As social media marketers work to build a following, one of the biggest challenges is coming up with fresh content ideas that can engage audiences.
Resorting to the same types of posts over and over again can bore followers. This can lead to fewer likes, shares, comments and clicks on links you share.
Worse still, influencers and other important fans may unsubscribe.
Read these 120 social media content ideas to keep engagement high, and you won’t be left scratching your head when it’s time to post:
1. Tips: Lend a helping hand to your audience members. Give them tips they can use to up work performance or better understand their industry.
2. Breaking News: Act a news source, sharing niche- and sector-specific stories. Setting up Google Alerts for keywords is your first step.
Breaking: Turkey says Russia violated its airspace again Friday, issues warning to Moscow https://t.co/5xQPDPcm8q
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 30, 2016
3. Opinion Pieces: Share opinion articles from thought leaders about breaking news, giving your followers a deeper understanding of key issues.
4. Industry Research: Dig deep into academic journals and research organizations’ archives to find relevant research. It doesn’t always have to be new – some research doesn’t get the immediate publicity it deserves.
5. Twitter Chats: Run or participate in a Twitter chat. It’ll help show off your knowledge and build relationships with social leaders in your sector.
— edutopia (@edutopia) January 29, 2016
You can track Twitter chats, trends and more using this search and analysis tool:
6. Twitter Debates: Keep them civil, and debates over Twitter can yield the same benefits as chats – building relationships and demonstrating expertise.
7. Helpful Content Excerpts: Tease your audience’s curiosity by sharing informative passages or statistics from your website copy or content.
8. New Blog Posts: Link to a post you’ve just published so your readers can avoid regularly refreshing your blog. To fight low reach numbers, share it a few times.
9. Recycled Blog Posts: Reshare older posts, especially if you think they warrant more attention than they first received.
10. Popular Blog Posts: Send out links to your most popular pieces, further boosting unique page views and engagement metrics.
11. Guest Posts: Promote yourself and your connections by sharing guest posts you’ve written for their site, and vice-versa. Guest posting on well-known domains can help establish you as a thought-leader.
— Ad Age (@adage) January 28, 2016
12. Interview-Based Posts: Tag your sources when you post articles based on in-depth interviews you’ve had with them. They’ll likely reshare, driving clicks and engagement.
13. Evergreen Content: Don’t hesitate to share this type of content once in awhile. For those who are curious, evergreen content gives data and advice that stays relevant long after publication.
14. Podcasts: Link to original podcasts or your favourite industry-related ones. Listening is often a welcomed break from constant reading.
15. Case Studies: Go in-depth with the content you create and share, giving followers detailed examples of best practices and intriguing campaigns.
16. e-Books: Promote e-books if you notice longer pieces of content earn higher engagement numbers. As part of a campaign, they can be behind opt-in forms.
17. Educational Article Compilations: Collect informative articles and present them in a single page for your followers’ convenience using paper.li. Tag and credit the authors.
18. Links to Helpful Articles from Leading Blogs: Post articles from authoritative industry domains, linking or introducing your audience to a dependable content source.
19. Links to Informative Resources: Point people toward helpful resources, such as free online courses.
20. Links to Tools: Post about tools, digital or physical, that can help followers improve their workflow or build a greater industry understanding.
21. Links to Services: Post about services, such as software programs, the same way you post about tools. As long as they’re relevant to your audience’s pain points, they should be appreciated.
22. Reviews of Tools and Services: Go a step beyond linking to tools and services. Write comprehensive reviews to help members of your market make a decision.
23. Influencer Conversations: Reach out to influencers for a chat, asking questions your market wants answered. Keep in mind, not all influencers will respond.
24. Links to Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook Groups and Communities: Send followers toward online communities that are helpful and open for discussions.
25. Links to Informative Blog Comments: Highlight comments on your blog that add to your points, tagging and thanking the people who wrote them. Your reach will grow as they share your posts.
26. FAQ Answers: Answer questions that bug your audience with a quick comment or link to a detailed explanation. Reach out to specific fans who want help.
27. Post Series: Run a collection of related posts over a set period to keep followers tuned into your major social accounts. You can, for example, do this to promote a new group of content pieces.
28. Recurring Weekly Posts: Create posts under a common theme to share at the same time each week. Complement them with a catchy hashtag.
