The toughest part of running any sort of social media campaign? Coming up with new ideas.
Marketers are expected to juggle multiple social profiles and keep them up-to-date with fresh posts. It’s tough. Your followers are hungry for new content and you’re expected to deliver on a consistent basis.
But when you constantly recycle the same posts again and again, your social feeds start to feel like Groundhog Day.
That’s exactly why brands need to have multiple social media ideas in their back pocket. Below we’ve broken down 20 social media ideas for brands both big and small. Each of these types of posts is fair game for those looking to keep their social feeds from ever growing stale.
1. Create a Daily, Weekly or Monthly Series
Want to make your social feed feel more like an event versus a laundry list of random posts?
Start a series where you have the opportunity to interact with your fans and followers on a regular basis. That’s exactly what Sprout does with #SproutChat, tackling topics and issue related to social media on behalf of an audience that’s eager to learn.
Communicating with followers via Twitter is painless and only requires a branded hashtag to get started. By regularly scheduling these sessions, followers can let their voices be heard while also engaging with your brand.
Picking the brains of your followers not only shows that you care about them, but also helps you tap into your audience’s pains and concerns. If you’re struggling to “show up” to your social feeds, a regular series is a solid starting point.
Schedule your recurring content easily with Sprout
Sprout takes the stress out of keeping your content series and campaigns on track with intuitive scheduling features.
Queue up your posts and view the upcoming content plan in the Sprout Calendar, or let ViralPost handle optimal scheduling for you–either way, you’ll save time you can put towards even better content ideas!
Start your free trial to see it in action.
2. Run a Contest or Giveaway
People can’t resist the power of “free.”
Running the occasional contest is one of the most impactful social media ideas when it comes to potential engagement from followers.
According to data from Tailwind, 91% of Instagram posts with more than 1,000 likes or comments are related to a contest. Meanwhile, accounts that run contests on a regular basis are noted to grow 70% faster than those that don’t.
Crazy, right? But when you look at how much love posts like this one from Birchbox receive, those numbers don’t seem so farfetched.
You don’t necessarily need a third-party solution or service to run a contest. All you need is a combination of the following:
- Something to give away. Ideally, the prize for your contest should somehow be related to your brand (think: free products or a membership). Big-ticket, unrelated items tend to attract freebie-seekers that won’t translate into long-term followers.
- Terms and conditions. To cover yourself legally, terms and conditions are a must for your contest. This template from Shortstack can clue you in on exactly what you need. Additionally, these points will make your contest seem more legitimate and not like a potential scam.
- A point of contact. On your terms and conditions page, make sure to leave an email address where people can get in touch with questions or concerns.
- A creative way to enter. Whether it’s through user-generated content or a hashtag, asking followers to post about your brand is the best way to encourage entries. After all, the purpose of a giveaway is brand awareness, not just to give away free stuff. Check out how Modcloth requires entrants to use a specific hashtag:https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbcn5bXnIvS/?taken-by=modcloth
Oh, and hashtags are by far the simplest means of keeping track of who entered your contest for free.
You don’t need to run contests week after week to reap the rewards. Contests are a great way to spike your follower count and engagement, and are a great social media idea for campaigns you’re looking to enhance, such as new product launches.
3. Host an AMA
Popular on Reddit, an AMA (ask me anything) series represents an awesome opportunity to educate and engage with your followers. AMA’s are essentially Q&A sessions where you get to share your knowledge, experiences and insight.
If you’ve overcome struggles or have clout in your industry, you likely have the chops to conduct an AMA. From sharing success stories to personal challenges, such sessions can be compelling for audiences and brands alike.
Why bother hosting an AMA, though? What’s the point? Consider how an AMA ticks the following boxes for brands:
- You get to show off your personal side, showcasing the face behind the curtain of your business
- You raise awareness for your brand without being pushy or salesy about it
- You learn more about the concerns and interests of your audience
If you have a large team, you can encourage each member to conduct their own AMA over time to give a sort of big-picture view of your brand.
4. Conduct a Social Media Takeover
Sometimes injecting some new life into your social feeds means letting someone else take over.
