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Strategy

22 Fresh Social Media Post Ideas for 2024

This list of engaging social media post ideas will help you out the next time you need to beat that dreaded writer’s block.

Michelle Martin June 18, 2024
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Be authentic. Post Reels. Target your ideal audience. Sacrifice a goat. Maybe those things got you noticed last year but not anymore.

With almost half (46%) of Gen Z “constantly online” — and Millennial oldies like me not far off, I’d argue — social media is more crowded than ever.

It’s not enough to post regularly, master Reels transitions, join TikTok, or follow what everyone else is doing. To grow this year, brands need to be original, likable, and useful.

If you’re not any of those things, here are 22 social media content ideas to do instead. (Kidding! You’re already great, and these ideas will make you even better.)

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22 creative social media content ideas

1. Use original audio in video content

It’s been a classic Instagram growth strategy for a while: Find a trending Reels or TikTok audio clip, make a video, get thousands of new followers, and repeat.

Those days are gone. Yes, you can still use a voiceover of Michael from The Office and yes, it may grow your Instagram a bit. But 2024 is all about original audio.

Brainstorm your own funny skits instead, or go basic and answer your customers’ questions.

Using original audio in your video can:

  • Keep people watching longer, not knowing how it will end (as they do with trending audio after seeing a few).
  • Showcase your creativity and, potentially, make you — gasp — go viral.

2. Create “how to” content on YouTube Shorts

How-to YouTube Shorts hook people right away with quick visuals and a specific end result. If you sell a product, show your audience how to use it — either the “regular way” or something creative.

Service providers, share your process or steps to achieve a quick win, like your best sales email script or a software tutorial.

How-to YouTube Shorts can help you:

  • Attract new subscribers.
  • Rapidly test to find out what your audience wants to see or learn about most.

3. Start an educational or behind-the-scenes series

You’ve heard of #ThrowbackThursday and #SundayFunday but instead of regurgitating these tired trends, create your own daily or weekly series. It’s more original, and it’ll make your content planning process easier.

Instead of having to think of three new post ideas for the upcoming week, you’ll already know the format and theme of your series and can get into creating it right away.

For max efficiency, keep a running list of all your ideas then pick one to film for the week, or film and schedule them all in bulk a month or more ahead of time.

In-depth educational series work especially well on YouTube. To keep people watching, create a YouTube playlist and link to it from each video’s description.

education youtube playlist answering youtube related questions

Source: YouTube

A behind-the-scenes series (even a playful one, like this example from SEMrush)  gives your audience a unique glimpse into your brand’s operations and helps you build a deeper connection with your audience.

@semrush

This is actually not the worst thing our boss has caught the digital marketing team doing 👀 #digitalmarketing #marketingdigital #digitalmarketingagency #marketingteam #officememes

♬ liquoriceinstrumental – vee

A content series can help you:

  • Build momentum toward a product launch or event.
  • Demonstrate your expertise and earn trust.
  • Keep a consistent publishing schedule.

4. Invest in UGC content

UGC, or “user-generated content,” isn’t new but it’s definitely time to hop on board if you haven’t already. Like influencer marketing, UGC content is created by people instead of the brand, but — traditionally — UGC content comes from unpaid, real customers.

Why bother? Your customers are 2.4 times more likely to interact with UGC vs. brand-created content. Authenticity sells.

Create a hashtag for your customers to use and feature their photos or videos in your feed.

Don’t have a big audience yet? No worries: You can buy authenticity, too. UGC creators are big in 2024: People paid to create content that looks like organic customer content.

UGC content can help you:

  • Promote your products without seeming too sales-y.
  • Gather diverse assets to repost across your social accounts or use in other content. For example, photos of people of many different ethnicities using your products, or multiple home decor styles, like Wayfair’s example above.

5. Prioritize content that is easy to make

Spicy take: Some businesses are luckier than others when it comes to social media content ideas.

Exhibit A: What type of content is universally adored by everyone, regardless of language, location, culture, demographics, or interests?

Cute animal videos.

The San Diego Zoo doesn’t overthink their social content strategy. People like cute animal videos, so they give them cute animal videos. It’s really that easy sometimes.

