8 Ways To Create Social Media Content For Your Online Store

It’s never been a more important time for brands to have a social media presence, so if you’re just starting to post to your business’ socials and are figuring out your social media content for the first time, it can be hard to know what to post.

If you want to create high-quality social media content for your brand’s social profiles then keep reading! We walk through the 8 ways you can create social media content for your brand’s pages so you can grow your following and ultimately, get more traffic and customers coming to your online store.

Let’s get into it.

Create DIY Social Media Content

Creating DIY Social Media Content

One of the best ways to create social media content is to create it yourself. This is an ideal option if you want to have a completely hands-on approach to making your social media content, or if you’re working on a bootstrapped budget and want your social media content to cost as little as possible.

At first glance, if you have no experience creating social media posts, creating social media content from scratch can feel a bit overwhelming. Although you can use software like Photoshop to create great posts, if you don’t have the know-how or budget, it might not seem like the right fit. Don’t worry, there’s another platform you can use that’s much more user-friendly for beginners—Canva.

With Canva, it’s incredibly easy to create beautiful graphics for your social profiles whether you’re posting content on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. It’s a great choice for beginners because there are plenty of social media templates to choose from.

If you’re working within a bootstrapped budget, then Canva may well become your new best friend—at least where social media content creation is concerned. You can use it for free and design as many social posts as you want!

There are some premium design options though, like some templates or images you have to upgrade to their paid plan to use. This route isn’t as expensive as outsourcing though, so it might even be worth the small investment if the premium features are worth it to you!

To get started with Canva, first you’ll have to choose the dimensions of your graphic. Canva has a bunch of pre-made templates for a wide array of different social media posts like Instagram grid posts, Instagram story posts, Facebook cover photos, Pinterest images, etc. If it’s a type of social post, Canva probably has a template for it.

Once you’ve done that, you’re now ready to start designing your post! You can either start from scratch or use one of Canva’s designs. Whichever option you choose, remember that consistency is key for creating a strong brand so keep your branding consistent across every post that you make. Consider using a consistent color palette and fonts—you’ll likely want to pick the same ones that you’re using across all of your online profiles, websites, socials, marketing content, etc.

Bonus: If you need help developing your business’ branding strategy, check out our Branding Guide! It walks you step-by-step through everything you need to consider to create a cohesive brand, and it’ll help you create your own brand bible.

When you’re happy with the social media content you’ve created on Canva, you can save and download it. When posting on social platforms, you should post your images in JPG format so we recommend selecting that option when you download your posts from Canva.

Then, you can go ahead and start posting your new social media content!

Source Social Media Content from Stock Libraries

Sourcing Social Media Content from Stock Libraries

Another viable social media content creation method is sourcing images and videos from high-quality stock libraries. There are literally hundreds of resources that you can access to find images and videos to use on social media so if this seems like a good fit for your brand, it’s worth checking out.

If you’re unsure where to begin, check out our 200+ Curated Graphic & Brand Design Resources post where we list a wide range of free and premium stock photo and video services that curate and create content that brands and businesses can use on places like their social channels.

Stock photos and videos can give your social media content versatility and a professional-looking quality to your posts that you may not be able to achieve yourself. They can give you high-quality results without having to put the time, effort, and funds into creating the assets yourself. If you’re a small team, this can take a lot of work off your plate while still getting the social content you want!

The key to using stock photos and videos in your social media content is to find high-quality stock providers. Take the time to look around to find the providers that match up well to your brand. Some of our favorite stock libraries include Unsplash, Stocksy United, and Offset—all these websites offer extensive collections of high-quality digital assets.

Make Social Media Content from Templates

Tons of talented designers create and sell social media templates online. These templates are great because you can modify them to match your brand and then publish them on your own social channels.

One of the biggest advantages of using templates is that they ensure your social media content looks professional and they keep a cohesive and consistent look throughout all your social posts.

You can purchase high-quality templates from places like Creative Market. These templates are very different from the kinds of templates available on Canva because Canva’s options still require you to do lots of editing—you basically have to put the social posts together yourself. With Creative Market’s templates, however, they’re pretty much ready-made for you to run with—you just have to plug a bit of your own information into them and then you’re ready to go.

We’re not just talking about image-based content, Creative Market also has templates for video content too!

Although purchasing social media templates isn’t a free option, it’s still relatively inexpensive and cheaper than hiring someone to make social media content for you. This makes it ideal for digital merchants who want polished-looking content on a budget.

