How are your social media campaigns running these days? Are you fresh out of inspiration? Do you feel like your followers couldn’t care less about you and your brand? Maybe you think social media just isn’t for you.
Before you throw in the towel, get some fresh ideas from our mega list below. Be sure you understand who you’re trying to talk to in the first place and which social media platforms those folks hang out on. Then, craft and schedule posts that aren’t boring.
Easier said than done, right?
There is a bit of an artistic / creative element to social media management, but even if you don’t feel like you were born to be a social media influencer, you can learn some tips and tricks. Check out these 27 for starters!
27 Types of Social Media Posts to Engage Followers
1. Humorous posts
Not everyone has the same sense of humor, so try to keep it PG and lighthearted. But you can use virtually any medium you can think of to share a little spark of humor with your followers, whether it’s through memes, videos, or text. The more you test the waters with funny posts, the more you’ll understand what your followers like and don’t like.
2. Viral videos
Plenty of marketing teams try to brainstorm how to make a video that will go viral. Very few succeed. Most viral videos just happen. If you’re one of the first to share it, you can get a lot of re-shares. But if you’re late to the party, most people will have already seen it and shared it from another source. Whenever possible, try to connect the viral video to your brand somehow. If you sell sports equipment, stick to sporty videos. Otherwise, you run the risk of spamming your followers.
And if you want an example of a viral marketing video that actually worked, look no further than those awkwardly mesmerizing Poo-Pourri ads:
We can’t all be that great. But we can share the stuff that is.
3. Inspirational quotes
Regardless of your specific buyer personas, you know your audience could use a pick-me-up every now and then. Inspirational quotes, especially those that are presented as images or GIFs, can generate engagement and shares. In some cases, longer inspirational videos can also be a good thing to share, such as TEDx talks. If you have a personal brand or are an influencer, use a personal anecdote to give some inspiration and help your followers feel connected to you all at the same time.
Just be careful not to be too cheesy depending on who your audience is. The inspiration you give to moms is a little different than the inspiration you give to a group of military personnel. Their daily situations are both tough and taxing, yet different. Your audience will appreciate that you understand them enough to tailor your content. Even just contextualizing the quote with a different background image or different hashtags can make a huge difference.
4. Behind-the-scenes photos and videos
Who says celebs are the only ones who get to have fun sharing their “behind-the-scenes” lives? Your followers are a curious bunch. They like to connect names to faces … or brands to faces. Showing how your company operates shows how responsible and trustworthy you are, and can even motivate people to pick up the phone (finally) and call about your services once they see how friendly you and your staff are. If you’re a good brand to work for, your customers will be even more motivated to give you cash. Show them at work or at play, volunteering, team building, etc.
You can create “actual” polls on some platforms, like Twitter and Facebook. On Instagram, you need to use stickers in stories for polls. Other options include asking people to comment their answer or to “like” a picture to cast their vote. Regardless of how the poll is set up, polls can be a great way to not only gather likes and shares, but also gain true insight into your audience. Ask some fun questions, or ask some marketing questions! People like being asked for their opinions.
6. Q & A Sessions
You can have your followers ask you questions if your brand is large enough and interesting enough to get plenty of questions. But a nice twist is to ask your followers questions in a more interactive poll. This works especially great on Twitter, where you just pick a date and time to ask questions, advertise your plan, create a hashtag to keep everyone in the loop, and retweet great answers. Or, you can try to do a live video Q&A.
7. AMA Sessions
AMA (Ask Me Anything) is a type of Q&A. Your followers ask you questions, not the other way around. AMA sessions can get very interesting because truly any question can get asked, from personal questions to political questions to industry questions. The questions can be moderated and you don’t have to answer anything you don’t want to, but this is a great chance to be candid, show that you’re a human like everyone else, and create more of a connection with your followers. Remember, your social media followers like being reminded that they have something in common with you or your brand.
Reddit is the traditional space for AMA sessions, but Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and G+ can all be leveraged for this type of interaction as well.
8. Guest Social Media Managers
This type of social media content gets really exciting really quickly when your guest social media manager happens to be a celebrity. For example, TV shows or networks hand over the login details to stars for the day, and they can post selfies, behind-the-scenes pictures, answer questions, show off their personality, etc.
Can this work for a small business? Yes! Your follower’s don’t have to know Bob From Accounting before he takes over social media for the day, but if his posts are interesting and quirky enough, they will definitely know who he is by the time his guest tenure is over. And that’s the goal: to humanize your company by letting people feel like they know you and your team.
Sharing bite-sized stats in a visually-appealing way is a great way to educate your followers and/or convince them why they need your product or services. But sharing infographics on social media requires great care in terms of sizing. Do not post infographics at their full height, or you will be flooded with comments like, “Was this written for ants??” and your audience can actually lose faith in you. Instead, break the infographic into bits and pieces that can easily be read online and on mobile devices. Link to the full infographic if you like.
