The Social Media Content Creator Guide: 10 Tactics To Save Time and Engage

by Josh Barney
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Work can be demanding as a social media content creator. 

The ultimate aim is to engage and grow an audience with innovative content, but there’s a lot to contend with. 

  • Competition
  • Brand demands
  • Creative burnout
  • ‘Round the clock contact
  • Cross channel marketing

^^These are a few of the challenges that a modern social media content creator has to contend with.

Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are crowded spaces – and that’s why it’s so important that social media content creators take every competitive edge they can find. 

social media logos facebook messenger youtube instagram whatsapp

In this guide, I’ll be covering 10 tactics for social media content creators, so they can beat the algorithms, engage their audience and avoid the pain of social media anonymity. 

Let’s start this guide with a definition…

What is a Social Media Content Creator? 

A social media content creator is the person responsible for making posts that are published on social networks.

If you’re creating images, videos or written posts that are published on a social media channel, you’re a social media content creator.

Some businesses hire their own social media content creators, others have social media managers who double up in this position, some outsource the role and many small business owners and entrepreneurs fill this role themselves. 

It’s a position that requires creativity, analytical thinking, design/editing skills and a deep audience understanding. 

What is Good Content For Social Media? 

Good social media content speaks to its target audience. It engages, interests and drives conversations. 

There is no fixed recipe or practice for creating great social media content – as long as it attracts and engages a specific audience. 

Every social channel should have its own aims and objectives and at the centre of this, are the people who matter most to the channel – their followers. 

A social media content creator should aim to fulfil and engage their audience, as well as moving their brand closer to its objectives. Good content for social media is able to achieve both of these things. 

Metrics For Social Media Content Creators

A few signals and metrics of successful social media content include: 

  • Engagement – including likes, shares and comments
  • Reach – social networks will limit post reach for business pages (because they want you to buy ads), but good social content will naturally achieve high reach numbers via engagement – especially when content is shared
  • Market penetration – it’s impossible to judge each brand’s social profile by its following without understanding its market size. Large markets have scope for larger audiences. 
  • Conversations – content that opens up a dialogue between a brand and a prospect generates leads and customers. 

Of course, there is more to being a great social media content creator than these 4 metrics. Much of your success will rely on:

  1. How effective you are with your time
  2. How consistent you are with your content 

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

Robert Collier

In the remainder of our social media content creator guide, we’ll look at how you can be time effective and relentlessly consistent. 

Let’s dive into the tactics and strategies…

BTW: These are tactics for a social media content creator, NOT a social media manager or marketer.

1. Repurpose

Repurposing content is the act of editing existing posts, pulling out valuable segments from long-form content or refreshing old content.

As a social media content creator, repurposing should play a big role in your creative strategy. 

In order to be successful on social media, you’ll need to post every day – that requires a lot of content – especially when you factor in the requirements of each network. The best way around this is to repurpose content. 

repurpose content for social media content creator
Repurposing content allows creators to publish tons of content from just one pillar post!

By repurposing content for social media, you’ll make ideas, topics and existing work stretch much further – filling out more space in your calendar, whilst focussing on the stuff that your audience loves. 

If you’re publishing blogs, podcasts or videos, regularly speak at events or are focusing on your personal brand, repurposing should play a big part in your content marketing strategy. 

Just one long-form piece of content (like a blog, podcast or video) can be repurposed into tons of social media posts – think stats, carousels, videos, audiograms, quotes, how-to’s, lists…etc.

blog posts from einstein marketer
Just one blog can provide weeks and months of repurposeable content.

Social media content creators don’t have to continuously come up with new ideas – a smart creator can extract every last drop of value from existing content without a fall in their content’s quality. 

BTW: If you’d like to discover a service that can repurpose unlimited content for you at a flat-rate, find out more here.

2. Recycle 

Recycling might be a hot topic in green marketing, but it’s also something that social media content creators should consider. 

In addition to repurposing, creators can also recycle. The main difference between the two is that recycling requires very little (if any) editing of the original content. 

