Social media can feel like a hungry beast. It can be overwhelming to constantly feed new content into social streams which seem to have an insatiable appetite for more. So how do you create quality content for your business quickly without burning yourself out? Here are a few ideas from social media expert Nicky Kriel to help you:
Top tips for creating content quickly
1. Look at your existing marketing content: Have a look at the content on your website, in marketing brochures, videos, pictures and presentations. These can spark ideas for blog posts and posts for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
2. Search your sent email box: There is a good chance that you’ve written a long email explaining something to a customer or colleague. Create a heading with a sentence or two as an introduction, list out the key ideas as bullet points, add a conclusion and you’ve got a quick blog post.
3. Answer frequently asked questions: Speak to any of your colleagues who deal with customers daily and ask them what questions they get asked the most. Record their answer too. Write these questions and answers as helpful blog posts.
4. Get everyone to write down or tell you their top tips: Choose a theme like ’summer breaks’ and get your colleagues to give you a tip or two. Each tip can be used separately as short posts on social media and combined as a quick blog post.
5. Interview an expert or an outdoor enthusiast (like a customer!) Your smartphone has a dictaphone or if you’re feeling brave record it as a video. Get the recording transcribed and edit it. Without even trying, you’ve got an original blog post!
6. Curate content: If you find a relevant article or news story, you can create a blog around it easily. Its good practice to write a new headline and add your own picture. Introduce the article by adding context and always add a link to the original article and attribution to the author. Add your own commentary about the article or news story. Pull in one or two useful quotes from the original article and you’re done.
7. Collect all your ideas in one place: When you have inspiration, write down a few notes. These notes will be very useful when you need to write a blog post. Collect all these ideas, quotes and links to useful articles in one place using a tool like Evernote so that you can access them easily.
Top 5 time saving tips
1. Repurpose longer form content: Have a look at content you’ve already created like your old blog posts, catalogues and website pages. Are there bite-sized nuggets you can share on social media like Facebook and Twitter? Can you present the information in a different format, such as audio, video or a presentation on SlideShare? You will be amazed at how much content you already have.
2. Batch content production to save time: Visual content gets far more engagement and shares than text only. It’s quicker to generate a batch of 10 or 20 images rather than doing them one-by-one, and it provides consistency. Create a simple branded background for different tips or quotes.
3. Plan ahead: If you’re going to get a video production company in for a shoot, it’s more efficient to shoot several short videos at the same time. If you have an instore promotion, can you do a Facebook Live and take pictures that could be used for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter later? Create a content calendar so you know what events, promotions and seasons are coming up and plan accordingly.
4. Use tried and tested formulas: Certain patterns have been proved to work for sales, so there’s no need to recreate the wheel. Why not use a formula that gets results for example: the before – after – bridge format. Here’s how it works. The first part of the tweet or Facebook post states the ‘before’, such as ‘Here’s your problem’. The second part gives you the ‘after’, such as, ‘Imagine what it would be like having your problem solved’. The final part gives you the ‘bridge’ between the before and after, such as, ‘Here’s how to get there’. An example of this would be ‘Planning a multi-day mountain backpacking trip? Here’s a light, high-performance waterproof jacket great for extended use.
5. Have a structured process for distributing and promoting content: Create a process you can repeat every time your content is complete to save time. Think about where the content will get distributed and promoted and how you’re going to promote it. If you use influencers, work out a way they get notified and a list of their twitter handles for tagging. How are you going to repurpose the content? When and where? Look out for tools that will help automate this.
Your studio in your pocket
Your smartphone is probably only an arms-length away throughout your day. Images are powerful to add to any social media piece. All your images don’t need to be stunning photographs; capturing behind-the-scenes moments are interesting to your customers too.
• There are great apps that can improve the quality of your pictures, such as using the filters on Instagram.
• Add words to images using Word Swag.
• Create videos from your images within minutes – see Ripl.com.
• Don’t forget that you can record video and upload it as a post.
• Better still, go live on Facebook or Twitter.
• Audio can also be recorded in the moment and transcribed later.
If you’re stuck in the office or the shop, remember you can ask other people to take some snaps for you.
Other people’s content
A quick source of content are images that other people have taken. Here’s how to use them:
• Search by keywords, location or hashtag on Instagram and Twitter for images that your customers and outdoor enthusiasts have posted.
• Get the person’s permission before you share their photograph
• Share, retweet and regram the pictures and make sure you credit them for the photograph.
It may seem like an impossible mountain to climb at times, but with a little bit of preparation, forethought and planning, you won’t have to forage each time you need to write a new blog post or post an update.