You’ve probably heard that content is the lifeblood of your website, blog, and social feeds. While that’s certainly true, the real question is whether you’re capable of creating enough content to keep your channels alive with compelling updates that foster engagement.
Even the best social media managers experience idea droughts from time to time, so you shouldn’t kick yourself if the content well has run dry. To ensure you’re never short on new concepts for linkable and shareable assets again, we’ve listed 95 ways to generate social media content ideas when you’re in a bind.
#1 – Define the key problems your target buyers face and then solve them in a series of Tweets or Facebook posts.
#2 – Use the Google AdWords tool to drill down into your keyword research results. You may surface some valuable social media content ideas you’d never thought of before.
#3 – Ask your online communities to submit their most pressing questions. Filter out the best ones and then use the answer to each as a new idea for a blog post you can share with your social media followers.
#4 – Capitalize on Twitter’s trending topics when you have something worthy to add to the conversation.
#5 – Monitor your LinkedIn Groups to determine what your peers currently find useful and interesting. Expand on that information with some unique insight of your own.
#6 – Create a weekly round up of must-read articles your community members shouldn’t miss.
#7 – Meet ups, conferences, and other industry events offer a great source of information. Share tips, advice, interesting news, facts, figures, and other data you gather.
#8 – Leverage your Facebook Insights data to uncover patterns of increased interaction. Figuring out which types of content garner the most engagement may trigger a few new ideas.
#9 – Review your case studies and search for creative ways to repurpose them for your social media channels. Perhaps you’re able to create several visual presentations rather than simply sharing a link to a text-intensive blog post or document.
#10 – If you’ve written an eBook, whitepaper, or guide, share some of your key pieces of advice in bite-size snippets along with a download link to the full document.
#11 – Sift through the latest industry-related books you’ve read to create reading lists you can publish to your feeds.
#12 – Get your key employees or colleagues involved by featuring them in weekly posts that introduce them to your followers. This is a great way to show prospects and buyers the unique personalities behind your brand.
#13 – Develop step-by-step tutorials and then map out creative ways you can share them through your networking channels. Whether you use a series of images, video, or text posts, you may be able to string each tutorial out over the span of several days.
#14 – Search Google News to find targeted news listings based on your area of expertise. You can then use the information you find to update your followers on the latest changes and happenings in the industry.
#15 – Sites like Flipboard and Paper.li allow you to create your own online magazines or newspapers in minutes. Fill yours with the things your audience cares about and then share it with them via your preferred platforms.
#16 – Question and Answer sites like Quora are goldmines for social media marketers on the lookout for topics where demand for information already exists. Simply search for questions on a relevant subject and then harvest them for your social media and blog marketing efforts.
#17 – Curate content using the top blogs in your industry and then repackage the information with your own valuable input.
#18 – Are there any new stats or research findings you can share? Plump up your post with a little background info on why the research was conducted, as well as the methods used.
#19 – If you have the budget, hire a freelance social media content and branding strategist. A professional will ask the right questions to help you develop powerful ideas your networks will love.
#20 – There’s a reason so many people get their best ideas in the shower. The white noise created by the rushing water improves concentration and stimulates creativity. Thanks to online white noise generators, you don’t have to get wet the next time you need a social media content idea.
#21 – Sometimes your audience needs reminders even if they’ve heard it all before. Recycle old content that’s still as relevant today as it was when you originally published it.
#22 – Since most social media sites now allow users to watch video content directly in their feeds, rummage through Youtube, Vimeo, or Vine to find entertaining, informative, or interesting footage your community members might enjoy.
#23 – Speaking of video content, consider ways you can create original videos for your followers. Give them a virtual tour of your office or live event, show them new ways to use your product, or develop a collection of stop-motion instructional videos. Better yet, create a contest that requires fans to send in their own footage.
#24 – Conduct a 30-minute Q&A session through each of your social media profiles. Be sure to set it up when your audience engagement levels are generally high.
