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SMB Social Series: 4. Scaling your small business content

Look, this stuff gets exhausting. Even top creators hit a social media wall every now and then. Maybe you’re plain out of internet-winning ideas or tired of the day-in, day-out posting grind. Making social media work for your SMB is a lot harder than just pressing the “share” button... (Continue Reading)

Co- Authored by Morning Brew's Jack Appleby

Diversification is key to thriving.

I’m Jack Appleby, creator of Morning Brew’s Future Social, a newsletter that navigates the current landscape of social media. After working with brands and ad agencies for 10 years, I’ve joined the Brew Crew to write about the space and teach tricks ready for the biggest of brands and the smallest of mom-and-pops.


Look, this stuff gets exhausting. Even top creators hit a social media wall every now and then. Maybe you’re plain out of internet-winning ideas or tired of the day-in, day-out posting grind. Making social media work for your SMB is a lot harder than just pressing the “share” button.

You’ve learned simple strategies to hone your social game throughout this series, and now you can avoid burnout by scaling your content creation and diversifying your production. Rather than exhausting your biz’s online presence by resharing the same ol’ boring content time and time again, start thinking about the content itself.

Here are a few ways you can scale your SMB content and give your social an inspiring makeover.

Spruce up traditional still photos

Taking still photos of your products is an essential step in building out your biz’s online personality, but it can slip into boring territory fast. Nobody wants to see the same pic over and over again. Don’t ditch stills, though—just sprinkle new magic into ’em.

Start by revisiting the rule of thirds. Use eye-grabbing, colorful backdrops to accentuate whatever it is you want to advertise. Consider taking pictures in new angles (upward, sideways, downward, etc.). And don’t forget to inject a little humor into your captions.

Here’s an IRL example to get you started. Say you’re a nail tech building online buzz, but your pics are starting to get that same-y vibe. Mix things up by taking the following steps:

  • Post an exceptional gem design job to IG.
  • Ask the client if you can photograph their nails.
  • Have a background ready for their hands (something trendy like this always works).
  • Position their hand(s) in the lower left or lower right corner of the frame (rule of thirds).
  • Flick up! (That means take a pic).
  • Post to IG with a catchy caption.

Go Hollywood mode on your video content

Don’t panic: You don’t need to fork over armfuls of cash to get a celeb endorsement. I’m talkin’ about adding Oscar-worthy flourishes to your videos. Instead of just shooting your product head-on, consider using more exciting panning formats or zooming motions to provide sweeping effects to your content. Sure, easier said than done but I got you.

Let’s make things simple by returning to our nail tech example. You’ve just aced some French tips and want to showcase them with the client’s hands in motion rather than through a still photo. First, shoot a panning video where you sweep the camera across the client’s hands. This’ll open up your video and provide some room for it to breathe. You could also try showcasing the details of your work by slowly zooming in on the French tips from a steady angle. A slow-mo filter might work nicely here, too.

Before and after is always a hit

If you’ve spent any time scrolling TikTok, you’ve probably witnessed the “before and after” genre. Popular for service-oriented stuff such as haircuts, grooming services, tattoos, and, yep, manicures, before-and-after vids show a client before receiving a service and then after.

The transformative quality of before-and-afters always makes for hooky narratives, and they’ve proven to be audience favorites time and time again. I mean, who doesn’t love seeing some boring ol’ nails transformed into gold by intricate polish work? Yeah, everyone loves these.

Don’t be afraid to go behind the scenes

People love seeing what goes on behind the scenes. (Our cultural obsession with reality TV proves my point.) People wanna see your soft skills in motion, so create content that shows the world what goes on when the cameras are off.

How, exactly? Back to our nail tech. Here are a few ways to add some BTS to your salon content:

  • Wear a GoPro, film your manicure process, and speed it up into a TikTok.
  • Introduce your co-workers in a sitcom-style TikTok video.
  • Create a “day in the life” diary-style video.

The great thing about BTS content is that it’s easy to film. All you gotta do is shoot raw footage and then publish the gold. Creating content can start to feel like a chore. Avoid burnout by using these tips to scale your social strategies and refresh your content.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to crushing your socials is keep content fresh. And don't be afraid to mix things up on top of these tried-and-tested examples. Lean into what you and your customers love, and content creation will remain a breeze. 

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