Coming up with new ideas is the toughest part of a creative person’s routine.
Your ideas have to be unique, suit the platform, and make an impression that brings the user to you.
There’s a number of reasons why you might head to the web to find some inspiration.
- Lack of content. When you’re just starting out, you may not have enough content to share with your readers.
- Lack of inspiration. Looking at what others are doing can be a huge boost to our own creativity and help get the ball rolling.
- Existing content strategy doesn’t bring results. When your own efforts aren’t working, looking to some“tried and true” posts for help can be a great fix.
But it’s hard work to trawl the web for new ideas.
So, to make things easier for you, I’m sharing a couple of ideas that should help you plan out your social content strategy for months to come.
Why Do You Need More Content ideas?
According to recent research, the number of social media platform users has increased by 13% since last year. It means that brands now have a bigger and broader audience to involve into the communication.
Social media is now widely used to communicate with customers. Users want brands to provide the content that solves their issues and allows them to feel a part of the community.
Thus, reliable and consistent posts improve brand engagement.
But be careful. The same study shows that 51% of users unfollow the brand if their content is irritating or irrelevant.
Posting inspiring and helpful content that resonates with your audience and answers their most urgent needs should be your top priority.
Before choosing the type of content to post, consider the social platform peculiarities.
Networks like Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr are focused on visuals. And platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are meant for communication.
Some content types are universal, e.g., you can share the videos and blog posts to Facebook as well as to LinkedIn.
Let’s check out what types of content you may add to your posting schedule and how to use each type for boosting brand engagement, building a loyal community and increasing conversions.
Create Discussion-Worthy Posts
This year’s Facebook algorithm update puts posts that stimulate meaningful discussions higher in the News Feed.
That’s why the posts you share should not only have attractive titles but also make people want to read and discuss them.
Thus, Tips and How-To posts work best for driving attention and engaging users into the discussion of your ideas.
Share other companies’ blog posts especially if they offer the products or services that complement yours.
Don’t forget to write an engaging intro for the post you share. Use the most catchy phrase or fact from it and ask users to share their opinions in comments.
Turn the Posts into Videos
According to Cisco’s forecast, videos will dominate the overall internet traffic and take about 80% of it by the year 2021.
Another study shows that in 2017 native videos reached 84% of all videos posted to Facebook and generated up to 8x times more comments than other formats.
With all that said, videos are worth the investment of your time and effort.
The easiest way of creating a good video is turning your best-performing blog posts into helpful tutorials for YouTube channel and other social networks.
Pay attention to the length and format. Longer in-depth videos better suite YouTube channel. Ans shorter formats are perfect for other social networks.
Break your existing videos into bite-size chunks to post on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.
Remember that Instagram currently allows posting up to 1-minute videos in the news feed (and up to 10 minutes for the Instagram app IGTV). Focus on short and quick tips for these videos.
Break Articles into Short Posts
Marketers are used to a tactic of sharing articles to social networks several times within a certain interval. This tactic works well for evergreen articles after a minor update.
It attracts more traffic and clicks, helps to target followers in different time zones.
There are some simple rules to follow to avoid user-frustration when doing content reposting.
First, don’t post the same article again without any changes. When you share the article for the first time, you may share it “as is,” with a raw link and a short intro.
But then you should reframe the content to attract attention.
Use reposting as an opportunity to test different article titles. Share an article to Twitter with a short interval (say, an hour between the posts) using two different headlines.
Then, check out the analytics for those tweets and choose the best performing title as your permanent headline.
Second, you may break the article into easy-to-digest quotes and share those bits of information from time to time with a link to the original article.
In Ahrefs, we have done the reframing to our “75 SEO Tips” article.
We posted a series of separate tips from the article with a link to the entire post. It helped us to engage a wider audience and boost the amount of traffic to that article.
#SEO tip 33: Fix your broken backlinks for an INSTANT SEO boost 🚀— Ahrefs (@ahrefs) January 1, 2019
Use the “Best by links” report in Ahrefs Site Explorer to find broken pages with a ton of links.
Then: fix them and enjoy that sweet, freshly reclaimed link juice! 📈https://t.co/hjdvViYB05
This trick works perfectly with list posts. You can share the entire article bit by bit and never repeat a post.
Set Up Giveaways/Contests
These activities work the best when a brand hits another milestone or launches a new product/feature.
You may give away free products/services, swag or any other reward you find appropriate.