Turn Social Media Platform Features into Content

Creating Social Media Content from the Platform's Features

Don’t forget that as a brand, you can also generate social media content right from within the social platform itself!

Take Instagram stories as an example: Here, you can create polls, ask questions, and use a variety of the Story features to interact with your audience. Twitter also enables creators to create and publish polls.

This kind of content counts—so don’t overlook it. It can encourage your followers to engage with your profile and you can use it in so many different ways. Best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to use and you don’t have to put a lot of work into designing it—it’s all there in the app for you to use.

Harness User-Generated Content (UGC)

Harnessing User-Generated Content

This is another content creation method that encourages audience participation.

User-generated content is when online merchants create opportunities for their followers to submit images or videos using or wearing the brand’s products. As a brand, you can then post the user-generated content to your social accounts (with each customer’s permission, of course).

There are many benefits to harnessing the power of user-generated content. First of all, you don’t have to spend time, energy, or resources making your own content, plus it also helps you generate lots of social proof and positive press about your products. It’s a huge win-win situation.

Not sure what user-generated content looks like or how it can be used? It’s all around you, and you might not even realize it! Take Coca-Cola, for example. Not too long ago, they launched their range of personalized bottles (also known as the “Share a Coke” campaign) and the world went nuts for them. Customers all around the world were snapping photos of themselves with Coke bottles that had their names on them and posting them on social media.

With this user-generated content campaign, Coca-Cola masterfully created a sense of community while generating social proof surrounding their products. They put content creation in the hands of their consumers and since many of us noticed it and still remember it today, it obviously worked.

Of course, you likely don’t have the same financial resources or consumer reach as The Coca-Cola Company, however, you can still create a similar impact on your customers—albeit, on a smaller scale.

If you like the sound of UGC, you can encourage your audience to submit content by running a contest or giveaway or even by promising a shoutout on your social pages. When you give your audience an incentive, they’re far more likely to participate. Once a few customers get on board, others will likely want to join in!

All in all, UGC is best for merchants who want to put social media content creation in the hands of their audience. It’s ideal for those who either don’t have the time or the skills to craft high-quality social media posts or for entrepreneurs looking for an easy way to harness social proof and boost engagement with their audience.

Commission Influencer-Generated Content

Using Influencer Generated Content

Influencer marketing is a massive industry at the moment, and it’s only continuing to grow. Because of this, utilizing influencer-created social media content is another option worth considering.

Note that getting influencer-generated content is different from influencer marketing though. When you work with an influencer to create content for your brand in this way, it’s so you can post the content to your social media channels, not to theirs. With influencer marketing, the content is usually just posted on the influencer’s channels and then shared on the brand’s, but in this case, it’s usually the opposite. The content is posted to the brand’s account and then the influencer can choose to share it on theirs if they wish.

This content creation method offers two major advantages:

  • Working with influencers can really boost your brand’s reach
  • When influencers create content for you, you’re working with a pro content creator

Plus, you don’t even have to work with influencers that have huge followings—you can work with micro-influencers too. Micro-influencers are known for having very active and engaged followings, plus, they’re likely to be more open to creating content for a brand. When you work with micro-influencers to create content for your brand, you’ll also likely be charged less and you’ll give the influencer work opportunities to add to their portfolio.

Ultimately, this social media content creation method is ideal for merchants that want polished and professional content with the exposure that comes from working with influencers. This method does come with a price tag though, so keep that in mind. The costs largely depend on the influencer’s quality of work and the size of their following, so be sure to bear that in mind before you approach influencers in your niche.

Invite Guests to Take Over Your Socials

Partnering with a Guest for a Social Media Takeover

This is a fun way to produce intriguing content.

If you’re unsure what a social media takeover is, it’s where you partner with another brand or content creator and they literally “take over” your profile.

Typically speaking, guest takeovers usually occur on Instagram or Twitter and if they’re done well, your guest should post content that delights, surprises, and educates your audience.

Similar to working with an influencer, guest takeovers are excellent for reaching new prospects and/or merging audiences. It’s also a perfect opportunity to create exclusive content, behind-the-scenes-style posts, or just stepping out of the box a little bit.

Not only does this style of content provide a refreshing change of pace for your audience, but it also puts your content creation in someone else’s hands. So, for a period of time, you’ll be able to focus your time and energy on other aspects of your business.

Generally, most brands only bring on guests to take over their profile once in a while, but if it works for your brand, you could do it every day, every other day, every week, or every month! Whatever works best for you and your audience.

