To build an active and engaged audience, you need a lot of social media content. With so many slots to fill, it’s easy to run low on original content, or need some filler posts in your calendar. Instead of saying, “Screw It!’ and not posting at all—broaden your search. There’s great content all around, you just have to know where to look for it.
As you search around for great content to post, and look to competitors and similar accounts for inspiration, remember this rule of thumb: imitation is flattery, but your social media posts still need to be unique and on-brand. That’s why I’ve included pointers on how to make social media content your own, when applicable, and other pro-tips I’ve picked up along the way.
If you’re trying to fill gaps and struggling to find relevant content, this is the blog post for you.
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1. Source Social Media Content from Others in our Industry
If you need to find social media content, head to the source first. Make sure you’re following industry-specific accounts and competitors and scroll your social feeds for inspiration and ideas. My tactic is simple: type a relevant hashtag into Twitter and then browse the top posts and then most recent. This can work for B2B and B2C companies, and is the easiest way to find link-based content for sharing.
If you’re looking for image ideas, you can use a similar tactic on Instagram—of course, if you use someone’s image, you need to source them as the owner in your post. The best method is to use a Repost app to properly cite the source. Check out TechJunkie’s list of best repost apps.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to search trending or seasonal hashtags to find timely content that can help you generate more engagement.
2. Use Content From Past Webinars
Webinars are dense with information, tips, lessons, and tutorials that relate to skills and experiences for your brand—and you took a long time to create it, so don’t let that content collect dust. If you’re feeling stuck on social media content ideas, flip back through previous webinars looking for snackable bits of information that you can pull out and use for a post.
You can do the same with courses, if you create those as well. With all the content already written, all you have to do is pull out an image or tip that can be shared on social.
Make it your own: If the webinar is from another source, make sure to relate the content to your brand and source the creator. If the webinar belongs to you or your company, and is still active, include a link for followers to sign up; this is an opportunity to drive more students and attendees.
3. Peruse Old Blog Posts for Sharable Tips
This is another great way to repurpose content. All you have to do is quickly scan articles to look for actionable text or copy that translates into a social post. Take a look at the social media graphic I created using tips to build guest posting relationships. That came from this backlink strategy blog post.
Make it your own: While old blog posts are original content, get more from the social post by turning the info into branded graphics—58 percent of consumers prefer visual content, including graphics. I use Canva to create my visuals, which is user-friendly for non-designers.
4. Pull Data From Industry Studies or Reports
Find data from high-authority sites in your industry or reputable sources with relevant surveys, research or reports. Your goal is to find new stats from the past year that can be shared in a quick and simple post. Always (ALWAYS) source the author or publication with an @mention.
Make it your own: This is another post where you can use branded templates to create a social graphic. Note that if it’s not your proprietary data, then it’s best practice to cite the source in the graphic as well.
5. Repurpose Testimonials or Reviews
User-generated content (UGC), from testimonials, reviews and natural social posts from customers, translate perfectly into social media content. Posting positive feedback is social proof of your brand’s success. Don’t forget to tag the person who said it to generate more engagement.
Note: Ask the customer or client if you can highlight their review in your marketing. While this isn’t necessary if the review is publicly available online (GoogleMyBusiness, Yelp, etc.) if you want to use their name, it’s best to ask first.
Make it your own: When posting UGC, remember to be humble. Take the angle of thanking your client/customer and being grateful for the business, using a hashtag like #ClientWins to promote successes.
Learn more about how you can use dive into UGC in my UGC for small business guide.
6. Dig Into YouTube Content
With 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, according to recent stats, YouTube has a lot of great social media content to fill your calendar. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will play YouTube videos natively in your feed, making your posts more engaging.
Make it your own: Don’t simply post links to YouTube videos, share your take on them in your caption or tell your followers why the video is valuable and interesting. Don’t forget to tag the video creator when possible as well.
7. Look for Brand Mentions
If a follower mentions or tags your brand on social media, repost it for easy content. Here’s a quick reminder of how to do this across platforms:
- Facebook: Head to “notifications,” then “activity,” and finally “mentions.” From here you can share any mention on your page.
- Twitter: Head to “notifications” and select “mentions” and retweet any post you’d like.
- LinkedIn: If you have a personal profile, you’ll have to monitor notifications individually, when they pop up you can select “share” to post to your feed. For business profiles, head “activity” then select “mentions.”
- Instagram: Unless someone mentions you in their story, there’s no way to repost in the app directly. Download third-party apps like Repost (check out the TechJunkie list mentioned previously for more options) that integrates with Instagram.
Make it your own: Instead of simply retweeting or reposting, personalize with a comment or thank you. See this example from GoPro’s. They not only credit and thank the photographer, but also add details on the unique features of a GoPro camera.
8. Share Relevant Industry Articles
This is an easy way to find content, but remember to choose articles that are within your brand messaging and focus, that’s also relatively new. I also only post articles that I would actually read in their entirety and that offer value. To find articles quickly and easily, set up a Feedly account. This generates a stream of links from your preferred sources, based on your interests and keywords.
Make it your own: Call out a great point from the author or grab a great quote. And note that when I cited the author, she commented and retweeted the post too.
9. Dive Deep Into Reddit
If you haven’t dipped your toe into the world of Reddit, it can be overwhelming. There’s a subreddit for what seems like every possible topic, meaning it has plenty of social media content options to fill your calendar.
What makes Reddit stand out from other social media sites is the deep engagement from users and loyalty to the platform. According to Reddit’s internal data, the platform has 330 million monthly active users, 138 thousand active communities, and is rated the #5 most visited site in the U.S.—which makes for lots of rich, deep, and niche-specific content.
Pro-tip: Check out Buffer’s guide to using the website for social media purposes if the world of Reddit is new to you.
10. Sign Up for Industry Newsletters
Get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox with industry-specific newsletters. Focus on successful brands or industry publications and sign up for the weekly/monthly emails. These are often filled with curated content, allowing you to find great articles and inspiration for sharing on social media.
Pro tip: If you don’t want to sign up for multiple email lists, use Google Alerts. After setting up alerts for specific keywords, you’ll get email alerts when new content is published that includes that keyword. To avoid email overload opt for daily or weekly updates.
Social Media Content is Everywhere: Now Go Find It
Social media content is readily available, you just have to find it. Keep this list handy to source quick and easy pieces to fill in your social calendar, allowing you to grow your following and overall engagement.