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What is content creation in social media?

by Emma McCabe on

Over the years, social media has evolved into an unchartered, innovative technology that is used by more than 55% of the world’s population as of 2021. Its influence on and opportunities for the marketing industry are unparalleled, so if you haven’t considered social media content creation for your business, well, uh-oh.

73% of online marketers agreed that social media marketing strategies have been effective in promoting their business. So, if you’re using social media to merely track engagement levels and for promotional efforts, you’re missing the cornerstone piece of the puzzle: high-quality content.

Whether you’re a seasoned copywriter looking to adapt your writing to diverse online formats, a small business looking to reap the benefits that going online has to offer, or you’re completely new to the social media curve, don’t worry. We answer your burning questions about exactly what is content creation in social media AND why it’s important.

What is content creation in social media? Table of contents

    1. What is content creation in social media?
      i. Hallmarks of good social media content
    2. Why is social content creation important?
    3. What are the main benefits of content creation on social media?
      i. Versatility
      ii. Shareability
      iii. Measurable
    4. Top tips for effective content creation on social media
    5. Adding content creation to your strategy

What is content creation in social media?

Social media content creation is content delivered through social platforms or channels for users to consume for pleasure and information. Some of the most popular social networks include:

  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • TikTok, and more.

Different forms of content creation include social posts, infographics, images, shared blog posts, images, videos, live feeds, memes, quizzes and polls. Social media content creation could include posting one or all of these materials to your social media channels.

It could even include user-generated, which means using the posts and engagements of your audience to bolster your output and brand message.

Hallmarks of good social media content

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Although the content is being published on your social channels rather than your website directly, many of the same rules apply as when creating content for your blog.

For instance, today, when you typed something along the lines of ‘what is content creation in social media?’, the results led you to relevant content for your search. You can achieve the same thing with hashtags and keywords in the text of your social posts (within reason since you have far fewer words, so even more tact is required). And with clear calls to action with each post (such as to follow the link, share or like), you can turn viewers into followers and (hopefully) customers.

Like other forms of inbound marketing, effective, engaging content doesn’t push audiences to buy but rather aims to be of value by offering a mix of entertainment, information and exclusives.

Social media is about creating and sustaining a conversation, so rather than simply peddling sales messages, you allow customers to drop in and pick up the conversation when it suits them, placing the decision firmly in their court.

This kind of easy-going, two-way relationship establishes trust. After all, why should potential customers or viewers read or share your content if you can’t put effort into creating something that truly values their time and speaks to them? People will refuse to follow your business if you don’t offer them anything useful.

Granted, you probably won’t master the art of content creation in social media overnight. But the more you create content and measure its impact, the more you will understand who your target audience is and what it is they want.

Why is social content creation important?

Approximately 71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to others if they have a positive experience with it on social media. This is because high-quality content cultivates trust and establishes a relationship with the consumer founded upon mutual exchange: value for purchase. This is the essential requirement in modern marketing where consumers are overwhelmed with choice and unsure who to turn to.

In the digital age, people crave community online. It’s how they meet people, talk with friends, and seek answers or products that fulfil their needs. Therefore, social content creation strategies are important to cultivate communities and provide shareable content that allows people, and brands, to connect. By doing so, you’re capturing the attention of individuals before they’ve even browsed your products or services.

Social media isn’t just for B2C businesses either; check out our blog post on how to do social media for B2B.

What are the main benefits of content creation on social media?

Someone scrolling on a Twitter profile - What is content creation in social media

There are several benefits of social media content creation. With the correct strategies tailored to your company goals, the opportunities for engagement are high. Here are three main advantages:

1. Versatility

Gone are the days where content creation was limited to written content in newspapers, magazines, or broadcast on television to untargeted audiences. Social media content is multi-functional, and its various channels allow for a much bigger reach than traditional advertising.

Each social media platform has its own style and standards of best practice when it comes to posting. That means you can be versatile in how you speak to your audience and share your message.

Image-heavy content? Lead with photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Behind the scenes footage? Upload to YouTube and TikTok. Infographics to share on your latest whitepaper? Post to Twitter or LinkedIn.

Whatever your business goals and the intended readership of your posts, there is a platform for you to post your content to.

2. Shareability

True, traditional advertising methods instantly reach a larger audience. However, it ends there. You can’t share a television advert unless you provide a link to a YouTube video… You get the point. Social media is just that – social.

With a mobile device in most pockets, social media content is far easier to share, both to other users, on other platforms or via private messaging such as SMS, email and more.

A study conducted by Go-Gulf found that images were the most shareable form of content. So, snap a picture of your new book for your blog, upcoming products, or announcements and post it on Instagram or Snapchat. Communicating some important information? Take your images one step further and create an infographic that provides informative content through visual means.

Essentially, social media can infiltrate all corners of the online and offline world, setting off sparks and building chains of communication. That’s why content created on social media can often enjoy a much longer life expectancy. Especially if you’re lucky enough for it to go viral.

3. Measurable

Many social media platforms provide real-time analytic tools, from Twitter Analytics to Instagram Insights, which allow you to measure the success of your social media content creation.

Not only can you see how many impressions and engagements each post scored, but you can see what kind of content is generally more successful with your audience and when they are more active.

You can also find out exactly who your audience is: where they live, their age, interests and even how much they earn, so you know exactly who to pitch your content to. A win for your ROI. 

Top tips for effective content creation on social media

Several young people pointing at a laptop screen - What is content creation in social media

Effective content creation in social media requires you to understand who your target audience is and put together a social content strategy that achieves your business goals while maintaining consistent engagement with them.

The key to all this is to have a strong buyer’s persona. Who are they? Where are they? And what are they searching for in order to get to your business, store or service?

For example, say you’re a hair salon that also sells hair care products online. Customer X might search for hashtags around curly hair whilst customer Y might be searching for thick hair. Social media content creation is about being pre-emptive and answering the questions for potential customers before they ask, through creating blogs, how-to videos, or other means that you can share across your social media channels.

To truly feel the benefits of your increased social media activity, plan your social content according to your business goals. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, increase followers or boost sales on a new product or service? Whatever your direction, always make sure you set a target and a deadline.

In order to establish a two-way conversation, communication needs to be consistent. Create a content creation calendar and stick to it to ensure posts are frequent and that your business is reliable in terms of output. Remember to write in your own unique brand voice and always guide your audience to the next step with a link or call to action.

If you have already been creating content for a while, conduct a social media content audit to find out what worked and what didn’t. Don’t forget to measure this going forward too. Constantly learning from your strategy is how you refine it to achieve greater success in future.

For more steps on how to create effective content, take a look at our content creation checklists.

Is it time you added content creation to your strategy?

Content creation in social media is becoming increasingly important. It allows businesses to speak directly to their target audience and grow their voice and brand from the ground up. It’s also a cheap and flexible way of driving engagement and measuring what works best before commiting to more costly forms of marketing.

The benefits don’t end there either. For customers, knowing you have a visible and accountable presence on social media shows them that you are relevant and reliable, helping them place a greater level of trust in you.

If you’re yet to tap into the social media content trend, this is your calling! Start small, even a few social media posts a day and a weekly blog post is better than nothing.

✏️ Wondering how this all fits in with your greater content marketing plan? Discover the 7 steps to create a winning content marketing plan here.

Header image: Thought Catalog

Embedded images: Laura Chouette, Erik Lucatero, John Schnobrich