How To Create Engaging Social Media Content For Beginners

A how to guide on creating engaging social media content for your platforms!

Hey all! I’m very excited to share these How To Guides with you. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while as I’m very passionate about digital marketing, especially social media content.

I’ve been using social media since the Bebo & Myspace days so my experiences date back to 2008. My education and work experience is also coming into its 5th year so I think I’m ready to share some knowledge with you all, in the hopes that it will help you to create engaging social media content even if you are a beginner!

Before We Start

At this point I should say that although this post is for beginners, you should have some sort of following on your platforms otherwise there’s no one there to check out your amazing content!

I’m not saying you need thousands and thousands of loyal fans but having some people as a starting point is important, even if it’s just 10 Facebook likes and 5 Twitter followers.

You must always be working on growing this fan base and this WILL grow with time, nailing the content now will increase the engagement and thus, the following.

Make sure to take notes to use later or bookmark this post 😊.

So, where do you start when creating social media content?

You know your niche/industry/business inside out.

You’ve got experience in it, you may have studied in it and you’ve probably been doing it for years. So why is it so damn hard to take all that information out of your head and turn it into an engaging piece of social media content?!

I feel you, I have been there and some days I still am.

You’ve got so much knowledge on it but for some reason you can’t get it out of your head and onto paper/screen, it’s very soul destroying sometimes.

We have to really start from the bottom here and create some order in your mind. You are juggling multiple idea balls and they are dropping everywhere into a sea of sadness that makes you just ending up posting anything and everything, not ideal.

What Tools Can We Use?

Mind Maps
These really are great for getting everything out! Remember them from school? Teachers really did love to use these and now I see why.

Start a middle circle with a category, remember we are figuring out what we actually need to post about here so no days and times just yet.

Let’s use me as an example – to narrow it down I am a fashion blogger and freelance writer so that would be my middle circle.

I know that I need to write social media posts about my writing outside of my blog, so one of my outer circles is titled ‘my services.’

From there I have put down who I write for to make sure I post about all of them, so let’s take Fizzy Mag.

Let’s say that I know I’ve done an article this week for them and I need to write an engaging bit of content on all my social media to promote this using relevant hashtags/links/images.

Here is my rough example for you guys, I did try to do this online at first but it looked trash and then I remembered that nothing beats pen & paper my friends.

Make this map as extensive as you need it to be so you know what you need to post about in enough detail to move forward.

Category Lists
Having a good old fashioned list can make your ideas clear and concise so you know where to place them as they pop into your head!

They are great to use either instead of a mind map or after to allow space to add more ideas, let’s carry on with myself as an example.

Along the top of your page you can write the categories that came out of your inner circle and underneath you can list everything you will need to post about for that category. 

Post It Notes
I did a post not to long ago on this called ‘How To Organize Your List.’ This involves an organisation technique that helps sort out a to-do list for your business but the same principle can be applied to this.

Give is a read and I promise it will clear your mind/list up in no time and help you to sort your ideas visually and physically.

These tools are so simple and in most cases so obvious.

But what you find is that a lot of the time you are too busy thinking of things, doing them as you go and repeating every week just to get them out of your head, you end up with that ‘tick, next job’ mentality.

Without basic planning initially your posts can end up not making any sense, look rushed because you just want it out the way and they end up being full of bland content that gives you nothing back.

You are getting out of your head and onto paper everything you need to write about with these tools, ensuring you cover as much as you can.

We will flesh it out later, for now you need to know what you actually want to post about that’s going to be relevant and useful to your blog/business.

Writer’s Block

Now we have our list and know the basic outline of your post, how are you going to bring this to life?

If you are already in the blogging/writers world then you are by default a good writer, beginner or not.

Doing this job would be impossible if you a) disliked writing and b) were terrible at it, so don’t think you can’t at any point because you totally can.

You have to apply the same energy to your social media content, treat it like your blog post/writing project.

You find this happens a lot especially when you are starting out, you focus so much of yourself into writing your blog/project and making that perfect that you end using 5 minutes ‘here or there’ to actually post on your social channels.

