How to make share-worthy social media content for brands

Learn how to create a social media plan that helps you reach a bigger audience and keep them coming back.
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Why do brands need a strong social media presence?

Today, every business needs a strong social media presence. Consumers check out a business’s social media to find out crucial information (like opening hours), to learn about the company’s values and vibe, to see what products and services are provided, and even to shop. Social media marketing allows brands to showcase their personality, values, and products on a daily basis, and helps them reach their target audience where they already spend their time.

However, to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in your social media efforts, it's essential to have a well-crafted social media plan(opens in a new tab or window) in place to guide your strategy and maximize your results.

And even if you think your industry is too serious or too dry for a strong social media presence, think again. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission(opens in a new tab or window) has proven that even a serious government agency can draw attention with hilarious, shareable, highly effective social media content.

We’ll walk you through how to build a brand on social media.

Table of contents

How brands use social media content to grow their business

From growing your reach to closing deals, social media is an extremely powerful marketing tool. Take a look through some of the main ways your business can benefit from investing in your social media presence.

Brand awareness

Social media helps strengthen your brand and expand its reach. Promoting your brand through Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Lemon8(opens in a new tab or window)and more are all easy and affordable ways to introduce your brand to the world.

By posting regularly, you get to showcase your brand voice and your look, helping users recognize your company instantly. In fact, TikTok has become the search engine of choice for Gen Z(opens in a new tab or window), and 50% of Instagram users use the platform to find new brands(opens in a new tab or window).

Product education

Posting on social media also helps your audience learn about exactly what you make, which can lead to them investigating your offerings further — and making purchases. If you're marketing a product, social media is a great way to show what makes it unique and how to get the most out of it. Whether it’s an app maker tool like Buildfire(opens in a new tab or window), a beauty product like Sephora, or even a service, creating engaging step-by-step guides can lead to increased business.


Conversion is when a user responds to your call to action, like sharing a post, entering a contest, reading your blog, giving you feedback, or buying your product. In order to encourage the type of conversion you’re looking for, use only one call to action in each post — don’t confuse users with more than one ask.

User engagement

Social media platforms also allow you to stay connected to your audiences, building a relationship with them and showing the world you care about every user. With social media, you can respond to questions, concerns, suggestions, or feedback from users.

Direct sales

Selling directly on social media, through chat, organic posts, or sponsored posts, is a relatively new function on social media. But it’s powerful: 44% of Instagram users used the platform to shop on a weekly basis in 2021(opens in a new tab or window).

Now that you know why social media is so impactful for brands, here’s how to build a social media presence.

How to develop a social media content plan

Build your brand on social media with the following seven steps:

1. Identify your target audience

It’s impossible to create a business or a product that’s for every single person on the planet, which is why every business has a target audience, including a few buyer personas(opens in a new tab or window). If you haven’t already, work to identify your target market: where do your target customers live? What are their challenges? What are their interests? How old are they? Do they have families? And crucially: which social platforms do they use?

All of this information will help you meet them where they are, and help you create social content that resonates with as many potential customers as possible.

2. Set goals

When starting any new marketing initiative, or even expanding an existing strategy, it’s important to have goals. Whether or not you hit them on the first try doesn’t matter, but you’ll need to set benchmarks for success. You’ll want to divide your social content goals into two buckets: organic and paid.

Organic social media posts

Organic social posts are those that you create and post on your social accounts without using ad dollars to boost or promote them. Create a goal of views, likes, comments, and shares (or reposts) for this bucket of posts.

Paid social media posts

As you can infer from the name, paid social posts are those that you do boost or promote with ad dollars. Depending on the platform, you’ll select a target market and your ad will be guaranteed to be shown to a certain number of users who fit your niche. Create a goal of purchases, views, likes, comments, and shares (or reposts) for this group of posts — and make it higher than your organic goals. Since you’re putting money behind these posts, it’s reasonable to have higher expectations for their performance.

Learn more about measuring social media content performance here:

3. Map out social media content pillars

The best branded social media channels showcase a variety of types of content, but still make sure that every post feels cohesive and true to the brand.

That's why it’s important to learn how to create a content strategy for social media: just posting one-off images or videos without any organization won’t lead to the results you’re looking for. Choose a couple of the following content pillars to focus on for your brand — you can always add more types of content as you grow your page.