This blog post was originally created and posted on Twitter in 2018, this content has been recycled for 2020.

If your social channels are more than a year or two old, you can always go back into your archives – pull out some evergreen content that performed well – and recycle it. 

Social media users consume so much content that very few will remember what you posted two years ago. 

On average, Facebook users worldwide spent an average of 58 minutes per day on the social platform.

Whatagraph

Reuse and recycle old content – just don’t overdo it. 

Recycling successful evergreen content is an effective tactic when you’re short on ideas, but it cannot become a sustainable part of your weekly content calendar. One or two slots in your monthly calendar are more than enough. 

3. Cross-Post

Every social network needs to be treated differently – they were all made with specific purposes, and it’s your job to optimise for each. However, social media content creators can easily cut down on their workload by creating a cross-posting strategy. 

What is cross-posting on social media?

Cross-posting is when the same content is published over different networks. For example, if I published an infographic on Instagram, and then published the same thing on LinkedIn, I’d be cross-posting. 

cross posting on twitter and instagram
The same post cross-posted on Instagram and Twitter.

Cross-posting is a handy way to reduce workload and reach audiences on all of your networks. 

That being said, when it’s done badly, it can have drawbacks, including:

  1. Cross-posting every day can encourage audiences to unfollow you on different networks, because why would they want to see the same thing more than once in the same short space of time? 
  2. Cross-posting doesn’t always optimise for the channel’s audience – Instagram and LinkedIn are very different, so you should treat them that way. 

Limit your cross-posting to only the most important (and valuable) content, be thoughtful of your audience’s needs and really think about the channels that you’re cross-posting content on. 

Follow these instructions from Instagram to cross-post on Instagram and Facebook simultaneously

4. Trends/Challenges

Creating content around trending topics and social media ‘challenges’ can pay big social dividends. 

Trends can appear from nowhere and take over newsfeeds – with almost everyone posting their own version of the latest trend. 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dolly Parton (@dollyparton)

This post went viral, encouraging brands to replicate its success:

social media challenges linkedin facebook instagram tinder profile picture

Trends and challenges are a great opportunity for social media content creators to draw their brand closer to their audience, take part in a social conversation and take a break from their focus topics. 

This type of post generates channel exposure (usually by tagging posts with hashtags), high levels of engagement and is very straightforward to create. 

If you’re short on ideas, keep your ears to the ground for trends and social media challenges. Here’s a list of example trends from the NY Times.

5. Reactive Content

Reactive content relies on breaking news, events and trends. 

Instead of proactively following a set schedule for your content, you react to something that has just happened (that your audience knows about it) and create content around it.  

reactive content for social media content creators
This post from Specsavers went viral when they reacted to an infamous error at the Oscars.

Reactive content doesn’t have to be industry-relevant, as long as you’re able to hang it on something that your audience understands, that’s all that matters. 

The success of your reactive content relies on three steps: 

  1. Social listening
  2. Finding an angle 
  3. Taking immediate action

You can find out more about this in our guide to Reactive Marketing. 

6. Variety 

Variety is not just the spice of life – it’s an all-important part of any social media content creators armoury. 

Try to keep a consistent variety in your post’s:

  • Topics
  • Medium

Within every category or industry, there are always different elements that can be covered. The Einstein Marketer blog is about digital marketing, which can be broken down into digital advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing and much more…

Don’t hammer the same points too often, and try to cover your content in different formats and mediums. 

Use video, audio, carousels, images, stats, infographics, writing – show every type of content medium possible to keep your audience engaged. 

7. Planning Ahead

Having a lot of content ready to publish gives you creative breathing space and plenty of time to plan and strategise your next content moves. 

By using a social media content calendar, you’ll be able to visualise the implementation of your social strategy – ensuring that you maintain a creative variety. 

planning ahead gif

If you’re just starting out, it’s advisable to get 5 or 6 pieces of content in the bank, and if you’re currently publishing immediately after creating, it might be worth doubling down on your creative workload until you’ve earned yourself the space to plan ahead. 