All this does is make for boring content that will attract no one and that’s the last thing you want your audience to think.

This is my first Tweet a mere 7 weeks ago. Now it’s not bad for a first go, there’s relevant hashtags, there’s an emoji and it’s a little bit less dull to read than some.

I do have a slight advantage in that I have done a lot of social media marketing not only for myself but for other companies too, so I am more comfortable with writing the content.

However, this didn’t have any structure, no planning and didn’t really achieve much for me – it got one like and that was from my boyfriend.

If I saw this Tweet on my feed I would be like “oh, good for you honey” and 100% scroll past it.

Why?

Well, what does it do for me? The important thing to remember with making content is it has to be engaging (like I haven’t said that enough already) but you need to figure out WHY your audience would want to engage with it.

There’s a fine line with promoting your blog post and getting engagements and just promoting your blog post.

We have to word content in such a way that makes your audience want to go, “hell yeah, one like from me” or “wow, I absolutely have something to say to that, take my comment!”

And the best option for maximum exposure, “I TOTALLY agree with that, time for a retweet!”

So how do we do that? 

Passion, research & coffee/wine/something on ice

You have to give a shit about your social media post, how can you expect anyone else too if you don’t? 

Let’s pick a topic from my list to use as an example – my latest article for Fizzy Mag is live and I want people to read it, duh.

So I ask myself:

  • What platform is this going on? Just one or all of them? Different platforms have a different tone of voice, we will get to that.
  • What do I want to achieve with this post? More views on my articles? Comments on the post?
  • How do I want it to sound? Friendly? Exciting? Intriguing?
  • What calls to action will I have? Do I need any? (answer is most likely yes)
  • What hashtags are important? Does it need them?
  • What imagery/gif will I use? Will I need any?

I know it seems like a lot to consider for what can sometimes be just a 240 character Tweet and if you’ve got to this point and thought ‘f*** this shizz, I’m out’ I would understand. 

Sometimes I struggle with the motivation too but once you’ve done this once, you’ve done it a 1000 times and I promise you, content for future posts will just come to you because you will be a fountain of knowledge!

Grab a glass, have 5 and come back to me.

Building Your Post.

It’s time to answer the above questions to build my example post.

It is going to go on all of the platforms which means we will need to word it slightly differently to each other.

What I want to achieve is more exposure to the work I can do outside of my blogging and that not only do I have article writing experience but I can also cover a range of topics.

This kind of post is important to me for potential clients, to showcase my skill set whilst also promoting brand who has given me the opportunity to write for them. When I write this post I will be tagging them in it so we have to bare that in mind also.

I want it to sound fun & intriguing, why should my audience read this? Will they learn a new fact? Will they get to check out a newly dropped clothing collab? Will it just give them something entertaining to read on their coffee break?

All these things need to be considered and can help you flesh out your content.

The call to action for this one will differ depending on the platform, ‘click the link below to find out!’ or ‘check out the link in my bio for the latest drop’ etc.

Hashtags for this are important as well, they will be for pretty much everything you post but some are more vital than others.

The link should provide me with an image and if not I will find one online (free to use of course!) on somewhere like Pexels that matches the articles content. 

Finally, the fun part!

For some people the actual writing will now come naturally but for others it still might be tough to think of something and that’s okay! This is where research comes in, we all need some inspo from time to time.

Have a look at what your competitors/fellow bloggers are doing, look at their socials, look at what is getting engagement.

Look at what’s trending, can it tie in? Look at their hashtags, are they popular? What are they posting on Facebook compared to Instagram?

Write out a few versions of your post too, don’t limit yourself as you want this to be just right.

Down to their emoji’s and tone of voice, look at what is successful for them and apply it to your situation but it goes without saying not to copy.

It is also important that when doing your research you look at what hashtags are relevant in your niche and which ones get engagement.

Each post will need different hashtags, If you re-use this guide until you’ve got it nailed you will know them off by heart!

My Latest Post Has Just DROPPED!!