  1. Product spotlights (showing off the details of your products and what makes them unique)
  2. Review highlights (posting stylized snippets of your best reviews can help increase trust and conversion)
  3. Tutorials (can be on how to use your products, how to make the most of them, or even how to do anything related to your industry)
  4. Employee spotlights (highlighting what it’s like to work at your company)
  5. User-generated content (reposting photos or videos that your users tagged you in that showcase your product or brand)
  6. Customer stories (showing how a real customer benefits from your product in their daily life or business)
  7. Company history, mission, and values (telling the story of how and why your company came to be)

Omsom’s(opens in a new tab or window) Instagram is a perfect example of a memorable, delightful feed that includes lots of different types of content — but it all feels connected and on-brand.

4. Create a social media calendar

Brands need to be organized when approaching social media posts. Building a social content calendar will help you lay out your ideas, allocate your time and resources, and even design and schedule each post.

Wondering how to make a social media calendar? First, plan your content in a spreadsheet, ensuring you’re covering the content pillars that you’re prioritizing. This template is helpful for many teams just getting started(opens in a new tab or window). Then, use Canva to design all your social posts, schedule them on a calendar(opens in a new tab or window), and set them to post automatically.

The Canva social media scheduling tool within the image editor with a post ready to publish to Instagram Business.

Mix up your social media content calendar with images, videos, and behind-the-scenes posts.

It’s important to plan for a combination of evergreen content and topical, trending content so your page always feels relevant and true to your brand. Of course, you won’t know what the trending content is until it’s time to create it, so leave dedicated space in your content calendar for the occasional off-the-cuff post reacting to current industry news, or even a viral meme.

In some cases, you can repurpose the same post across different social media platforms, but it’s best practice to tailor posts to the audience you have on every platform. At minimum, use Canva’s Magic switch feature(opens in a new tab or window) to ensure your images will look perfect on every platform.

Learn more about Canva’s Content Planner(opens in a new tab or window) tool for Teams.

5. Engage with your audience

Don’t let comments go ignored! If your brand is doing a good enough job to get comments from followers and new connections, be sure to like each comment. Where relevant, responding to comments can be helpful too: if you receive a critical comment, respond with patience, kindness, and professionalism. If you receive love and positive comments, respond with joy and excitement.

6. Analyze social media performance regularly with social media reports

Measuring the impact of your posts monthly (or even weekly, for high-volume accounts) will allow you to check if you’re hitting your goals and help shed light on how to update your strategy as you go along. How many likes are each type of post getting? How about comments? Which ones have led to purchases?

Canva’s Content Planner tool(opens in a new tab or window) allows you to see post analytics that help you understand what’s performing, what’s been lagging, and how you can invest more deeply in what works.

A social media graphic in the Canva Content Planner tool with analytics on post performance.

Use the Canva Content Planner tool to analyze social media posts and optimize your content to reach new audiences.

7. Stay consistent with a style guide

Ensure you and your team are staying on brand with every single asset, so even when a user is scrolling fast, they can recognize that a post is from your company. In Canva, you can create your brand kit(opens in a new tab or window) and branded templates(opens in a new tab or window) to speed up content creation(opens in a new tab or window). A brand kit(opens in a new tab or window) and branded templates(opens in a new tab or window) make this easy, and speed up social content creation.

Canva for Teams(opens in a new tab or window) comes with brand management tools(opens in a new tab or window) like seamless approval workflows, brand control features, and branded templates so everyone on the team is working off of approved designs.

Social media strategies for brands based on the latest data

1. Be authentic

On all platforms, in every post, showcase what makes your brand unique. Don’t feel the need to jump on every trend, or to use an aesthetic that doesn’t really align with your brand just because it’s popular right now. Stick to showing off your mission and vision, and highlight your company culture, people, and products — just as they are.

Check out Revel Cider’s Instagram feed for a great example of an authentic and engaging brand on social media:

2. Use video

Video(opens in a new tab or window) is key on social media. From quick video Instagram and Facebook stories, to TikToks that show your brand has a sense of humor, to longform YouTube series about growing in your industry, video is a compelling medium. It helps effectively grow brand affinity and turn interested social media followers into recurring customers.

You can also cross-post videos across virtually all social platforms, like posting Instagram Reels on Facebook — just make sure they’re sized for the right social specs(opens in a new tab or window) and that the content matches the platform. You wouldn’t necessarily post a TikTok dance on LinkedIn, but you certainly could post your YouTube tutorial on your company Facebook page.

