How to make your social media pop like an influencer

There are more than four billion social media users. That’s over half the global population. But to get the attention of that massive user base, creating compelling content is critical.

Getting started on a new social media strategy and building out your channels can be overwhelming. To be successful, you need to:

To help your social media presence stand out, we’ve put together tips from influencers, content coaches and Adobe Partners, such as YouTuber Randa Nelson (572,000 subscribers) and Skyelar Garcia of Managed by Skye (4.3M TikTok likes) — experts in building followers.

Below you will learn how to find your audience, how to optimize your channels for more views and interactions, discover which tools are best for creating posts, and how to come up with original content ideas at the speed of social.

In this article

  • Identify the right social media platforms that reflect yourself
  • Lead with your profile
  • Diversify the type of content you post
  • Get creative with your social content ideas
  • Use the right tools to create stunning visual content
  • Post consistently
  • Make your social media pop

Identify the right social media platforms that reflect yourself

The first step to creating a solid social media presence is to choose a platform that will reach the audience you’re after — or meet them where they already are. 31 percent of Instagram users, for example, are between 18 and 34 years old, so if that’s the demographic you’re targeting, this may be the first social channel you prioritize.

Randa Nelson, from the twin duo NinaAndRanda, says to choose a platform that fits your skills and talents.

“What drew us to YouTube was that we wanted to be like Taylor Swift. But twins,” she says. “We loved writing songs, so we said, what’s a good platform for people to see our music?”

Skye recommends that you don’t start too big and broad, and instead stay focused. Skye explains, “I always recommend that people focus on one platform and give it 100 percent then move to another. Once you have a proven strategy, concept and a niche with a single platform, it's so much easier to expand it - and you’re likely to be more successful.”

Here are the main age demographics for the top social media platforms

Of course, you won’t just focus on age when choosing the right social media platform. If you're looking to engage people about jobs and career building, then you’d be remiss if you ignored Linkedin, for example. Are you a fashionista? You should check out what’s happening on Pinterest. Spend quality time on the top social platforms to understand which is best for your content — that research will pay dividends.

Explore the Adobe Express team’s guide to the eight top social media sites.

Lead with your profile

Once you’ve chosen the best social media platforms, it’s time to optimize your profiles. An optimized profile is important because it makes it easier for your audience to engage with you.

“This step is critical,” Skye points out, “because most of us have the attention span of a goldfish nowadays. When someone views your content and visits your profile, they need to know the value they get from your account immediately. Are you helping them build a better routine? Learn to use a product? Edit quicker? Are you helping them grow their platform like I do? Show that in your profile.”

An optimized profile turns casual viewers into followers, and grows your social media community. Skye’s top way to do this is with a clear, professional profile picture and an “I help” statement — a clear sentence that explains how you help people.

“My ‘I help’ statement is, ‘I help you navigate social media to grow your account sustainably,’” says Skye.

Randa goes as far as comparing a social media profile to a portfolio you share with your audience and potential clients. “Anyone looking at it should be able to get a feel for your personality, interests, and the type of content you like to create.”

Once you’ve dialed in those basics, fill out a complete profile to give your audience as much information as possible about who you are and what you do.

Let’s take a look at two well-optimized social media profiles to give you an idea of how you’ll best complete your own profile.

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Be sure to fill out each of these essential fields:

You can also choose to add your location (either your store or main headquarters; online or distributed companies may choose to leave this blank).

Take a look at NinaAndRanda’s optimized YouTube profile.

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They’ve filled out the following fields:

Below the fold, they also added a product link, and links to their other social media profiles and owned platforms like their website.

On Instagram, some businesses add a custom contact button so users can email them directly from their profile. Other contact options include a business phone number, Instagram audio calling, or adding an easy-to-find business address.

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Instagram also lets you add an “action button” to your profile, so users can can order food, “book now,” reserve seats, get a price quote, etc.