Just kidding, but my latest example content is here and ready for you to take a look at! So I answered all my questions and here is what I came up with.

Take note of the differences in all three – I’ve left Instagram out because the text box is too small for an example post.

These casually get more formal as you shy away from Twitter and head into LinkedIn territory.

Twitter

Casual relaxed tone, slang, Twitter & content relevant tags, plenty of emoji’s, tag the brand.

Facebook

Still relatively casual but my audience there is a little different, so I make it a bit more formal with less hashtags (I use 2 or 3 max).

LinkedIn

Business focused – I’m not saying you have to be a complete nun but potential employers look at your profile and your professional presence here, a post like that one for Twitter will do me no favours.

Two hashtags for me is still a bit much here but we’re going with it for now and I’m still tagging the brand as they are an online publication with a LinkedIn profile, it also gives potential clients something to link back too.

Notice how my aim on LinkedIn is the same which is to get people to read the article but my approach is totally different because of my audience.

Posts like this get me engagement on LinkedIn, I am discussing this from a professional growth perspective and not just trying to get my audience (who probably won’t care much for the latest Nike drop like my Twitter followers) to view the article.

I want them to understand why it’s important for me from a business point of view to share it there. Understanding your audience on different platforms is so important for your content to work in your favour.

Time For A Quick Recap

Organising your content – A list of everything you need to post about that’s relevant to your business/blog e.g sharing fashion news or promoting your latest blog post.

Asking yourself key questions – Flesh out your content by asking important questions and using the answers as a guide. Note, these questions can vary depending on your goals but the general rules apply.

Answer the questions with your content – Give your audience what they want whilst also making sure you meet your goals for this post.

Would you like/comment/share it?

The answer better be yes!


Now time for some bad but not really so bad news…

Until you are seasoned with your insights, your schedule and who likes what, you are going to go through the motions with your content and that’s not a bad thing.

Once you have a better understanding of what gets your audience engaged you can then start to tailor your content around that data. I, like many others, have spent a lot of time posting content that gets me nothing.

Then one magical day a variation of a regular tweet I posted managed to get more engagement than others…why? It had a GIF.

And boy does Twitter loves GIFS. If you didn’t know there is whole threads dedicated to your favourite ones, it’s bloody great.

So now for this particular themed tweet every week, I make sure it has a relevant GIF and it keeps getting engagement!

This is obviously an easy difference to spot and sometimes it isn’t that obvious to see what works and what doesn’t, it really can just come down to something as simple as timing.

Where Do I Store All My Sexy New Content?

I would strongly advise that you store this information digitally once you’ve got it all figured out through your mind map/list. There are multiple ways to keep this all in one place:

  • Word Document – a classic and simple approach that will have all your text in one place.
  • Excel Spreadsheet – used a lot by companies as opposed to individuals to be able to quickly upload CSV files to bulk schedulers. I’ve seen this in its final form and it’s not pretty or fun – two things I give many shits about, but it is practical and makes bulk uploads easy.
  • Google Sheets – now we’re talking, like Excel’s fashionable younger sister, Google Sheets is what I use to keep all my content in one place.
  • Straight into the scheduler – for those with little time on their hands, this means putting content straight in to get posted on a day and time of your choice. Keeping it here means it won’t post until you arrange it to, allowing you to come back for edits. It also previews it for you, I also use this method but not for all of my social platforms.

And that’s it folks! A guide on how to create engaging social media content for beginners, but why should we stop here? I wouldn’t do such a thing!

Watch out early next week, I will be posting the second in my Social Media Content For Beginners series and showing you How To Understand & Utilize Your Insights & Analytics.

Do leave any comments below, is there anything that helped you? Should I have covered something else? Do you have any top tips? Ciao darlings!

How To Organise Your List

Mind Organisation Exercise From A Recognised Leadership Course

Taught to me by Josh

Okay guys, I’ve been so excited to share this with you because it’s honestly changed my mindset and has helped me so much in a short space of time.

I literally did this yesterday, so it’s fresh in my mind and I’m still playing around with it. Grab the sticky notes and get ready because I’m about to show you how to organise your list!

