Create a call to action
If there is no data available, display a big, centered text, saying something like
Nothing here yet with a nice, attention-grabbing image (Preferably single color).
Below that, create a call to action. Something like
Get started by adding new content or
Get started by pressing the plus-icon below, etc. You can even integrate a button into this "Nothing here"-Message. It's a good guiding system.
Best color for this would be grey text color on a grey background. Google Drive is a very good example. It can't be mixed up with content and provides a clear CTA (Drop your files here or use the button "New").
For comparison: Thats what it looks like when the folder isn't empty:
Facebook is doing something similar. You maybe know the call to action they place next to their like-buttons:
Be the first of your friends to like this. Or below videos or posts:
Be the first to comment.