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How To Find Inspiration As A Social Media Manager

How To Find Inspiration As A Social Media Manager

It’s a new year with much to get excited about and when we think about a social media strategy and plan for a new year, or a new campaign, or whatever it may be – there is so much enthusiasm you can bring into the mix. Whether you are working on your own business marketing, or you’re helping a client reach their goals, always bring the excitement with you to the table. If it’s not there, come back when it is!

For content marketing and social media managers, coming up with fresh and new content for clients can become difficult and stagnant, especially if the client doesn’t have anything new to give. But there are ways to work around this and producing content that brings their social channels to life is part of the job… you are the creative one and it’s your job to make the magic happen!

But where do you start?

–       Have you lost your enthusiasm?

–       Are you having trouble sticking to, or creating a plan that works?

–       Are you skipping the planning stages, hoping for the best?

The best advice we can give as an agency, is to understand your client’s (or your own) business right down to the nitty gritty detail. What customers are they trying to attract, what makes them special, what can they offer, what do they give that’s of value, and what is unique about them that will stand out from the competition?

Then it’s about putting everything into a process.

  • Find inspiration

  • Create a strategy

  • Make an action plan

  • Implement

  • = Results… success

Find inspiration

I heard an interview this morning with Lola Lennox, Annie Lennox’s daughter, who was sharing about her new song that she had released, written and recorded at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. She was asked if she was a daydreamer and the answer she gave was that all songwriters are daydreamers as they have to pluck content from deep within in order to produce a song.

This struck me that we, as social media marketers, are also in that same boat. We write content for many clients at a time, often in completely different industries, but providing a (daily) flow of content for all. Where does that inspiration come from?!

 

To start with, you need to be creative in the first place. If you’re a business owner reading this and you’re struggling with implementing a good social media presence, don’t waste your time, find someone that can do it without struggle and that has the capacity to do a good job. It’s far better to have something done well, than half an effort that’s poor. If you are creative but are stuck for ideas, keep reading…

 

So, what comes first in the process of creating an awesome content calendar, and how do you come up with great both copy and graphics for each and every client, that is different and unique for each?

 

You need inspiration. This doesn’t come all at once or at a specific time – especially when you want it to – but often comes when you’re out and about or going about your everyday normality of life. When you’re out, always have a notebook or a phone to hand to keep a journal of the things that inspire you, otherwise by the time you get home, you’ll have forgotten everything!

Take a walk, read a book, have a chat on the phone with a friend, look out the window – all these different things can provide you with snippets of inspiration. Take photos or screenshots while you’re busy, doodle or draw pictures – whatever it is that brings out your creative streak.

Also, a great way to be inspired by the industry is to look at what content that industry is producing. Search for keywords in Instagram or Twitter to find the types of content which is gaining good engagement. Take a look at the profiles who are following these high engaging posts and see the types of posts they are enjoying too. If you can see what content works, it can inspire you to create things along the same line.

 

Your ideas don’t have to come all at once but collate all your material in a central place that when you come to your dedicated time to write content, you’ve got a bank of details to use.

 

Make a plan

A good content calendar is built on a strategy and an action plan, filled with much research and knowledge of the business and with their goals and targets at hand.

 

With an in depth understanding of the goals in mind, the content can be built around everything you have learned and gathered along the way. But don’t think sell, sell, sell at every opportunity – think of the bigger picture and the audience you’re speaking to. What do they want to hear or gain from having communication from the business?

Marketing strategy ideas:

  • Create and understand the various personas you’ll be working with
  • Research the business in depth
  • Ensure branding throughout, in both copy, style and graphics
  • Decide how many times to post during a week
  • What type of content will match the brand
  • What style of graphics will work

 

Implement

Pull all your plans together and work out how to fit everything in best with what’s happening within the business and the campaigns / goals that you want to meet, and you’ll have a content calendar that will run for ages, that you can come back to, adapt, amend, and recycle to keep recreating content.

 

Tip: Create content that is ‘evergreen’, that can be used again and again. For example, with one blog post, you could create a selection of posts to go with it and have them on a rolling cycle.

 

This process can be rolled out through all the various channels that you run as a social media manager. Different businesses will have different goals and focusses, but the thought basis behind it all is the same process for each.

 

Have you tried using a check list to help you stay on top of your social media marketing? You can download a FREE copy of our Social Media Checklist here.

social media checklist free download

 

See the results – discover success!

The outcome of seeing everything fall into place and working as you hoped is satisfying to say the least. Everything that you’ve done and worked hard to put together has paid off. Keep the momentum going by engaging with everyone that interacts with your social channels. Engagement is key to building the brand and growing your followers. Of course, growing the likes and followers is great, but what is the ultimate goal – to bring in leads and eventually sales? Don’t forget to build relationships with your followers, they are human! A good brand is built on trust and loyalty, create those bonds by creating a good customer experience and you’ll be set.

Also, be sure to check your analytics on each social channels to see what has worked best, what type of content is gaining the best interaction and what times of day your audience is online. Understanding what your audience is enjoying from your content is a basis to grow, put this knowledge into your strategy and keep going.

 

When you go through the process above, you’ll find how easy it is to access the creativity in the back of your mind. Keeping a journal of things that inspire you, and photos along the way, is the best way to keep the bank of content flowing. You’ll soon find it all becomes routine and you’ll establish a system where awesome social media content comes naturally.

 

What top tips do you have to ensure you’re running a smooth social media management service for your clients? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.

