You just came up with the best Facebook post ever. You post it at an optimized time and wait. And wait. Why isn't anyone liking it?!
You're not alone. Creating engaging content ideas is a daily battle for small businesses and their social media strategies in general.
Finding content to post on social media platforms can be incredibly challenging. While it may be easy to know what your friends will like on you personal page when you post, it is much more difficult to know what your target audience will like on your business page.
If only we could post photos of babies, engagement rings and puppies on our brand pages and get that same reaction. Just kidding! I'm grateful that's not the reality we live in.
However I know it can be down right frustrating when you can't think of anything clever or engaging to post. It happens to me frequently. So I decided to create a list of content ideas broken down by social media platforms to inspire some engaging content ideas.
The most engaging posts on Facebook are frequently associated with photos. Finding good photos is going to be a key element of your strategy. However, remember it's all about what your audience finds engaging.
1. Vintage photos. Throwback thursdays (#tbt) and #flashbackfridays are popular, fun posts on Facebook. Find old photos of you, your company, the year you were founded, etc.
2. "Trending" topics. Check the trending section of your Facebook page. What's popular? Is their anyway you can "newsjack" that content and make it relevant?
3. Quotes. Creating quotes as images is a great way to create an engaging photo post on Facebook.
4. Fill in the blanks. Post photos or create a sentence with a blank _______. Ask followers to fill in the blank with their best answer.
5. Polls. Polling your fans is a great way to up engagement levels. Which color of your latest tee-shirt do they like best? Ask the question with three images of the tee shirt in different colors.
Pinterest is a platform for creating pin boards of collections. If you don't have a plethora of photos to share about your company, there are other things you can post.
6. Inspiration boards. What inspires you/your brand?
7. Staff photos. If you have several team members, post photos of your staff with short bios. This helps position your business as a friendly, customer facing team. Share this board on your other social networks to get social "face time."
8. Event photos. IF you have a special event, create a board that talks about the event complete with event photos. Make sure to let those who attended know about the board so they can also share it on their social networks.
9. Holiday themed boards. Similar to the "newsjack" reference, jack the time of year. Is it Christmas? Create a fun Christmas board.
10. Staff favorite recipes. Recipes are very popular on Pinterest. We know this. Try to tie that into your business somehow!
11. Infographics. Find relevant infographics to your industry.
12. Videos. Don't forget that you can post YouTube videos on Pinterest as well. Try creating a fun board of staff favorite songs and find the relevant music videos on YouTube.
When crafting your tweets on Twitter, a good rule of thumb is to create a clever tweet that hooks followers. I good format to up engagement levels is to craft a tweet with a clever hook and then have that tweet end with a link to an article or photo that acts as the punchline to the hook.
13. Stats. Stats easily encourage RTs. Try combing a stat as the hook and the article it's pulled form as the punchline.
14. Questions. Ask a Question that is easily answerable in 140 characters.
15. Quotes. Similar to stats, quotes are often an easy way to get retweets. Finding one that's less than 140 characters is the tricky part. Make sure you are leaving enough room for the RT.
16. Articles. Scour those industry blogs you read up on and share an article you found particularly educational/hilarious.
17. Tips and tricks. Quick tips and tricks make for great ways to share engaging content.
18. Event hashtags. Have an event? Create a hashtag for that event and send out live tweets with that relevant hashtag. Make sure you let other event-goers know about the hashtag as well.
LinkedIn is a platform more conducive to sharing expert industry content.
19. Detailed content. Look for more in depth blog posts or white papers that you can share with your own added insights. Thought provoking articles about business in general are great articles to share on LInkedIn.
20. Ask questions in groups. LinkedIn is full of hungry professionals looking to respond to questions. I find sometimes asking a very simple, basic industry question can spark the most comments. By creating a question that is simple and straightforward, most don't feel overwhelmed to comment.
21. eBooks. As LinkedIn is a more professional social platform, if you have ebooks that offer interesting industry insights, LinkedIn is a perfect place to share those ebooks.
Instagram is a great platform for expressing the lifestyle that surrounds your company or brand.
22. Fun employee photos. Is one of your employees particularly fashionable? Do they always bring great healthy lunches? Create a series around that employee.
23. Behind the scenes. As Instagram is a great place for displaying the lifestyle around your brand, creating any fun/serious/intense behind the scenes photos from your business is always good for transparency.
24. Products. However, instead of just posting boring photos of your products as is over and over again, get clever with how and where you place and photograph those products.
25. Video montages. Like Pinterest, Instagram also allows you to post videos. Some of the best marketing videos I've seen on Instagram are montages. Post an event recap with a mix of all of the above in a montage!
Instagram video montage of Annie Leibovitz's Vanity Fair "Game of Thrones" photo shoot.
26. Your blog content. Enough said. Share your blog content in every clever way on every platform you can. The key being CLEVER. For some inspiring ways to share your blog content, READ MORE.
Like your blog content, many of these engaging content ideas can be used for multiple platforms. However, remember not to automatically schedule the same message in the same context for every platform. While it's okay to share the same content, you are going to want to make sure you massage the delivery for each platform based on best practices.
The key to any social media strategy is to post engaging content that YOUR target market will engage with. While celebrity gossip and cute puppies generally get a lot of likes, if it has absolutely nothing to do with your brand and doesn't promote further engagement it is irrelevant.