An important thing to note is something Josh told me yesterday, he can tell me many ways to help me organise myself, but it doesn’t mean they will help me learn. I am such a visual leaner so this is a great tool for me and I hope you guys can benefit from it too!

First step is to start to write your tasks/thoughts/jobs/ideas anything that you want to sort out on the notes, and get them up. Don’t think about it too much or give it any order at all, just get them out of your head and onto the wall.

That was my first issue, trying to the put them up in order because that’s naturally how I wanted it to be, but I ignored the pain and carried on.

You want to change your thought into a physical thing, to help you get away from that cycle in your brain of thinking you’ve got to do this and you’ve got to do that, then this task next and then this other task.

It’s like you are riding a bike downhill, it’s out of control but you don’t stop and think about the problem, you’re still peddling and not slowing down.

You have to keep it quite fluid in terms of what you want to get out of this process, if you plan too much ahead that defeats the purpose. We are learning how to organise your to list, but visuals are very important for getting the thought out initially, you can arrange it later, clear your mind now.


I started with my social media tasks, the scheduling of content to start. Write down the task and the time it takes, nothing else just yet, no days or anything like that.

Because I wasn’t sure how this was going to be organised eventually, I timed the tasks in terms of how long this would take me in the course of a week.

It doesn’t have to be a time either, it can be an importance ranking measurement for example, such as using the traffic light system. I know I have limited free time during the week so this was my focus, yours may be that you need to clarify in your mind what is the most important task.

To start off with it was really hard, naturally I want to write it all out in an order to actually get it out of my head so that I don’t miss anything, it had to be organised already if that makes sense. But once I was on a roll, more and more tasks just came to the front of mind and onto the paper!

I also included personal tasks such as the gym and me time, It got a little sad and ridiclous when I actually looked at the personal time in my week compared to everything for the blog/freelancing business.

That no exageration by the way I promise, I work 9-5:30 mid week and I lie in as much as possible in the morning, so I do a lot of quick morning tasks on my 40 minute commute. By the time I’ve got home I try and fit in the gym which is the one thing I won’t sacrifice at the moment, never go on holiday.

Then it’s trying to find some time for us to watch Netflix and eat dinner, but the laptop or phone is always on and in use for extra jobs that I try to squeeze into my precious evening hours.

‘See friends’ is literally if I have plans, I see my work friends everyday and me and my best friend try and catch up once a week considering we now live on the same met line. But if there’s no plans, I just cram in more of the work instead of any me time…one hour is lucky.

Because I am still figuring this business out it’s very hard to organise something you are new too. You are unsure of every single task because you are still learning them, as you can see Pinterest marketing is the newest one.

The last few months have been me just doing everything as soon as I read it so it’s done and I don’t miss out on anything. It’s exactly why I’m doing this, because I barely have time to do anything else during my average week and it starts to get tough.

So I’m halfway through the task and shock, feeling a little stressed that I might be missing things. So far, I haven’t learnt how to organise my list, just how to stress myself out a little more. I go to grab the notebook and in all honesty, start to doubt the process.

As every week is different, it’s hard when your muddled to keep it generic and you start to think of things like “if the post and social media theme for the week beginning the 13th of January 2020 isn’t on there IT WILL ALL FALL APART AND IT WILL ALL BE FOR NOTHING.

When I get pull it back ponder the wall, I start to break it down to see what I might have missed from the list. This can also help you think of tasks you might not have done before, so you can then add these on.

By this point you are ready to start the first breaking down of tasks, suddenly as if by some miracle, it just clicks and the whole process makes sense.

Once you start to organise it into groups and get into the swing of things with that, you will be on a roll and moving sticky notes back and fourth.

I decided to firstly organise it by type of task which was graphic design, website upkeep, research, analytics, social media scheduling, content writing, engagment/connecting and life.

It really did all become clear so fast and you wonder how something so bloody simple like sticky notes on a wall can also shock you into actually realising how disorganised you were before.