 

And if you’re a business looking for help in their social media, get in touch, we’d love to talk!

***

Written by Karen Petrauskas, owner of KJP Creative

 

Grab yourself a copy of KJP Creative’s 2021 Social Media Planner and get yourself organised through this year:

Get Creative With Instagram Grids

Get Creative With Instagram Grids

*This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.

Not getting the results you hoped for on Instagram? Perhaps the answer could lie in the look of your grid.

One of the first things we do when we view a profile on Instagram, is to read their bio, check out the number of followers and then see what the grid looks like. Not everyone has a creative eye, but the look and feel of your posts should create a good first impression to any reader. This process takes about 5 seconds – and can be the difference between someone following your account, to them disregarding you completely.

Not everyone follows an account because of the way it ‘looks overall’ and it won’t necessarily get people to discover your page but it does go a long way in establishing people who are going to become loyal followers and potential customers – people who like what they see, stay interested for longer.

With an Instagram grid that is pleasing to the eye, with eye-catchy content and interesting posts, you are more likely to grow your following. The slight increase over time will or can results in hundreds, if not thousands, of new followers – which is great for business if it means more people are seeing your content.

 

 

The grid layout

You may spend most of your time swiping through your phone’s Instagram feed without actually visiting other profiles, and in that case you’d not be overly familiar with the layout of Instagram. But if you take a few moments to visit some profiles, you’ll see how they are laid out. This is called a grid.

Posts are displayed in rows of three, stacked on top of each other, each time pushing the previous post down the grid.

As it is always posted this way, it’s easy to create patterns or repeatable orders of three to keep the grid moving and to emphasise the things you want to highlight the most.

This could be represented by a brand colour, a quote, or something relevant to your profile.

When you’re deciding which looks best, it’s great to have a tool which can help you see the visual before you post. And also to have a scheduling tool that can help you plan ahead – we personally love Tailwind (actually for both Instagram and Pinterest!) as it takes the hard work out of posting. Have you tried it?

So, thinking about the different ideas of layouts, these could vary between:

  • Random
  • Diagonal
  • Tiled
  • Rows
  • Line down the middle / on the side
  • With boarders
  • Mixed

Let’s look at these a little further – which grab your attention the most and how could you think to use these ideas in your own Instagram profile?

Random

We love this example of a random Instagram grid, it’s pleasing to the eye, fun-loving and inviting. It makes you feel happy and best of all, you want to keep scrolling. Depending on what your business is about, it can work for you too and is especially desired if you want Instagram to be easy. Try to still stay on brand though, keeping the same filters and colours, and making it eye-catchy to your trusted followers.

Instagram grid styles - random

Diagonal

This is a popular choice for Instagrammers. It gives it an instant theme, easily branded by the choice of colours or filters and is a fairly easy grid to keep. To keep this going, you’ll need to post your chosen ‘diagonal’ every 4th post.

Instagram grid layouts - diagonal

 

Tiled

This again is easy to follow, remembering to keep things alternate. This is good if you want to use a strong colour, or have lots to say, enjoy using quotes etc. It’s consistent and clean and your followers will know what to expect next for each post! Here at KJP Creative, we like the idea of both the diagonal and tiled look, so we’ve mixed them up a bit – here’s what ours looks like:

Instagram grid layouts - tiled and diagonal

Rows

This layout is when you have images that you really want to show off – Instagram is the perfect place to highlight good photography and / or branded content. You could keep it to every row or three is one block, or you could mix it up a little and keep every third row as a block. Each row usually would tell a story or share a message

Instagram grid layout - rows

 

Vertical lines

This is just the opposite of the rows except you’re going in a vertical direction instead of horizontal. They look pretty, thought out and entices a reader to keep scrolling!

Instagram grid layout - vertical lines

 

Without boarders

The majority of posts on Instagram are square, and they fill as much of the post as possible within the allocated space. But what if you could create a different effect but not using all the square space? Check out this example – it’s different and unique and extremely eye-catching.

Instagram grid layout - no boarders

 

Coloured blocks

This really is something that stands out if you get your colours right. Always stay true to your brand and identify with your audience through your colours. You can create some pretty eye-catching and inspirational content with the right choice of colours. And the same goes for a black and white theme, you can’t go wrong with that, especially if you’ve got some great photography behind it.

Instagram grid layout - coloured blocks

 

Instagram grid layout - black and white

 

Puzzle theme

Have you ever thought that your posts don’t have to be stand alone? By getting creative, you can come up with very inspirational content. Not everyone will notice or realise the impact of these posts when looking at them individually, but take a look at the bigger picture and you discover a masterpiece!

Instagram grid layout - puzzle theme

 

Mixed

And at the end of this list, you couldn’t miss off the mixed up Instagram feeds! They are both creative and eye-catching and definitely worth exploring. Images roll into each other, two or three posts can become one gorgeous design. You don’t have be limited to the traditional border either – think outside the box!

Instagram grid layout - mixed up

Whatever style you decide to go with and whichever theme you settle on, remember to keep it branded, with your business tone of voice and ensure that you’ve got some great copy behind each post. Utilise hashtags, inspiring text and always giving value to your readers on every post.

If you’d like to chat about your social media marketing plan, and especially Instagram, we’d love to talk. Strategy and planning are key to an engaging and inspirational social profile. Raise your brand profile, grow your business and see results – all with the use of strategy.

 

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