In one of my recent posts I mentioned that the 2 challenges people come up against when running their own social media campaigns is planning social media content, and creating social media content. You can view our planning blog here. Today we focus on the latter – creating social media content.
We are a team of creatives, so coming up with the visuals and text for social media posts can come a little easier to us. When you are running lets say a hairdressing business, or a restaurant, your creativity comes can come in other forms. Below I have detailed some great tips and tools that you can use in creating social media content. Let me know what you use in the comments section below.
- Factor in video – you will have seen a vast increase in videos on Facebook over the past year. Reason; videos generate more engagement and builds trust. And with video production becoming easier and cheaper to produce, more businesses are turning to video to get themselves noticed. Back in 2015, Mashable reported that video was getting on average 135% more reach than an average post. Hubspot have recently said that 4 times more people would rather watch a video. Convinced yet?
- Use short videos – short videos suit our “snackable nature” and better compliment our busy lives. You will find engagement higher for a 60 second max video, versus a ten minute + video. We have just invested in some video equipment to shoot some short 30-60 second weekly tips, so keep an eye on our YouTube channel and Facebook page for those.
- Caption your videos – we all do it; turn the sound right down on your phone so as to not disturb those around you (well most of us do it..). Hubspot recently reported that 85% of users watch video without the sound. So if you are creating a video without captions, chances are your viewing statistics are going to be slightly irrelevant. I have listed 3 ways to easily caption your videos:
- Facebook Video Caption – Facebook now has a option to add captions to all of your Facebook videos. For a tutorial – https://www.facebook.com/help/261764017354370?helpref=faq_content. If you decide to add captions in Facebook, just ensure that you read through each caption proof carefully. They have a habit of misunderstanding the video audio.
- YouTube Video Caption – Similar to Facebook, YouTube also have a way for you to easily add captions or subtitles to any video. For a tutorial – https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2734796?hl=en-GB
- Amara – I haven’t personally tried Amara, however it is dubbed as one of the best ways to add captions to video. It is a free tool (not sure if there is a paid version). If you give it a go, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
- Use calls to action – if you attend our Lunch and Learn events in Northampton, you will notice that I rant on about calls to action all of the time. Calls to action give the user encourage the user to take the next step. The next step should be directing them through to your website, or clicking to obtain an offer (or something similar). Be up front with people and tell them what you want them to do. I promise you, you will see higher engagement and click through rates.
- Write shorter posts – Writing shorter posts is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, you have to write shorter posts on Twitter due to their character limit, however Facebook have last year started increasing the font size of a post if it is less than 35 characters. Secondly, any Facebook posts of 477 characters (which seems like a lot!) are subject to a ‘read more’ button. This pretty much hides your content unless you click, so try and shorten those social media posts, and your entire message is more likely to be seen; according to Hubspot, shorter posts generate 23% more interaction.
- Use Canva – Canva is the perfect social media design tool for people who do not have the design software such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Aside from its easy to use interface, it includes templates and designs put together by the team at Canva, perfect if you are lacking a bit of creation. Canva is a free tool, however you can upgrade to release more functionality, and you are able to purchase stock imagery ranging from $1 up.
- Pixabay – For those of you running a particularly non-visual business (insurance companies, mortgage brokers…), stock imagery can help you create engaging visuals. There are a lot of stock image sites out there. We use Shutterstock. The difference between the majority and Pixabay, is that Pixabay is free. Naturally with any free tool, you may be slightly limited with the images you can download, however it is certainly work looking into. Just remember; before you download and use any image (regardless of the site), make sure you read the licensing details. You may find the perfect image, only to be hampered by the fact that it is only allowed for editorial.
- Rocketium – a relatively new tool on the market, and one I am yet to review (I will get round to it soon), Rocketium is a very similar social media tool to Canva with one big difference; it lets you create videos. I will be reviewing this tool in the near future. If you decide to give it a go, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Creating social media content can be very challenging. With our 5 top tips, and 3 useful tools, I hope you will be mixing up your social media content, and more easily creating the visuals to go along side them.
If you are still a little stuck, you may wish to look into having your social media managed. Click here to find out more about our social media management service.
Author: Dave Williams
Dave Williams is the founder and director of onefoursix; a digital marketing agency based in Northampton. After setting up onefoursix in 2011, Dave has gone on to grow it to one of Northampton’s finest agencies. His expertise include social media, user experience and SEO.
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