Takeovers put the reigns of your social accounts in someone else’s hands, usually for a period of 24 hours. Handing off your social presence to an influencer or celebrity with a massive, active audience is a prime way to get your brand in front of some new faces, as well as inject a new voice into your account if you feel you’re running short on social media post ideas. You can also let someone else in your company take over your account to give your feed some flavor.
Consider business partners and industry relationships that could be good candidates for a takeover. The purpose of a takeover is to get exposure, so ideally choose someone who’s audience demographic is relevant to your own.
For instance, the foodie site Food Republic regularly lets popular chefs take over their Instagram account. By handing off their accounts to chefs from around the world, their followers always have fresh content to look forward to.
5. Share, Repin, Retweet & Regram
Don’t be afraid to let your fans and followers do the talking.
Remember, not all of the content on your social feed has to be your own. In fact, conventional wisdom tells us that it shouldn’t be. Promoting other relevant brands, articles and photos from your followers is a great content idea that shows that you’re part of your industry’s conversation, not just a parrot.
For example, Sprout recently shared this quiz because it was definitely relevant to followers stoked on the world of marketing.
As noted in our guide on the best times to post on social media, brands should strive to follow the 80/20 rule of promotion. That is, your feeds should be made up of 80% entertaining and engaging content and only 20% promotional content. This keeps your feed from feeling like a sales pitch.
The takeaway here? Not all social media post ideas have to be in-depth or complicated, especially if you already have a dedicated following.
6. Bite-Sized Video Clips
Video content marketing has become a must-do for modern brands. Unfortunately, many see the investment in video as being too complicated or out of their reach.
But when you consider that video content gets exponentially more shares than video or text, brands should give some serious thought to creative social media ideas that incorporate video.
That’s why bite-sized video clips are still a perfect idea for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Such clips require minimal editing, can be shot in a matter of seconds and are prime for sharing. Here’s a good example from Krispy Kreme:
Don’t worry filming full-blown commercials, but rather short, creative clips to keep your followers entertained.
7. Repurpose Your Content
Think about the planning, effort and sheer amount of time it takes to create any piece of content. Doesn’t it make sense to squeeze as much as you can out every blog post or video you make?
Here’s a sobering stat, though: 50% of articles only receive eight shares or less on social media. Ouch.
For every blog post you write or video you shoot, you should consider additional ideas for promoting it on social media beyond its original format. For example, you can pull a quote from your content and repurpose it into a share-friendly image via Canva.
Likewise, you can use repurpose your video content into social-specific “sneak peeks.” First We Feast does this on Instagram with bite-sized previews of longer videos on their YouTube channel:
Now, imagine if you repurposed every blog post you wrote or video you published. You’d have a pretty good backlog of sharable content, right?
Repurposing your content not only breathes new life into old or otherwise ignored posts, but also keeps your followers from getting bored of the same message shared over and over.
8. Team Up With Another Brand
Co-marketing is a win-win situation. Two brands team up on a campaign or piece of content such as a webinar, ebook or even a special promotion. Each company gets exposure to the other’s audience.
Social media is the ideal platform for co-marketing campaign ideas because it’s so easy to sync up your efforts.
Look for brands to partner with that aren’t competitors but have a similar target audience. For instance, Sprout has partnered with companies like Wistia, Zendesk and others to create webinars and ebooks.
9. How-to’s & Tutorials
Blog posts aren’t the only place your followers are going to get educated. While articles are a good medium to break down step-by-step instructions, social media can be just as effective. Buzzfeed produces Instagram videos of mouth-watering recipes which are broken down into actionable steps. Each video is short and to the point, while remaining comprehensive.
When thinking of tutorial topics, keep it to ideas you can explain in less than a minute. You can score bonus points if your Instagram caption can also explain all of the necessary steps.
10. Go Live
Plain and simple, there’s something compelling about live video.
In fact, people spend three times longer watching Facebook Live videos than pre-recorded ones. Marketers such as Seth Godin use live streaming as an avenue to answer questions and educate his audience.
Whether you’re vlogging from your car or conducting a Q&A session, responding to people in real-time establishes a more personal connection with your followers.
The best part? You can always repuprose your social video content (think: YouTube videos, “sneak peaks” on Instagram) down the line.