Brand Knew’s Need-To-Know Expert Guide to Content Creation

First thing’s first: there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for content creation. In fact, one of the pillars of curating powerful, effective, and engaging social content is doing so with authenticity. Spitting out derivative designs and copycat concepts on your brand’s social accounts will do nothing more than earn you a one-way ticket to Low Engagement Rates, USA.

With this important caveat in mind, there are still some general best practices we’ve developed at Brand Knew when it comes to the content we ideate around and create for our clients (and for ourselves!). Here are the most important components of content creation we practice (and are consistently fine tuning) firsthand in our work.

Tricks for How to Source Social Content

  1. Share news articles – Sharing news articles relevant to your brand is an easy way to consistently cull content. Of course it’s important to be mindful of the news outlets and sources of these articles to ensure they’re credible and recent. Small tip: always make sure to really read an article from top to bottom. 
  2. Collect quotes for designed assets – Continuously gather quotes for designed quote card assets. Maintaining a bank of quotes to pull from is a handy way to ensure you always have content at the ready. For certain brands, it’s applicable to do the same process for stats so that you can create designed stat cards in a similar fashion.
  3. Repurpose and repackage existing content – Don’t try to reinvent the wheel with each social post you create. Looking at content you already have on hand or that you’ve already created for other purposes and seeing how you can rework it for a social post, is an efficient way to create a social post.

Always Consider Your Brand’s Messaging

All of the content you put out across your social channels should serve a greater purpose related to your brand’s message. Don’t post something just for the sake of posting. Always consider your brand’s tone and mission, and make sure each content piece you share aligns with and ladders up to those key brand drivers.


Timeliness is one of the most important elements of social content. Your content strategy should regularly tap into cultural conversations through the lens of your brand. Don’t be performative in weighing in on these moments though, posting in response in a surface-level way. Instead, think critically about how your brand actually feels about the topic at hand and reflect upon the unique perspective of your brand so that you can contribute authentically to the discussion.


Cultivating an authentic brand voice within your social content is critical. Even more important than being shiny, polished, and “perfect” is coming across as honest and real to your audience. Breaking down the wall between your brand and your followers will build trust and a sense of intimacy between you and your digital community. Ideally, users will see value in following your accounts and engaging with your content because you’ve established your social presence as a portal to a more in depth way of participating in the world of your brand.

Value Additive

What does a given user get out of following you on social? What sort of value does your content provide to your followers? Always consider how the content you put out will benefit your audience. Entertain, educate, inspire, uplift…


Increase your brand exposure and awareness by creating content that is highly and easily shareable. Ideating around content with shareability in mind is a savvy strategy in expanding your reach organically.

How to Create Grid-Worthy Social Assets

  1. Always mindfully optimize assets for each platform.
  2. Keep assets clean, eye-catching, and legible.
  3. Don’t overwhelm a design with too much copy.
  4. When designing quote cards and stat cards, always include a credit line that highlights the source and date of the quote or stat.
  5. Alternate your brand colors in designed assets to ensure the look and feel of the Instagram grid is visually appealing and cohesive.
  6. Use design templates for easy asset creation.
  7. Thoughtfully source stock imagery when necessary to use as assets on social and in other digital communications. Choose photos that have a sense of authenticity and don’t feel too staged or polished. It can be helpful to keep a running doc or folder of stock images to pull from directly. To elevate a stock photo and make it feel more authentic to your brand, add various branded design elements to the photo.

Cater your Content for Each Social Platform

Every social platform is different, with its own unique set of quirks to be aware of as you create content. Audiences for your brand can also vary per platform, so continuously analyze what content of yours is resonating on what platform and why. Do news articles perform better on your Facebook than on your Instagram? Is a certain tone resonating better with your Twitter audience than your Facebook audience? These are the types of questions you should constantly be asking yourself. 

