One of the most frequent questions I get asked when I’m training others in social media marketing is “But, what do I post on social media? What do I talk about each day?”. I know it can be daunting – you know you should be posting something, but end up sitting, staring at a blank screen. At my workshops, I insist that people set aside time in their diary to plan and create their social media content and my handouts contain some ideas, but here’s a list of engaging social media content ideas that will hopefully help you to avoid this situation!
- Quotes – inspirational quotes (taking advantage of #MondayMotivation), or humorous quotes usually gain engagement
- Tips – just small nuggets of relevant information and advice for your industry to show off your expertise in your field and provide value to your followers. For example:
— LAMB Social Media (@lambsocialmedia) April 19, 2017
- Interviews – interview leaders in your industry or community
- Polls – Twitter and Facebook both offer in-built poll functions – gauge your followers’ thoughts and feelings
- Questions – directly ask your followers a question (and engage with their answers, creating a conversation)
- Go behind the scenes – office pets, factory tours, shots of your employees at work… they’ll all help to humanise your business
- Industry news – again showing off your expertise and knowledge in your field, but also content that your audience will find helpful
- Post an expert quote – Ask an expert in your industry a question, then post their answer on social media. This is good for getting retweets / shares!
- Share industry predictions – Speculate on what’s in store for your industry
- Customer feedback and testimonials – this has social proof and will hopefully encourage others to buy from you too
— Sophie Elliott (@sophieephotos) October 28, 2016
- Ask for customer feedback – people are, for the most part, friendly and just need a little encouragement to provide you with some positive feedback
- Answer your customers’ questions – do you have a set of questions that your customers frequently ask? Share the answers on social media; the betting is that someone else is looking for the answer to that question.
- Throwbacks – #TBT (or #ThrowbackThursday) is a popular hashtag on Twitter and provides an opportunity for you to get your audience talking about your old logos, old premises, old products, old pictures of the town your office is in etc.
— BMW UK (@BMW_UK) February 19, 2015
- Recommended accounts to follow – #FF (or #FollowFriday) is popular on Fridays and allows you to recommend other business’ accounts to your audience. This shows your audience that you’re not just trying to sell to them, and puts you on the radar of the recommended business too.
- A special offer or deal – this is still a popular reason for people following and liking businesses’ social media accounts and can generate engagement as people share it with their friends and family.
- Hold a competition – although make sure you have a reason for doing so (for example, to gain more leads through email sign ups; or to increase your following) and that you target your ideal customer. There’s no use in having a prize of a box of chocolates that anyone can enter to win, only for you to gain followers who will never need to do business with you.
- User generated content – encourage your customers to share photos of them using your product or service with you. This is great for social proof too!
- Your products – be careful with this one. You don’t necessarily want to be posting sales messages, but instead you could post a photo or video of your product being used and show off how it helps to solve a problem for your audience.
- Your best-sellers – Show images of your best selling products with an explanation of why you think they are a best seller
- Images that resonate with your audience and your brand – think of an estate agent. They sell houses, but would show images of the lifestyles that a family could lead simply by purchasing the house. Three are good at this…
When they just won’t let the conversation end… pic.twitter.com/CUvFd3Yu67
— Three UK (@ThreeUK) May 1, 2017
- Your employees – post ‘a day in the life of our…’ or profiles of the people that work for you. This will humanise your business.
- Blog posts – if you write blog posts or newsletters for your business, these can be shared on social media too. And you can make more than one post out of each newsletter or blog too – maybe your blog post is a list of the top 6 wedding themes this year… there’s 6 different posts, each linking to your blog post!
- Old blog posts – there’s no harm in recycling the content you spent time working on in the past. It will be exposed to new followers and those who didn’t see it last time round.
- Tutorials – the most commonly searched for term is ‘how to…’. Share a tutorial showing people how to use your product. This could be a video (which social media platforms are pushing further up news feeds) or an infographic.
- Show off your customers – post case-studies, Q&As, thanking them using their usernames… It pays to be kind. Saying thank you with perks, public attention and personalised responses makes your customers (and your followers) feel good
- Public Holidays and Events – Have a look at your calendar. Are there any upcoming notable dates (the Queen’s birthday / a Bank Holiday / Easter / Pancake Day / Valentine’s Day…)? These are great opportunities for you to create timely, relevant content. Take a look at Twitter’s Analytics tool – there’s a whole section called ‘Events’ which will show you what events are coming up and how many people are talking about them. You can narrow this down to just UK events too.
— Starbucks UK (@StarbucksUK) March 17, 2017
- Hashtag Days – Another opportunity for timely content. Log in to your social media accounts and see what’s trending. There are even hashtag days that occur on the same day each year, such as #NationalChristmasTreeDay which even the Royal Family took advantage of last year!
- Your own upcoming events – Holding a workshop? Attending a conference? Going to the local carnival? Talk about events where you or someone from your business will be present
- Fundraisers – Show your support for local or national charity fundraisers. I even update my profile pics for the bigger fundraisers, such as Children in Need, but always ensure I’ve donated before doing so
- Create a series of posts – I write some blog posts like this, and it can easily apply to social media content too. Share a series of similar posts that tell a story over a certain number of days.
- Find out what your competitors are sharing, and go one better – it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your competition anyway, but using tools such as Twitter Lists, you can almost spy on your competitors, see what they’re sharing, and simply be better than they are!
- Promote your product or service – Now. The reason this is the very last idea of what to post on social media is because you should be using social media to build relationships, gain trust, and show yourself as an expert in your field. That’s not to say that you can’t be self promoting occasionally, but if you are being relevant, helpful, and trustworthy, and your competitor is just sending out sales messages, who do you think will be chosen by someone who’s ready to make a purchase?
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and some of these will resonate with your audience while others won’t – we are all appealing to different demographics. Just ensure that you have a purpose for posting on social media and remember to be informative, educational, or entertaining. That way you’ll be able to measure your success and encourage engagement with your posts.
What do you think? What do you post to social media? Do you have additional ideas for anyone thinking ‘what do I post on social media?’? Leave your comments below.