It can be challenging to find fresh social media content ideas when you have to post something every day on multiple platforms.
But fresh, quality content that attracts users’ attention and keeps them informed is important. People will be excited to see what you post next, which makes them more likely to engage with your posts—and maybe even become a customer.
With this cheatsheet of solid content ideas for each of the major social platforms, you’ll be ahead of the curve. And you’ll never find yourself staring at a blank content calendar again.
Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.
Creative social media post ideas for all the major platforms
By 2020, digital videos will drive 82% of web traffic. That means you’re leaving reach and engagement on the table if you aren’t sharing video content on your channels. And there’s so many options to choose from:
- Stories (Facebook and Instagram)
- Live video (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram)
- Tik Tok
- In-feed videos (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest)
Pro tip: You can share video on any of your channels, but on Facebook and Twitter, it’s best to upload videos directly (versus sharing the YouTube or Instagram video link) to get the most engagement.
And don’t forget TikTok, where short and fun videos can reach younger audiences.
The Washington Post is using TikTok in ways that are fun and surprising. In this video they have a bit of fun with U.S. Democratic candidate for president Julian Castro and his twin brother Juan, who is also a politician.
To get started creating winning social videos, read our guide to creating the perfect social video.
2. Live videos
In addition to video posts, consider posting live video updates to your social channels. Four out of five people would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog post, according to a survey done by Vimeo and New York Magazine.
This is a great idea for launch events or press conferences. You can also use Facebook Live or Twitter Live to host a preview event for upcoming products or to stage a live demonstration of your services.
How to Use Benefit BADgal BANG! Mascara
Hello Volume! We’re going LIVE with Benefit Cosmetics demonstrating the brand new BADgal BANG! Mascara. Tune in with your questions for a chance to win the mascara at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Posted by BIRCHBOX on Tuesday, February 20, 2018
In this video, Benefit Cosmetics demonstrates how to use one of their products, BADgal mascara, a product that just so happened to be in that month’s edition of Birchbox, a subscription makeup sample box.
3. Your employees
It can take years to build trust in your brand, but showcasing real people who work at your company can build a personal connection with your audience much more quickly.
Try featuring posts by a few of your employees — ones who typically don’t post to your social accounts — or posts featuring your employees to personalize your social media feeds and share different voices.
You could even let your employees advocate for your products or services during your social media campaigns. Your followers will appreciate being able to put a literal face to your brand, which helps them feel more connected to what you do and offer.
CoLab Software makes a complicated product: a software program meant to help engineering and design teams work better together. By featuring their individual employees, as they’ve done here with Freddie Pike, and telling a bit of their story, they add a face to their work and make it seem more approachable.
4. Company news
Share exciting news about your organization on your social media feeds. But make sure to personalize it. For example, you could share a photo of your team celebrating winning a big new client or an industry award, or introducing a new product or an important hire, instead of just posting a link to the press release.
Company updates are especially important on Twitter, where 40% of users are there for breaking news.
Mysa, a company that makes smart thermostats, announced a round of hiring by talking about their values and sharing a team photo.
5. Market data
If your company has original data that provides important insights into your operations or your industry, share those highlights on social media. One example would be Hootsuite’s annual Social Trends Report, which includes data based on a survey of thousands of social marketers.
You can post the report or an article covering its key findings on LinkedIn. Turn interesting stats and quotes into visual posts for other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With software like Canva, you can create visually interesting posts about statistics without being a graphic designer.
A video doesn’t seem like an obvious choice to share data about people living alone, but it gives the Economist an opportunity to share a statistic in a dynamic way.
6. Articles and blog posts
If you have a company blog, share the articles to your social media feeds with direct links where you can. Blog posts sharing company news, open job postings, and industry developments can be repurposed to share on social media.
For Instagram, post an appealing on-brand graphic that fits the content. If you’re posting to the feed, redirect users to a link in your bio. If you’re posting to Stories (and you have over 10,000 followers), employ the “Swipe up” feature..
On LinkedIn, in-house articles and blog posts are a great way to share your expertise and provide updates on your company’s work. You can share these articles directly through LinkedIn’s publishing platform.
View this post on Instagram
This year, we’ve been on a bit of a Mary Poppins kick and Nova LOVES the scene in the movie where they are cleaning up with all the snaps. I asked her a month or so ago if she would like mommy to make her a dollhouse and she said, “Yes, but it needs to have doors.” Haha. I knew right away she was referencing the dollhouse in Mary Poppins and I knew we had to build one, inspired by it, just for her! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The first step was to design the basic build of the house. I spent a long time searching all the different kits you can buy online, but ultimately decided it would be the most fun to build it from scratch. With a little advice from my friend @mandimakes, we got started. I chose to do a simple, 4-foot tall house with two doors, six rooms inside and a bonus room hiding under the roof. Head to the blog for the details and plans on how to make the dollhouse!
