Category Archives: social media ideas

What should I post to social media? What do people want to see?

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light bulb of social media ideas above girlIt’s the million dollar question “what on earth should I post to social media today?”—especially on days when you feel like you have less than zero ideas for social media posts for your business.  What’s more, the stakes are higher.  With thousands of other brands to compete with, as well as the million other posts that fill up your followers, it’s hard to find the social media ideas that give your brand the edge—and sometimes it’s hard to find anything to post about.

We’ve compiled a list of social media ideas that can spark your inspiration—and the start of a slew of quality social media posts (all carefully planned out-here’s how to create a solid marketing plan).  If you’re tired of continually searching for ideas—and trying to keep up with the freight train that is digital marketing—remember, there is always the choice that gives you a break: outsource your efforts (or even part of your marketing) to the pros.

  1. Photos your followers can caption
  2. Pictures of your employees at work
  3. Share photos from events your business sponsors or is involved in
  4. How-to videos
  5. Pictures that help celebrate a national day (i.e. national donut day, national pet day, etc.)
  6. A picture that leaves users guessing—then ask them for their guesses (i.e. number of candies in the candy jar, number of items on a pallet, etc.)
  7. Historical pictures of your business or early employees
  8. Pictures of your products
  9. Ask people for a prediction
  10. “Inside scoop” video (for new products, inside new location, etc.)
  11. Sneak peak photos (i.e. pictures of part of an address sign from a new location, photos of part of a new product)
  12. Share articles that you find helpful
  13. Memes
  14. Testimonials from customers
  15. Funny things from the workday
  16. News articles about your company
  17. Industry news
  18. Fill in the blank
  19. Ask for feedback on new products or services
  20. Blog post (from your blog)
  21. Reminder about valuable page on your website
  22. Link to a photo gallery
  23. Photos from the past year (a look back)
  24. Reminder about an upcoming date
  25. Unique fact about your business or product
  26. Post with day-theme (i.e. Motivation Monday, Throwback Thursday, etc.)

3 Social Media Ideas that Set Your Business Apart

one lit light bulb that is like business that stands out on social mediaWe humans are creatures of habit. We find something that works and we stick to it, like that morning coffee routine or that muffin you pick up at the corner store every morning.  For the most parts routines are great, but they do get to be a problem when business owners and managers stick to the same thing over and over on social media. It gets stagnant. The same posts (and kind of posts) get boring in the ever-evolving—and crowded—world of social media.

So how can your business stand out among the crowd?  You don’t have to get rid of what works for your business (please don’t!), but you can start to mix some “new age” posts into your social media plan.

Over-the-top images

Three sixty photos, striking images, relevant memes, infographics—all these visuals set your business apart on social media.  They catch people’s eye and can create a connection with their relevancy.  If you want to make your business stand out on social media, up the ante of your social media images.

One note of caution: make sure your images are relevant to your business, and not just random images.  Use the same tone with the images so you create a consistent business voice that drives your customers to a sale—and aren’t just a bunch of random images.  If you don’t know how to tie all the pieces together into a clear, relevant social media campaign, trust your efforts to someone who can. 

Videos

There is some great news in the world of social media videos: you don’t have to be a professional to shoot them anymore with professional editing equipment.  While those videos still have a place in your marketing plan, short videos from your tablet or phone can make your post stand out correctly (if part of a plan and played out correctly).  Your videos don’t have to be very long, but they need to be relevant and interesting.  Not all your posts should be video, but an occasional video can make you stand out in the feed.

Go live

If you want to take videos a step further, it’s time to go live on social media.  Don’t overdo it; many a business or user has lost a good chunk of social media followers because they are sick of getting constant notifications about your live video.

Instead, be strategic.  Go live before an event or when something BIG happens.  Don’t sell in your videos: entertain or deliver value without banging your followers over the head with annoying advertisements.  Use your live video to broadcast advice from and expert about tiling their bathroom or how to fix their bicycle.  Or give your followers the “inside scoop” and broadcast one of your employees (with their permission) participating in a community event—a post that’s sure to make you stand out.

Social Media Ideas Your Audience Actually Wants to See

A group of five students looking at an awesome social media postA recent study gave us insight into our social media audience’s psyche from the flip side of the coin, by telling us the top reason people unfollow brands.  Not surprisingly, the top reason was too many promotions (in clear language: too much selling!).  Don’t misunderstand the results: you can still sell on social media BUT you have to take a much more subtle approach.  Sell them with your excellent customer service skills.  Sell them with valuable information that solves their problems (content marketing!). Entertain them when appropriate.  Give them what they want.

Which leads us to the question: what do your social media users want to see?  What not only captures their interest, but keeps it?  What makes them follow your brand and come to you first when it’s time to buy?

Insider photos

As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  On social media, a fantastic quality image is worth likes, retweets, and comments.  That image can be from a camera, phone, or online photo service.  What it shouldn’t be from is a random copyrighted photo from the internet.  Nothing can get you in legal hot water faster than using random photos from the internet (we know, we’ve seen it). Use this article from Hootsuite to understand the basics of internet images and copyrights, and proceed with caution.

What can get you more likes, retweets, and comments than any stock image off the internet are “insider photos.”  These are photos that give your audience insight into your business, services, and products.  They are photos of what you’ve done, the people delivering the services (with their written permission), and all the small things that happen along the way.  You know what we’re talking about, because you’ve probably seen other businesses post them: pictures of their work, photos congratulating an employee on their anniversary, photos of their product being used…there are a million possibilities (many in your daily operations).  If you need help identifying those opportunities, it’s time to contact the pros.

Videos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million clicks.  After all, that is what made YouTube the second biggest channel in social media today.  Use professional videos, amateur photos edited at the office, and a short video (really short-60 seconds max for Instagram) from your mobile devices to build anticipation for an event, give your audience insight into your daily operations, and show them how they can use your products to help them.  Your videos don’t have to be long; remember, you need to capture your user’s short attention spans and you only have a short time to do so (and a whole bunch of other media in their social media feed to compete against).

Memes

When used correctly, a good social media meme can be a valuable part of any social media plan.  One disclaimer: be careful when choosing your memes and the timing of your memes.  Don’t post anything that offend or cause backlash against your business.  If you have any concerns about the appropriateness or timing (such as after a tragedy), don’t post it.

Those are the don’ts of using memes in your social media plan, these are the do’s.  Post memes that fit with your marketing plan.  Remember, the study mentioned at the beginning of this article: don’t over promote.  Memes are meant to be entertaining, so entertain your audience; you should know who they are, so target the humor directly at them.

Value

Everyone’s got problems.  Give them answers.  If you own or manage a pet food business, help your pet owners with training tips for their puppies and grooming tips for their cats.  Use content marketing to optimize your website and for relevant articles for your social media followers (more ways to use this content here).

Along with your content, share other content as well.  The digital world is full of information that can help your social media audience.  Find those articles and share them (along with other video and visual content) with your followers.  If your followers ask a question, answer them promptly (within hours of their comment or message)—and keep giving them what they want on social media so you can get more questions, comments, and engagement.