You just came up a great Facebook post. You post it at an optimized time and wait. And wait. Why doesn’t anyone like 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. Though it may be easy to know what your friends will “like” on your 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.
I know it can be downright frustrating when you can’t think of anything clever or engaging to post. It happens to me frequently. I created 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 there a way 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 T-shirt do they like best? Ask the question with three images of the T-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 “newsjacking,” jack the time of year. Is it Christmas? Create a fun Christmas board.
10. Staff favorite recipes. Recipes are very popular on Pinterest. Try to tie that in to your business.
11. Infographics. Find infographics relevant 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.
Create a tweet with a clever hook and end it with a link to an article or photo that acts as the punchline to the hook.
13. Statistics. Numbers encourage RTs. Try combining a stat as the hook and the article it’s pulled from 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 fewer than 140 characters is the tricky part. Make sure you leave enough room for the RT.
16. Articles. Scour industry blogs, and share an article you find 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 the relevant hashtag. Make sure you let other event-goers know about the hashtag.
LinkedIn is a platform more conducive to sharing expert, industry-relevant 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 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. E-books. As LinkedIn is a more professional social platform, if you have e-books that offer interesting industry insights, LinkedIn is a perfect place to share them.
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? Does she 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.
26. Your blog content. Of course you should share your blog content. The key is being smart about which platforms you share that content on, and how. Check out some inspiring ways to share your blog content.
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. It’s OK to share the same content, but 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 find engaging. Celebrity gossip and cute puppies generally get a lot of “likes,” but of that sort of content has absolutely nothing to do with your brand and doesn’t promote further engagement, it’s not worth the effort.
Melissa Leiter is an independent inbound marketing consultant with a specialty focus in social media strategy. A version of this article first appeared on MelissaLeiter.com.