#25 – Use social media monitoring tools to tap into conversations. You’re certain to pick up a few things you can address in your own posts.
#26 – If you have a brand calendar, newsletter, or hidden content you believe your social media fans will appreciate, write a short snippet explaining the benefits of subscribing to your content and provide a relevant link.
#27 – Decide on a theme for each day of the week and then create social media content around those ideas. For example, an interior design firm might post a before and after picture of their latest project, adding #MakeoverMondays to their snippet.
#28 – Create themed albums on Facebook and upload any photos you capture at networking events, seminars, and company get-togethers. You can then share the albums or single images across your social media properties.
#29 – Think about things your followers aren’t privy to, but that may interest them. For example, several brands excel at posting fun and themed behind-the-scenes images on Pinterest and Instagram.
#30 – Repost your most engaging and successful pieces of content when appropriate. While networking platforms are a powerful tool, the lifespan of social content is incredibly short. There’s no reason you can’t share something more than once without being seen as a spammer.
#31 – Change your routine to stimulate a different way of thinking. Monotony can hinder your creativity so it might be time to shift your brain into a new gear.
#33 – Collect information and stats around a specific topic and then turn the data into an interesting and visually appealing infographic.
#34 – Positive reviews, quotes, and mentions provide a great source of social proof for your brand. Reward advocates by posting a word of thanks to your stream when appropriate.
#35 – Find humorous content that speaks to your brand’s personality. A funny meme or gif can liven things up while providing you with a way to remain in front of your audience.
#36 – Look for thought-provoking or inspiring quotes. Your followers could do with a little encouragement occasionally.
#37 – When you require feedback, opinions, or information from your target market, polls are a great way to gather data while creating and publishing new content to your social feeds. You may not be able to create polls on Facebook anymore, but companies like Opinion Stage offer an alternative solution.
#38 – Tap into your collection of user-generated content for fresh ideas directly from your audience members.
#39 – Think about generating the type of content that serves to enhance your customer service. Whether you’re addressing complaints, answering questions, or providing advice, you’re shaping the perception of your brand while ensuring your stream remains active.
#40 – Use your social feeds to promote the causes your brand supports. Again, use this as an opportunity to influence the perception of your business in a positive way.
#41 – Publish a series of “image of the day” posts. If you want to make it intriguing, manipulate the image and ask your followers to guess what it is.
#42 – Keep track of company milestones and then be sure to create content that celebrates them across all of your networks.
#43 – Test your audience with a series of trivia questions.
#45 – If it’s within your budget, leverage giveaways to boost your brand’s awareness with creative promotional posts.
#46 – Conduct an interview with an industry expert. Besides giving social media users an opportunity to follow along and add their own input as the interview happens, it also gives you fresh content for a new blog post. Make certain you promote the interview ahead of time.
#47 – Get your fans ready for the weekend with a custom Spotify playlist. Be sure to keep your brand’s reputation in mind when choosing your music selection.
#48 – If you have a graphic designer or illustrator on your team, think about creating a regular company comic strip depicting funny situations in which your customers or employees might find themselves. Alternatively, you can use it to provide serious commentary on common industry problems or changes.
#49 – Spark conversation by selecting two competing products or services, and then ask your fans which they prefer and why. This simple idea can be adapted to any industry. For example, travel agents can pit two destinations against each other.
#50 – When you’re struggling to generate social media content ideas, publish valuable tips and tricks relevant to your target audience.
#51 – Use social media monitoring tools to unearth shareable ideas and trending topics in real-time. These tools are excellent resources when you’re searching for content ideas in a pinch.
#52 – Think of ways to tie in pop culture with a popular topic in your industry. You’ll find this tactic is perfect for spicing up an otherwise dull subject. After all, who wouldn’t want to know what modern marketers can learn from Mad Men or what celebs can teach brands about online community building?
