Every social media manager has been there. You know you should post something but are fresh out of interesting ideas. What will my audience care about? How many times have I done the same thing? The more urgent the need to post something is, the more blank your mind becomes.
This cheat sheet of engaging social media content ideas will help you beat that dreaded writer’s block.
Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.
Social media content ideas to get you out of a rut
Ask relevant questions
If you want to win friends and influence people, renowned self-improvement author Dale Carnegie recommends expressing genuine interest in them.
Do this by asking your audience for their opinion or thoughts on a topic relevant to your industry.
For example, if you are a makeup brand, you could ask “What are your must-have makeup essentials this summer? Share in the comments below!” instead of a more generic “Any fun summer plans?” Encourage the sharing of information that other audience members will find valuable, and you’ll undoubtedly see greater engagement.
Recognize holidays and important dates
If you find yourself staring blankly at your computer screen, take a moment to check out your desktop calendar. Are there any upcoming holidays or notable dates? These are great opportunities for creating timely content.
For Valentine’s Day, you could run a “customer love” campaign to show appreciation. This could be as simple as sharing an image of something your brand loves, or post any love-themed image or quote.
Look to popular daily hashtags for ideas
Much like holidays and special dates, looking to daily hashtags for content ideas is another easy win.
As we describe in our post, Daily Hashtags Explained: What They Mean and How to Use Them, “By understanding popular daily hashtags and the most appropriate way to use them, you can significantly boost your engagement and brand visibility.” Check out that post for a comprehensive look at the different types of daily hashtags you can incorporate into your social media content.
Take your audience behind-the-scenes
The next time you’re sitting at your desk wondering what you’re going to post to your company’s Instagram account, take a look around your office. Is there anything happening that could be of interest to your audience? Even something as simple as a coworker’s birthday celebration can offer an opportunity to showcase your workplace culture, and create a deeper human connection to your brand.
Our guide, Instagram Post Ideas: 6 Types of Content That Work, shares a few types of behind-the-scenes content you can create right now:
- Employee profiles, including executives and even the CEO
- Workplace tours to showcase where and how your products are made
- Office pet features (If your office allows dogs, do a feature or social media takeover as we did with this Instagram post)
- Action shots of employees and team members hard at work
- Photos and videos from events that your brand organized or is involved in
Run a contest
While this might require a bit more planning and effort than other content ideas, the payoffs can be huge. Contests are a great way to connect with your audience and get them excited about your brand. Before you launch your contest, make sure you set clear goals, have a desirable prize ready, and provide guidelines for participants. If you don’t know where to start, Hootsuite Campaigns can help you out.
For more information, check out:
- How to Run a Successful Instagram Contest
- Everything You Need to Know to Run a Successful Facebook Contest
- How to Create, Manage, and Measure Twitter Contests
- 4 Excellent User Generated Contests Using Social Media
Shine a spotlight on your customers
A good way to show appreciation to your customers, and have unique content on hand, is by promoting customer profiles or sharing case studies. On Twitter, this could be as easy as a #FF (Follow Friday) post where you include a top customer’s handle in your Tweet.
On Instagram or Facebook, you can post case-study videos, Q&As, or other interesting profiles of your customers. Find unique ways to showcase them, and you show your audience that you appreciate each and every one of them.
Share a reading list
You can provide value to your audience with a reading list—just make sure it’s relevant to your industry and business.
To put together a list, think about books you’re actually reading or have read recently, or crowdsource ideas from your colleagues. Alternatively, share a reading list put together by your business’ CEO. People love seeing what content the best and brightest leaders are consuming.
Compile a weekly roundup
If you’re facing end-of-the-week-burnout, a great way to maintain an active social media presence is by sharing a weekly roundup. Showcase your brand’s industry knowledge by posting a list of the top news stories of the week. Or you can share the best photos posted by your customers, or a roundup of new people or brands to follow.
If you’re wondering why you’d share other people’s content rather than creating brand new material, our guide Improve Your Content Curation Strategy with These 5 Tips explains, “Simply put, there’s too much content out there to sift through. Instead, readers turn to sources they can count on to share quality, relevant content. And then they reward those sources with their gratitude and trust—and often, their business.”
Answer a common question
If you notice your social media mentions including the same questions being asked over and over again, you have your next post idea. Create a post or video where you feature one question and answer it as best you can for your audience.
The answer is valuable to your audience and you save yourself time by answering the question proactively. This also shows your audience and customers that you care.
Share a snippet from one of your blog posts
If your brand runs a regularly updated blog, you have a goldmine of content at your disposal. Find one highlight or take away from your most recent blog post (or a consistently popular one), and share it.
On Instagram, this could be in the form of a text-based post or as a caption accompanying a relevant image. On Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, you can use this valuable tidbit as a teaser and way to entice readers to click-through to your blog site.
Presenting short, snappy, and impactful content appeals to an audience and encourages them to share your posts.
The next time you find yourself strapped for time and ideas, there’s no need to panic. Bookmark this list and start creating your next piece of killer content.
Use Hootsuite to plan your social media content—whether it’s last minute or not. Try it free today.