Does your business use social media? Nearly half of all small businesses (48%) do.
It makes sense for small businesses to use social media to promote their brand because it is largely free and easy to use, especially when you’ve been practicing for personal use.
The question is, are small businesses getting the best result from these platforms? Sadly, the answer is no. Why? Because people are still trying to figure out how going social can work for them.
One of the hardest part of managing social media is coming up with ideas. What should you tweet? What type of image should you post on Instagram? Even the most experienced marketers sometimes have a hard time coming up with ideas.
Having interesting and relevant content is what keeps your audience engaged, increasing traffic, leads and followers.
If you’re having problems coming up with good content ideas, you’re not alone. Even the most experienced marketers face the same dilemma.
To get your creative juices flowing, I have compiled a list of 21 social media ideas for your social media to help you get targeted followers
1. Make a Daily, Weekly or Monthly Series
What’s your favourite TV show? Mind is Modern Family – lol. I look forward to the next episode so much that it has become part of my weekly routine. That’s the same feeling you want to capture with your audience.
Having a consistent theme or concept for your social media keeps your followers interested and committed to you. Recurring content keeps people coming back for more.
You could have weekly Twitter chats, video series on YouTube or a tutorial series on Facebook. You can even tap into normal weekly series such as MCMs, WCWs, TBT, etc. I use WCW to appreciate women business owners. I even ask my followers to submit their their photo and brief description of their business if they want to get featured. This helps me get user generated content which is the best type of content.
One way to keep this tactic alive is to use branded hashtag so your content doesn’t get buried especially on Twitter. This allows people to quickly be able to identify all the content related to your series and know what the content is about.
You should also consider making a page on your website for your different social media series to keep your website visitors updated on your series.
2. Host a Contest
This is a good way to boost engagement, earn new followers and develop a strong relationship with your audience by giving back to them.
The point of a content is to increase brand awareness and build your audience, not just to give things away. You have to make sure the prices to be won are specific to your brand to avoid freebie seekers to grab your prizes and run.
Giving away a phone or a 50″ TV might seem like a good idea because it is an amazing price that anyone would want. Giving away generic prizes that aren’t related with your brand or industry will get you a ton of entrants that are only there for the prize and have no intention of sticking around after.
Social media contests are excellent ways to get some user generated content. You can launch a photo contest like Dana’s Cakes and Bakes did here where she asked her followers to repost their favourite cake from her page, telling them why they love it.
You should also use a branded hashtag to get more users to notice your brand.
3. Ask Me Anything
An AMA is when a person usually someone famous answer a range a questions about the industry. A good way to do an AMA is to team up with an industry influencer. If you have a friend or someone in your company that is well known you can use them.
An AMA is about connecting with your audience not selling your products so you have to be open to answer a wide variety of questions unless it won’t be fun.
You can host your AMAs on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram Live depending on where the bulk of your audience is for maximum engagement.
4. Social Media Takeover
This is another fun tactic to build engagement. Takeovers are when you allow someone else to manage your social media account for a certain period of time, usually 24 hours. Covenant University uses this technique, they allow popular students take over their snapchat for a day.
This technique works best with influencers who have an active audience. You can also allow your employees to take over the account. The benefit of this is that their audience comes along with them. Just make sure you’re choosing someone whose audience is in your demographic.
5. Share, Retweet, Repin & Regram
You don’t have to fill your entire feed with your own content. You can retweet content someone shared about something related to your industry or regram a photo – just make sure you credit the original author.
Don’t go overboard with this though, the bulk of your share should be your own original content.
6. Short Video Clips
Did you know that videos have more engagement than image? And the best part about it is that these days, you don’t need a big budget to do a video. You don’t have to shoot a 5 minute video. Less than 1 minute will do just fine.
You can record funny moments about your workplace or a short clip of you perfoming your art. You can also take videos of brand related events you attend and upload them.
7. Re-purpose Content
I usually pull content from my blog that have received a good level of engagement and turn them to graphics for my social media. IF you have a YouTube channel, you can break longer videos down into shorter videos for Instagram.
You can also re-purpose a presentation you have made and turn it into a SlideShare presentation for LinkedIn.