There are also more quantitative differences between each platform to always keep in mind that we’ve laid out below:

  • Asset dimensions: 1080×1080 (best for mobile), 1200×628 
  • Can post videos that are up to 240 minutes long
  • Facebook favors longer-form videos
  • Optimal video dimensions: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Use Facebook’s subtitle auto-generator feature to add subtitles to all video assets. 
  • Image carousel limit: none 
  • Caption character count limit: 63,206 characters
  • Links are live within captions
  • No limit on the number of links that can be included within a caption
  • In-feed/grid post asset dimensions: 1080×1080
  • Instagram Story asset dimensions: 1080×1920
  • Can only drive to 1 link in bio per Instagram post 
  • Your account needs to hit 10K followers on Instagram or be verified to have the swipe-up feature enabled in Instagram Stories.
  • Image carousel limit: 10 images 
  • Caption character count limit: 2,200 characters
  • Don’t use links in Instagram copy since Instagram captions don’t generate live (clickable) links. Instead, hub links within the link in bio, and then drive to the link in bio in the CTA (call to action) of your caption. 
  • Videos under 1 minute will appear as standard 1080×1080 posts on the Instagram grid/feed.
  • Videos that are longer than 1 minute will appear as IGTV videos. IGTV videos can be featured as a 1-minute preview on the grid, not cropped to 1080×1080. After the 1-minute preview concludes, users are directed to “Keep Watching” within IGTV by pressing an overlaid button that appears on screen.
  • Optimal IGTV dimensions are 1080 x 1920 pixels (other dimensions can cause the sides of the video to be cut off).
  • It is a best practice to include subtitles in all video assets as many social media users experience posts with their sound off. 
  • Tag outside accounts directly in copy and within the asset so your post appears in their tagged photos to maximize awareness and brand exposure.
  • Break up your Instagram grid by alternating between designed assets, photos, videos, and other content types. 
Instagram Highlights
  • You can save up to 100 photos or videos to a single Instagram Highlight bubble.
  • There is no limit to the number of Instagram Highlight bubbles you can have on your profile. 
  • The order in which your Instagram Highlight bubbles appear on your profile is based on which bubble you’ve added a highlight to most recently. As of now, there’s no way to have a fixed and manual arrangement of the bubbles in an order of your choosing. This means the positioning of your highlight bubbles will always be shifting, so keep this in mind when designing the covers of your highlight bubbles. 
  • The character limit for the titles of Instagram Highlight bubbles is 15 characters, though not 15 characters will be visible from your profile and will instead be cut off with an ellipses. To have all characters of your titles visible without being cut off, keep them to 9 characters and below.
  • The order of your highlights within each highlight bubble is chronological from oldest to newest; your oldest Story update will appear first in the sequence, and your newest Story update will appear last. 
  • When sourcing content for newly launched Highlight bubbles, search the Instagram Archive feature to see expired Instagram Stories that you can save to a given highlight bubble. 
  • Asset Dimensions: 1200×675
  • Maximum photos in a single Tweet: 4
  • 280 character limit per tweet. Creating a thread of response tweets is a workaround when character count exceeds 280.
  • Maximum video length: 2 minutes and 20 seconds
  • Optimal video dimensions: 1200×1200 
  • Other Twitter accounts can be tagged on the photo of a Tweet instead of in the text of the Tweet to save characters. A maximum of 10 accounts can be tagged on a given photo.
  • If your Tweet starts with a direct tag, you must put a period before the tag to ensure the Tweet appears on your profile. Otherwise the Tweet will post, but it won’t be seen on your Twitter page. Example: .@brandknewknew is so creative and cool. Wow. I want to be just like them!
  • It is a best practice to include subtitles in all video assets as many social media users experience posts with their sound off.

Don’t Just be Content with your Content

Even after you’ve mastered these basics of content creation and have a successful social content strategy you’re proud of, there’s always room for innovation and pushing the bounds of creativity. Don’t be scared to try new things on your social feeds to see what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. If you’re too precious and protective with what you post, you run the risk of falling into a rut and ultimately falling behind. Be sure to stay up to date on new developments on each social platform, and see how you can authentically leverage those for your brand.