Looking for ways to create infographics? Check out our post: Top 20 Tools for Creating Infographics and Other Social Media Images
10. How-To Videos
Teach people how to do something that you happen to be an expert in. It will show that you really do know what you’re talking about, and will also help solidify your role as a resource to your followers. Plus, truly helpful content is inherently shareable. You’re not giving away trade secrets in these videos, nor are you trying to make your industry seem so complicated that people should immediately give up and call you. Keep it simple but helpful.
Also, when you make your video, have both audio and captions available so that the content is accessible to web users who may have trouble hearing or reading. Consider offering translated captions as well to increase your reach even further.
11. Contests or Giveaways
Each social media platform, as well as each region or country, has policies about running contests and giveaways. Once you understand how to do one legally, these can be a great way to get social shares and to create a following. You not only show off your product, but also can collect contact information as part of each entry. Then, when you send out an email notifying the winners, you should also send out an email to everyone else along the lines of:
Better luck next time! You didn’t win the grand prize, but to show our appreciation, here’s a 25% off discount code just for you.
12. Myth Busting
What misconceptions do people have about your products, services, or industry? You can surely think of plenty. And it’s time to set the record straight with regular myth busting posts on social media. These types of posts will help showcase your knowledge and make people more inclined to see you as a helpful resource worth following. Use hashtags like #MythBustingMonday to grab the attention of new followers.
13. Events You’re Attending
Social media has its perks, but sometimes it’s nice to get out from behind the screen and meet your audience the old-fashioned way, face to face. Conferences, trade shows, fundraisers and other events are great ways for your audience to meet “the real you.” Real-life events humanize your brand. So, be sure to advertise events you plan to attend on social media, and then share lots of pictures of the event itself and even of the fans you got to meet (shared with permission, of course).
14. Events You’re Not Attending but Like
You can’t make it out to every event under the sun, but keep your followers informed of neat opportunities. Posts like this make it clear that you stay on top of industry news and are committed to the long haul.
Whether you’re hosting a webinar and need to get people to sign-up or you want to share a webinar that proved super helpful, your followers like to know that you stay informed about your industry. They also like to know that they can pick up great tips if they keep following you.
Don’t forget about audio content! Even though social media is heavily visual, links to audio content are still a popular way to engage with your audience. Send them to a specific snippet, or let them enjoy the entire podcast. Again, it doesn’t have to be a podcast that features you or your company directly, as long as it’s interesting or useful to your followers.
17. User Generated Content
Share content that your users or followers originally posted. Of course, get their permission first! If they took a picture while wearing your clothing brand, share it! Show that real people use and love your product. It also encourages other users to post pictures of your product, because who doesn’t love a little social recognition?
18. Reviews or Testimonials
If you got a glowing review, shout it from the rooftop! Take a screenshot of it and share it as a picture and in text format. Better yet, share a video review or encourage users to make a video review in the first place.
19. Shared Content
Who does your brand look up to in the business world? What companies or individuals do you share values with? When appropriate, you can share content that comes from other accounts. Not everything you post has to be original. Just make sure it still aligns with your style guide and voice.
20. Quick Tips
Sometimes you just don’t need a huge blog post or a video in order to share a tip with your followers. Turn your quick tip into an image for greater shareability, or pair it with a gorgeous photo of the tip in action.
21. Product Photos
If you sell products, you definitely want to share some gorgeous product photos to get your fans drooling. Note that the image below is also an example of User Generated Content!
These Ideas Are Better Suited for Individuals
When you represent a company, you have to be on your best behavior. But when your brand is yourself, you have a little more wiggle room to be opinionated and personal. You can get away with sharing pictures of your dog looking cute, of ranting about how you really hate pickles, and asking for movie recommendations. This content shows your personality, and your personality is your brand.
Still, you never want to cross the line into being rude or hateful. You still need to use good judgement.
With that said, here are some additional content ideas that work better for individuals.
Whether you’re sharing an opinion on something related to your brand or not, your followers are interested in getting to know the real you. They are more likely to follow you and stay interested in your posts if they feel like they know you. It’s up to you how controversial you want to be, though.
23. Other Brands You Love
As an individual, you can give shout-outs to brands you love without anyone scolding you for endorsing them. When people love your aesthetic or vibe, they want to know exactly how to achieve it themselves. What do you eat, drink, wear? Of course, if you can take advantage of your brand love in order to benefit from affiliate marketing, all the better.
24. Personal Photos
Your pets, spouse, home … you can take pictures of the personal aspects of your life to create a more intimate connection with your followers. Sometimes people’s pets become just as famous as they are!
25. Start a Brainstorming Session
Ask your followers what they would do in a certain situation or whether they have any ideas for how to approach a particular problem. Then be sure to respond to their comments or even share some of the most creative ones.
26. Informal Caption Contest
When you take a funny photo and just can’t decide on the best caption, let your audience take it from there. Say, “Caption this!” and sit back and wait. Be sure to share your favorite caption later! People will be more likely to engage with you in the future when they know you actually pay attention to people’s comments.
27. Share What You’re Reading, Watching or Listening To
Are you hooked on a popular TV show? Listening to a cool album? Reading a page-turning book? Share your recommendations and ask people what you should check out next.
What kinds of content do you love to share? Leave a comment below to let us know what kinds of posts your followers love!