#53 – Use your social profiles to host an online reunion with followers, influencers, and other connections you may have attended an event with in the last few months. This is a great way to provide follow-up content, as well as establish common ground on which to build solid business relationships. Besides assigning a Twitter hashtag, consider developing a Facebook Page or microsite if the size of the online reunion warrants it.
#54 – Ask for help or input on appropriate issues. By showing a little vulnerability, you’re making yourself more relatable as a person and not just a business brand.
#55 – Jump on the debate bandwagon and have your say. Social media sites are rife with industry experts going head-to-head on various topics. Leverage their debates as a way for you to fill your feed with your own opinion on the matter.
#56 – Set up a brainstorming session with your team and focus solely on idea generation for social media content.
#57 – When you have some exciting news to share, run a series of entertaining countdown posts to build anticipation.
#58 – Write reviews for complementary products and services on sites like Yelp and then post the link to your feeds. If your audience sees you as a trusted source, your recommendation is just as powerful as if they were receiving it from a close friend.
#59 – Think about creating “a day in the life of” diary style Facebook posts. There may be interesting characters or jobs around the office you can use as inspiration.
#60 – Special holidays offer plenty of fodder for imaginative and themed pieces of social media content. Mark important dates on your social media editorial calendar and then be sure to post fun and relevant updates.
#61 – If you’re able to develop profiles of industry pioneers that won’t affect your business’s image as an innovator, then consider key people you can profile. You may even have a few of them in your own company.
#62 – Use Google’s predictive search feature to uncover related queries based on a particular keyword or phrase. This is a convenient way to gain content ideas that will also boost your social SEO efforts.
#63 – Explore hot searches, user behavior, and other patterns you can take advantage of with Google Trends. A topic doesn’t have to be trending on Twitter for it to be relevant to a particular community.
#64 – Start collecting content for an inspiration board. Don’t let an overflow of ideas now stop you from creating resources you may need to dig into later.
#65 – As far as online idea boards go, few sites can rival Pinterest. This platform can be a great resource for imagery and inspiration even if you don’t own an account.
#66 – Use various aspects of your product, service, or industry to develop fill-in-the-blank posts. If you’re savvy, you’ll create concepts that contribute to your market research efforts.
#67 – Slideshare presentations continue to be incredibly popular, so whether you’re sharing your own or someone else’s, you’re likely to be appreciated by your social media followers.
#68 – Get your team to develop an app related to your business offerings and then promote it to your community.
#69 – For that matter, share your favorite app of the week. It’s all about making the lives of your audience as convenient, easy, and entertaining as possible.
#70 – Ask your PPC manager for additional feedback regarding search queries and click data. Fully understanding what type of content attracts your prospects might conjure up an idea or two.
#71 – Thanks to targeting options on many social platforms, there’s an opportunity to provide additional pieces of content to certain segments of your market. Keep each segment in mind when searching for content ideas because there may be times when you’re able to capitalize on events taking place within certain locations.
#73 – Since we’re talking about market segments, give some thought to exclusive offers or content you can provide to each group. It may be as simple as offering an eBook aimed at individuals within a certain job position.
#74 – Social media users love contests, sweepstakes, and games that allow them to compete for a prize. Besides keeping your social channels active, this type of content generally spreads like wildfire across the net, building brand awareness and growing your community.
#75 – Think of ways you can make a prize or giveaway just as rewarding for you as it is for the winner. For example, you might send your audience on a treasure hunt, posting a series of clues over the course of a week. The more clues you post, the more content you create. To maintain interest, create a mixed bag of clues that include maps, riddles, images, quotes, and more.
#76 – There’s something about stress that can make the brain cloud over at the worst of times. If you’re not someone who thrives under pressure, take time to relax. When you’re able to calm yourself down and clear your mind of unwanted thoughts, you’ll open doors for creative thinking and logical thought processing.
#77 – Visit your favorite industry forums to gain a new perspective from individuals in the same field as you. A little back and forth banter is likely to shake loose a fresh idea.
