Social media is one of those things that looks simple and easy from the outside, but will quickly become one of the most time consuming elements of your business or creative project. The content you share on social media is of the utmost importance in creating your brand and serves as the face of your business – so quality, consistency and interesting content are extremely important.
Below are some tips of the trade to hopefully streamline the process for you, and to show you that digital content creation can be a whole lot of fun too.
1 Share and resource
Until you’ve mastered the art of digital content creation and while time can be poor as a business owner or creative, sometimes sharing others’ content is an easy means to get the ball rolling. Sites like Pinterest are great resources for images, with thousands of easy to search through photos that can be handpicked to suit your branding. Pexels is also a free-to-use image stock site with a great array of images.
Scroll through Facebook and you’ll see plenty of memes, GIFs and humorous videos. If you’re looking for an easy ‘like’ and this sort of content fits in with your brand, then by all means share away. It’s always worth remembering that this content mostly benefits the main creator, so making your own is always in your best interest.
Sharing is a great timesaving option; so keep up-to-speed with what others are doing by following pages similar to your own brand and voice. Don’t forget when sharing to credit the original creator – there’s nothing worse than seemingly taking credit for something you didn’t make and getting called out for that on socials is even more harmful.
2 Harness video content
With the ease and improved quality of video capabilities on your smartphone, there’s no reason why video can’t be something you can access for your creative project or business. Something as simple as a Boomerang (you’ll need an app for this, more below) can add a bit of life and interest to what is otherwise a motionless feed.
When using Boomerang, it’s best to have the shot featuring a person – whether that’s yourself or a worker – as there’s something so engaging about seeing a human face. Keep it fun, easy and with an understandable message for your audience. Popular Boomerang clips feature people jumping and dancing all the while spruiking some sort of product or milestone. These make for great clips to share via Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Making GIFs is also easier than ever with plenty of free sites online to create a GIF with ease (we recommend gifmaker.me). Simply find the images you want to put into the GIF, ensure they are the same specs, upload and then you’re done. When creating GIFs it’s important to have a message and not just a stack of random images. Slotting in written graphics can help to convey whatever it is you’re trying to promote or showcase via your socials. For instance, maybe you’re doing an end of year re-cap, you’ve just released a slew of new products or have added new items to your café’s menu? Either way, images and videos speak volumes.
Lastly, with the improved quality of cameras in smartphones, it’s even easier to create high quality video content. Better yet, with the connect-ability of your phone to socials, you can make a live video direct to Instagram and Facebook. This function is best for a gig, event or Q&A format where your fans can ask you questions direct. A pro tip is to get a stand or somewhere sturdy when shooting your live video, there’s nothing worse than a shaky video as it’s something you can’t edit away with the live nature of the footage. So at your next gig don’t miss the opportunity for creating some great digital content and get someone you know to capture the whole thing live.
3 Get ‘appy’
As mentioned above with Boomerang, there are so many apps that can speed-up and streamline the process of making great digital content. While Boomerang is great for creating short video snaps, iMovie (for iPhone users) is a simple tool to take your clips shot via your phone to the next level. FilmoraGo is another great video-editing app that also enables you to add in music, speed up content and trim footage.
If it’s graphics you’re after, look at downloading Canva. It will be one of the best decisions of your life. The app has the specs and templates pre-built for most social media platforms with complete edit-ability. So if you’re not savvy with the Adobe Suite or don’t have the time, it’s the perfect solution for a high quality result. This can be used for promoting sales, new products or to have written content on a great image for your feed. You can even make fliers with this app!
Font Candy is a great app for adding typography to your images, and will do a similar thing to Canva above but on a simpler format.
4 Utilise influencers and personalities
Whether you are one yourself or you’ve got contacts with a TV personality, football player or musician, having someone with “pull” on your feed does wanders for the credibility of your brand. Essentially it says: we think our business is pretty cool and so does this celebrity. This at times can be an expensive venture if you don’t have the right contacts, but if you do, it can do wonders for your socials at barely any expense. Pair this with your video skills above and you’ll have yourself some top notch (and pretty successful) content for your sites.
5 Learn the art of styling
Making things look good isn’t something that comes naturally, and making things look good for social media is a whole other story. Chances are you’ve seen the #flatlay hashtag, and there’s a reason why this medium of showcasing products is so damn popular – particularly for Instagram.
There are workshops you can do with flat lay specialists (often with stylists and visual merchandisers), however there are plenty of resources online to help you on your journey. Practice makes perfect is a great saying that rings true in this instance. Head to Canon Australia, as they have a great resource on flat lay tips with Instagram leaders of the craft who give advice for avoiding harsh lighting to eliminate shadows, getting up high to take the photo and experimenting with different shapes, textures and colours for the image.
A flat lay is the perfect solution to a great image for socials if you can’t get out or don’t have the time to capture video. It can be done anywhere, and is a great means in showcasing products. If you’re serious about flat lay, we recommend purchasing a light box and several re-usable props.
Better yet, Oxygen College will be commencing a Digital Content Creation course in 2018 to cover everything above and more – showing you hands-on how to create these digital elements for your business.