecosystem balanced, you need to be disciplined about project management and file storage. Always. Be. Filing.
This leads us to our next point: creating that easily accessible, organized library of assets.
3. Build an Evergreen Library
You’ve got your plan down and you’re now sourcing content created in your collaborative workspace, so what’s next? Creating an organized content library that stores all of your work.
Having a library of ideas, assets, and general content allows you to be effective in quickly pulling and compiling new social media content. This is also a place where you can store assets for your evergreen materials. Label all of your files with keywords, dates, and any relevant information that will allow you to easily reference common themes. All your work, whether final or raw files, should be documented. You never know when you’ll want to refer back to unfinished projects.
Evergreen social media content is work that can be used year round. It’s tempting to feel like you can’t reuse assets or writing from older posts, but that’s not the case. As long as the stories are relevant, the content is well crafted, it’s okay (and efficient) to repost content on different platforms, or tweak an older post.
Remember: Organize and document. Keep your file system clear and conventional so it’s easily scannable by other team members.
Good content can be used multiple times, for multiple channels. And, our favorite tip: Keep note of usage rights and where the images were sourced to avoid any copyright issues.
4. Use Video to Grow a Content Tree
You’re now planning effectively, collaborating with your team in the cloud, and putting together an evergreen library of useable (and recyclable) assets. A great way to efficiently make a suite of content – or content tree – is through the use of video.
What do we mean by “content tree”? One video can feed an entire family of platforms. Let’s take a look at how you can slice and dice one well shot video to fit different media, and tell variations of the same narrative.
It’s time to recycle, re-curate, and reuse.
Behind the Scenes – The Inside Look
When your team is on-set shooting the original, full length video, include the production process as part of your scope. Shots of the cameras, bloopers, set, any additional content can be used to build excitement. Audiences love this kind of inside look into what happens behind the scenes. An Instagram post, a video uploaded to Facebook, or – even more relevant for younger audiences – an on-set “snap” is a great way to reach a new followers and fans.
GIFs & Short Clips
Getting views on social platforms like Snapchat or Instagram rely on providing a quick hit of visual interest. An embedded video isn’t great unless an audience is already invested, but grabbing smaller moments and transferring them to animated GIFs is a great fix. Use these smaller clips (with movement) to drive clicks to your long-form video content. Also, if you’ve done your planning, you probably have some of these quick moments slated for creation.
Pretty apparent, but showing is always better than telling. A quick cap of the video you’re shooting is an easy way to provide a visual to get attention. One thing to consider is the resolution demands of your platforms and how you’ll be shooting your video. Screen caps are awesome, but not if they’re super blurry or pixelated.
Screencap your video at the highest resolution possible to provide the clearest static image.
Now that you’ve got our four tips for creating killer social media content, you’re ready to get started! You can also check out the slides from Kyle’s presentation below for more details on what was covered in this webinar.