Social media ideas aren’t always the easiest to come up with when you’re pressed for time. And if you’re a marketer charged with growing your brand’s social media presence and producing ROI, you know how crucial it is to produce stellar content.
So, how do you balance the demand for great content with the need to deliver results?
You plan. Your social media calendar should always be at least one week ahead of schedule and filled with content ideas that position your brand as one worth following and engaging.
Social Media Ideas, Being ‘Human’ and Your Strategy
It’s well-understood that brands need to come across as ‘human’ to be likeable on social media. But that requirement presents many businesses with two challenges.
First, does being human mean that you have to create ‘feel-good’ content that isn’t tied to metrics?
Second, can you really grow your social presence and generate ROI using ‘feel-good’ content?
Tough questions. Here’s our take: ‘Feel-good’ content is a must, but you’ve got to be smart about how you position it. In the social media ideas we’ll share, you’ll note that while some can be classed as ‘feel-good’ ideas, they can all be incorporated into campaigns to help you generate results.
Planning your campaigns effectively will enable you to use the best ideas and make them your own. Here’s our list of 18 social media ideas you can use.
Social Media Ideas:
- Use Video
- Tag a friend
- Discounts, Coupons and Deals
- Run a Competition
- Partner With a Brand
- Run a Poll
- Live Stream
- Share From Behind the Scenes
- Create Instructional Videos
- Produce Native Ads
- Host an AMA
- Run a Social Takeover
- Place Your Customers in the Spotlight
- Interview Someone
- Run a Social-Exclusive Deal
- Get Nostalgic
- Repurpose Video and Long-Form Content
- Share Brand and Product Milestones
- Use Holidays
Video’s blowing up on social! It’s become the tool to use to generate more engagement with audiences. As a medium, video is also favoured more than other post formats.
But using video isn’t as easy as just shooting and posting. You’ve got to plan your content and get creative.
We recommend that you storyboard your ideas. Doing so ensures that your video is well-structured and impactful.
What’s great about video is that you can use it to communicate anything. As you get your feet wet, it may seem a little uncomfortable at first, but with more practice and experience you’ll be able to produce more video regularly.
Tag a friend
Tag a friend social posts are very effective! They appeal to a human need to be viewed as a conscientious member of society.
When you create your tag a friend posts, make them stronger by rolling in an incentive. For example, if you’re an ice-cream retail outlet, you could run a competition where you pick two lucky friends who will each receive a free ice-cream sundae.
Discounts, Coupons and Deals
Discounts, coupons and deals will always pull a crowd on social media. The trick to running effective offers is making sure your offers are really valuable. If not, very few if any followers will bite.
When you plan your discount offer, try and take it a step further by channelling traffic to an sales page. Don’t stop at just advertising the discount offer, create a user path that ends in revenue.
Pro tip: if you use this social media idea on Instagram and don’t have any budget for ads, include a URL in your bio that directs followers to your buy page.
Run a Competition
Like discounts and coupons, competitions also pull the masses - when planned well. There are a number of great reasons to run a competition with audience growth being at the top of the list.
When you plan yours, make sure that you know how you’ll track your growth. Sure, taking a look at follower growth before and after the competition is an easy task, but consider taking your analysis a step further.
Complete a spot check to see if you can derive any commonalities among your new followers.
Pro tip: if you’d like to do something special and generate revenue, send each new follower a direct message thanking them for the entry and make them a discount offer on a related product.
Partner With a Brand
Cross-pollination is a smart way for non-competing brands to grow together. Partnering with a also works well if you can produce a compelling offer for the audience you’re being introduced to. This way, you’ll capture attention, be able to hold it and have a strong pay-off.
Run a Poll
Polls are an excellent way to generate engagement on social media. People love sharing their opinions and having their voices recognised and included. But beyond using polls to generate engagement, you can elevate yours by utilising results to develop an offer.
For example, if you’re the social media manager for a restaurant, you could poll your followers to find out which food and drink combo they love the most. When the results are in, you’ll know that the winning combo has a high probability of success if presented as a special.
Live streaming, like video, is also growing at a rapid pace. More people are tuning in because it’s convenient to interact with brands directly via their mobile phones. And because this is video, you can use it to promote and communicate almost anything.
If you want to make the most of your live streams, include a strong call to action for your audience. It can be a link to a longer video, a report or a guide. The idea is to turn social traffic into leads for your funnel.
Share From Behind the Scenes
Sharing what happens behind the scenes is a growing trend and it’s well worth giving a go. Behind the scenes content peels back the layers between your brand and audience, giving them the sense that your company is more than just another business. It also feels like exclusive footage for viewers.
This social media idea also gives you the opportunity to introduce your team to your followers, making your brand look and feel more ‘human’.
Create Instructional Videos
It’s no secret that tutorials make for great content. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t limited for use by makeup and cooking influencers. You can create tutorials for your brand and products and services.