This Instagram post from A Beautiful Mess has a long caption, but it’s still a lot shorter than the detailed blog post it points to. By sharing some personal information and a preview photo, readers are pointed to the longer, step-by-step blog post.
7. Behind-the-scenes looks
Your followers are interested in what you do, so share a little bit of information about that with them. Your social channels are a great place to share photos and videos that show people something they wouldn’t otherwise see.
Use your social media pages to post videos that show your office or workplace events. Or, give followers a photographic peek into the creative process behind your work, whether it’s a look at products getting packaged for shipping or some shots of event preparations.
In this Instagram video, clothing brand Eve Gravel shared a shot not of a new dress or shirt but of one of the patterns used to make the products—along with a caption explaining that the company continually works to improve its fits.
8. Contests and giveaways
Reward your followers, and gain new ones, by hosting a contest or giveaway on your social media channels. Boost engagement by making a post comment or share a condition for entry, and you might gain new followers as people hear about the contest from family and friends.
As a bonus, these posts are also a great way to promote new products and services.
Before you run a contest or giveaway, be sure to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements.
Clothing brand Ninety-Eight promoted their upcoming appearance at Toronto’s One Of A Kind Show by giving away free tickets via Instagram.
9. Influencer content
Pair up with an influencer who fits well with your brand, and have them generate content to share on both your social channels and theirs. These posts should make sense with the rest of your social media content while helping you reach new potential followers via the influencer.
When selecting an influencer for these posts, think about engagement as well as follower numbers. A diaper or children’s clothing brand could work with a mommy blogger. A brand that offers food for delivery could look at partnering with influencers who are busy professionals.
Actress Jenna Dewan partnered with Smash + Tess for this Instagram post and contest, which highlighted that the comfy rompers are also available in children’s sizes.
For more, read our guide to influencer marketing.
GIFs, or simple moving images, are a popular way of communicating on social media. They can be a fun way to make a post stand out or to share a joke with lighthearted content. You can use well-selected GIFs to take part in ongoing cultural conversations, trending topics, and pop culture moments.
Facebook and Twitter both have integrated GIF search engines that allow you to find a great GIF by searching keywords. You can also find GIFs on Giphy, or use the site to create your own from in-house video and image files. Here’s all the ways to create your own GIF.
— Schitt’s Creek (@SchittsCreek) November 1, 2019
The characters of Schitt’s Creek are very GIF-able, and the show shares clips from different episodes on its own social media channels via GIF.
In a way, animations combine the social media appeal of both GIFs and videos. Animated videos are a great choice when you don’t have the money to produce a high-quality video featuring real actors. Using a service like Animoto, you can easily create animated videos for social sharing.
Animated videos are a unique way to share content more than once. Sharing the same link twice on your Facebook page could result in lower engagement. For example, consider repurposing some of your blog posts for text-driven animated videos that share the same content in a new way.
Vox does a lot of interesting things with video, including short explainer videos that include still photos and animation along with video clips.
12. Product photos
Get creative and find new ways to share photos of your products online. These photos shouldn’t look like the simpler ones in an online store. Have fun! Group products together, photograph them against interesting backgrounds, or deconstruct them to show them in a new way.
Make sure that any product photos you share fit in seamlessly with your brand aesthetic, especially on visual platforms like Instagram. The point is for the photos to blend in with your other content—but stand out in your followers’ feeds.
Bando’s colourful products look great in a collage-style photo like this one shared on Instagram to highlight inexpensive options for holiday gifts.
13. User-generated content
If you have fans who use your products and services to create their own social media content, reach out and ask to repost it (with credit) on your accounts. It’s a great way to expand your social media posts and to show some appreciation for your key customers at the same time.
On Twitter, retweet or quote retweet to share posts that discuss your company in a positive light. On Facebook, you can post on your page with a link to another post. Ask the original poster to make their post public first. On Instagram, apps like InstaRepost or Repost for Instagram allow you to share content from other users.
Whole Foods took advantage of the #cartgoals hashtag by sharing this photo from another user on Instagram, featuring a filled shopping cart in one of their stores.
Here’s a bunch of other ideas and best practices for sharing user-generated content.
