Social media content creation is the basis of every social media strategy. Without content, there is nothing to post, like, share, or analyze — and it’s impossible to promote products or services online.
Creating content for social media can be anything from writing a catchy caption all the way through to designing a major integrated social campaign with a large team and multiple influencers.
For either of these options, or anything in between, you need a content marketing strategy to develop great content effectively, and content creation tools to do so efficiently. We’ll guide you through all of that in this post.
Craft perfect posts in seconds
OwlyWriter AI instantly generates captions and content ideas for every social media network. It’s seriously easy.
Content creation is the process of creating content. But what does this mean, exactly?
Just about anything can be content, from blog posts to TikToks to whitepapers and even books. Basically, content is anything that provides information or entertainment. For marketers and brands, content creation is an important way to build and maintain relationships with potential customers.
Let’s look at all the potential elements that can be involved in turning your ideas into content for social media specifically.
What is social media content creation?
Social media content creation isis the process of creating written content, photography, graphics, and videos for different social media platforms.
It’s also important to note that social media content creation is much more interactive than other forms of content creation. You don’t create content in a bubble. Whether you’re highlighting user-generated content, creating a TikTik Stitch, or using trending audio to guide your content ideas, you’re part of a larger ecosystem.
Here are some of the elements involved in social media content creation. (We’ll dive deeper into how all of these roles work together to form your social media content strategy in the next section.)
Writing: Putting words on the screen — from headlines and video overlay text through to copy for longer posts on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Photography/videography: Capturing photos and/or video footage, like product shots or behind-the-scenes tours. This could involve professional equipment, but depending on your needs, it can also be done with a smartphone.
Video editing: Compiling clips into a finished product.
Graphic design: Combining words and graphics into a meme, infographic, highlight cover, or any other visual that you use on social media.
Let’s put those ideas into action!
Bonus: Download our free, customizable social media calendar template to easily plan and schedule all your content in advance.
1. Do your research
Any good process starts with research. Sure, everything is content, but that doesn’t mean you can just post whatever you want on your social channels and call it a day.
Before you start creating content, you need to know what kind of content resonates with your audience, or your potential target audience.
If you already have a solid following on your social channels, you can start with your social media analytics. These will help you understand what’s already working for you, so that you can model this success.
But social changes fast, so you can’t limit your research to your owned accounts. Social listening is a good way to get a sense of what’s happening in your industry, and what people are talking about when they talk about your business on social media.
Finally, keep an eye on trending hashtags, topics, and audio. You won’t necessarily want to jump on every trend that comes along, but you’ll spot some good digital content creation ideas that may help your content achieve greater engagement and wider reach.
2. Set goals
Now that you have a sense of what’s happening in your industry, you can start to set some goals for your social media content. Are you trying to drive people to your blog? Grow your following? Make sales through social commerce? Maybe all of the above?
The kind of content you create will vary based on what you want it to achieve. For instance, your call to action will be quite different for a sales post versus a post designed to build brand awareness and engagement.
It’s a good idea to get specific with your goals using the SMART goal-setting framework. This forces you to think in detail about what you can achieve with your social content, and how you might get to where you want to be.
3. Have a creative brainstorm
Whether you’re a one-person shop or you have a large social team, take some time to get some ideas up on the whiteboard. (It doesn’t matter whether the actual whiteboard is literal or metaphorical, just that you gather all of your ideas in one place).
This is “no bad ideas” time. Everyone on your team has unique experiences with social, both personally and professionally, that will inform their content ideas and expectations. Allowing everyone to share freely brings all of that knowledge into your shared braintrust, where it can morph into high-quality social content campaigns.
4. Assign roles
Remember all those components of social media content creation we mentioned above? If you haven’t already got team members assigned to each of those tasks, the time to do so is now.
It’s also time to set up a solid social media approval process, so everyone understands where their work fits into the overall picture, and how their deadlines impact the rest of the team.
If you are a small business owner, you may not have anyone to assign roles to. Don’t panic! Remember, everything is content. You can definitely start out by creating all of your content on your own. It doesn’t have to be complicated or take up a lot of your time.
Even large teams don’t have to do everything themselves. This is a good time to think about whether you want to outsource some digital content creation tasks to freelance writers or designers. You should also think about how to source and incorporate user-generated content, and how to include curated content in your social media marketing strategy.
Finally, consider whether you want to work with outside content creators — aka influencers. This could be for a specific campaign, or an ongoing relationship.
