By Neil Patel
Social media has changed the way we live.
As marketers, we need to recognize how our current and prospective customers are utilizing these platforms and use that knowledge to our advantage. Ultimately, you want to be able to convert your social media followers into customers.
But this is much easier said than done.
Sure, you were able to get people to follow your profiles initially. That’s a great first step.
However, if you can’t post engaging content, your followers will get bored and won’t convert.
They may even decide to unfollow your accounts.
In fact, a recent study from Sprout Social suggests that 41% of people unfollow a brand on social media because they feel the information isn’t relevant to them. And 46% of users unfollow a brand because it posts too much, while 18% of people unfollow a brand because it doesn’t post enough.
You don’t want to fall into any of these categories.
Recognize how people use social media. With so much content to consume, your followers won’t engage with your posts if the content is boring.
If you’ve been posting the same thing over and over again on all your platforms, your content has already grown stale.
Some of you may not be posting anything at all, simply because you don’t know what to post.
No matter what your situation is, you can benefit from reading this guide. I’ll show you how to effectively market your small business on social media with the top 21 ideas for your upcoming posts.
1. Your latest blog post
Once you publish a new blog post, you should share it with your social media followers.
Take a look at how I do this on my Facebook page:
There are lots of benefits to posting this type of content.
In addition to giving you something new to post, it will also drive more traffic to your website. Right now, it’s unlikely your customers are visiting your site on a daily basis.
They may not even know you published a new blog post unless you tell them.
Posting it on social media also exposes your blog to a wider audience. Now people who are friends with your followers can see this post and potentially navigate to your profile or website.
It’s a great opportunity for you to scale your lead generation through blogging.
2. Poll your followers
Create a poll.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have options for you to poll your followers.
A poll invites your followers to engage. They’ll share their opinions and spend more time on your profile.
There are lots of ways for you to leverage these polls.
You can use them to gain insightful information about your followers, get their opinions about a new idea, or just have some fun.
Check out this example from The Muse on Twitter:
What will they do with the results of this poll?
Who knows? But 223 people already voted!
If you’re looking for something new to post that will drive engagement, a poll is definitely a top option for you to consider.
3. Use emojis
No matter what platform you’re posting on, you should be using emojis in your posts. That’s because emojis can help you improve your click-through rates.
In fact, 92% of people online use emojis.
A recent study from AdEspresso showed that Facebook headlines with emojis generated 241% more clicks than those without one.
Emojis will improve your engagement metrics.
4. Photos of your employees
Share photos of the people who make your business possible. Without your employees, you wouldn’t be able to operate.
Sharing this type of content helps humanize your brand.
Your followers will see the faces behind the company. They’ll see exactly who is creating the products they’re consuming and learn what goes on behind the scenes.
Sharing photos of your employees will also boost your engagement. That’s because pictures with faces get 38% more likes:
Sure, you could post pictures with your face as well. But that will get stale after a while too.
Depending on the size of your business, some of you may have dozens of employees.
This gives you lots of chances to post new content with a new face every time.
5. Video promos
You need to post videos on social media.
More than half of marketers across the globe say video is the type of content that delivers the highest return on investment.
Further, 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching a branded video on social media.
Social media videos generate more than 1,200% more shares than images and text combined.
Take a look at how Thule used this strategy on one of its recent Facebook posts:
Notice that the caption is related to the promotion.
“Explore the city. With your family.”
The video shows a mother and father going for a walk with their baby in one of Thule’s strollers.
Video content is a great way to mix up your posts because the options are nearly endless.
6. New products
You’re in business to make money.
Use your social media posts as a way to build hype for a new product launch.
This is a great chance for you to expose your products to your followers even before the products officially get released.
Once the product is available for purchase, you can take advantage of features such as Instagram shoppable posts to drive sales.
7. User-generated content (UGC)
When you’re running out of ideas of what to post on social media, you can always turn to UGC for ideas.
Look through your mentions, direct messages, and hashtags related to your brand.
Find posts of real people using your products, and share them with your followers.
User-generated content will ultimately build trust between you and your customers.
Posting UGC will also encourage the rest of your followers to share content related to your brand in the future. They’ll do this with the hopes you’ll use their content the next time you share a user post.
8. High quality photos
Earlier I mentioned that video content delivered higher engagement metrics than images. That said, you can’t just post videos and nothing else.
Posting nothing but videos will get stale. That’s why you need to mix in photos as well.
But you don’t want to use just any photo.
Unless you’re using UGC, the images should be original and high quality. Don’t use stock images you find online.
But you’re not a photographer, so how can you find the right photos?
It’s easy to take these pictures yourself. Review my guide on how to take and edit photos without hiring a professional, and you’ll learn how to post quality images on social media.
9. Customer case studies
Show your social media followers how you helped one of your clients do something.
For example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer. You can share a post explaining how you helped one of your clients lose 10 pounds in 10 days.
Or maybe you have a platform that helps everyday people build hybrid mobile apps. You could show a case study outlining how much money they saved by using your platform instead of going through standard development.
The examples here are endless.
No matter what type of business you have, you can come up with a way to create a case study based on the experience of one of your customers.
10. Company accomplishments
Has your company recently achieved something?
Did you win an award? Were you featured in a positive news article?
Whatever the case may be, you can use these company accomplishments to increase your credibility. Share this news with your social media followers.
Here’s an example of how CoSchedule used this strategy on Twitter:
It was featured on a list of America’s fastest growing businesses—something to be proud of.