14. Instagram Stories
Don’t forget about Stories when using Instagram! It’s a popular feature on the platform, with 500 million stories being posted every single day.
You can get creative with apps like PINS to make fun visual posts, or simply add stickers and text to photos. Also, Instagram allows users to share feed posts to their Stories, giving your posts an even wider audience.
Instagram stories that you want to save can be shared as highlights, as Simply Made by Bekah does here to save and display the color options for her jewellery.
15. Interesting or inspirational quotes
Quote posts are a great way to highlight important parts of your articles or blog posts. They can also be used to share tips, advice, and insights from key people at your company. These posts are especially popular on Instagram and Pinterest but can be effective on any platform with a visual element.
Financial advice might not seem like it lends itself to visual posts, but this colourful quote post proves that assumption wrong.
16. Guest takeover posts
This is like posting influencer content, but with a twist. Have someone—an influencer, an industry figure, an employee—do a guest takeover of your social media accounts. They’ll choose the content to be shared for a set period, usually a day or a week.
You could tie these takeovers to a specific event, like having a home decor blogger do a takeover in early December to feature holiday decoration ideas. It’s also popular to make them a regular occurrence—for example, every Wednesday or the first Friday of the month—so followers know to watch for the latest takeover guest.
As with influencer posts, this can open up your social media following to new audiences. It can also provide ideas for new approaches to your feeds and get fresh eyes on your accounts. Ensure your guest sticks to your brand guidelines and aesthetic, but let them have a bit of fun with it too.
Skincare brand Summer Fridays saves its takeovers via Instagram Stories, where different influencers share how their products fit in their personal care routines.
17. Industry news
Besides sharing news about your organization on your social media accounts, share relevant articles and updates about your industry as well. These social media posts work especially well for Twitter, where people come for news, and LinkedIn, where people network and look for industry-focused information.
Look for news about exciting developments in your industry, upcoming industry conferences, or positive work done by related organizations. These posts can widen your social reach and help position your company as an industry leader.
For example, Hootsuite shared this Entrepreneur article on the “10 Laws of Social Media Marketing” to Facebook because we knew our followers are social media professionals who would find the information useful.
Visual infographic posts can be a great way to share a lot of information quickly. For example, if you have new sales results or market research to share, consider including the key findings in an infographic, as well as in individual posts that highlight particular statistics.
By their nature, infographic images are often vertical. This makes them valuable for Pinterest, where vertical-orientation images are the norm. Also, consider making infographic images with horizontal orientation to share on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Verafin makes software used by financial institutions to find fraud, which makes the company an expert on topics like elder care. This infographic, posted on LinkedIn, shares some of that information in an easily understood visual format.
19. Previews and teasers
Give your social media followers the feeling that they’re company insiders by sharing a sneak peek at what you have coming up. This could include screenshots of upcoming software, a few details teasing an upcoming event, or product shots of a soon-to-be-released item.
Of course, these posts should be done carefully. You don’t want to give away anything without the appropriate company approvals, or to create a competitive disadvantage. But when they’re well done, preview and teaser posts on social media can build anticipation.
Apple is a master at this, especially in the leadup to their significant product announcements.
They share glimpses of the upcoming new products but never give away too much, so people will want to tune into live videos of the official launch.
Just as GIFs are a way to use social media content to engage with wider cultural conversations, meme posts help your organization’s social media accounts appear relevant and fun. They also encourage sharing, when they are well done.
Before you post to social media using a meme, make sure you understand its meaning. Don’t post a meme that might be offensive or embarrass the organization by using it incorrectly. (If you’re really good at this you’ll manage to create your own meme, as the Museum of English Rural Life once did.)
a total eclipse of the sunfish
( c ∙-∙
( c ∙o∙ ????
( c ∙O∙ ????
???? (????^ .^
— Monterey Bay Aquarium (@MontereyAq) November 12, 2019
The Monterey Bay Aquarium uses social media in a lot of fun ways, including in this tweet that makes a pun with both an ‘80s song and a sea creature via a visual meme.
Here are some Instagram accounts that are harnessing the power of memes.
21. A peek inside your product
This is a twist on product photos. Instead of just showing your product in a photo or video, give your followers a look inside that they otherwise might not get until they buy it.
Unboxing videos are a popular iteration of this idea that can be found all over YouTube. You can make these yourself or reach out to creators who have made them with your products for reposting. But these posts can also be as simple as sharing photos of a few pages inside the covers of a book.
Petite Drawn and Quarterly often shares glimpses between the covers of the children’s books it carries via Instagram.