You should then keep breaking this down until it is in categories you are happy with. I decided to change this into days of the week, I had an idea of what days of the week certain tasks needed doing so that gave me a starting point to move around again.

Just want to add that at this point, ignore the time on my notes now as they are incorrect, no one is going to spend 2 hours on Twitter on a Thursday constantly tweeting about their latest blog post in one sitting…I hope.

Because of limited time mid week evenings I gave myself a little bit less on those days thinking that was all the time I had for it.

It was then interesting to see how much I actually was going to leave until my Friday nights & Saturdays off. Meaning I would have no life as all the big, time consuming jobs wouldn’t be spread out and I would just have to get them done that day.

My nature is to just get things out the way in one go, I am unfortunatley a rusher and in other areas of my life I have had to manage this too.

You need to make sure you are organsing tasks in a way that will benefit you and manage your work fairly to yourself, you might not think you need chill sometimes, but you do.

I knew I couldn’t do 4 hours of tasks every mid week night and still have all the big time consuming jobs every Friday & Saturday, that’s like working 2 full time jobs with no life and next to no sleep, that my friends is called burn out.

I decided to start to move things around a bit more and spread out the jobs over the course of the weekdays, cutting some tasks and moving some from Saturday to midweek.

In terms of social media, it helped putting different themed content on certain days e.g #MotivationalMonday on a Monday (obviously) to make Saturdays scheduling easier.

I played about a bit until I had a more organised weekly ‘skeleton’ schedule visually in front of me and decided it was time to get this all down in a list to make it extra clear.

If you are like me this step is super helpful, because now I have this basic list of tasks that need to be done every week for the blog/business to run, regardless of personal plans.

I made morning and evening sections, leaving space to add anything I might not have thought about. I noticed how much free space I had mid week to play about with even more in the organised list, so made sure it was fair for each day.

Unfortunately Saturdays are always going to be the biggest days for me to get jobs done, but I can 100% do more midweek than what I had been doing.

I also do want to be able to have more of a life, some people just need a little more structure and I guess I’m one of them. Obviously there are things here you need to do everyday, such as social media engagment and new blog promo on threads, so there’s a list for that too!

Sundays unless otherwise stated should be free days, these are mine and my boyfriends days to do something a bit fun (Ikea counts.) I also want to fit in more me time so I can feel like an actual human woman sometimes and not just a zombie.

I honestly really have benefitted from this task, I feel more at ease and less guilty not sitting staring at my screen all day (I work in SEO, so I literally spend my LIFE looking at a screen at the moment.)

Key things to remember!

Yes, every week will be different, I think this is why I doubted this task could help me and started to stress. Maybe Tuesday next week something could happen to change that idea or I have to be somewhere next Saturday so that fucks up all my big jobs for the week blaaaa blaaaa, STOP.

Think of this as what I called it before, a skeleton list of important tasks that are required each week for your blog/business/whatever to function.

We are learning how to organise your list so you can flesh it out as you go, so each week you will need to write a new list – a small price to pay for a clearer head! You may also work month to month (you guys give me life) and you write this every month instead.

The basics for it to function need to be in this list, because then you panic if they are not. As an example, say you NEED to publish a Facebook post every day of the week to promote your latest blog post, you don’t know what it’s going to say word for word yet but you know it NEEDS to be posted or you can’t market your work.

If anything, you now have a weekly organised list where you can add a task because you know you have the free time to do it on a certain day.

Some things that are relevant this week, might not be next week and everyone’s idea of what is most important will differ. When you flesh out our list, you can then add a theme or content and then this can be transferred to whatever you use as resources for your business.

I use Google Sheets for my content ideas and then Hootsuite to schedule some of these, so there’s a few more steps involved after this.

Now obviously, you can’t do this every week to plan your time…unless you want too lol. So keep the list so you can copy it across to the next week and pick a day to rewrite it, I find Saturdays a good reset day.

Remember, you can’t control everything but you CAN organise your list of jobs so that the important things that ARE in your control are ticked off, for everything else my dudes, you just gotta take each day.