15 Tips, Tricks & Tools to Become the Ultimate Social Media Content Creator
What is a social media content creator?
A social media content creator is the person responsible for writing, shooting, filming, editing, illustrating or otherwise making content for social media channels.
But their job description may vary depending on the organization. Their role may also include related activities like content planning, overall content strategy, post scheduling, advertising and/or reporting.
A few years ago, this job was fairly straight-forward. There were less social channels and even fewer media types. Now we have multiple social channels and multiple media types. Plus there's more competition in the News Feed and its becoming more difficult to stand out.
In a digital marketing team, the social media content creator is one of the most important roles. Without someone who can create good content, there’s little an organization can do on social media. ‘Content is king’ as the saying goes. The best strategies in the world only work when they are executed with great content.
How do you become a social media content creator?
There isn’t a well-established career pathway as this role hardly existed if you go back just a few years ago. But these are the typical pathways that many Social Media Content Creators have taken:
Role evolution: some marketers find themselves in a content creator role ‘by accident’. When marketer’s roles transition or evolve into content creation roles its usually because they have a knack for creating good content and/or they enjoy doing it. At its heart, the role is creative-led and naturally attracts personality types that correlate with high intuition (N) and perceiving (P) which include: INTP, INFP, ENTP, & ENFP.
Formal study: an increasing number of universities and private institutions cater for the growing demand around digital marketing education including content creation. Work experience and internship opportunities are a great way for marketing students to gain real-world experience with content creation.
Personal interest: like most things, having a natural interest in the area is a great start as it helps accelerate the learning process and keeps you committed especially in your first few roles.
15 Tips for Great Content Creation
1. Become a master of visual communication
If you walk away with just one tip, this is it: double-down on video content.
Video content on social channels reaches 4.5x more people organically than static images. Video is the battleground for all the social channels. While YouTube is still the home of video online, Facebook have been aggressively upweighting video content in the Newsfeed for the past 2-3 years. Not to be outdone by Instagram who similarly push video in the Newsfeed whilst also launching two dedicated video formats: IGTV and Reels. New players on the block like TikTok, Triller and Byte are exclusively video platforms. Even LinkedIn, who was one of the last to launch their own video format in 2019, are pushing video content hard in their Newsfeed too.
There’s no doubt, we are in the age of video.
2. Create content that supports your business objectives
This is a big point. Your role as a social media content creator is not just about making great looking and great sounding content but it also needs to support and drive your business objectives. Without a clear business objective, you have no way to objectively assess the performance of your content since there are many potential metrics available.
A clear business objective will highlight related metrics and enable you to hone in on what content drives that metric best. Here are some examples of business objectives and their related social metrics:
Objective: Raise awareness of the product with the target demographic
Related social metric: Reach
Objective: Engage and entertain mainstream audiences
Related social metric: Engagement Rate
Objective: Drive traffic to the campaign website
Related social metric: Link Clicks
Objective: Increase revenue through the online shop
Related social metric: Conversions
In each of the business objective examples above, there is a related social metric that indicates the success of the objective. By adjusting content themes, media types and publishing tactics, you can optimize your content for these very different social metrics.
Being cognizant of the underlying metrics you report back to your client or boss will help inform your content strategy so you can always show the business value of your content over time.
3. Invest in the latest smartphone
The latest version of Apple and Google’s flagship phones include some of the best optics money can buy.
You’ll unlikely need a sophisticated (and expensive) SLR camera. Your smartphone is the best tool you have to create optimal content for social media. Don’t skimp on late or second-hand models though. If budget allows, always opt for the latest version. For example you can see noticeable advances in image quality (especially subtleties like shadows, zoom range and low-light) between photos shot with the Pixel 4 vs Pixel 5 in this comparison.
In most cases, the latest iPhone or Pixel should be your go-to content creation hardware. Especially given the rise in portrait video with the Stories format now on all social channels and exclusively portrait video formats like Instagram Reels.
4. Stabilize your shots
Ensure you also have a tripod with smartphone attachment or better still get an Arkon dual smartphone holder so you can hold 2 phones on 1 tripod.
Maybe you record 1 in portrait and the other in landscape, or maybe you’re going live on Facebook and going live on Instagram. Once you have the ability to hold 2 smartphones steadily in your hand or on a tripod, you’ll never turn back!
Apart from tripods, some other popular options for stabilizing your smartphone include the SMOVE and the Beastgrip Pro. The later enables you to retrofit different lenses over the smartphone camera lens to achieve wide-angle, fisheye, telephoto, macro or anamorphic effects.
And if you’ve got the money to spend and the need to shoot outdoors, you absolutely can’t go past a DJI drone.
5. Be consistent
A lot of social content creators believe the key to success on social media is consistency.
How to become a big content creator:— Julian Shapiro (@Julian) January 9, 2021
• Be consistent—obsessively so.
• Make content you yourself enjoy.
• Learn how growth works on your channels.
• Build an engine for repeatedly sourcing novel content ideas.
• Refine your eye and taste for which content patterns to mimic.
Of course, content quality is the unspoken essential but social channels love consistency and if you’re relying primarily on organic reach only, consistency is even more important.