5. Build a content calendar
A social media content calendar allows you to plan your content mix across social channels, so you get the most value from your digital content creation efforts.
We’ve created a content calendar template to help you plan how to use content resources across your social accounts. For example, say you want to drive social traffic to a new blog post. You can use your content calendar to plan out when to post the relevant Facebook post, TikTok, and Instagram Reel.
Here’s how to set up your content calendar using our free template.
6. Schedule your content
Once you’ve filled in your content calendar, it’s time to set your content up for publishing. Sure, you could post each post manually at the assigned time, but that’s a huge time-waster that also sets you up to make simple mistakes like typos and broken links.
Scheduling content in advance gives you a real-time view of your content plan, and allows time to double-check all the details. It also simplifies your workflow by condensing the time you spend actually publishing content into one block, rather than having to interrupt your work throughout the day.
7. Build your content library
There’s no need to create every piece of social content from scratch. On your busiest days, you’ll thank yourself for having the foresight to create a content library.
Any successful social post can be made into a template for future posts. You can also add approved images to your content library, whether those are created in-house or acquired from a royalty-free resource.
As your content library grows, you’ll have more options for creating new social content without recreating the wheel.
8. Analyze your results
The content creation process ends back where it started. Analyze your results to see what worked and what didn’t, and use your findings to guide your research and planning into what to do next.
Set some new goals and do it all again.
#1 Analytics Tool for Growth
Beautiful reports. Clear data. Actionable insights to help you grow faster.
Hootsuite can level up your social media content creation in several ways.
First, the Hootsuite Composer allows you to create content for multiple social networks all in one location. You can even customize and tweak a single piece of content to publish effectively on different accounts.
Composer also includes an extensive royalty-free media library and powerful image editing tools, so you can start creating content without any in-house photography or design skills.
And if you want to take your edits to the next level, you can use Canva inside the Hootsuite dashboard (no add-on downloads required).
To use Canva in Hootsuite:
Log in to your Hootsuite account and head to Composer.
Click on the purple Canva icon in the bottom right corner of the content editor.
Select the type of visual you want to create. You can pick a network-optimized size from the drop-down list or start a new custom design.
When you make your selection, a login pop-up window will open. Sign in using your Canva credentials or follow the prompts to start a new Canva account. (In case you were wondering — yes, this feature does work with free Canva accounts!)
Design your image in the Canva editor.
When you’re done editing, click Add to post in the top right corner. The image will automatically be uploaded to the social post you’re building in Composer.
Once your content is ready to go, Hootsuite Publisher allows you to schedule posts to align with your content calendar. It even provides custom recommendations about the best time to post based on your own social analytics.
Hootsuite’s Content Library, collaborative drafts, social listening features, and content curation tools also ease the effort of social media content creation.
OwlyWriter will generate a list of post ideas related to the topic:
Click on the one you like best to move to the next step — captions and hashtags.
Pick the caption you like and click Create post. The caption will open in Hootsuite Composer, where you can make edits, add media files and links, check the copy against your compliance guidelines — and schedule your post to go live later.
And that’s it! OwlyWriter never runs out of ideas, so you can repeat this process until your social media calendar is full — and sit back to watch your engagement grow.
This is a great social media content creation tool for anyone who podcasts or creates other audio content. You just upload or import audio, and Audiogram creates a social video with automatically generated captions and an animated waveform.
RiteBoost helps with content creation for social media by auto-generating static images or GIFs from your post text. It also automates some of the more mundane aspects of content creation, like adding hashtags, emojis, and author attribution.
Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that helps users write clear, mistake-free copy.
Did you know that you can use Grammarly right in your Hootsuite dashboard, even if you don’t have a Grammarly account?
With Grammarly’s real-time suggestions for correctness, clarity, and tone, you can write better social posts faster — and never worry about publishing a typo again. (We’ve all been there.)
To start using Grammarly in your Hootsuite dashboard:
Log in to your Hootsuite account.
Head to the Composer.
When Grammarly detects a writing improvement, it will immediately make a new word, phrase, or punctuation suggestion. It will also analyze the style and tone of your copy in real-time and recommend edits that you can make with just one click.
Social content needs to be crisp, clear, and easy to understand at a glance. The Hemingway App helps with all of the above by analyzing the readability of your content and providing recommendations to make your writing less complex and more concise.
Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more. Try it free today.