As a social media content creator, your main goal is to ideate fun, unique posts that your audience will identify and engage with. All while staying on-brand and on-message—not always an easy task.
The big four networks (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn) can feel like crowded spaces with steep competition from both other businesses and algorithms. Especially for seasoned marketers, after a few years, it can be difficult to develop fresh content ideas that will perform well with followers.
If you feel like you’re in a social media rut, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Use these 18 ideas (with examples) to become a more inspired social media content creator. P.S. Don’t miss our 10 Creative Instagram Tools to Polish Your Posts.
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Twitter Post Ideas
1. Pay it Forward With an Appreciation Post
Our CEO, Jessica, tweeted this post with the goal of women amplifying women. You can do the same by tagging ten people that inspire you. Not only do you applaud others with this type of social media post, but you also encourage authentic engagement. Try a similar tweet with people in your industry, colleagues, or coworkers. It’s a genuine way to recognize someone, start a conversation, and get retweets and replies. (Just look at engagement stats on the example tweet!) Plus, you help others connect with each other.
2. Create a Shareable Hashtag
With a unique and shareable hashtag, the uninspired social media content creator can build brand awareness around a specific campaign and encourage followers to join in. The #ShowUs campaign, created by Dove, Getty Images, and Girlgaze, champions females by asking them to post unaltered images of diverse and inclusive beauty. (Learn more about the project via Shondaland’s article).
According to Twitter, the #ShowUs campaign has 3,756 Twitter mentions with a more than 90 percent positive reaction. Create a shareable and relevant hashtag for your brand to promote engagement and user-generated content (UGC).
3. Ask Questions with a Poll
Twitter users are quite opinionated by nature. Voicing beliefs and grievances is one of the main uses of the platform. Posting a multiple-choice poll allows you to get people talking and learn more about your audience. Notice how Starbucks promoted a Starbucks Favorites campaign to poll their followers on their favorite drinks.
Refer to Hootsuite’s guide for Twitter polls to start creating yours.
4. Post a List
The list format helps viewers easily digest several facts or pieces of information. Many brands use lists on Twitter when they want to make a few points in an organized fashion.
In a crowded feed, a list can help your tweet stand out and ensures your followers read and engage with the entire post. Bonus points, you can use emojis to differentiate each point on your list, like our CEO Jessica likes to do.
5. Repost UGC
According to a Stackla report, 86 percent of social media users agree that authenticity influences which brands they chose to follow. When you repost authentic UGC, other followers view it as not only a testimonial but as real and authentic content. Airline JetBlue often reposts images of their happy fliers, like the cute jetsetter baby in the example.
6. Do a Feed Take over
HBO Max created a photo collage on their feed when announcing their new streaming service. Social media content creators can use this strategy for any type of significant event or campaign to slowly generate buzz. By posting one piece of the puzzle, you pique the interest of a follower to visit your profile and see the entire visual. This increases impressions and potentially bio link clicks.
I’ve done this with clients for countdowns, posting numbered images to get followers excited for an event and it always drives interest. Don’t forget to delete the images once the campaign is over as not to clog up your feed.
7. Post Fun and Realistic Videos
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The key here is to be real. Joanna Gaines starts her video by explaining the hectic current situation. Viewers love real—Joanna is a little all over the place, she makes funny mistakes, her son Drake shot the video with commentary. It’s a scene that many families could relate to.
Remember, authentic content like this performs well. Instagram is the perfect space for social media content creators to share an insider view, whether it be your workspace, storefront, or even the view from your home office.
8. Create Simple, Branded Graphics
View this post on Instagram
Some businesses struggle with Instagram because it’s so image-based. When you aren’t a retailer or a creative, you might not have a lot of curated, visual content readily available. The other challenging part is that you want to avoid posting only promotional images. Nearly half of consumers (43 percent) report unfollowing a brand because they post too many ads, according to Sprout Social.
One way for social media content creators to get creative while staying on brand is to post simple graphics, like the example from Boss Babes. They often use humor paired with messaging that speaks to their audience of female entrepreneurs to generate huge engagement.
9. Jump on a Micro Trend
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The Dolly Parton challenge is a perfect example of a microtrend that swept through social media. Many celebs and brands jumped on board, posting images for the four different social platforms. Actress Jennifer Garner posted a perfect example, with her past film and TV roles.