Think of what “simple content” looks like for your business. What can you make in 5 minutes or less? Then, make a bunch all at once and bulk schedule up to 350 pieces of content at a time to automatically publish with Hootsuite. Ahh, the simple life.

Simple content can:

  • Allow for batched production and scheduling, cutting down content creation time.
  • Appeal to multiple customer types and audiences.

6. Embrace memes and trending content

Humor is always in style because there’s always something to be sad about. So give your audience a lil’ giggle, eh?

Memes and trends provide tons of inspiration for our own social team. “Most of my ideas come from scrolling for hours on different networks to see what we could parody or if there is a trend we could jump on,” says Trish Riswick, Social Team Lead at Hootsuite.

“I typically look at TikTok and LinkedIn for ideas because what you find on those networks can often be adapted for Instagram, Facebook, Threads and X.”

Maybe run super spicy stuff through legal compliance first. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Memes can help you:

  • Gain new followers by cashing in on new, trending memes.
  • Appear cooler than you are. (That’s a joke. You’re very cool. Memes will help your audience see that.)

7. Launch a challenge

Challenges are a fun way to boost engagement, potentially get some juicy UGC (user-generated content), and subtly promote yourself at the same time.

Some businesses have more obvious challenge ideas than others. Strava hosts annual running challenges for Pride.

Challenges can help:

  • Educate or inspire your audience, and encourage them to take action on a goal or use your product more.
  • Fill up your content calendar. Share your audience’s work as part of your content curation process.

8. Leverage AI for social content ideas

I’m just a writer standing in front of ChatGPT asking it not to take my job. Just kidding. AI can’t replace this kind of—

OpenAI social media post ideas

Source: OpenAI

Crap. Okay, but seriously: AI is our friend (at least until it tries to reprogram our microwaves to kill us all).

I didn’t use ChatGPT when I outlined this article, but it came up with several of the same social media post ideas.

None of them are rocket science, but that’s exactly the point: Let AI do your easy tasks so you have more time to create the original elements of your content that will make you stand out.

As a small business owner, you’re probably either still doing all your own social media or relying on a small team. If coming up with ideas is stopping you from posting as much as you’d like, AI content tools get the ball rolling.

Just don’t put all your eggs in one artificial basket. Use your human brain for content ideas, too.

AI content tools can help you:

  • Fill up a list of content ideas so you can get creating faster.
  • Overcome writer’s block.
  • Save time on idea generation so you can focus on the real work that moves your business forward. (Spoiler alert: It’s content.)

Did you know that Hootsuite comes with OwlyWriter AI, a built-in creative AI tool that saves social media pros hours of work?

You can use OwlyWriter to:

  • Write a new social media caption in a specific tone, based on a prompt
  • Write a post based on a link (e.g. a blog post or a product page)
  • Generate post ideas based on a keyword or topic (and then write posts expanding on the idea you like best)
  • Identify and repurpose your top-performing posts on social media
  • Create relevant captions for upcoming holidays
Using Hootsuite OwlyWriter AI to write an Instagram caption: Typing in the subject and selecting the tone from a drop-down list.

To get started with OwlyWriter, sign in to your Hootsuite account and head to the Inspiration section of the dashboard. Then, pick the type of AI magic you want to see in action.

OwlyWriter AI in Hootsuite. Main screen with available choices: Repurpose your top posts, start from scratch, get inspired, turn web content into posts, get your holiday calendar ready

For example, if you’re not sure what to post, click on Get inspired. Then, type in the general, high-level topic you want to address and click Get ideas.

Generating social media post ideas in Hootsuite's OwlyWriter AI

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OwlyWriter will generate a list of post ideas related to the topic: 

AI-generated social media post ideas in Hootsuite's OwlyWriter AI

Click on the one you like best to move to the next step — captions and hashtags.

AI-generated social media post captions in Hootsuite's OwlyWriter AI

Pick the caption you like and click Create post. The caption will open in Hootsuite Composer, where you can make edits, add media files and links, check the copy against your compliance guidelines — and schedule your post to go live later.

