For social media to work well as a tool for marketing and engagement, you need to maintain a consistent presence. Not only will this help you to keep your business in the forefront of your customers’ minds, but it will also improve your visibility as inactive pages are less likely to be prioritised in news feeds, thanks to the algorithms used by social media platforms to sort their content.
But when you’re rushed off your feet with running your business, coming up with new content can be a challenge. What should you post? How can you keep coming up with fresh content ideas?
We’ve put together 17 of our favourite ways of generating fresh content for use on social media.
1. Keep an eye on what’s trending
I like to spend some time during the week looking at what other design and marketing bloggers are writing about or what’s trending in the design industry.
Are there topics that keep coming up? Is there something that my potential customers would find of value?
I especially look at whether I could add my own voice and opinions to a topic, or share some expertise around an issue that’s impacting on my customers.
To keep an eye on what’s trending, I use:
2. Answer an FAQ
By answering your customers’ frequently asked questions on your social media pages, you can help to save them time as they won’t need to dig through your website or email you for information. You can also help to overcome barriers that might be stopping people from buying from you by answering questions about your returns policy or your quality control processes, for example. In addition, frequently asked questions can work well for search engine optimisation purposes as people tend to ask questions when carrying out a voice search on their mobile phone. If your website doesn’t currently answer customers’ frequently asked questions, you might want to change that.
If you’re not sure what FAQs to answer, you could always have a look on Quora to see what people are asking about your industry.
3. Share posts from influencers
If you haven’t got time to generate fresh content yourself or you’re really struggling for inspiration, you could always have a look for content from influencers in your industry to see what they’re saying. Sharing content on social media from other people and businesses can be a subtle but powerful way to link your business with one that is already highly established and respected.
4. Write a list post
List posts like this one are popular for a reason – the content can be bite-sized and easily consumable. It’s also easy to break the points up into separate hints and tips. Readers can dip into the content and action just one point or all of them.
What do your customers struggle with? How could you create a list post that gives them different ways of tackling their problem? If you’re a Virtual Assistant, for example, you could post a list of ideas to help with time management or overwhelm. A search engine optimisation company, on the other hand, might publish a list post about ways you can improve your website’s SEO.
5. Record some videos
Apparently, 55% of people now watch videos online every day. Videos are ideal for social media because they communicate a lot of information quickly. They are also a chance for you to make your face and personality visible, giving potential customers the sense that they already know you.
Your videos for social media don’t need to be polished – you can record yourself using your mobile phone or tablet. Whether you talk about a marketing tip, a make-up cheat, a design shortcut, how to use a popular piece of software, or something else altogether, think about what your customers might find of value.
Joe Wicks – The Body Coach – is an excellent example of someone who has used short 15 second videos to grow his business on social media. Using the #leanin15 hashtag, he posts 15 second videos of recipes that take less than 15 minutes to cook, and has built up over three-quarters of a million followers in the process!
6. Get followers to post content to your page
Another way to generate fresh content is to invite your social media fans to create it for you.
ASOS ran a campaign in 2013 where they asked customers to post videos on Vine of them opening their ASOS order, using the #ASOSUnbox hashtag.
Business coach, Leonie Dawson, has been running a social media competition for January 2016 where she’s asking her customers to upload and share a picture of them using her 2016 life or business planners with the hashtag #2016planners.
Other companies ask customers to post selfies of them using a product or wearing a specific item.
You might want to try something similar.
7. Interview an expert
Do you know someone within your network who shares a similar audience to you or who is considered an expert in their field? You could ask them whether they would agree to participate in a short interview that you can share on your website and social media pages. This has the benefit of appealing to the expert’s existing audience, as well as your own, which may bring your company to the attention of a new group of people.
8. Invite guest blogs
Leading on from the point above, guest blogs can be a powerful way to add value to your social media pages. Ideally, you should feature guest blogs by people who share a similar audience to you, or whose products or services complement your own in some way. As with expert interviews, guest blogs are likely to attract interest from the guest blogger’s established audience.
9. Start a podcast
Podcasting has been referred to as the ‘dark horse of online marketing’. There are a number of reasons for this. It’s believed that one in four podcast consumers listen to podcasts nearly every day. They are people who are highly active on social networks and tend to be tech-aware, social media savvy, and have loads of online contacts; this means that they are highly likely to share content that they like.
According to a report by Kapost, Apple has surpassed one billion subscriptions for podcasts on iTunes.
One way to generate podcast content is to look at whether some of your old blogs can be repurposed and recorded as an audio file.
10. Ask questions
The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to know what to say to them. If you’re stuck for fresh content ideas, why not use your social media pages to ask your followers questions that will help you get to know them?
11. Spread some inspiration
It’s easy to be cynical about the many inspirational quotes/memes that do the rounds on social media, but the reason there are so many is that they tend to attract significant interaction in the form of comments, likes and shares.
Try to share inspirational gems that tie in with your business and your values. As a designer, for example, I might share famous quotes about design (“Design is where science & art break even”, Robin Mathew).
Free online picture editors such as Canva and Picmonkey enable you to create original memes for these quotes. If you need a free image for your background, you could turn to sites like Morguefile and Pixabay.
12. Celebrate random awareness days
Get people talking by letting them know that it’s a random celebration or awareness day. Change the world ‘four strings at a time’ on World Play Your Ukulele Day or blog about the fact that it’s ‘Take your child to the library day’. Again, ideally, you should look for days that are connected to your business, products or services in some way.
13. Share your hints and tips
Hints and tips are a great way to help your customers with bite-sized snippets of your expertise. A personal stylist might post hints and tips about dressing for certain body shapes or skin tones, while a marketing company might feature short pointers about branding.
14. A picture speaks a thousand words
If you’re stuck for things to say on social media, think about images you could post instead. Social media is very visual and images are attention-grabbing when you’re scrolling through time lines and browsing content.
Pictures also give people a window into how you see the world, so why not post images of you at work or teaser shots of new products? You could post the view out of your office window and ask your followers to do the same, or take a snapshot of your pet and ask who else is working alongside a four-legged companion.
15. Re-share an old blog post
You may already have some fantastic social media content to hand in the form of old blog posts that your newer followers may not have seen and your older followers may have forgotten. Social media is so fast moving that it never hurts to re-share old blog posts and maybe attract a new wave of interest in what you have to say.
16. Share testimonials
If you’ve received a lovely testimonial from a client, copy it to your social media pages and spread the word. Social proof is a great way of reassuring potential customers that buying from you will be a good experience.
17. Use data to guide you
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, provide helpful insights and data into how each post is being viewed and interacted with. This data can show you which type of posts your audience loves and which posts leave them cold. This takes the guess work out of future posts, as you can be guided towards creating content that is likely to be well received.
So there you have it. Our ideas for generating fresh social media content. Where do you turn for inspiration? We’d love to hear your comments.
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