In the example below, Hoopla Media teases its followers with a sneak peek at a new tutorial on interview lighting.
Produce Native Ads
Often, people become desensitized to adverts. It happens. But they tend to gravitate to strong and compelling content more consistently, which is why native ads work so well.
According to Adroll, these 7 tips will help you produce compelling native ads:
- Understand what you want your audience to do after they’ve seen your ad
- Always make the engagement valuable for your followers
- Personalise your ad to make it resonate with your audience
- Write how you would speak and not how you would sell
- Use your brand name to establish an association between it and the offer
- Keep your message simple and clear to make it easy-to-follow and understand
- Include an easy-to-understand call to action
Host an AMA
An AMA (ask me anything) session is another great way to present a more personal side of your brand. Ideally, your host should be someone who has the time, knowledge and experience in their field to reply to questions.
Can you tie an AMA to ROI?
Most would think not or that it could be a stretch. But if you’re creative enough, you could introduce a special offer as part of the AMA event. Most social media platforms allow you to pin posts at the top of your feed - a great opportunity to keep the offer front and centre as the AMA runs.
It’s worth noting that people who will ask questions are likely considering a solution like yours. They may also need to address any final uncertainty before making the purchase. So, including an offer positions your brand for ROI.
Run a Social Takeover
The social media account takeover idea is simple: partner with an influencer who will post content on your account for the next 24 hours.
And there’s tons value to be gained for both parties. As a brand, you’ll be exposed to the influencer’s audience and the influencer gains more clout by association.
Place Your Customers in the Spotlight
Customer appreciation goes a long way on social media. It’s the kind of stuff that makes brands more appealing to prospects.
If you’re wondering how to incorporate customer appreciation into your campaign calendar, here are a few ideas:
- Prioritise it. Create a document that features all the great customer stories you have.
- Plan and schedule your posts. Make it a point to schedule your posts and always have a couple in the pipeline.
- Include a call to action. Don’t stop at saying thank you, position your brand as accessible and ready to help prospects like the customer you’ve just praised.
Your audience follows your brand for a reason. There’s a good chance that they have developed an affinity for your it. There’s also a good chance that they are interested in more than just spending money on your products and services.
How do you use this? Host an interview.
Interviews allow you to take a deeper dive into aspects around the challenges that your ideal customers (and audience) experience along the buyer’s journeys. When you present these challenges ensure that you pick the right candidate to interview.
Look for a blend of experience and popularity. This will help you draw a crowd and also produce an interview filled with nuggets your audience will find useful.
Once you’ve hosted your interview, you’ll be able to tell how effective this type of content is for your brand. You can also repurpose interviews by publishing them as videos on all of your social accounts.
Run a Social-Exclusive Deal
Running a social-exclusive deal is a more direct way of generating ROI. By making your deal exclusive to your audience, you also create a sense of scarcity.
Here are 4 tips on how to make your social-exclusive deal a success:
- Have a clear offer that you know your audience wants
- Highlight the deal end date
- Promote it before you run it to generate interest
- Create supporting social posts around the deal to draw your audience to it
Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia, especially when it’s crafted artfully into a social post. Lego does a great job of introducing nostalgic moments around their brand and iconic toys produced in their early days.
This post from Lego scored them over 35,000 likes and 476 comments.
Repurpose Video and Long-Form Content
Repurposing content is a smart idea. It helps you balance the need to generate valuable and on-brand material and carry out campaigns that produce ROI.
Repurposing content, however, requires creativity. You need to be able to expand on ideas to ensure that your audience doesn’t experience content fatigue.
Gary Vaynerchuk is popular for producing a tremendous amount of content. His team’s approach includes taking one piece of pillar content and splintering it into as many as 30 pieces of content for his social accounts.
Share Brand and Product Milestones
Brand and product milestones should be celebrated. But when you do so, make them relevant to your audience to generate interest and have an impact.
When basketball superstar Dwyane Wade retired, Budweiser took the opportunity to create a moving video. During Wade’s final season, he made it a point to swap jerseys with NBA legends.
Budweiser used the concept to honour Wade for the impact made off the court. They brought together people Wade helped overcome adversity. Each person brought along a token of thanks.
You don’t need a budget as large as Budweiser’s or an NBA legend to make this social media idea work. All you need is a little creativity. Take your milestones and share the human side of your business and the impact it has made.
Holidays are often the perfect excuse for brands to runs social campaigns. And the good news is that you can use any holiday!
Best Buy chose National Puppy Day. When you look at the post, it seems somewhat understated, but there’s something special happening.
Best Buy has artfully positioned a new mobile phone and tied it to something people love doing, recording video of their puppies playing.
Producing social media ideas and content can be challenging. Busy schedules and the need to meet KPIs add a level of complexity that makes creativity hard to capture.
It is, however, possible to consistently produce great content. Plan your social content ahead of time. Planning ensures that you always think about your content as an opportunity to connect with your audience and make them an offer they can’t refuse.