AI-generated post idea in Hootsuite Composer

And that’s it! OwlyWriter never runs out of ideas, so you can repeat this process until your social media calendar is full — and sit back to watch your engagement grow.

Start your free 30-day trial

9. Run a contest

Social media contests are always a good idea because people love free stuff.

Give away a gift card to your business or something you sell. You can do anything from the super-simple “like, follow, and comment” format, to more involved contests like asking your followers to share a photo, tag a friend, or fill out a survey.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the effort of entering the contest in line with the prize value. Smaller value prize = less effort to enter, higher value prize = more effort.

For brick and mortar businesses, target local people with a fun scavenger hunt contest:

Social media contests can help you:

  • Rapidly grow your follower counts and audience.
  • Generate potential leads.
  • Find out valuable information about your customers through surveys to inform your marketing strategy.
  • Gather content assets you can use for future campaigns (for photo or video submission contests).

10. Feature customer testimonials

What’s the best way to sell your products or services on social media? Showing not telling.

Share a testimonial or transformation story from a customer. It goes much further to gain trust than talking about yourself.

This can be as easy as whipping up a testimonial quote graphic, or better yet: Film a short video interviewing your customer. Edit it into multiple versions and share them across TikTok, Reels, Instagram Stories, YouTube videos, and more.

Keep social media videos under 60 seconds for best results.

Customer stories (especially video ones!) are:

  • More impactful and versatile than a written testimonial.
  • Great selling tools: People with the same problem as your featured customer see you as the solution.

11. Partner with content creators and influencers

Creators, a.k.a. influencers (or KOLs), are often pictured working with huge brands only, but 2024 is the year small businesses take over.

Our Social Trends report found only 28% of small businesses currently work with creators whereas 42% of businesses with over 1,000 employees do.

Adding influencer marketing to your strategy this year will help you stand out from your peers, and deliver cost-effective campaigns in these uncertain financial times.

You don’t need a big announcement to start partnering with creators. New research shows influencer campaigns have up to 30.5% higher ROI when they’re not for new product launches.

You also don’t need to dish out a million dollars to hire an influencer. Micro and nanoinfluencers are a much more budget-friendly option — and can actually be more effective than very big creators in getting their audiences to take action (e.g. click through to your website or buy a product).

@drinkpoppi

the collab you didn’t know you needed until now 👀 introducing @PopUpBagels x @drinkpoppi 🍊🍦🥯 get ready for the orange cream cheese of your dreams 😋 available for preorder at 12PM EST today + at all PopUp Bagels locations starting this Thursday, 6/20 – who’s going?! #drinkpoppi #poppi #popupbagels #popupbagelsnyc #bageltok #orangecream #orangecreampoppi #asmr #collab #fyp #fy

♬ original sound – Poppi

Creator partnerships can help you:

  • Reach valuable audiences who trust the creator introducing you, often for much less than paying for ads.
  • Gather high-quality photos or videos you can use in future campaigns, on your website, and more.

12. Get feedback from your customers

Dying to know what your customers want? Just ask them.

This doesn’t mean that because one person suggests something, it’s a good idea or that you need to do it right away. But allowing customers to choose new flavors or the next event topic brings them closer to your business and builds a sense of community.

Asking for feedback on social media can:

  • Encourage engagement. Make sure to reply to comments, even just to say thank you.
  • Deepen existing customer relationships and develop new ones.

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You can definitely use the tips above, but these social media ideas are especially effective for B2B brands:

13. Share your best case studies

Testimonials, success stories, before and afters, yada yada — same-ish, different words for one thing: Demonstrating your capabilities.

B2B buyers are looking for a result, not the hope of a result.

By how much % did your customer’s email open rate increase after using your A/B testing software? Exactly how much money did your solution save your customer?

Pull some key stats out of an existing case study and make a few graphics to post on social, or edit them into a video for a TikTok or Reel (depending which social media platforms you’re on).

Case studies can help:

  • Build trust. Testimonials are great, but numbers and statistics convince.
  • Your prospects understand your product’s key features in action.