8. Team up With Another Brand
Collaboration is the new competition. Co-marketing is a win-win situation. You can feature other brands in your niche or collaborate with them on a campaign, e book or webinar. Each company gets exposure to the other’s audience. With social media, it is easy to sync up your efforts.
Partner with brands that aren’t your direct competitor’s but have similar target audience.
Recently, YK_Events, a budget friendly event planner teamed up with caterers, hair stylists, photographers, bakers and make up artists to push a campaign for discount wedding planning. By doing this all the businesses that collaborated will expose each other to their audiences, increasing brand awareness.
Most people associate “how-to” content with blog posts or YouTube. While they are good to break down instructions, there are other ways. You can use Instagram videos to show people how to properly ice a cake or twist a braid.
Remember to keep the videos short and sweet though.
10. Live Stream
People spend 3x more time watching Facebook live videos than pre-recorded ones. Live videos can be a bit more challenging because you don’t have time to edit your mistakes, but with a little practice, live streaming is a great way to drive people to take action. End with a strong call-to-action such as a discount or exclusive offer for those who participated in the stream.
SimplyLil, a personal stylist and interior designer, uses video to talk about personal styling and teach women how to dress for their body type.
11. Customer Spotlight
Customers will feel appreciated when you send some social media love their way. Go beyond retweeting or regramming followers who mention your brand and start a campaign that highlights your customers.
You could have a customer of the week program where you spotlight your most loyal advocates and give them some swag or a prize. You can also use case studies of previous customers to teach prospectives how to use your product. Or you can simply wish them a Happy Birthday like Guchi’s Braids and Crowns did in the post below.
One of the most popular examples of this is the Ice Bucket Challenge from the ALS Association. The idea was that people would film themselves having buckets of ice dumped on their heads, then challenge their friends to do the same, all while spreading awareness about ALS. Challenges like this can increase the chances of your campaign going viral.
13. Location Based Contest
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to tag your location in specific posts. So if you have a physical store or are present at a particular event, you could have customers check by creating a post at that location and then choosing a winner from those recent posts.
14. Flash Discounts
The beauty of social media is the ability to share information in real time. So you can reward your most engaged followers by offering quick discounts in real time. ASOS does this on its Facebook page occasionally, even changing its cover photo to alert followers.
15. Reaction Campaigns
On Facebook, you can easily use the new reactions feature to encourage engagement with followers. You can post a question or stance on something and ask customers to share their input through reactions. You can even do this on other sites like Twitter, to a lesser extent, by asking customers to respond with emojis or other quick reactions. Sofia Vergara used this tactic to have followers vote on their favorite award show looks.
16. Tag-a-Friend Posts
25 Social Media Campaign Ideas Your Small Business Could Try – Tag-a-Friends Posts
Get more visibility for your content by creating a call to action that encourages followers to tag friends in the comments or share your post with friends. Women & Whiskies does this on Instagram by encouraging followers to tag scotch lovers in this post.
17. A Poll
Interactive content – like polls and quizzes – is very popular right now. There’s a reason: It gets great engagement and lots of shares. Try to sprinkle at least one poll a week into your feeds.
With polls, you can get better insight of how your customers feel about your product and provide better ways to enhance their customer experience.
18. A Caption Writing Contest
In a “boring” industry? These are a great way to liven up a feed. All you need is a photograph (it’s even better if you use one you shot yourself).
Don’t forget to celebrate the winning caption, either. One of the nicest things about caption contests is that they can fill up 3-6 post slots.
19. Customer feedback
One of the best features of social media is interaction with customers. Even if it doesn’t always go well.
But sometimes, things do go well, and a customer says something nice. Showcase it when they do.
20. A Product Announcement
From time to time. announce a product release and its benefits to your followers.
21. Taking a Vote on Something You Do
This is kinda like a contest… but a little different. Asking your audience for feedback (“We need your help!”) is a great way to build participation.
I hope this helped spark some ideas on how to generate content for your social media. The more variety you provide in your social media content the better experience you’ll provide for your followers.
Don’t forget to share this post to help other small business owners like yourself.
To get more tips on how you can better leverage the power of digital to promote your brand, check out my blog or email me. I will reply as soon as I can. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Also published on Medium.