How to produce great social media content and distribute it quickly

Are you looking for tips to help you create great social media content and save time doing it? We asked Kirstie Smith, winner of Social Media Freelancer of the Year at the Social Media Marketing Awards, to give Drive members a helping hand by answering their content creation questions.

This is a transcript of a discussion in the Drive The Network Facebook Group

How much time should businesses spend creating content?

Kirstie Smith In terms of social media marketing, I always say you should spend the same amount of time actively engaging in your community as you do creating the content – listen as much as you speak.
It also depends on your wider marketing plan – which channels you are using and how they are performing for you.
If you are finding that social media marketing is performing well, then start to scale up.

Helen Lindop Do you have any tips on reducing the time it takes to create and distribute content but without reducing the quality?

Kirstie Smith
I use a designer to create a brand toolkit and to set up a suite of social post templates. I then re-use the same templates for my content.
I like to use canva.com as it’s fab for resizing to the correct dimensions for the social channels.

A photo of a man working while sitting on a clock. Photo by Kevin Ku

How to save time and still create quality content

Louise Lee For those who aren’t experts, do you have some tips about how we can create good content and distribute it quickly?

Kirstie Smith I’d recommend a couple of approaches:
1. Outsource what you don’t enjoy, whether that is writing content or creating graphics.
2. Find a social channel and format that you enjoy.
3. Find a regular source of content ideas, e.g. networking events or meetings or industry news that your clients will find interesting.

Also think about: 

1. Where is your audience active?
2. Where are you comfortable being active (i.e. you might not like Twitter)?
3. What format of content suits you? Long-form video, short-form video, quick conversations, beautiful imagery etc

Make a list of all three of these and where there is a cross-over is where you’ll find the answer of your social media marketing strategy.

How to use video effectively as part of your social media content

Ann Hawkins Our friend Rob Birnie has just published a post about the ROI on video content. I think Rob’s work is great but most video content is cringeworthy so any tips on this would be great.

Kirstie Smith Like any form of content you create, your videos need a strategy. I’d suggest you approach your video strategy in this way:
1. Where are you now?
– Have you created video before, how was it received?
– what are your competitors doing?
– what are your customers asking?
2. What are your objectives?
– is it about awareness, consideration, conversion, reputation?
3. Which channel are you creating it for?
– Home page for your website will be a different proposition to a series of Instagram stories
4. What are the key messages?
5. Who, when, where and how often?

Andy Boothman A good video is one your customer gets value from, that will then encourage engagement via whatever channel you have decided to operate. As Kirstie has said, you need a strategy in place before taking action. Then you can test what works, measure refine and develop more of the good stuff – as rated by your customers not you!

Kirstie Smith Agree with you here, Andy. A video can be a 3-second GIF or Facebook Watch 1 hour 8-part TV series… or anything in between. It comes down to purpose – what are you trying to achieve.

A photo of someone filming on a smart phone.

How to schedule social media content

Andy Boothman  What are your preferred tools for scheduling?

Kirstie Smith Here are my personal choices for scheduling:
1. ContentCal if you have a team and use a number of channels
2. Natively in Facebook and Instagram using Creator Studio for feed posts (new tool they have just released which now lets you schedule Instagram posts)
3. Later.com for Instagram Stories
4. Tweetdeck for Twitter
5. Hootsuite for LinkedIn personal and company page posts

How to repurpose your content

Kirstie Smith This diagram explains this in context of my own marketing.

Kirstie Smith's slide on how to repurpose content

I run a monthly networking each month and we come together to discuss 10 new innovations in social media from the previous month (This is my BIG / LEAD content idea).
1) After the event I type up the 10 innovations and publish as a LinkedIn article
2) The next day, I create a short YouTube video (with a friend so it appears more like a casual conversation, rather than forced face-to-camera) running through the 10 innovations. I use Screencast O Matic (free) to film this.
3) video gets shared on YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook
4) Video gets emailed to the database
5) Innovations get shared as individual LinkedIn posts across the month
6) Innovations get shared as Instagram stories and tweets
What I’m trying to demonstrate here is that if you have one nice chunky, informative, educational and useful content idea, then this can fuel your social media content for a month 🚀

Would you like to know more? Get in touch with Kirstie at Social Circle Digital or follow her on Twitter @10Kirstie.

Kirstie will be speaking at Cambridge Social Media Day. Tickets are available here.