When done in a timely manner, microtrends can show that your brand is relevant while connecting with your audience on a topic they’re interested in.
10. Share and Credit Follower’s Images
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Airbnb provides social media content creators with a masterclass on making the most of curated UGC. The brand is always sharing images from its customer’s apartments (both hosts and guests) and you can do the same. If you have a physical location search by it, find users’ posts, and share high-quality content that customers have already posted. You can also search for brand mentions or the use of any brand-related hashtags.
As with all UGC, tagging another account allows for potential cross-promotion and higher engagement rates. Make sure to ask the user’s permission before you post to your account.
11. Create an Event
If you’re hosting an event, create a separate event page to boost promotion and give yourself another marketing asset to leverage. Beyond just feed posts, promoting an event page on Facebook helps increase reach. The Facebook algorithm promotes public events to followers based on their location, offering an opportunity for new users to discover your event and page. You can also adjust the settings, so private events are available to your followers.
12. Tell Stories With Interactive Graphics
Depending on your resources, interactive graphics can come in the form of images or videos and freemium platforms like Canva provide plug-and-play templates that even non-designers can use. Instead of creating a purely promotional graphic, tell a story with your visuals so that your posts resonate as more authentic and garner more engagement from followers.
For example, Seventh Generation didn’t merely announce their new body wash. They used the caption to describe the unique differentiators of the product to tell a story.
13. Create an Instructional Video
Customers love instructional videos. In fact, 96 percent of people surveyed by Wyzowl have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. A perfect example of this done well—and with a unique spin is Perfect Bars and their recipe videos.
However, you don’t have to be a food-related company to share an instructive video. You can record an explainer of your product or service or show your target audience how to complete a relevant task. For example, as a marketer, I could create a screen share video of where small business owners can find social media analytics on their various social platforms.
14. Tag Your Coworkers in Team Pic
Authentic team images are the perfect content for LinkedIn’s professional platform. When you tag your coworkers in pictures, they’ll not only get notifications, but it’s easier for them to share that post as well with just one click. Additionally, their followers will see the post in their feeds, amplifying your reach and encouraging more engagement. You can tag people in images (as shown in the example above), or in a caption.
15. Share Inspiration With Your Network
LinkedIn is a professional network meant to help you build thought leadership through experience and expertise. This can take the form of personal storytelling, which Brigette Hyacinth does perfectly. Hyacinth is a prolific LinkedIn influencer and believes in lifting others up and helping people find meaningful work through the platform. As an HR leader, she shares personal narratives that are relatable and interesting to those within the HR space and otherwise.
When you create a long-form, text-only post, you don’t need any visual or media. Use your story to speak to your audience and don’t forget to include hashtags and tags for anyone relevant to the story to increase your reach.
16. Ask Questions to Provoke Dialogue
It seems like a simple strategy—if you want to promote more comments, ask a question. However, don’t discount the simplicity of a well-thought-out question on LinkedIn; it gets results.
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia and bestselling author, is an expert question-asker. He starts dialogues with his communities by asking about their opinions, advice, and previous experiences, as you can see in the example.
Get your followers and connections to talk by asking them to share. Everyone wants their voice to be heard, and you can give them the platform.
17. Credit a Mentor or Favorite Publication
Andy Crestodina is a rather important person in the world of content marketing. However, he’s not too busy to comment on follower’s posts, especially when sharing his content. (Like he did here on Jonathan Rosenfeld’s post).
Social media content creators can use this strategy by sharing articles relevant to their brand and industry. When a piece of content really speaks to you, share it, and explain why you love it in the caption. Tag the author and website to credit them and drive engagement.
18. Get REAL
The #FridayFailure hashtag is powerful because it reminds us that no one is perfect. More importantly, thought leaders who are secure enough to get vulnerable and share their failures inspire others in their industry. Adam Goyette, VP Marketing at G2, shared a list of failures he’s experienced throughout his career and encouraged others to do the same in the comments.
Get real with your followers on LinkedIn by describing a lesson learned or case study that wasn’t perfect. By being sincere, you help others avoid similar mistakes and inspire their career journey. Most importantly, authentic posts help to humanize your brand.
Post Ideas for the Uninspired Social Media Content Creator
Inspiration doesn’t always strike when you’re a social media content creator. Especially for those jills-of-all-trades who have other marketing projects on their plate. Bookmark this list to revisit when creating your next month’s social media or when you need quick motivation.