By the looks of this, it appears the team celebrated this accomplishment.
Everyone in the office got together to create this GIF. This also relates to one of the strategies I mentioned above: sharing photos of your employees.
11. Bring life to old content
As you’ve gone through the list so far, you may have gotten ideas for new posts.
For example, maybe you weren’t previously sharing your blog posts on social media. But now you’re bummed out because you feel you missed a chance to share some of your best writing.
That’s not true.
You can still share an old blog post on social media if it’s still relevant and performed well for you in the past.
Or maybe you posted a photo on Twitter a couple of years ago that got a high number of likes and retweets. You could share that old image on Instagram today.
Do you have an old video promotion you uploaded to YouTube earlier this year?
Share it on Facebook.
As you can see, there are many ways to breathe life into your old content by repurposing it on social media.
If you created infographics for your website or blog posts, you can use those on social media as well.
To show you how powerful this type of content can be, here’s an infographic about infographics:
Using an infographic as a visual aid can help you persuade your followers to take an action.
Plus, images jump off the page at people more than text. We know 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
If you have infographics, use them. If not, you can find great ones online or create new ones yourself.
13. Inspirational quotes
Running out of ideas to post?
Well, there is never a shortage of inspirational quotes. Simply run a Google search for inspirational quotes and find one that’s relevant to your brand, industry, or marketing strategy.
Or use anything that will appeal to your audience.
If you’re a good writer, come up with your own inspirational quotes.
14. Insightful research
Has your company done a recent study on something interesting?
Share your findings with your social media followers.
Post statistics you found while conducting research, or talk about someone else’s findings.
Here’s one thing you should keep in mind when using this type of content: always cite your sources.
If you’re posting a statistic, give credit to whomever conducted the research. They deserve it, and it also makes your content more credible. Your audience will know you’re not pulling numbers out of thin air.
15. Upcoming event information
I’m sure your business will host or attend some type of event throughout the year.
Even if it doesn’t happen often, it’s worth talking about on social media.
Check out this example from Tim Ferriss:
He shared this event promotion with his audience on Facebook.
As you can see from the information he gave, this is clearly a local event. Unless people live in Texas, or more specifically the Dallas area, they probably won’t be attending.
It’s still worth sharing. This gives your followers an idea of what you’re doing and maybe builds some anticipation for any events you’ll be hosting or attending in their area in the future.
Social media is the perfect platform for running a giveaway. That’s because all the content posted will be exposed to many people.
These giveaways and contests are especially effective if they encourage user-generated content, which I previously discussed.
Plus, everyone wants an opportunity to get something free.
If you start running contests and giveaways on social media, I’m sure you’ll see your engagement metrics spike for those posts.
17. Your recent podcasts
Do you have a podcast?
Make sure you give your social media followers updates about your latest episodes. Post direct links to them on your social sites.
Don’t rely on people finding your podcasts organically.
While you may get some listeners that way, it’s much better to target people familiar with your brand and already following you on social media.
18. Customer reviews
When you think of customer reviews, you may not necessarily associate them with your social media marketing strategy. But why not?
Showcasing reviews on social media will add credibility to your brand name.
Plus, 64% of consumers say they actively look for reviews before buying something. And 35% of people are less likely to make a purchase if they can’t find reviews.
Make this as easy as possible for your followers.
When they see other customers had a positive experience with your brand, they’ll be more likely to buy as well.
But I wouldn’t recommend flooding your social platforms with reviews.
Just like everything else, too much of one type of content will get stale. But it’s still a good idea to mix this into your content strategy.
19. “How to” posts
So you’re releasing a new product.
Depending on the type of product and the industry you’re in, using the product may not be straightforward.
This is a great opportunity for you to share a demonstration video.
If you’re already posting too much video content and you want to change your strategy, you could also post a “how to” list.
Explain a step-by-step process of how to use your product, and share it on social media.
Just like customer reviews, testimonials add credibility to your website.
This is especially true if those testimonials are coming from an authoritative source.
Look at how Olivers Apparel used this tactic in a recent Instagram post:
The post shows a high quality picture of one of its products. Simple, right?
But now look at the caption. It features a testimonial from Men’s Journal, showcasing the company’s product in a positive light.
If the brand itself wrote those exact same words in the caption without the testimonial, it wouldn’t be as impactful.
21. Throwback photos
If you’re running out of photos to post and don’t have time to take more yourself, you can always look through your archives.
I know you’ve seen this hashtag used before. You may have even used it yourself.
Throwback Thursday gained popularity in February 2012, according to Google Trends.
This is a chance for you to post an old picture of your first storefront, old delivery truck, or something like that. You could even share a picture from your childhood, unrelated to your business. But for the most part, it’s better to stay on-brand at all times.
For example, I could post a throwback picture of me while I still had my hair, but it’s not related to my brand. But I’m sure some of you would get a kick out of it.
There is no excuse to let your social media content go stale.
If you refer to the list above, you’ll never utter the words I don’t know what to post on social media again.
With these 21 ideas, you’ll be able to post different content in a variety of ways for a long time. If you use the throwback photo idea, that’s one post per week, every week, forever.
You can generate a month’s worth of content by using less than half of the suggestions on this list.
Next time you think there’s nothing for you to post, think again. Keep this list bookmarked so you always have it as a quick reference.
What type of content are you sharing on social media to engage your followers?