22. Customer photos
Search your own hashtags and user names on the different social media platforms your organization uses. Chances are good that someone, somewhere has posted a photo of themselves using your product or service. These posts are another great way to thank your customers, and provide new content to be shared on your own account (with permission, of course!).
The aesthetic of these posts matters more for some platforms than for others. For Instagram and Pinterest, look for customer photos that match the rest of your social media content. On Facebook and Twitter, this is less important.
Simply Made by Bekah includes photos taken by their customers, featuring the company’s earrings, on its Instagram feed regularly.
23. Client feedback
It might seem like you only ever hear about things going wrong, but chances are you have received flattering feedback or reviews from a client. Ask those clients if you can share a quote from that feedback on your social media accounts, or offer regular customers a discount for their feedback and then share it. It’s a great way to highlight positive experiences from real-life customer interactions.
As with quote posts, you can use Adobe Spark or A Design Kit to create a visual way to share this feedback. If the client is willing to make a short video sharing their experience, even better.
Engagement is important on social media, and one simple way to get that is to ask your followers an open-ended question—one that can’t be answered with a yes or no.
You can ask a question in a text post but that’s less likely to get engagement, and not as fun. One way to ask questions on social media is to use Instagram’s Questions sticker in Instagram Stories. You can then share some of the responses you get in Stories as well.
Lingerie company Knixwear recently used Instagram Stories to answer questions from followers about their founding and business journey.
25. Tips and tricks
If your product or service has a bit of a learning curve, or if you just have some insider advice to share, put those on your social media accounts. There are a variety of ways to do this, from live and pre-recorded video to visual tutorials with photographs.
Consider using TikTok for short videos if you can share the information quickly, or Instagram Stories if you want a mix of photo and video or need a few panels to make your point. YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram’s IGTV feature are options for longer videos.
Fenty Beauty regularly shares photos and videos on social media, including YouTube, that explain how their products can be used and show them on different skin tones. This makes customers who might not be able to test Fenty Beauty samples in store much more likely to buy online.
26. Evergreen blog posts
If you have older content that is still relevant or has become relevant again, often referred to as “evergreen” content, consider re-sharing it. Hootsuite’s own guide to making great Instagram videos is an example of evergreen content that can be posted any time.
In addition to simply sharing these posts as a link, think about how older content can be repurposed into newer content. Screenshots from an older video could be shared as photo posts, for example.
Event posts are obvious in some instances, like if you are hosting a party or workshop. But think about using event pages on Facebook for more than just physical gatherings.
You could post an event on Facebook for a webinar, for example, or an upcoming sale. Think about creating events like Twitter chats or social media promotions as well. Promoting things like this via an event instead of a regular social media post means anyone who indicates they are interested or attending will get a reminder when it starts.
Indigo promotes in-store events, like this Ken Dryden book signing, via Facebook Events.
28. Twitter conversations
Many people go to Twitter for breaking news, but it can also be a great place to have conversations with your customers. These conversations might arise naturally or they can be ones you create yourself. Either way, consider sharing them both on Twitter and your other social channels.
Twitter conversations can be tricky to promote because you can’t fully control their content. If you do promote one, have it monitored while it’s active to ensure it stays on track and doesn’t contain posts you don’t want associated with your brand.
Hootsuite hosts Twitter chats every other Thursday using the hashtag #HootChat to discuss social media strategy.
— Hootsuite (@hootsuite) November 21, 2019
Here’s our guide to running a successful Twitter chat.
29. Polls and surveys
People love to be asked their opinion, and many social media platforms make it easy to do that. You can engage with your followers via polls and surveys on most major social media sites now: Facebook, Instagram Stories, and Twitter.
Think about how you can make these polls and surveys fun. Ask your followers which color an upcoming product should be, for example. Make the input feel meaningful.
IKEA’s Instagram Stories featured slider polls, complete with starry-eyed emojis, asking followers how much they liked different bedroom setups.
30. Press mentions
Has your brand received positive media attention lately? Brag about it! Share flattering press mentions of your brand, or your industry, with your social media followers on your various platforms.
When you share these posts, be sure to tag the accounts of the reporter and outlet and use any relevant hashtags. It will help the posts be seen by even more people.
Kano Computing shared a video, and a review of a new product, on its Facebook page during the lead up to the Black Friday shopping weekend.
Put these content ideas to work and grow your business using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can publish and schedule messages to all your social channels, engage audience, and monitor relevant conversations. Try it free today.
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