Being consistent means having a set schedule for content publishing called a content calendar. Whether you fill your calendar with multiple posts per day or a few posts a week is less important than just maintaining the volume of output week after week.
Consider how the News Feed algorithm works. In theory, if audiences on social are seeing your content, engaging with it in any way, they’re more likely to see your future content. But if there are many days or weeks between your posts, the benefits of that dynamic aren’t able to be realized.
6. Leverage the abundance of quality, free online content
Unsplash is a library containing over 1 million royalty-free photos. Unlike the myriad stock photo sites on the web, Unsplash is powered by creators. So it’s more along the lines of Flickr except all images are freely-usable. Rejecting stock photos is what made Unsplash different since their photos tend to be less cliche and simply look more real.
While you might not be able to find an exact match for what you’re looking for, their library has grown to cover many categories and sub-categories. Pretty impressive for a site that launched with just 300 photos in 2014.
"You're never going to change the world with 300 photos." - investor, 2014— Mikael Cho (@mikaelcho) July 8, 2019
🌅 1 million images
⬇️ 1 billion image downloads
🌎 used in every country pic.twitter.com/Zo4ZNKhsfV
7. Level up your grammar game
Grammarly is an online grammar assistant which works as a browser extension and helps correct spelling and grammar wherever you type be it in emails, forms or online documents.
Correct spelling and grammar is mandatory when posting on social, especially in longer-form posts like blog articles or multi-paragraph social posts.
8. Write copy like a boss
Copy.ai is a great tool for helping you write better copy. It’s AI language model helps you write better titles and phrasing in your status updates, tweets, link headlines and captions.
The tool works by using your existing copy and suggesting alternatives. This takes the time and effort out of brainstorming different copy ideas.
9. Invest in quality audio equipment
While all video content needs to work in mute (videos auto-play in mute by default in the Newsfeed), you’ll still need to capture good quality audio if your video content features people talking. There’s nothing worse than poor-quality audio.
While the latest smartphones have great optics to capture high-quality video and photos, their onboard microphones are terrible as they are omni-directional - which means they capture sound from all around you. This might be useful for a Facetime chat with your family but it sounds like amateur hour if you want to record say, an interview with someone and post it to social media. In this instance, you’ll need either a directional mic or a condenser mic. Australian microphone maker RØDE make some of the best audio tech at accessible prices for social content creators.
10. Remix and repurpose
Experienced social media content creators know you can spin-off lots of different pieces of content from 1 original source. Let's say you publish a blog article like https://www.seoptimer.com/blog/digital-marketing-audit/
This 1 piece of content can be repurposed on social channels in several different ways like:
A link post:
A digital marketing audit helps clarify and empower decision making for your digital efforts. Read our comprehensive...Posted by SEOptimer on Monday, July 27, 2020
A Tweet thread:
Digital Marketing Audits should comprehensively answer the BIG question ... how effective are your digital marketing activities??— SEOptimer (@seoptimer) August 26, 2020
Thread 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/DDSW8H1xxk
Thinking about all the ways your content can be used on social will help attract more eyeballs and hopefully improve your overall performance.
11. Use emoji’s if it makes sense
Emoji’s rule on social channels. But they don’t make sense for every brand so consider your organization’s personality and playfulness before diving into the world of emojis.
If its a match, Emojipedia is the best place to find and copy emoji’s which you can paste straight into status update boxes or scheduling tools when writing your copy.
12. Leverage User Generated Content (UGC)
While User Generated Content (UGC) specifically relates to content made by others, the sourcing and management of UGC will likely fall under your responsibilities as a social media content creator.
Remember, consumers trust what other consumers say far more than what brands say. So if you can find relevant, on-topic UGC about your organization, products or services then you’re well placed to repost or amplify this content.
If you can’t find any relevant UGC, don’t worry - you can always encourage this among your customers or staff and build a UGC plan as part of your content strategy.
13. Connect with Influencers
Along the lines of UGC is working with influencers. Again, this is content that you don’t create but usually falls under the remit of a social media content creator. Rather than thinking of high-profile influencers, consider finding and working with micro-influencers who have smaller, more engaged communities relevant to your niche.
Tools like Scrunch are designed to help you search for influencers by keyword, interest, location, demographics and more.
While tools like TRIBE provide a marketplace where you can brief a community of micro-influencers who then pitch their posts back to you and then you can decide which posts you want to buy.
14. Test and iterate
As with everything on social media, continual testing is needed and should be built into your ‘business as usual’ processes. What worked last month, may not work this month so you have to use experimentation constantly to keep finding out what works and what doesn’t work.
This will be different for each content creator because the channels and audiences you communicate with are different so don’t rely too much on general advice. Test things yourself and share all your learnings with your team!
15. Put your content creation on autopilot
Last but not least, another tool which is indispensable for any content creator is Upflow. This super-handy tool enables you to find high-quality content in your niche and shares it from your social channels automatically.
You can define specific categories and keywords and Upflow will find the best content from other content creators and help you effortlessly fill your content schedule. Upflow supports all the major social channels and you can get started for Free.