14. Help your community

Do you regularly give money or volunteer time to local non-profits? Do you offer employees a paid day to volunteer at an organization important to them? Recently sponsored a fundraiser or event?

Show how involved you are with local and industry communities. Tap into the Instagram Reels algorithm by asking your employees to record a short clip of their volunteer day to share.

If you support an event, stitch a few clips together into a quick Reel, TikTok, or YouTube Short and let your customers know the impact of their contributions to the cause.

Community involvement can help you:

  • Build trust within your local area and make people feel good about shopping at your business vs. a competitor.
  • Network with other local businesses and indirectly, though effectively, promote yourself to attract new clients.

15. Post your research

Have a new white paper or study? Grab a few key stats and create social content linking back to the full report.

Make graphics for carousel posts and short videos for Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts. Or, offer a few pages of your report as a PDF on LinkedIn with a link to download the rest.

Use online graphic design tools to turn your statistics into animations you can post as Reels for higher visibility in the Instagram algorithm.

Sharing your research can help you:

  • Target and attract your ideal audience.
  • Build credibility within your industry, especially for new companies.

16. Share your company culture with employee spotlights

Besides selling, recruiting top talent should also be a main goal in your B2B social media marketing plan. Sharing open jobs is part of that, but so is sharing why someone should consider you in the first place.

If you can, weigh in on a popular hashtag to further increase your reach.

Of course, this means you actually have to offer great benefits for your team members. If you don’t already, start now.

Showing your company culture can:

  • Keep you top of mind when a competitor’s star employee is looking for a change.
  • Help advance important benefits and protections for employees across your sector or country. (Social progress is cool.)

17. Start a poll or ask a question

Posting a poll or asking a question on social media gets your audience involved, making them feel heard and valued.

It’s a fun way to boost interaction and engagement rates. Plus, you get to learn more about what your followers think and like, which can help you create better content in the future.

In this example, this creator shares a vulnerable moment and asks her followers what their worst skincare decision was, starting a 50+ comment conversation.

18. Celebrate a social media holiday

Joining in on a social media holiday lets you tap into trending topics and showcase your brand’s fun side, making your posts more relatable.

Holidays are a great way to engage with your audience in a lighthearted way, boosting your visibility and attracting new followers — and there are tons of holidays every month.

We made a handy calendar for you to keep up with all of them.

19. Share the latest industry news

Sharing industry news on social media shows you’re on top of the latest information, making you a go-to source for your followers. These posts help build trust with your followers, showing that you care about keeping them in the loop.

Plus, exciting news can encourage more conversations and interactions, which will boost your engagement rate (and your reach).

20. Partnering with another brand

Partnering with another brand—either in your space or in a related industry—is a great way to expand your audience and connect with new potential fans.

When Scrub Daddy and Dunkin’ Donuts collabed to celebrate National Donut Day (another weird social media holiday!), their playful post earned a bunch of attention.

21. Share live video updates

Going live to announce a new product release or exciting collaboration is a great way to encourage audience interaction. Live streaming is authentic, engaging and creates an unbeatable sense of urgency.

Your live stream doesn’t have to be quite as high-profile as Apple’s regular product announcements, but take the attention they generate as proof that going live works.

22. Offer exclusive promos

Want to build loyalty on social? Exclusive deals are a great way to make sure you’re making the most of your online audience.

Special deals just for your followers, like this one from JD Sports, also act as a low-stakes reward for your community.

Bonus: Download our free, customizable social media calendar template to easily plan and schedule all your content in advance.

Plan, schedule, and analyze all your social media content from one organized workspace with Hootsuite. Go further than the basic features you’d expect with Best Time to Publish, social listening tools, automatic post boosting, and more. Do it all across all your platforms with Hootsuite.

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By Michelle Martin

As an ex-agency strategist turned freelance WFH fashion icon, Michelle is passionate about putting the sass in SaaS content. She's known for quickly understanding and distilling complicated technical topics into conversational copy that gets results. She has written for Fortune 500 companies and startups, and her clients have earned features in Forbes, Strategy Magazine and Entrepreneur.

Read more by Michelle Martin

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