Diversify the type of content you post

Once you’ve optimized your profile, and an audience knows what you offer and will post about, it’s time to get publishing. You can create a variety of content to post on your social media channel, with each platform having various post types available, including text, photos, carousels, videos and reels, links, and stories. The algorithms are constantly changing and getting updated — recently Instagram shifted to prioritizing video over static images — so agility is key.

Skye encourages her clients to have fun with making different kinds of content. “Explore your style, try different things, and test out what you can do within these platforms.”

On Instagram, you can create the following types of content:

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Unlike regular Instagram Stories that vanish after 24 hours, Instagram Stories Highlights can live permanently on your profile. They're like curated collections of Instagram Stories that your followers — both old and new — can tap into and watch any time they like.

On Twitter, create content such as:

On TikTok, create video content that relates to:

Example of the viral Flip the Switch Challenge. One person stands closest to the mirror, holding still while recording the video on their phone. Meanwhile in the background, the other individual dances to the music until Drake raps the opening lyric, “Look, I just flipped a switch (Flipped, flipped)." This cue prompts the room’s light switch to be turned off and on, only to reveal that the two participants swapped outfits and positions during the transition.

Your content mix depends on the platform you’re using. You should be strategic about what content you’re creating based on the way the platform prioritizes it. For example, Instagram’s algorithm ranks Reels for their entertainment value, so you’ll want to keep things fun and upbeat. It also factors in whether the audience will watch a Reel until the end. Short and sweet is a best practice.

“The core of our content is still YouTube videos,” says Randa. “But adding more types of content lets you roll with the punches easier if the algorithm changes or if one type of content suddenly starts trending.”

Also, you can (and should) repurpose your content for multiple platforms. Different tools make it easy to take a video you made for YouTube, cut out a small part, switch your canvas, and then share it on a complementary platform, like TikTok.

Randa says, “Most of my content creation has been for YouTube, but I also repurpose it for TikTok. Adobe Premiere Pro has an auto-reframe feature so you can take your old content from YouTube and splice it down to 9:16 video sizing.”

Rather than duplicating efforts, optimizing the same content for different platforms makes it easy and efficient to spread out, and get more reach for a video. “That video then went viral on both YouTube and TikTok, which was so exciting,” Randa adds.

Get creative with your social content ideas

Diversifying your social media posts will get you traffic but figuring out what to post can be overwhelming.

Content creator Hillary Conheady shares this tip: “With the saturation of social media content, it’s more important now than ever to show your value as a brand or influencer to set yourself apart from the crowd. Create a feed that shows what makes your account unique and catch your audience’s attention within the first five seconds of swiping.”

Hillary’s feed represents a lifestyle that’s shown in what she does, what she wears, and what she buys. It’s important for her to create content that resonates with her audience and keeps them coming back. She can confidently know this by looking at the platform’s analytics to gain insight into her audience’s behaviors and actions - allowing Hillary to find out what kind of content they like to interact with most.

Consider one of the following creative content ideas:

Try researching what competitors and other companies in a similar industry are posting to get an informed idea of what works for your target audience. This is also a great way to zero in on your competition, so you can differentiate and make your content truly your own, while homing in on what your audience wants to see.

Where to get social media content inspiration

To come up with social media ideas, see what’s working for other content creators, and listen to your own audience. Skye looks through her viewer comments to find suggestions. She also looks at content by other creators both in and outside her niche.

“Start by seeing what people are talking about and start giving your opinion. You can credit them by saying, hey, I saw this tweet and here's what I think about it.”

She’ll also scroll through Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, and other platforms and take notes on her phone when she sees something she likes.

“I'll be in the grocery store or laying in bed or scrolling through TikTok, and I’ll write down content ideas when they come to me.”

Use the right tools to create stunning visual content

Whether you’re sharing photos or videos, you need the right tools to create and edit them. You can generate wow-factor footage natively in your smartphone, but sharing raw video — except for your stories and live feeds — may not be the best way to entertain your audience.

Instead, you’ll want to edit your work, add captions and stickers, and make other changes to make it pop.