A few ways of running contests:
- Ask to tweet/share the post;
- Ask to comment;
- Ask to tag a friend in comment/repost;
- Ask to use a particular hashtag;
- Ask to post a photo with some text/hashtag, etc.
Ask followers to mention your brand in their reposts. In this case, your social page/website will show up in front of other potential users.
Use brand- and industry-related hashtags where they work the best – on Twitter and Instagram.
A tip: disclose information about the contest rules, e.g., the age of participants or their location, to prevent possible legal issues and customers’ frustration.
Curate User-Generated Posts
Users and customers may be your inexhaustible source of content.
Ask your customers to share their content with you. People love when brands show they respect customers and will be happy to collaborate.
Testimonials. The most popular type of user-generated content. People often share what they loved (and what they didn’t too) about the brand and its products.
Photos and videos of a product. Surveys show that people trust product photos from other customers more than the brand’s own product photos and videos. So ask users to share their unboxing videos or pics on your brand page.
User stories. Insights and original stories from real people is that kind of content that always attracts shares and comments.
Customer questions. Use questions your clients send to support to share insights about the product and how to use it.
A few rules for user-generated content you should follow to avoid issues:
Don’t take without asking. Always ask for permission to use the content for your social accounts.
State clearly that you may use photos/videos they provide for contests or giveaways. Thus you will avoid any misconceptions and legal issues.
Credit user’s content. You cannot use customer’s photos or videos as your own works. Always credit the content you’re using and thank a user who provided it.
Set Up a Poll
A Buffer study revealed that 84% of people post statuses and comment on others’ posts to show they care about vital issues.
A poll is an excellent way of asking for feedback on topics that are relevant to both your brand and your audience.
Ask questions your audience cares about, like what product feature they need the most, what would they like to get as a bonus or what topic they want to read on your blog.
Check out Your Competition
Following the competitors is a must-do activity for any brand. It gives you a bunch of data about their product, services, and audience. You can get the info about the types of content that brings the most of shares to the competing brands.
I usually check Ahrefs for other website’s top content and backlinks to it.
Then sort out the top by the number of shares. And then take a step further: use the “Include” filter to check out the types of posts that get the majority of social shares.
As you can see here, one of the most popular types of content on Social Media Examiner is “How-to” articles – they get tons of shares.
Filter other types of content by using common “buzzwords” like “tips,” “[number],” “guide,” etc. as filters
When you know what content brings the most shares and traffic to your competitors, you can “borrow” some ideas to create your own (better!) content.
Collaborate with Other Brands
Brand collaboration requires some prior planning and working ahead, but it pays off for both parties.
It helps to grow leads and traffic to your site. Brands reach out to a totally new audience that knew nothing about them before.
Choose for collaboration a brand that works in a similar niche but is not your direct competitor.
Ahrefs has recently partnered with Buffer to host a webinar on how to get traffic to site with content marketing and social media.
Content marketing and SMM are very close niches, but the brands don’t compete with each other. That’s why it is a win-win collaboration.
Show What’s Behind the Scenes
Users love to know more about their favorite brands and what happens behind the scenes.
94% of customers say they are more inclined to be loyal to brands that show complete transparency.
Share your team photos during a meeting or even on vacation. Post a video with a sneak-peek into the process of product making. Share insider info when the company reaches an important milestone.
Host an AMA
Ask Me Anything (AMA) is a unique way of engaging with your customers. It’s a simple Q&A session that allows users to ask questions about the brand, product or even personal challenges.
An AMA also helps build trust between your brand and audience.
Showing personalities behind the brand helps establish closer relationships between both sides and boost sales.
You may showcase your product or tell more about your service’s best features without looking salesy. Brands may learn more about their audience’s needs in return.
AMA sessions should be prepared ahead and properly promoted. If you plan to run such events on a regular basis, consider inviting different speakers.
Think of the platform where you will host the session. AMA’s used to be hosted on Reddit, but today you may use Twitter or Facebook (in the comments section or live stream) or even Slack channel.
The Bottom Line
Social media content cannot be boring. The more catchy and relevant info appears on your pages, the more engaged and loyal your audience will be.
The main idea is sharing and posting good content that people will love and eager to read/watch.
After all, the more people engage with a post, the greater its reach and impact.
Do you have your favorite content types that weren’t mentioned here? Share them in comments!
Helen is a content marketer at Ahrefs. She explores new things every day to impress her readers with catchy stories. Apart from all that marketing stuff, Helen loves listening to rock music, reading and traveling. A lot! Feel free to follow Helen on Twitter.