If you are producing a lot of content for social media, you are all too familiar with the time and resource crunch you often find yourself in – forget creating contagious content, pray to make the deadline with somewhat decent copy and illustrations and hope the numbers will magically keep on climbing.
Start by defining your exact needs. Figure out the following:
- What platforms you need content for;
- The sort of content you are going to be needing (video or photo, size/length, general topics/imagery, who can produce it/where you can source it);
- How often you are going to be posting.
The next essential step in making your mass content production for multiple social media accounts is some advance planning:
- Get your clients to provide you with plenty of raw content (images, videos and text), as well as complete calendar of events, product launches and updates they have coming up;
- Stock up on external content sources: copy and image templates, stock photos, self-produced content, like all the breathtaking landscape, beauty and food photos you took during your travels and vacations, as well as just out and about, and templates you developed yourself off your recurring content;
- Plan for backups in terms of outsourcing some of the content production to outside professionals when facing extreme time constraints;
- Facilitate guest posts and expert comments – these usually require some time to come together, so plan ahead;
- Have a toolset ready to produce a variety of content (use our 100 Free Tools to Do Your Own Marketing two-part guide to get you started).
In a pinch, repurpose content. Here’s our detailed guide.
Now, let’s move to actual content production. This is what you can do to save time and create high quality posts quickly.
1. Use templates.
Let’s take this Facebook post about a hypothetical blog entry featuring smoothie recipes that I just came up with:
Since in addition to this Facebook graphic I need images to illustrate my hypothetical blog entry on the blog itself, as well as visuals of the right size to promote the post on other platforms, I click the Resize button in the top right corner next to my design and select all the additional formats I need in the pop up window:
After hitting the Resize button, I get all the resized design duplicates within seconds. Luckily, I didn’t even have to adjust any of them for this design, so here’s my end result that took me literally seconds to achieve:
Disclaimer: with some of the templates the Resize feature will create a bit designs that are slightly off and you’ll need to manually readjust the background or design items and text size, but it’s still a faster way than customizing the same template for each format individually.
2. Add stock images.
Stock images can help create beautiful themed posts even when you have no visuals to illustrate your point. And if you use them right, your followers might not even notice the difference!
Here are our tips on making a stock image work.
3. Try animation.
A picture says a thousand words, and an animated one – even more. Tell your stories faster and more strikingly by using animated content to illustrate your points.
Posts like this one not only garner attention but require very little copy, so you can create them faster than the content that requires longer explainers:
4. Make posts out of long form content your clients produced.
For example, your client posts an article or expert interview to their website. Find an interesting soundbite and make a post out of it:
This way, you are not only creating engaging but low-effort content for one (or several) of the accounts you manage promoting, you are also promoting the long-form source material by your client – it’s a sure win-win.
Here’s another clever way to serve long-form content to followers and creating a supply of posts at the same time – our social media manager divided our massive guide 100 Free Tools to Do Your Own Marketing into multiple smaller bits specifically for Instagram, posting each bit separately in between every three or four posts:
5. Utilize user-generated content.
User-generated content is another popular way to produce plenty of content fast. Starbucks is one company famous for its use of this type of content – their feed relies heavily on regrams of posts made by customers:
Image from Instagram
User-generated content requires time to find all the user gems posted online, but return on that investment is high – you get plenty of compelling content, a rejuvenated feed and engaged customers who feel validated by brand’s attention and appreciation.
Producing content using templates and then resizing it to match every platform, using ready-made animation, creatively presenting your clients’ long-form content, as well as utilizing user-generated content are some of the simplest ways to expedite your social media content production. They will help you get in front of your timetable and have leeway for emergencies, creative setbacks and just taking it easy once in a while;)
If you are looking for specific ideas for posts, one of the 100 tools we recommend in our free marketing tools guide – CoSchedule – has a handy list of 52 ideas for posts that include sharing industry news, bits of useful or unexpected statistics, do question posts and more.