Free tools like Adobe Express or Adobe Premiere Rush are simple to get started with, and help deliver an end result that’s visually appealing, which can promote audience engagement.

“I honestly stay inside the app as much as possible because the raw video is right there and you’re more likely to edit it and actually post it. For beginners, I always recommend staying right inside the app for your first six months and then we can talk about going to an outside tool after you get your feet wet.”

Here are a few key tips for editing your photo and video content in a way that will grow your social media accounts:

Be quick

Start by going fast. We mean Serena-Williams fast. Decide how much time you can devote to editing a video, then stick to it. “Unless you're making money off your videos, like with a brand deal, go fast,” says Skye. “You have to post consistently, and if you spend three hours editing one video, how much content can you actually push out and how quickly will you grow your profile?”

Use stock photos and videos

If you don’t have the time to take photos or videos yourself, there are other options to help you create more content. Many tools — Adobe Express included — have pre-made visuals and templates so you can easily start creating.

Here are some helpful (and free) Adobe templates and graphics for popular platforms:

Pay attention to optimal dimensions

Each social media platform and each type of content has different optimal image sizes. For example, Facebook prefers horizontal graphics while Instagram prefers square. You might share a horizontal video on Facebook or YouTube, but that same video will need to be vertical when you edit Instagram Reels or TikTok videos. Stay with the optimal dimensions when you create your social media content so that your content shows up properly on the various platforms

Stay on brand

When creating graphics or adding graphical elements to photos and videos, be sure to keep them branded. Many tools allow you to input your brand’s hex colors and update your brand fonts. This helps you increase brand strength and recognition online.

According to Skye, “One important tip is to have your formats, fonts, and brand colors already saved in your editing tool to make sure it stays as easy as possible to create a graphic.”

Pay attention to the types of photos, graphics, and videos that are trending. On TikTok, there might be a particular soundbite you can use to create fun content for your brand.

“You’ll see certain quotes or memes or video clips repeating on social media,” Skye says. “Reusing those is a really good way to harness existing recognition and popularity.”

Check out this TikTok video where Skye explains how to jump on online trends to grab some of that trendiness for yourself:

Use filters

Use the filters inside your design tool or use the ones available right in your social media apps. Just make sure to find a filter you love and keep it consistent throughout your feed so your content always looks on-brand and cohesive.

Add captions to video content

It’s important to add captions to your videos so viewers can still interact with them (and get drawn in by them) even when the sound is off. It is important to make your social media content accessible to those who may be hard of hearing.

And adding captions doesn’t have to be a chore. “Premiere Pro’s speech to text feature is a great way to add captions without spending lots of time,” says Randa.

Post consistently

If you want to reach maximum users, you need to create a consistent and regular posting schedule. Social media algorithms want regularly updated content to put in front of their users, so it’s in your best interest to oblige. (Here’s why you need a scheduling tool for your social content.)

Rather than wondering when the best time is to post content, focus on creating enough content to post daily. (Or, at the very least, each business day.)

“It’s important to post at least twice a week,” says Randa, “and if you want to grow, post every day or five times a week. Posting consistently is definitely key to continued growth.”

To make regular posting as easy as possible, create your content in bulk. Set aside a day or two each week or month to create all your social media photos, graphics, and videos, then schedule them ahead of time so you don’t have to publish new content all day long.

Many tools have a built-in content scheduler that makes it easy to create a social media post, then immediately schedule it for the correct date and platform.

Consistency is the key to social media growth, and the best way to make the algorithms happy. Start creating and sharing consistent social media content, and watch as you start getting more reach and followers — and customers!

Need publishing help? Check out the Adobe Express Content Scheduler.

Make your social media pop

Creating a presence for yourself on social media may seem daunting and overwhelming, but by starting small, staying focused and taking advantage of tools that help you create and promote attention-grabbing content, you’ll ramp up quickly. Try out the always free Adobe Express to start creating visual content that will make your social media pop, grow your following, and grow your brand.

More social media resources:

*Randa Nelson and Skyelar Garcia are Adobe partners and paid contractors of Adobe