Staying on top of social media management can be a lot of work.
Platforms are constantly changing their algorithms and posting recommendations, new platforms pop-up out of nowhere (hello Threads), it seems as if you’re expected to know how to create graphics, edit videos, be a skilled photographer and write captivating captions all at once, and the content creation process is never-ending if you want to remain relevant.
It can feel like a full-time job to keep up!
In fact, for many companies, social media management is one of the first things they outsource – generally to a social media freelancer or an agency that can take some of this work off their plate.
If you’re not ready to outsource, managing your company’s social media presence in-house is also of course feasible – but only if you’re strategic in your approach.
That means knowing your business goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to give you a general direction for content, developing a system around consistent content creation so you’re not just showing up when it’s convenient for you (spoiler alert: if you do that, you’re likely very rarely going to show up because there is so much else already on your plate), and then tracking your progress regularly by reviewing data and asking for audience feedback.
Let’s break this process down a little more to give you a beginner social media content creation guide you can easily follow for your small business.
7 steps to take to develop your social media presence and content creation strategy
Know your goals and KPIs.
Goals and KPIs provide a clear direction for you and your content strategy, so you’re not approaching social media aimlessly.
What is the purpose behind you being on social media? Is it to find more leads? Educate people on your products or services? Provide value for your audience? Entertain? Increase awareness and expand reach? Drive traffic to your website?
While “all of these” might be your answer, honing in on a couple main targets can help you to develop a clear approach to your content, the platforms you decide to be on, and how often you show up.
Develop clear, specific, measurable, and attainable goals that will drive your business in the right direction.
Based on these overarching business goals, you should also decide on some KPIs to help you track if your strategy is successful.
Metrics like followers, reach, engagement rate, posting frequency, clicks, and shares, can help you see what content is resonating and where tweaks might need to be made to make your content more effective.
Decide on the platforms you’re going to show up on consistently.
While it may be advantageous to reserve your company name (or “handle”) on every social media platform, actually showing up on each of them consistently isn’t necessary.
Especially when your business is in the beginning stages, chances are you only have the resources to show up on a few platforms.
Each social media platform has slightly different requirements, recommendations, and best practices for content creation:
- Caption capabilities vary among platforms. On some platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, links are clickable and therefore can be helpful for directing traffic, whereas on other platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok, links in captions aren’t. Instead, on these platforms users need to be directed to click the “link in your bio” to continue their search.
- Hashtag recommendations are different for each platform.
- Platforms often have different preferred content types (Instagram = photos, graphics, and video, Tik Tok and YouTube = video (or carousel photos on Tik Tok), Twitter and Threads = mostly text), which means content may have to be modified or revised for each.
- Post frequency, length of content, and highest engagement times (the times at which your content is likely to perform best) may also vary among platforms, meaning you may want to move posts around in your scheduling platforms.
- Audiences will likely vary among platforms, meaning you may want to change captions to more specifically target each audience. For example, LinkedIn tends to be more business related and formal, whereas Instagram might be able to be approached more casually.
All of these variables result in added time, energy, and potentially money for each additional platform you decide to be present on (especially if you’re paying someone on your team to create content, a photographer to do photoshoots for you, or a graphic designer to support you with graphics).
To streamline and optimize your efforts, I recommend starting with 1-2 platforms. These should be chosen based on what makes the most sense for your company and your ideal client or customer.
- What platforms are your ideal clients on? Take a look at the statistics around platform demographics to give you an idea.
- What platforms do you like best? While your personal interests are not always the best indicator of where your content will perform best, if you enjoy the content you’re creating and are able to give more of your energy to it, chances are you’ll create better content.
- What content forms best showcase your products/ services and your company? If you’re great at showing up authentically on video, Tik Tok or Instagram Reels might be best for you. If you’re a photographer, Instagram might be the best place to showcase your work. If you’re a business coach or a writer, LinkedIn is likely a great place to share articles, stats, or other posts surrounding your work.
You can always add onto these in the future as your team and capacity grows. But, if you start off with too many platforms from the get-go, changes are you’ll end up feeling burnt out.
Determine your posting frequency.
Consistency is key when it comes to social media. Posting once every few months isn’t going to support your company in building traction online.
Showing up 1-2 times weekly on most platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Pinterest, etc.) is my minimum recommendation to keep your company relevant and front-of-mind for your audience. For longer form content like YouTube, once a month may be sufficient.
This frequency will allow you to provide value, showcase your products, and answer audience questions, while still being manageable for you and your team.
