5 easy ways to create effective social media posts
Coming up with fresh content for social media posts doesn’t have to feel like you drew the short straw and get to be the one to clean out the communal microwave.
Chances are you’ve already written and published some fabulous content that you can draw on to create engaging and educational posts to challenge and inform your followers. Like me, you too probably have a collection of blog posts, newsletters, testimonials, project or product reviews, and a bunch of other material that you can mine for gold content.
We don’t always have to create something brand spanking new. And we can recycle what we have already created. So, instead of creating a topical post around a current trend or newsworthy story, think about creating ‘evergreen’ content. That’s the sort of social media post that doesn’t ever date. You can schedule it to post now and again in the future and because the content isn’t tied to a date, your followers won’t pull a face when they read it like they’ve just drawn a short straw and have to clean out that communal microwave.
For maximum efficiency, set aside a block of time to work on a batch of posts. Rather than feeling the pressure each day to come up with something fresh to post, spend time once a week or so to create a batch of posts and their accompanying images and hashtags. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and lighten the daily admin load that comes with posting fresh content Every. Single. Day.
Here are 5 ideas for turning your existing content into thoughtful social media posts that deliver true value.
1. Turn your best tips into a series of images
You’re bound to have blog posts, helpful emails sent to colleagues or customers, or some other informative article you’ve published that features some pretty darn good advice.
To create effective social media posts, the key is to distil your advice into bite-sized chunks that people can digest and draw value from in just a few seconds. Instagram limits us to 10 images per post. On LinkedIn, it’s 9. Facebook? I haven’t reached the limit yet, but it’s safe to say it’s more than 10. Keep these limits in mind when creating your image series.
Not a graphic design wiz? No problem. Free tools like Canva or Easil make it so easy to create beautiful, branded images. With pre-sized graphics to suit each social media platform, it’s as easy as uploading your logo, setting your brand colours, and typing up your tips.
Use your last image to create a call to action—what do you want someone to do next? Visit your website? Give you a call? Send a direct message? Whatever it is, add that call to action in your final image.
When you’ve downloaded your images from Canva or the like, add them to your relevant social networks. You can stagger your postings across several days or even weeks to make the content feel fresh. For example, the first week you could add the image series to Instagram, then to LinkedIn the following week, and finally, to your Facebook business page.
For content accessibility, include the full text from your tip images in your actual post when you upload the images.
Re-use the images in your Stories, which might attract more traction than your feed posts.
2. Use your testimonials or reviews
Nothing sells your product or service better than someone else selling it for you.
For us in Australia, it’s hard to ‘brag’ about how good we are. We’re embedded in a culture that likes to cut its tall poppies down. The easiest way around this is to let others do the selling for you. And one way to do that effectively is to mine your testimonials or reviews for the gold statements that showcase just how good you or your products are.
Find those statements and turn them into branded images you can share on your social media accounts. If someone wrote hundreds of words, don’t try and cram all of that into a single image. Choose a key statement or phrase from the testimonial or review and then include the rest of the text in your post.
Decide on your call to action and include that in the post, too. It might be a link to the product page so people can buy it. Or it might be inviting people to contact you through your preferred method.
When you add the post, tag the business or person who gave you the testimonial for extra reach.
Share the testimonial in your Stories, too.
3. Share the best bits of your blog post
Perhaps the most obvious of all tasks is to share the best parts of your blog posts in a social media post. You might find you can get 3, 4, 5 or even more social posts out of a single blog post.
How’s that for a ready-made content bonanza?
It’s OK these days to post longer-form content on social media. You can try it, test it, and see what the analytics say about your reach and engagement on this longer-form social content.
If you haven’t already created a suitable branded graphic for your post, create one and embed it in the post and use it for your social post.
Add a call to action such as linking back to the full post. The research is inconclusive, but some say posts that share the link in the comments rather than in the post itself get better reach because social media platforms want to keep people within their playground, not click away.
Add the blog graphic with your call to action to your Stories as well for extra coverage.
Too easy! You’ll be grinning like the office grot just drew the short straw and has to clean the communal microwave.
4. Film a video introducing existing content
Use Google Analytics to work out which posts are your top-performing ones that attract the most visits.
Record a short video to introduce one of these posts. What are the key takeaways from it? Or what is the 1 thing you want people to know after reading your post? That’s what you want to talk about in your video.
You don’t need fancy equipment to record it. Use your phone or webcam. If you’re a bit shy about showing your face on screen, use a free tool like Loom to record the screen. You can talk about the key message in your blog post and show the actual post on your website while recording the screen. Your head will be postage-stamp sized in the bottom corner.
The trick is to not overthink it. The video only needs to be super short. Think 1-2 minutes.
Upload your video to YouTube, share it directly to your social channels, or both. You can also use the video in Reels or Stories. Link to the blog post in the comments section or in the social media post itself.
Add captions so people can watch it without sound, which is how a lot of people prefer to watch videos these days while scrolling their social media news feed.
By turning a popular blog post into a short video, you’ve found an easy way to share some of that gold content you’ve already created.
5. Promote yourself
It’s perfectly OK to throw a promotional post into the mix (so long as promo posts are not the only thing you’re doing on social media).
Choose a product or service that you’d like to promote. Use or repurpose the marketing content you already have for this product or service and turn it into your social content.
In your post, share some of the key information from your marketing materials about that product or service that showcase its benefits.
Add your call to action, which will most likely be to buy or enquire about the product or service.
If it’s relevant to your social media platforms, add hashtags.
Add it to your Stories or Reels, too, for extra reach.
Applying the 3 Rs of content recycling
Recycling your content is smart. You’ll save time, especially when you batch up and schedule a series of posts at the one time.
You’ll save the brain drain of not having to come up with fresh ideas every single day.
To make the creation of social media posts feel less like a microwave cleaning chore, keep the 3 Rs of content recycling in mind:
- Reduce – mine your existing content for the gold stuff so you don’t have to keep coming up with new ideas.
- Reuse – create social media posts with your existing content.
- Recycle – share evergreen posts again and again across your social media channels.
And if you ever tasked with cleaning that microwave? Cook an uncovered mug of water for 2 minutes to soften those baked-on bits of splattered tuna curry.