Writing Social Media Content
Even the most creative minds can struggle to conjure up original, captivating content on an ongoing basis. If you’re in charge of running your company’s social media accounts, coming up with novel ideas and keeping customers and followers interested can be challenging. The good news is that there are some simple, effective ways to engage with your audience and prevent writer’s block. Here are some top tips to find and generate ingenious ideas for sensational social media content.
Before You Begin
Before you go all-out to impress your followers and attract new fans, it’s wise to spend a little time planning and coming up with a strategy for your brand. Social media success is not a given and businesses use networks and platforms in different ways. The content you create and share should always be relevant both to your brand and to your target audience. You want to appeal to people who are likely to buy your products. Research the market, look at statistics related to web use and see what kinds of content are most appealing to the customers you want to attract.
Finding Ideas for Social Media Content
It’s not always easy to create original, imaginative posts, which are guaranteed to go viral in an instant, but if you get it right, social media marketing can be an incredibly potent weapon in your arsenal. According to Sprout Social, 77% of customers are more likely to buy from businesses they follow on social networks. If you’re struggling for social media content ideas, or you need inspiration, here are some steps to get started.
- Define your social brand
If you have an internal voice guideline or a manifesto that outlines the tone, style and visual feel of your brand, this is a great starting point. However, you must remember that while your guidelines are a helpful starting point – they must be revised and adjusted to suit social content.
Start by thoroughly documenting your social media voice and tone. If you’re stuck on where to start, reflect on your brand’s culture, community and personality to answer the following questions:
- What does your brand stand for?
- What makes your brand stand out from your competitors?
- Who is your target audience?
- What kinds of brands would your target audience follow? What kind of tone do these brands have?
- What is the personality of your brand?
- What relationship does your brand have with the target audience? Is it more casual and familiar, or more authoritative and formal?
- Are there any brands that have a similar personality to yours? List these to research later.
The answers to these questions are the pillars of your brand, voice, and tone on social media. By documenting and defining these characteristics, you’ll have a clear and distinct idea about the kind of content you’re hoping to share (and the kind of content that you never would).
2. Conduct competitor research
Now that you’ve outlined your voice, start researching the brands that you listed in your last step. You can use their social media activity as inspiration for the kinds of posts that you would hope to produce for your own brand.
Create a register of the types of posts they do on each social media platform, and store these ideas in a spreadsheet for quick inspiration. Here are some examples of the types of posts this might include:
- Company updates
- New product or service release announcements
- Product or promotional photos
- Educational or promotional videos
- Sharing posts from your blog
- Quizzes and polls
- Inspirational quotes
Define which kinds of posts fit well within your brand voice, and the types that wouldn’t work for your product or tone.
3. Define your color scheme and typography
If your brand already has a color palette and typography set, this step should be a breeze. If you don’t have an established palette, or would like to create a distinct one for your social media presence, start by reflecting on the voice guidelines you created in step 1. Think about the color tones that might attract your target audience and the personality you would want your brand to exude.
By standardizing the color palette and general visual branding for your company, you won’t have to spend any extra time deciding on the right fonts for your posts.
4. Create post templates
Now that you know exactly the kinds of posts you’d like to publish, you should go ahead and create some templates for your posts. These templates would act as stencils for your posts. For example, if you’re hoping to post some inspirational quotes on your Instagram profile, create a sample post that can then be used as a basis for any previous quote posts.
Using a design tool like Canva, you can create a sample post like this one:
By doing this, the next time you have to create a post with an inspirational quote, you can simply jump into the template and add the new quote – thereby expediting the process.
You can use the following tools to create templates for different types of posts:
- Placeit for product photography, samples, and mockups
- Biteable for infographics
- Moovly for promotional videos
- Paperform for quizzes and polls
- Canva for written posts, quotes, statistics, and memes
- Pexels for professional photographs
8 Ideas for Social Media Posts
- Create a series
Creating a series is an excellent way to keep in touch with customers, engage followers, and ensure they have something to look out for when they check their news feeds. You can choose the frequency, for example, daily, weekly, or even monthly, and post content related to the title and theme. If you run a clothing business, for example, you could have ‘outfit of the day’ or ‘star buy of the week.’ If you run a SaaS business, you could turn this into a weekly series addressing popular customer queries.