#78 – Post a link to a relevant TED Talks video along with your own commentary. After all, TED speakers have ideas worth spreading.
#79 – Get out and explore your city. You can look at all the keyword data, trending topic information, and analytics in the world and still generate stale ideas. Sometimes you just need to invigorate your mind, body, and soul with fresh air and reality.
#80 – Ask your audience to help caption humorous photos. Not only is this a great way to keep your feed fresh, but it’s also great way to boost engagement.
#81 – Conduct the occasional observation session. There’s a chance you’ll find unique connections between the people or objects you’re watching and what your business does. These observations often make for interesting blog and social media content.
#82 – Engage in stimulating conversation with someone who may trigger a spark or two in that cranium of yours. We all have people who challenge us intellectually, so give yours a call and set up a coffee date.
#83 – You can often boost your creativity by simply looking at the creativity of others. While you should never steal ideas, assess what other brands—both in and out of your industry—are doing to harness the power of their social platforms.
#84 – Hijack viral content like memes and insert a brand message of your own. This can be a little risky, so make sure you choose the visual content and message carefully. Also, make certain you’re not violating any copyright laws.
#85 – While we’ve mainly focused on searching for questions to answer, you should also ask them. Don’t be afraid to publish tough ones that get your fans thinking about their values, morals, and life in general.
#86 – A huge part of your focus should be about telling your brand’s story. Whenever you’re gearing up for a product launch, emphasizing your brand’s mission, getting behind a cause, starting a new marketing initiative, or doing something amazing, create a storytelling concept board. You can then create and publish content to your social streams as the story unfolds, or once you have a clear idea of the process and outcome.
#87 – Social media marketing isn’t about telling your story alone. Once you’ve built solid relationships with clients, followers, and suppliers, ask to tell their stories, too. Not only will you be creating new social media content, but their anecdotes or narratives will also stand as a testimony to what your business can do.
#88 – Speculate on the future of your niche. In addition to showing brand followers that you’re not scared to make bold predictions based on your extensive knowledge and experience, thinking several years ahead could stimulate new ideas for social media content that’s never been done before.
#89 – Get to know the psychology behind creative thinking and then try different techniques that may work for you. Re-conceptualizing the problem, embracing absurdity, and imposing restrictions are just a few of the methods experts suggest. A few psychological exercises may just be the key to unleashing your internal idea-generator.
#90 – Start looking at your product or service in a completely different light. Oreo excels at showing off one of the world’s most beloved cookies in inventive ways. The company generates likes, shares, and comments by adding #OreoGooglyEyes to random objects, as well as demonstrating new ways to enjoy their product.
#91 – Get to the gym for a workout. Exercise boosts endorphins and increases blood flow to your brain. Besides benefiting from the physical exertion, you might find a happy high and improved mood releases a flood of social media content ideas.
#92 – Don’t forget audio. Too often we limit ourselves to what we see, forgetting that social media allows for audio content without visual elements. Start recording educational podcasts your audience can listen to directly from their feeds.
#93 – Set up Google Alerts to monitor what the search giant sees as being the most valuable and relevant content on a specific keyword. Whether you curate that content into a blog of your own, or simply advertise the link on social media, the news Google delivers right to your inbox can a fantastic source for new ideas.
#94 – Check out the blog comments on compelling posts. You’ll often find differing opinions or snippets of information you can leverage for your own content. You may even be able to spark a debate or discussion of your own if it’s particularly controversial.
#95 – Crowdsource ideas. Yep, it’s as simple as soliciting ideas from your online community or hiring a few freelancers to pitch some unique concepts.
The key is to keep the momentum going. If you’re like most brands, you can’t afford to fall off the social media grid—even if it’s only for a day or two. Hopefully, these suggestions for generating social media content ideas will make your job a little easier than it was before.
Are there any tools or methods you’d suggest for developing new social media content ideas? Add your strategies and tips to the conversation below.