Getting started with social media video content

If it’s your first foray into video, start simply by sharing about your work processes: show the world what it takes to make your company run. Film a few different clips that can easily be stitched together in one video, instead of just filming one long take. Edit your social media videos right in Canva(opens in a new tab or window), add transitions, and your brand font, then share directly to your brand account.

Don’t aim for perfection — part of what people love about short-form videos is that they feel more human and less produced than most business communications.

Who knew videos showing business owners packing orders could be so popular!

If you’re wondering how to make a video viral on social media, there’s a few ways you can try — but nothing is guaranteed. TikTok is centered around trending sounds, and a great way to get eyes on your video is to use whatever sound is extremely popular at the moment. You can also use hashtags like #fyp (for you page) or whatever other hashtag is currently trending. Scroll through TikTok for a while, see what keeps popping up, and get inspired!

No matter what kind of videos you try, ensure you’re always on brand with brand colors, fonts, and logos using Canva’s video editor(opens in a new tab or window).

3. Share behind-the-scenes content

Using images or video, tell the story of your next product launch, show a view inside the factory, or have your employees share what it’s like to work at your company. By helping your audience connect with the people that power your company, you can build lasting trust in your brand. This authentic, lower-stakes, less-produced content is fun, engaging, and relatable.

For example, check out this video from Taco Bell, where the narrator gets interrupted as they’re trying to create a video.

Another great example comes from UPS: they shared this wholesome EGC (employee-generated content) video made by their team member, Randy, to their branded TikTok account.

4. Educate your audience

Divide your educational offerings into two categories: product-centric and industry-centric. For product-centric educational content, create photos, infographics, guides, and videos that show how to use your products, how they can help, and what makes them unique. For industry-centric educational content, provide useful guides and information about your field, showing your audience that you’re not just there to sell them your product: you also want anyone interested in your industry to succeed and grow.

Our YouTube playlist on creating great videos for social media(opens in a new tab or window) isn’t just full of useful information — it’s also a great example of how a brand can work to educate anyone who wants to learn.

5. Try new social media platforms

Even though some platforms may come and go (like Clubhouse), trying out emerging social media platforms presents a great opportunity to become one of those lucky early adopters: if the platform rapidly grows in popularity, and has staying power, you’ll be well ahead of your competitors and garner a larger, loyal following. If new platforms don’t stick around, it can still be a valuable opportunity to get your brand in front of new audiences who can follow you on other platforms.

6. Develop social media campaigns specific to your audience

You know your target market: now cater to them! A social media campaign is usually a short- or medium-term project that focuses on one particular topic, for one particular goal. When you’re planning out how to create a social media campaign, consider which segments of your audience you want to engage, and what the campaign should accomplish.

Here are a few examples of social media campaigns:

  • Working with an influencer to have them post a few TikToks about your product, in order to show your product to all of their followers and encourage them to try it out.
  • Create and schedule(opens in a new tab or window) 10 posts, one per day, counting down to an upcoming product launch. The goal is to drum up excitement for the new product, and get more people to buy the product as soon as it launches.
  • Film, edit, and post(opens in a new tab or window) a new weekly short video series highlighting your employees. The goal here is to drive interest to your careers page and increase applications for certain key roles.
  • Create and promote a contest partnering with another company in your field, where people who follow both accounts and comment on your posts get entered to win a free service or a prize. The goal is to get new followers who knew your partner company but didn’t yet know you, growing your audience of prospects.

7. Build community through social media

Companies continue to experiment with growing their communities by encouraging their users to interact with one another. Some have invested in making and moderating community Facebook pages for their customers to learn from one another, while others invest in replying to every single comment on all channels

Types of social media content for brands to create


Short-form videos

For short-form videos, from just a few seconds up to three minutes, start with TikTok. Don’t worry if you’ve never used the platform: it’s incredibly easy to use, and you can start creating memorable, fun videos using just your smartphone.

Duolingo has become famous for their hilarious TikTok presence, making fun of themselves, their mascot, their users, and jumping on every trend. Here’s a great example:

Even without going viral, brands on TikTok can reach new audiences, and benefit from the hyper-specific targeting that the platform has become known for.

If you’re more comfortable sharing on Instagram(opens in a new tab or window), you can try out Instagram Reels as well and compare the results of your Instagram video content with your static images.