Law firm Law Squared has a ‘Startup Of The Week’ series that showcases the inspiring startups and clients they work with.
2. Be topical and seasonal
Make the most of popular culture, festivals, seasons and current trends to create relatable and content that people can’t help but notice. Acknowledge the different holidays that your target audience might care about or find interesting, and stay relevant by paying ode to popular references.
Pizza Hut constantly keeps a fresh content feed by making topical references and jokes. Here, they made a funny reference to the popular TV show Game Of Thrones ahead of the much-awaited finale of the show.
3. Let your followers have 15 minutes of fame
Social media is an excellent platform for getting to know followers and building relationships. One of the best ways to connect with potential customers is to feature real people in your campaigns. Share content that has been uploaded by followers and let them enjoy a moment in the spotlight. You can repost images and stories on sites like Facebook and Instagram, and show your followers what your products look like. Often, people establish more of a connection with ‘real people’, rather than models or celebrities. You can use this idea for almost any product, from a new coat, a makeup product or a pair of shoes to furniture featured in somebody’s home or pet accessories modeled by their precious pooch.
Skincare brand Proactiv use real customer photos to showcase how their products help alleviate skin conditions and acne.
4. Giveaways and contests
Most people who use social media on a regular basis will have been tagged in a giveaway or contest at some point. From a business perspective, giving away a freebie, or offering followers the chance to enter a competition is a fantastic way to build a following, introduce your brand to new people, and to create a buzz online. Your existing followers can share the link or post, invite others to get involved, and spread the news via their own following.
All you need to do to pull off a contest and reap the rewards is to ensure you have a product or service available to give to the winner. Research conducted by Tailwind suggests that Instagram accounts that host giveaways grow up to 70% faster than those that don’t and 91% of posts that have more than 1,000 likes or shares are related to a contest of some description. Make sure you include clear instructions and terms and conditions. You can make the most of contests by asking your followers to spread the news in exchange for a chance of winning. Here’s a popular example of a winning formula:
- Comment on the post
- Share the post
- Tag 2 friends
- Use the hashtag when reposting or retweeting
5. Host an ‘Ask Me Anything’ series
If you’re keen to improve customer engagement or encourage communication at the same time as raising brand awareness, an ‘ask me anything’ series is a great idea. This is particularly effective for accounts that are linked to services and those that focus on topics like building a business or achieving success as a freelancer. This kind of post gives your brand a human side and enables you to interact on a more personal level.
6. Run a poll or create a quiz
People like to get involved in social media, and a poll or quiz is an excellent way to interact with your audience and access valuable information. You can ask your audience anything from what they’re watching on TV tonight to what kinds of posts they enjoy the most. You could even create a quiz that gets customers to start thinking about the problems that your product or service solves.
Use a form creator to integrate your quizzes with your favorite social media platforms.
Shampoo brand Function Of Beauty creates fun quizzes centered around hair to grab attention and engage users on Facebook.
7. Add emojis
Emojis have become an integral part of modern-day communication, and they can have an incredible impact on social media. Research carried out by Hootsuite found that using emojis on Twitter and Facebook can increase engagement by up to 25% and 57% respectively. Emojis can make content more accessible and interesting, but make sure you use the right pictures, especially when responding to comments or questions.
Bud Light made fantastic use of emojis for their 4th of July post – it was on brand, creative and unique.
8. Upload videos
Video marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years. Research suggests that human beings are more receptive to video content than images and text, and they can help to showcase your brand in the best light. You can use all kinds of different videos from informative how-to clips and demos to tantalizing promos for food and drink. You could even record your customers talking about how your product or service has impacted them in a positive way.
Mattress brand Koala uses videos to showcase the attractive features of their mattresses. In this case, this video helps display how the mattress repels liquid spills despite applying pressure.
Wrapping Up Your Social Content
Coming up with innovative, ground-breaking ideas for social media content is not always plain sailing, but there are ways to keep the creative juices flowing and ensure your posts connect with the right people. Hopefully, these bright ideas will freshen up your feed and go down a storm with your following.