Four tips to lighten the content creation load

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Social media managers wear many hats. They serve as community managers, customer service support, marketers, data scientists and content creators, among many other roles. But it is perhaps that last role—content creator–that can be the toughest of all. Anyone who has put together an editorial content calendar for social media knows just how time-consuming and daunting it can be. “Is this post funny? Is it relevant? On brand? Is this image compelling enough to get someone to pause mid-scroll?” These are just a few of the thoughts that cross a social media manager’s mind as they’re putting together a content calendar.

To help lighten that load, we’re sharing a few tips and ideas to make the process of gathering and creating content more efficient.

Create templated graphics

While we know that copy-heavy status updates don’t perform as well as shorter, punchier updates, we have seen success in sharing useful information that is text-based via a visual graphic. This is an especially welcome format for sharing things like stats, quotes and step-by-step instructions. Creating a graphic template using your brand standards that can be re-purposed by switching out the copy can make uploading posts like this much more efficient.

Empower your people

Content gathering and creation shouldn’t just rest on one person, or one team, for that matter. Great stories and imagery can come from anywhere within an organization, and while your social media team can help you polish and refine that content for external sharing, they can’t be everywhere at once. Obviously, it’s impossible to see and know everything that’s happening internally. You’ll get more authentic on-the ground content if you cast your net wider and invite teammates at all levels of an organization to contribute. Creating a central email or contact for people to submit their photos, stories and ideas for content is one way to help facilitate that.

Schedule content gathering days

Capturing photo and video, editing and uploading can be very time-consuming, especially if done on a one-off basis. We’ve found we can be more efficient by scheduling content gathering days with clients so that we can shoot a lot of photo and video at once and use that visual content throughout the month or quarter. For instance, if you’re setting up for a video shoot, try to think of b-roll you can capture that has more than one use.  You might also try interviewing a handful of people in one day on various topics that you can use for more than one occasion or post. Same goes for photo content. Set aside a day to capture multiple locations or products or subjects and build a bank of assets that you can pull from for a myriad of social media posts down the road.

Re-post, re-post, re-post

If you aren’t already doing this, re-posting should definitely be part of your content arsenal. For one, it’s an easy and great way to engage with your community and two, it’s free ready-made content for your brand! If you’re a consumer-facing CPG brand, there’s nothing more authentic and influential than re-posting a photo or status a follower has created about your product (if the post is positive, obvi). Similarly, if you’re posting about an initiative where other partners are involved, it’s always a great idea to cross-promote to ensure you’re getting in front of audiences beyond your own. Make sure you’re taking advantage of any tagging capabilities on the platform. This is a good way to attract new followers, too.

Creating content can be time and labor intensive, but hopefully these tips can help make that process more efficient. Any one else have content hacks they’d like to share? Drop ’em in the comments below!

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Paulyn Ocampo

Since joining THP in 2008, Paulyn has helped execute strategic plans for clients like AMF Bowling Centers, Allianz, Tridium, Silgan and The Peterson Companies. A Norfolk native, she earned her undergraduate degree in mass communications, with a concentration in public relations from VCU.

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