If you’re thinking about hosting a social media takeover, set goals, and measure the success of your takeover using metrics. Once you have your target(s) at the forefront of your mind, you’ll be better positioned to shape the takeover so that you’ll be a step closer to meeting your goals.

To help fuel you with inspiration, here are a few example objectives and their corresponding metrics:

  • Increasing Engagement: Take note of your audience interaction (likes, comments, views, direct messages, live viewers, etc.) and observe how guest takeovers impact them.
  • Product Promotion: Keep an eye on your website traffic, conversion rate, etc.
  • Boosting Brand Awareness: Keep an eye on your follower count, post reach, number of views, number of mentions, etc.

Who should you invite to take over your account? Typically, there are three types of guests:

  • Authorities in Your Niche: This could include influencers or non-influencers. Outsourcing to an authority in your niche is an excellent choice for providing valuable content to your audience, just from a perspective that’s different from your own. An influencer takeover especially can work really well to boost engagement and brand awareness.
  • Your Team: Alternatively, passing the mic to a team member on your socials is a great way to offer an insider’s view of your brand. This is a fantastic way to build more of a personal relationship with your audience and it’s also excellent for showcasing your company culture.
  • Members of Your Community or Loyal Customers: Recruiting a loyal customer or community member to take over your socials is great if you want to highlight your audience’s expertise or shine a light on their experiences with your brand. They could offer advice, testimonials, reviews, demonstrations, or whatever works for them and your brand.

You’ll also need to consider the type of takeover you’ll run. As we’ve already said, these takeovers are most commonly done on Instagram and Twitter—and for a good reason. On Instagram, there are several different kinds of content your guests can post like an Instagram story, an Instagram Live, or Instagram grid posts. On Twitter, guests can dive into a Q&A session, usually referred to as an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”).

And finally, you’ll also want to consider the following:

  • The Length of Your Takeover: Typically, Instagram grid takeovers last roughly one week, Instagram Story takeovers last one day, and Instagram live video takeovers last about an hour. Twitter AMAs can last anywhere from an hour to a full day.
  • The Type of Content You Want: What do you want your guest to share? Advice, inspiration, opinions, behind-the-scenes content, a review, or a mix of a bunch of things? Whatever it is, let them know and agree to it beforehand.
  • Do You Want a Branded Hashtag? If so, you’ll need to decide on one. You could have a general one for all your takeovers or a unique one for every guest takeover you host.

Hire Freelancers to Make Your Social Content

Hiring Freelancers to Creating Social Media Content

Outsourcing to a freelance designer can be one of the best things your business does if you want to maintain an active presence on social media while taking the workload off of you or your team.

Posting on social media is time-consuming—you have to post frequently and always be posting high-quality content that’s both engaging for your audience and relevant to your brand, so if you want the results that social media can bring, you need to put in the work. For polished, professional, and consistent work, outsource to a freelancer.

You could hire content creators, designers, and/or social media experts to craft social media content for you. On freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and FreeUp, you can find freelancers with a wide range of experience starting at all different price points, and you can usually hire them for short-term work, recurring projects, or even full-time contract work. So if you just want to bring on a social media content creator a few times per year or you want to bring one on to have in-house, you can do that!

If you’re considering this avenue, here are some tips to find high-quality freelancers:

  • Use the Search Filters: We recommend narrowing down your search to the top-rated ones on the platform so you can increase the chances of finding an experienced and high-quality freelancer.
  • Check Out Their Portfolio: Have they created social media content for others in your niche? Do you like their style? Is there work high-quality?
  • Look at Customer Feedback: What do their clients like about the freelancer? Are there any complaints? Has the freelancer helped them achieve their goal?
  • Contact the Freelancer Directly: This is your opportunity to ask any questions you have and to double-check that you’re on the same page and would be a good fit. This step can really help you screen the right freelancer and ensure that you have the potential for a mutually beneficial partnership.

Hiring a freelancer to create social media content for your brand is best for the merchant who wants polished, well-put-together content without having to spend the time creating it. If you choose this route, you’ll also have to be willing to invest in the outsourcing of this work, as high-quality social media content creators should be compensated well for their knowledge and experience. The freelance platforms we mentioned above clearly list the price per hour to hire freelancers, so you can filter your search that way or keep it in mind as you peruse profiles.

Ready to Start Creating Social Media Content?

We hope that you now have a better idea of all the potential avenues you could take to create your own social media content. As you can see, there are lots of methods out there, so if you’re unsure about where to start, begin with the free options and work your way forward from there.