29. Weekly Round-Ups: Reshare the week’s most successful content each Friday, giving users who didn’t see your best posts another chance to click and engage.
30. Event Posts: Amplify events by tweeting major announcements and sharing insights from panel discussions and informative conversations. Tag those who took part to boost the odds of resharing.
31. Live Tweets: Tweet in real time when you’re at industry get-togethers and conferences, giving those who couldn’t attend virtual front-row seats.
32. Tutorials: Explain how to get the most out of a difficult or little-known product.
33. Industry Predictions: Be bold and predict what the future of your industry entails. Interact with those who respond to keep the conversation going and engagement rising.
34. Email Shares: Highlight informative parts of your latest email blasts, reaching those who aren’t subscribed and potentially growing your contact list.
35. Top Lists: Let followers know about your top five blogs, products or resources to build a conversation around them.
— Collider (@Collider) January 30, 2016
36. Myth Busts: Tackle a myth that haunts your niche. Do it in a blog post or appeal to people’s curiosity by writing a bold tweet to trigger a discussion.
37. Trend/Hashtag Visualizations: Use a social trend and campaign tracking tool to create charts and timelines that show a hashtag’s growth.
38. Data Visualizations: Forget writing copy about data. Instead, make a graph to show statistical breakdowns that’ll make your followers stop scrolling.
39.Infographics: Illustrate a set of statistics by creating an infographic. Easy to scan and understand, a good infographic uses relating sets of data and lists sources.
40. Quotes: Bolster a powerful quote by using an easy-to-read typeface on an applicable background, catching audience members’ eyes.
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." – Albert Einstein pic.twitter.com/C6XRgBpFje
— TES Resources (@TesResources) January 30, 2016
41. Fan Photos: Take the social in social media seriously. As you reach out to fans, acknowledge their content by sharing their industry-related photos.
42. Memes/Image Macros: Leverage content that’s inherently popular, adding original captions your audience will appreciate.
43. Cat Pictures (We’re Serious): Don’t underestimate the engagement power of a cute cat pic with a funny caption. Haven’t you heard of I Can Has Cheezburger?
44. Comic Strips: Show your appreciation for the work of comic artists in your niche by sharing their art. Credit them when possible to engage with them and build relationships.
45. Motivational Images: Demonstrate you understand industry-specific problems by posting images encouraging users to overcome common challenges. But try your best to avoid cliche shots, like a guy standing triumphantly on a mountaintop.
46. Collages: Edit photos together to recap an event or illustrate an industry trend. Collages are usually a mix of original photos and ones from your followers.
47. Pin Boards: Share your Pin Boards to not only engage followers, but encourage them to follow you on Pinterest.
48. GIFs: Use a GIF-maker to creating short looping clips, either with the original text in tact or original copy that relates closer to your audience.
49. Vintage Shots: Relive some classic industry moments with your followers. In the marketing industry? Share a picture of a marketing conference in the ‘60s.
50. Vine Clips: Pack information into a six-second repeating clip, giving your audience an interesting opinion or statistic.
51. Periscope Feeds: Take live-tweeting to a new level by using Periscope – a Twitter app to share live streams.
Mascot Showdown Day 2 begins shortly at #NHLFanFair.
Watch live on Periscope & Snapchat (NHL). pic.twitter.com/npLaWCfLWy
— NHL (@NHL) January 29, 2016
52. YouTube Videos: Embed original or curated YouTube clips in your posts to get your audience talking. According to research from Twitter, tweets with videos earn 2.5 times more replies.
53. SlideShare Presentations: Create a picture-heavy presentation bolstered by interesting facts to share on your social platforms. A SlideShare presentation can act as an alternative – or addition – to a blog post.
54. Customers Using Your Product: Snap a picture of a customer using your product, tagging them to encourage shares and replies.
55. Action Shots of Your Product: Demonstrate ways to use your product through clear pictures or quick tutorial clips.
56. Brand-Themed Images: Share images that encapsulate your brand. Nike sets an example to follow, using pictures of athletes training in the company’s apparel.
57. Polls: Get your followers thinking by posting a poll related to an industry or company issue. Doing so also shows you value their opinions.