Try to look at your strategy a few weeks ahead of where you are now (at least) – whilst leaving yourself open to trends and reactive content. 

Doing this will allow you to create content with purpose not because you have to. 

8. Get a Calendar

Social media manager’s usually own the content calendar, whilst the creators do their best to fill the gaps and stick to the brand’s content strategy. 

However, as well as having a collaborative calendar of ready to publish content, social media content creators can benefit from having their own calendar of ideas. 

social media content calendar

In creative jobs, it’s beneficial to take time out for new ideas. Schedule a few hours a week to formulate new social content ideas

When you have a few winners, add them to your creation calendar – ensuring that you always have something valuable to work on! 

9. User Generated Content 

User-generated content (UGC) is one of the hottest topics in social media marketing – it involves re-sharing or posting content from your audience. 

A typical example of UGC is when a customer shares a photo of a new purchase, and the brand that sold that product shares the photo on their channels (usually in their Instagram story). 

Retweets are an easy way to share UGC.

UGC works wonders as it provides social proof and effectively acts as a visual review. 

Social media content creators can use user-generated content to create carousels or engaging post layouts or mosaics. Posts like this push products and services, and can also be used on landing and sales pages.

Brands like GoPro base their entire content strategy around user generated content.

If you have a lot of UGC, draw yourself closer to your audience by piecing together as many as possible. 

When users create and share content on social media channels, they get 28% higher engagement compared to standard company posts.

Comscore

10.  Polls/Questions/Contests

A key social media metric is engagement, so producing content that encourages it is a great way to beat the algorithms. 

  • Polls on Twitter and Facebook can do wonders for reach, particularly when they’re shared or retweeted. 
  • Questions on LinkedIn are known to drive comments – especially when they’re fielded to professionals. 
  • Contests on Instagram have been proven to work, with users asked to follow, share or repost the contests on their stories to enter. 

This type of post can give a welcome boost to a social channel that’s lacking engagement.

Find some space in your calendar to encourage engagement from your audience with polls, questions and contests. 

Social Media Content Creators Tactics 

There are 10 strategies and tactics for social media content creators. 

Creating content on such a frequent basis can be taxing and tiring, but it’s worth the effort in the long-term. 

Social networks can be hard to gain traction on, but as long as you are effective with your time, focus on your audience and keep working on it, you’ll gain the results your work deserves.

Just remember, good things take time and so will a great social media channel. 

If you’re struggling for time or need help with your social media content creation, outsource the task to the pros.

Josh is the Founder of We Imagine Media, an award-winning content marketer and best selling author. He creates and strategises content, sharing the most successful tactics with his lovely audience. He hates writing in the third person, follow him on the social links (above) so he can get back to writing as himself.

7 Responses

  1. Hi Josh, your blogs are always great. This one is relevant to my job because I work a lot on social media. You have some really good ideas here, but I think that you missed one, content curation. Sometimes I share articles from other businesses and my audience always like it.
    Really enjoying your content though, it would be great to see more social media marketing articles.
    Thanks, Anika.

  2. Hi there thanks for sharing these tips and tricks with us, I am surely going to try them and ill share the outcome with you. Loved these ideas and got a lot to learn from it. Thanks for sharing such an informative article.

  3. Hi Josh, Thanks for such insightful post. I use most of them on my company’s social media and do the repuroposing thing with our blog too. However, for the social media, I got tired recently. The follower growth has been so slow and near static. What can I do to make it go out of this state of inertia, organically (mostly, then inorganically but on a lean budget).

    1. Hey Raphael, thanks for the comment.
      It’s great to hear that you are repurposing and reusing content – it’s an effective way to optimise your time.
      If you’re posting regularly (every day) and your content is targeted at your market – your next aim is to market that content effectively. This means doing what you can to get that content in front of new audiences. There are lots of things you could try, including paid ads, reaching out to influencers, commenting, liking and engaging with your target market.
      Ultimately, the more you invest in your social media channels (in time and money), the more valuable your asset will become.
      I’ll definitely cover social media marketing tactics in more depth soon!

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