Here’s a great example from Lowe’s:

Choose from Canva's ready-made templates for YouTube shorts, TikTok videos, or Instagram Reels with our free short video maker(opens in a new tab or window).

Long-form videos

YouTube is the place for longer videos that showcase your products, your company culture, your production processes, and your industry expertise. Series that outline how to master certain skills are a great way to start, as people will always be searching “how to make a great spreadsheet” or “how to assemble [insert piece of equipment]” — so you’ll be able to grow your views over time. These videos are also great for showing that your company is a leader in your space, with expertise that you’re willing to share with customers and non-customers alike.

You can also veer into the realm of documentary filmmaking, and create a short film about someone or something that makes your company special. Take this great example from Misfits Market:

Images and carousels

Static images make up most of social media, so designing the best images possible — that align with your brand guidelines — is the foundation of a strong social media presence. Whether you’re sharing product photography, industry-relevant inspiration, designed graphics sharing insightful quotes, snippets about life at your company, infographics, or anything else, make sure they always look appealing and on-brand.

You can use any of Canva’s thousands of social media templates(opens in a new tab or window) to get inspired, or build branded templates(opens in a new tab or window) for your business.

And you’re not limited to posting one photo at a time: On Instagram and TikTok, you can post multiple photos or videos at a time in a series called a Carousel. For example, Juvia’s Place posted this image carousel showing off their new line of lipsticks, and the second image shows a close-up of their incredible detailing.

Interactive content: polls, Q&A, and more

Interactive content, most often seen on X (Twitter) (in the form of polls) or stories on Instagram, which only last for 24 hours, involves seeking out user participation. You can add polls, sliding scale ratings, and Q&A to your posts. Users can add their opinions or submit their questions, and feel like they’re building a stronger connection to your brand — especially when they see that you’ve answered their question.

Even in your permanent feed posts, you can encourage users to interact with your content (and share it) — check out this example from HubSpot.


As mentioned above, people are increasingly turning to video when they want to learn how to do anything new — whether that’s using a new piece of technology, or taking up a new hobby. Take advantage of that impulse by creating useful tutorials.

This video on how to use your Apple Watch was posted by Apple Support’s YouTube channel, and it’s a fantastic example of how clear, engaging videos can teach users everything they need to know about your products.

King Arthur Baking Company is a great example of how tutorials can help you showcase your products while spreading your knowledge to all your viewers.

You can also create companion blog posts or static feed posts that walk readers through the basics of what you’ve covered in your videos.

How to create engaging social media posts that connect with your audience

Firstly, make sure you’re meeting your audience where they are. Find out which social platforms they use, and start investing in your social media efforts on that platform. Are they on Instagram? TikTok? Facebook? X (Twitter)? Pick one or two to learn and master. You can always expand and add more later on.

Plan your content in advance, even if it’s just a post or two a week to start. Map out your content plans for a whole quarter and choose which content pillars to prioritize.

When it’s time to design your posts, make sure that your content looks as professional as possible with Canva’s video(opens in a new tab or window) and image editors(opens in a new tab or window) — and get rid of unwanted backgrounds in one click with the background remover(opens in a new tab or window).

When you’re happy with your designed posts, add a short caption, select a few key hashtags, and schedule them to go live.(opens in a new tab or window)

And finally, don’t be afraid of failing: not all posts will perform well. The only way to learn what works and what doesn’t is to try new things, track their performance, and do more of what your audience loves.

Tips on getting started with social media posts

It’s not always easy to get started! Here’s how to create social media posts when you’re feeling creatively blocked.

  1. Use Canva Magic Write(opens in a new tab or window). This AI-powered tool will fill in the blanks for you and help you come up with a strong draft that you can customize for your business.
  2. Work off of templates. Whether you’re using branded templates(opens in a new tab or window) built by your design team, or you’re adding your brand colors(opens in a new tab or window) to one of Canva’s thousands of social media templates(opens in a new tab or window), you’ll always have a jumping-off point.
  3. Spend some time browsing hashtags on Instagram, TikTok, or LinkedIn.
  4. Use the search function on TikTok to see trending topics as well as to use the autofill function as a jumping-off point for video ideas.

Create social media content using Canva

Canva is the perfect platform to help teams of all sizes get started with social media. Creating reusable branded templates for social media can save your whole team hours of designing and ensures your content is always consistent and on brand.

To learn more about using Canva to create social content, check out this playlist on creating social media posts.(opens in a new tab or window)

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