58. Questions: Ask simple questions about how your products can improve, what to include in upcoming events, and more. Spur conversation by replying to answers.
59. Votes: Encourage users to pick between their favourite products, tools and anything else applicable in your niche. A vote can be set up in a poll or a round-robin tournament if there are more than a handful of choices.
60. This or That Games: Get to know your market. Do they use a Mac or PC? Prefer winter or summer? Use Twitter or Facebook more often?
61. Two Facts and a Lie Games: Test your audience’s knowledge. Tell two facts and a lie about your brand or industry, asking followers to spot the fib. It can involve a prize.
62. Caption This Photos: Post a funny or unique image, asking users to come up with a creative caption.
63. Prediction Games: Have some fun and make a bold prediction. How will your industry change in 10 years? 20? Or be more casual and predict a Super Bowl winner.
64. Fill-in-the-Blank Posts: Hop onto your favourite social platform and get followers to fill in a blank. For example, I use Keyhole every day to ______.
65. Reddit Threads: Start or stumble upon a Reddit thread with some interesting facts? Share the link with your followers to get them talking.
66. Quora Threads: Find a discussion about an industry issue and point your audience toward it.
67. Requests for Content Ideas: Add some depth to your blog or website by asking followers for content ideas that address their pain points.
68. Public Responses to Comments: Highlight an interesting comment you received by responding publicly to it. On Twitter, this can be done by putting a period in front of the commenter’s handle.
69. Opinions on Public Posts: Find an intriguing post not directed at you and share it along with your opinion. On Twitter, this can be done by simultaneously retweeting and commenting.
70. Conversation Screenshots: Get permission from the users who were involved, and post screenshots of funny or helpful conversations you had.
71. Contests: Catch your audience’s attention by holding a contest for a sample or extended trial of your product. It can involve sharing pictures, commenting or following you.
72. Q&A Sessions: Engage your fans by holding a question and answer session on Twitter. You’re not only likely to build a greater following, but drive traffic to your website by sharing a few applicable links.
73. Webinars/Google Hangouts: Get to know your market by (sort of) meeting them face-to-face. Hold online seminars or discussions to share advice or discuss important issues in your sector.
74. Funny and Relevant Ads: Had a laugh at a commercial involving your industry? Your followers probably would, too.
75. Book Recommendations: Find a book to recommend that can help others perform better at work or understand a new topic.
76. TV and Movie Recommendations: Catch a little-known flick or program? Tweet about it. Someone might enjoy it, and the people who do will appreciate your taste.
77. Documentary Recommendations: Mention documentaries to followers, especially if you have a sense of their personal interests.
78. Playlists: Share your favourite worktime playlist. Some people are more productive with music in the background.
79. Gift Ideas: Suggest holiday gifts for your follower personas. If your market is partly made up of gamers, list the season’s best titles and their prices.
80. Jokes and Puns: Act with tact, and it doesn’t always hurt to crack a joke or make a pun. After all, some of the biggest presences on social media are comedy accounts.
81. Anecdotes: Post brief stories you feel your audience would appreciate. Whether they have a lesson to them or are just for laughs, well-written anecdotes will likely earn engagement.
82. Contributions to Trends and Hashtags: Jump into a trending hashtag with a comment that reflects your brand. Just make sure you understand the hashtag’s context.
83. Region-Specific Holiday Posts: Have fans and clients across the globe? Keep a calendar of each country’s major holidays and make celebratory posts according to their timezones.
85. Little-Known Company Facts: Post a piece of company history not many people know about.
86. #TBT Memories: Share pictures of your team or office when your brand was in its earlier stages.
87. A Day in the Life Posts: Speak from the perspective of someone with an integral role in your industry, going over a typical day’s events. These posts are meant to be relatable and have a touch of humor.
88. Behind-the-Scene Looks: Give your fans a glance at what goes on in your office, usually before unveiling an update, new product or other type of launch.
89. Desk Shares: Snap a picture of your desk – or a team member’s, with their permission – after a busy day. Again, people should relate to the items they see.
90. Workplace Shares: Take shots of your office, giving followers a better idea of your team and environment.
91. Team Activity Shares: Go out for lunch with your team? Share a picture of your meal. Unless you’re already part of the industry, food can tap you into a whole new audience.
