Content Creation Tools

Guess how many social media accounts I manage… six!  I have three of my own (personal, business, and niche) and then three clients.

So how do you think I post consistently to each of those accounts?  I have a plan and I have a lot of great tools that I use. And these tools will help you too whether you manage six, two, or even just one social account.

Batch Scheduling Posts

First up is a scheduling tool called Later.com.  It might seem a bit inauthentic to schedule posts ahead of time but for a business account it is key. You aren’t going to be able to come up with fresh content every day or three times a week or whatever your schedule is. Instead, you need to batch schedule posts. Sit down when you have some time and schedule a week’s worth of posts, or two weeks, or more!

And that doesn’t mean that these posts are set in stone. If you feel a particular inspiration one day, go ahead and post and bump that day’s post to another day.

One thing I love about Later is that it allows you to see a preview of what your Instagram feed will look like. If you are a business, this is important to give a consistent, on-brand appearance to customers. It also is a natural way to keep your content varied enough to be interesting to your audience.

I’m going to add a screenshot of my current Later schedule along with some of my thoughts about the layout and flow of the posts. It’s okay if you think I’m a little bit crazy but it might give you an idea for the sorts of things I look for.

Later has both a browser-based interface and an app so there’s flexibility in how you can use it. It also allows you to save frequent captions like hashtags, tag and filter content, create a link in bio, and more.

Gathering Content

Instagram is a very image-forward social media platform; you need an image in order to post. But the other platforms also benefit from using images. Studies show that people are more likely to click on a post with an image than without.

So then where do you find images?

In some cases, you can/should take your own. But this requires a bit time investment and, without it, it can be difficult to maintain high quality content.

Unsplash is a great source for high-quality and not-cheesy stock photography and all images are free to download.

If you create an account, you can even create albums to save photos for the future. I have one for Dionne Design for images I could potentially use on my social media account, website, or blog. I have another simply called “I like it” for those images that I like for some reason but for which I can’t think of an immediate use. Then I keep folders for each client of images that I might want to use on their social accounts.

Another great, free, not-cheesy, high-quality images site is Pexels. And Pexels also has beautiful videos which can be used as a stand-alone social post or can be edited with music, text, and other footage to create unique video experience..

And the same here: I keep folders of photos for myself and for my clients.

You can also find images on Pinterest or on Instagram. But a warning: If you use someone else’s photo, make sure you properly credit them! This means giving them credit in the caption (“Photo by @talentedphotographer.”) and tagging them in the image or Story.

Designing Graphics

For most of my social media graphics (and the graphics in this story) I use Illustrator but Canva is a great online alternative for non-designers. I even use it myself when I want to pull something together quickly or when I’m stuck for inspiration. Like Later, Canva also has an online and an app option, although I find the app a bit cumbersome.

Canva has templates for every social media platform as well as Etsy shop banners, business cards, fliers, and more.  The templates cover every possible design style (so make sure you choose ones what fit your brand). You can upload your own images or use the Pexels integration. I also recommend uploading some essentials such as your logo and any icons or design features that you regularly use. Then just drag and drop your images into the template, change the text, adjust the colors to suit your brand and you’re set to go!

Here’s an example of how easy it is to make a Canva template your own:

With a few simple– but powerful– tools, you can make your life easier and your social media content better!

6 Comments

Crystal
May 21, 2021 10:16 am

This was so helpful! I’ve been so sporadic in posting to the business site so I’m going to try out Later.com

Sarah Sullivan
May 22, 2021 7:04 am

Fantastic! Batch scheduling really is a game changer!

Mariana Garcia
June 15, 2021 2:54 pm

Thank you Sarah! Very useful!

Sarah Sullivan
June 15, 2021 6:35 pm

I’m so glad1

Katie Langevin
July 13, 2021 9:11 pm

Thank you Sarah, this is such valuable information and such a game changer for me!!

Sarah Sullivan
July 13, 2021 9:30 pm

Awesome! I’m so glad it’s helpful!

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