In the world of social media, you can’t afford to just tread water. Growing your audience and satisfying your existing followers means consistently putting out content that’s engaging, eye-catching and relevant.
You might assume that this means you need to invest in expensive tools and premium assets to stay afloat. Thankfully with a little ingenuity and the right strategies, you can generate top quality content without paying a penny. Here’s how.
Start with copyright-free imagery
Paid-for stock images are great if you’ve got a huge corporate budget to work with. For everyone else, it’s far better to pick one of the many free repositories of photos and designs which are out there to use as you see fit.
Bear in mind that you won’t get the best results on social media if you just post a generic image; in most cases it’s better to add your own twist, or use it as the foundation for a more complex creation.
Use the right tools
There are free tools out there that let you make a graphic design without having to shell out for a software license, or pay a subscription on a rolling basis.
Better still, free tools tend to be targeted at users who are not image editing experts. This means that they are more intuitive and have a shallower learning curve, so it won’t take you long to get to grips with what they can do.
Check out current trends
Another of the challenges when making social media content is working out what you want to focus on, and how you want to put this across to your followers.
If you’re struggling for inspiration, checking up on the latest trends is sensible. You should also do this on a regular basis, since fads can come and go quickly, and you don’t want to find that the content you are working on has already been rendered irrelevant.
Also be aware of how content trends fit in with your target audience. If a trend is getting a lot of traction but it’s not relevant to the people you want to connect with, then it’s not worth pursuing.
See what rivals are up to
Another free way to create visually appealing social media content is to take inspiration from what your competitors in the same market niche are doing.
More often than not, you’ll be able to identify mistakes that they are making and thus avoid them. This is better than attempting to emulate everything they do without thinking about whether it’s the right thing for you.
Use analytics to your advantage
Every social media platform worth its salt will offer up important metrics on how much engagement your posts are receiving. This is invaluable in shaping what type of content you create and share going forward.
A quick look at your last few posts will show you which performed the best and which didn’t click with your followers. From this you can consider if your content creation strategies need to be adjusted going forward.
Again, you could splash out for a paid social media analytics service at a later date, but the free tools available right now are more than adequate for up and coming companies.
Size images and frame elements appropriately
Different social media platforms display images in different ways, and so you have to take this into account when editing your content.
Instagram, for example, operates with a standard width of 1080 pixels, and caters to images with heights of between 566 and 1350 pixels.
Make all of these adjustments, and keep on honing your craft with the aforementioned free tools, and your social media content game will really improve.