42 new ideas to level up your social content
So your business already has an active social media presence, you’ve already got a well-researched strategy, and you’re feeling pretty savvy when it comes to marketing your business over social media platforms.
Believe it or not, now isn’t the time to say ‘mission accomplished’ and start high-fiving your colleagues. A social media content strategy should be in constant development; changing with the trends and shifting with your engagement levels.
You should also make an effort to avoid being too 'click-baity' but instead build your social media content strategy around useful and valuable information that your readers will want to return to (but more on that later).
With that in mind, here are some less-than-basic content ideas that you may not have tried before when planning social…
People love to be challenged. Whether it’s an industry-relevant riddle or a mini Wordsearch, it’ll offer your audience a great incentive to return to your social channels week by week.
A great idea for Instagram is to post an image and ask your followers to suggest the caption. Ideally, caption suggestions will be fairly amusing.
Live video is always popular. Give your followers a tour of the office, or host a tutorial or webinar.
Show your audience that you see them and appreciate them by repurposing the images they share of your product over social media. Not only will you strengthen the bond between your brand and customers, but you’ll also be given the chance to subtly promote your business.
Brands who show their human side come across as more approachable and will find it easier to connect to consumers. Use your social channels to shadow a member of the team for the day. Instagram stories would be the ideal place to showcase this content.
Own a coffee shop? How about #SipSipSaturday? Own a sports brand? How about #FootballFriday. Use your hashtag to share a weekly tip, offer, picture, or something else entirely.
Show some personality by sharing your company story. Talk about your founder, how the company got to where it is now, and post throwback pictures from the early days.
Use GIFs and Memes to make industry-relevant jokes.
Hosting a Q&A (whether it’s for your customers to ask questions about your product, or for other educational purposes) will show your audience that you care about their questions, concerns, and personal progression.
Let your audience get to know the faces behind the brand by creating content focused on individual team members.
Twitter chats can be great for bringing your audience together to discuss particular topics.
Asking your audience to contribute to the development of your products or services will make them feel more valued, and provide you with some wonderful feedback. You could also make this more fun by turning it into a competition. Cadburys is a great example here, who invited the public to design their own chocolate bar.
Nothing will get your social media channels buzzing like a bit of controversy. Don’t post anything that will cause offense, but feel free to share any news that may spark debate. Ask your audience for their opinions on the matter.
You can run a series of blogs, so why not do the same for your social media platforms? Post across a few days or weeks about a particular topic and give your audience something to follow.
Gather the best industry news and information from the week to share with your audience.
Give people a reason to follow you on social media by creating exclusive content. Only post about certain deals or offers on your social media channels or give your following the first look at new products.
A social media competition gives your audience the chance to be rewarded for supporting your business. It could also be pretty beneficial for raising your brand awareness.
Fuel debates by using polls in your social media strategy. Ask for your audience’s opinions, whether it’s about current events (e.g. who is going to win the Football), or about your brand directly (e.g. do you want our product to come in other colors).
Present your audience with questions such as ‘If you were in x situation, what would you do?’ If it’s an interesting or original scenario then it’s likely to elicit a variety of opinionated and varied responses.
These could be inspirational quotes, quotes from the team, or (positive) quotes from your customers about your business. Or pick and publish your favorite quotes from a website like BrainyQuote.
Talk about late-night pitch preparation, last-minute order fulfillment, or what you are working on today.
For example, if you run a coffee shop, show where the beans come from, how they are bought, and the process required to create the granules.
Everyone’s got their ‘go-to’ tactics. What are yours?
Ask your audience and run a poll. People generally like contributing, you get social engagement, and you get free market research. We call that a win.
It might be your office, a coffee shop, a car or a train. Ask your followers to share where they're working from today.
Encourage your audience to share a picture, but in a broader context of your industry and focus on encouraging engagement.
People will have strong views on controversial topics and will feel compelled to comment and tag others. The next point is obvious but essential; avoid any opinions that involve race, religion, sexual orientation, or politics.
Whether it’s running, cycling or settling down with a cup of tea and a good book. Social Media is social, so the more ‘human’, the better.
Use awareness days and national holidays as a way to jump on trends. You could keep your audience up to date on the newest apps and tools by reviewing apps such as Squad app.
Share the products you use daily and why you couldn't live without them. Remember to tag the company you’re talking about for additional reach.
What’s upcoming in your business? What are you focussing on right now? How are they benefitting you and your business? Sharing this on social media will help people understand your business and subtly promote what’s coming.
Think about what you do as a business and how you help people, then break this process down into a 5-day micro challenge.
What blogs, books, and podcasts are you enjoying right now and how are they benefitting you and your business? Tell all, and make sure to tag the creator.
Looking for a new CRM system, a new book to read, or the best way to do something? Be a conversation starter.
Look at what’s trending on Twitter and give your take.
Share what’s going on and what’s going through your mind. Speak to the camera; the rawer, the better.
Help your local coffee shop, blogger friend, or whomever by sharing why they’re your favorite on social. You can be sure that your efforts will be reciprocated.
Your target audience will have common challenges, and this is perfect for creating content such as top tips. It’s all about adding value.
An example would be getting your CEO involved, and giving your audience an opportunity to learn from them about everything there is to know about your industry.
If you’re attending an event, post about your attendance and what you’re looking forward to. Tag the speakers and organizers too as they will likely have large communities.
This is a perfect opportunity to create content around what it’s like to work with you. Get a customer on camera to talk about this from their perspective.
**OK, this isn't a content idea, it's just great practice. Ideas aren't any good floating about in your head. Add your ideas to a content calendar, collaborate on them with your team & post them to all your channels at once.
All of the above ideas are great inspiration when crafting a social media content plan. However, one important thing to master creating content is the balance between being attention-grabbing, and downright click-bait.
Clickbait is a controversial tactic used by bloggers, businesses, and the media to get more eyes on their content. While its use is often effective in bringing traffic to a particular source, there are still lots of drawbacks to take into consideration.
Let's take a quick tour of the pros and cons so you can make a judgement on how far to take your content.
On clickbait, Neil Patel states, “When done correctly, it’s one of the best ways to get people to take notice and give you their most precious asset: attention.”
Clickbait is great for spicing up headlines and titles to encourage people to click through to your content. The world of social media is incredibly saturated so it can often be hard to stand out and persuade the public to click when you’re competing with thousands of other publishers for your audience’s attention.
Time is incredibly valuable. Unless your content appears to be unique and interesting, people won’t be willing to take the time to read. This is when using clickbait tactics could be a good move for your business.
Clickbait can encourage your audience to click, but if they’re left feeling disappointed or deceived by your headline then they’re unlikely to return to your website or engage with your content in the future. Your content won’t be shared with others and ultimately is unlikely to bring any joy or value to the reader.
If you want to see how much engagement your content is getting currently, make use of our engagement rate calculator.
Using clickbait titles might bring you a lot of traffic, but when your audience ‘wise-up’ and realize that your content isn’t delivering exactly as you promised, they’re likely to leave your website pretty quickly (and probably never return). Facebook, for example, will judge your website’s quality based on a number of factors. If your bounce rate is abnormally high then their algorithm is likely to penalize your content and make it even harder for you to get noticed.
In essence, clickbait is a deception that will prevent you from growing a loyal and trusting audience. If your business needs to sell a product or service, the content you create should avoid being clickbaity at all costs. If potential customers read your content and can’t trust what you say, they’re unlikely to make any purchases.
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