If you start off too strong – for example going from nothing to posting 5x/ week across 3 platforms, you’ll be more likely to feel overwhelmed.
Just like the number of platforms you’re on, you can always increase posting frequency over time as your business grows.
Here are some general posting guidelines for popular social media platforms.
Audit your current platforms and content, and/or competitors.
If you have previous social media content to look back on as a benchmark, take some time to audit it.
What’s performing well based on your goals and KPIs? What’s not working? Use this information to inform your content moving forward.
If you don’t have any content to review (for example if you’re starting from scratch), look to competitor accounts to give you some insight.
Once you move forward with your new strategy, be sure to add in regular check-ins every month or so to review how your content is performing, and make changes where necessary.
Decide on 5 pillars of content.
Based on your audience, your company, and your offers, decide on approximately 5 pillars that you can create posts about.
You want your content to have variety, but you also want everything you post to embody what your company stands for and what you’re about.
Deciding on 5 topics that your brand will constantly discuss and create content around, helps you to become known for these topics among your audience members.
It will also help attract new audience members with similar interests.
For example, if you’re a business coach maybe your content pillars include:
- Motivational quotes to support entrepreneurs
- Client testimonials and feedback
- Work-life balance tips
- An element of your personal life that helps your content be unique and relateable (your meditation practice, fitness, a favorite drink, your pet, etc.)
- Reviewing local businesses to give suggestions for improvement
If you sell a wellness product like a supplement or greens powder, your content pillars might include:
- Morning routine tips
- Healthy recipes (sometimes including your product)
- Information about the supplement / ingredients in the product
- Self-care quotes
- UGC (user generated content) of members of your audience incorporating the product into their routine
These content pillars will be unique to you and your company. They give you the opportunity to be consistent with your messaging, without constantly repeating yourself.
- What would your audience find valuable?
- How can you entertain? Educate? Inspire?
- What are your business goals? What content would support these?
Utilize content calendars to stay on track.
A content calendar like this is a template that allows you to plan and organize your content in advance.
With a content calendar, you’ll never find yourself stuck, not knowing what to post about.
I recommend building yours out for the entire month, a few weeks before the next month begins.
Look for relevant holidays for your company, and also include upcoming events, launches, or products/ services you want to promote.
The calendar should include the theme of the post, the platform(s) it’s to be posted on, a description of the graphic/ image/ video that needs to be created or that should be used, and the CTA that makes the most sense.
Keep your content pillars in mind as you build this calendar out, cycling through them so your content remains focused and streamlined.
Use a scheduling tool.
As you move from the planning stages of your content, to the actual content creation, use an online tool to schedule in posts to go live.
If you’re just posting on Instagram and Facebook, you can likely get away with scheduling your posts for free through the Facebook Meta Business Suite.
Alternatively, you can always just expand your content calendar to include full captions and links to created content, so that when a post is meant to go live it’s a simple matter of copying the content, pasting it into the platform, and clicking upload.
As you grow, I would definitely recommend investing in paid software to cut your workload down.
Social media is an essential part of your marketing strategy
You don’t want to be stuck each day trying to figure out what to post or else chances are nothing will get posted at all.
Your daily to-do list is likely already overflowing, and so adding in daily work of coming up with a post idea, writing the caption, creating the content and posting it, is likely to get pushed to the side.
Or, if you do this daily content creation first thing in the morning, other priority items that would have moved the needle in your company will get forgotten.
Scheduling in a day or two each month to review the previous month of content, and plan for the next is much more feasible.
Batching tasks like this also means you’re more likely to get in a content creation groove, and that flow state will allow you to create more content in less time.
I know running your own business is hard, never mind keeping up with the latest trends and social media strategies. However, avoiding social media altogether likely also isn’t an option for your business.
Showing up consistently online allows you to gain publicity, develop trust with current and potential customers, provide value, and connect with your audience on a deeper level.
When you have clear systems and processes in place for this content creation (like those outlined above), showing up for your audience can be a fun and rewarding experience.
But, when you shy away from social media altogether or try to come up with post ideas on the fly each week, creating content can turn into an overwhelming task that you end up dreading.
As a reminder, when you’re just getting started, simply focus on showing up on a weekly basis on the 1-2 platforms your ideal clients are on most.
As your business grows and you’re able to hire additional support, that frequency can increase along with the number of platforms you’re on.
Ready to hire? I’ve written an entire post about what to look for when hiring a social media management service.
Otherwise, I hope this post provides a helpful guide for you as you begin to show up more frequently online!