92. Recruitment Posts: Advertise new positions on social media. Your perfect recruit may already be following you. Plus, your reach will grow as fans share the opening.
— Noodle Markets (@NoodleMarkets) January 30, 2016
93. Posts Welcoming New Employees: Let the social media world know you have a new team member. Include a pic along with a brief welcome message.
94. Employee Profiles: Give followers an occasional snapshot of a colleague, writing a brief profile involving their position and interests.
95. Happy Birthday! Posts: Celebrate a team member’s annual milestone by congratulating them through a social post. Feel free to include a cake picture.
96. Posts About What’s on Your Mind: Take a minute to share opinions about industry news or issues, or just about passing thoughts your audience might appreciate.
97. Clips of Your Company Leader: Record and share parts of a speech or meeting, helping put a clear face to the brains behind your operation.
— Virgin (@Virgin) January 30, 2016
98. Company Milestone Celebrations: Notify your followers once you hit a milestone. Get a certain amount of clients? Been in business for a decade? Post away.
99. Twitter Takeovers: Take a brief break as community manager to let another team member – preferably in a role not related to marketing or communication – interact with your audience. They can answer questions, talk about their role and post content that has a different focus.
100. Reviews: Don’t be shy to share glowing customer reviews of your products. Social proof is important in the decision-making process and can spark a conversation.
101. Testimonials: Ask for testimonials from fans and partners, tagging them when you share the content. Unlike reviews, testimonials can focus more on working with your company as a whole rather than your individual products or services.
102. Influencer Posts: Partner with influencers to demonstrate your products’ abilities. Their social clout can go a long way in increasing engagement, website traffic and more.
103. Campaign Landing Pages: Run a campaign and link to the landing page with an enticing call-to-action (CTA). You may not generate many likes or replies, but this time you’re aiming for clicks.
104. Company-Specific News: Make social waves when your brand announces a new development, such as an upcoming product or large expansion.
105. News Your Brand’s Involved In: Share news articles that mention your brand, as well as stories that include a team member as an expert source.
106. Awards and Accolades: Spread word of your accomplishments and build industry authority by posting about your awards and accolades.
— Mr. Robot (@whoismrrobot) January 30, 2016
107. Sneak Peeks: Tease an upcoming product or service by sharing clips of it in action, getting your audience talking about its features.
108. Deal Promotions: Post about upcoming deals and promotions exclusive to your social media fans. If the sale’s enticing enough, your follower count will rise.
109. Coupon Codes: Share this spin on the above entry if your brand has an ecommerce site. Word of the code should spread if the deal’s worth it.
110. Flash Sale Announcements: Promote a sudden sale, simultaneously driving website traffic and pushing certain products.
111. Links to Your Other Social Profiles: Link to your brand’s other social profiles occasionally. If followers engage with you on one platform, they’re likely to do so on another.
112. Customer Interviews: Ask questions to dedicated customers and share the responses on social media. For a promotional angle, the answers should cover their long-lasting relationship with your brand.
113. Creative Aspects of Your Brand: Show unexpected ways your products or services can be used, encouraging fans to share others.
114. Rival comparisons: Demonstrate how you stack up against a competitor. This works well as an infographic that compares and contrasts features.
115. Sponsored Posts: Boost your posts if you can’t hit your target engagement numbers. It’s not out of the ordinary – Twitter and Facebook have engagement rates less than 0.1%, according to Forrester Research.
116. #FollowFriday Posts: Direct followers toward accounts that share interesting tidbits as a way to acknowledge their hard work.
117. Fan of Week Posts: Draw attention to a new fan each week who regularly interacts with you, helping refer traffic to their websites and social profiles.
118. Partner Spotlights: Show your partners you care. Profile them in occasional posts, explaining how they may be of use to audience members.
119. Local Business Acknowledgments: Lend a hand to small businesses in your area by giving a social shout-out. Maybe they share office space with you or cater your events. Either way, show them you care.
120. Posts Thanking Your Followers: Thank your fans for engaging and keeping up with you. Not much would be possible without them!
As you put together your next social media calendar, refer to this list – you shouldn’t have anymore trouble coming up engaging ideas.
The Marketing Thought-Leader
- Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing Founder
The Social Media Professor
- Aurora Meyer, University of Missouri Adjunct Professor
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