Looking for inspiration for your next social media post? These social media content ideas will help you keep your feeds feeling fresh and engaging for your audience.
You will learn
- How to use video, audio and user-generated content as a part of your social media strategy
- The importance of repurposing your content across channels
- How to create content with infleuncers
Keeping multiple social media accounts up-to-date isn’t easy. When you pile on the extra pressure to come up with new social media content ideas every day, the task can seem impossible. But sometimes, all you need is a bit of inspiration and guidance to take your social media pages from “meh” to “must-follow.”
Below, we’ve compiled our top social media content tips along with examples and personal insights from various brands.
Check out Ideas from Buffer →
1. Create videos
According to Wyzowl’s 2021 State of Video Marketing report, “85% of people would like to see more video from brands in 2021.” The same report also shows that social media users are twice as likely to share videos than any other kind of social media content.
Every major social media network allows you to share video content either through direct video posts and/or platform-specific video options such as IGTV and Reels on Instagram.
You don’t have to be an expert videographer to create social media videos. In fact, “high production quality” didn’t even make it into the top 5 reasons viewers choose to watch videos. People are more interested in videos that relate to their interests and passions or teach them something new.
Matty Rogers, Content and Media Manager at Evolve Skateboards, says video content stands out to their audience. “This type of content performs well because the video is fun,” says Rogers. “It shows that an electric skateboard is a cool new way to get around.”
All you really need to get started with video is a smartphone. You can film and edits videos directly on your phone and use apps such as InShot or Clips to add text. If you want to get fancy, tools such as Vyond are great for creating animated video content.
2. Repurpose audio content
Audio posts, sometimes called audiograms, use only the audio portion of a recording. Some audio posts use the standard sound wave visual with the audio, while others pair the sound with text. We recommend adding text because it makes your audio content accessible to hearing-impaired users. It also makes content more appealing to the type of people who would rather throw their phone into the ocean than take it off silent mode.
Audio posts are perfect for sharing clips from podcast episodes, snippets from interviews, or repurposed audio from video content. You can create audio posts with video tools or use audio-specific programs such as Audiogram.
3. Feature user-generated content
Incorporating user-generated content (UGC)—content produced by fans and customers—into your social media marketing strategy is a great way to build a community. Plus, sharing UGC helps you build brand awareness without turning your social media page into a non-stop sales pitch.
Encourage your customers to create content by asking them to tag you in photos or use a branded hashtag. For instance, we include “#BufferLove” in our Instagram bio so people know to add that hashtag to posts about our brand. This way, we can quickly view a ton of UGC, then narrow in on what we’d like to feature on our accounts.
Photos and videos of customers using your products and services make great social media content because they show your potential customers that real people like what you have to offer. “I've found that UGC tends to perform much better than any photos I can stage at home,” says Alyssa Kaplan, Founder of The Scrunchie Club. “Our customers are extremely savvy and want to see the products in use.”
Customer interviews and testimonials work well, too. Think about it—when’s the last time you bought anything without at least skimming some reviews? If your customers are singing your praises, give them a shoutout on your social media pages.
4. Work with influencers
Social media influencer refers to anyone who has the potential to influence buying decisions. The main differences between UGC and influencer-produced content are budget and control. When you partner with influencers, you get a lot more say in what type of social media content they produce and where they post it, but you’ll also have to pay for that content.
Payment could be a flat fee, an affiliate sales agreement, or even a product/service trade, depending on the influencer. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money on someone with a massive following. In fact, marketers rank follower count as the 7th most important factor, beaten out by factors such as quality of content and engagement rate.
“Follower count isn’t a major factor in our influencer selection process because those numbers can be faked and bought,” says Brittany DeMauro, creative director at Custom Picture Frames. “Seeing an influencer with engaging captions and a good ratio of likes and comments is huge for us. It signals that they have a community that will trust their product placements and recommendations.”
When you’re promoting your brand, an attentive audience is much more valuable than a large one.
When you’re promoting your brand, an attentive audience is much more valuable than a large one. Partnering with influencers gives you access to their personal followers, who are much more likely to engage with their content. Take a look at this post from Loving Little Halls. Fans didn’t just like the photo and keep scrolling—they asked questions about Custom Picture Frames’ products, and the influencer engaged in conversation.
Influencers need to be influential, not just popular. Studies show that micro-influencers are often more effective than celebrities—45% of people tried something a micro-influencer recommended, while only 36% took action after seeing a celebrity post.
“We target micro-influencers who have around 1,000-10,000 followers,” says Gilad Rom, Founder of Huan. “In our experience, this range generates the highest engagement rates. Influencers with larger followings tend to attract fewer likes and comments.”
5. Repurpose social media content across platforms
Why waste a great piece of content by only sharing it once? Repurposing content saves you time and helps you reach different audiences across social media networks.
Repurposing does not mean sharing the exact same thing on all social media networks. A better way to think of it is Marge Simpson and her Chanel suit. She starts with a single quality outfit, but she cuts it up and sews it into several new looks. The fabric is the same, but the end result is something fresh and new—that’s what you need to do when repurposing your social media content.
Content repurposing ideas:
- Turn a blog post into a tweetstorm for Twitter or graphics for an Instagram Carousel post
- Share key findings from a whitepaper or survey as an infographic or series of images
- Break webinars and demos into bite-sized social media content
The key to repurposing content is to focus on re-sharing the same core message while presenting it in a new format.
6. Use engagement prompts
Engagement is what puts the “social” into social media. Use prompts and conversation starters to encourage people to interact with your posts.
Posing questions is a quick way to start a conversation with your followers. You can make it even easier for your fans to engage by using interactive elements that only require a click. For example, telling Facebook fans to vote for hot coffee by liking a post and iced coffee by loving it. Instagram Stories also has several built-in interactive stickers such as polls and sliding scale ratings.
7. Share company news
It’s your page and you can brag if you want to! While no one wants an endless feed of press releases, it never hurts to mix in major announcements.
“At the end of the day, your followers are usually also your supporters,” says Ruby LaBrusciano-Carris, Brand Manager at Flex & Flow. “They want to see you do well and celebrate you!”
Whether it’s a product launch, company hiring update, or a cool shoutout from a news outlet, exciting news can make great social media content because it gives your fans a chance to celebrate wins with you.
8. Go live
Between April 2019 and April 2020, the online live streaming industry grew by 99%. Live streams are so popular that every major social media network has a live video option.
When deciding where to go live (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), think about your topic and audience. For example, if you have more followers and higher engagement rates on Instagram, you’ll probably get the best engagement rates by going live on that platform. However, your subject matter should influence your decision as well. If you’re talking about your company culture and open positions, LinkedIn would be a better choice, even if you have fewer followers there.
Live doesn’t have to be lonely. Involve your fans by asking them to submit questions and requests beforehand or ask them to get involved in the comment section while you’re live. Instagram has a cool feature that lets you split your live screen with fans so you can invite people to join you. Journalist David Begnaud often hosts Q&As with experts and/or followers on Instagram Live and repurposes that content by posting recordings on YouTube.