Consistently posting on social media helps build trust and community with your audience. As entrepreneurs, we all know that it’s important to be present online — and organic social media is free!
But even the most enthusiastic marketers sometimes hit a wall when it comes to fresh ideas. I’m right there with you! Overcoming writer’s block is a topic I’ve already covered, so today I’m going to share my 5-step process for generating new content ideas for social media posts.
Step 1: Always Look for Inspiration
For those moments when you’re not filled with creative energy, it helps to have a stockpile of ideas on hand. Screenshot posts you like when you’re scrolling social media, or use the “save” feature on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to hang onto ideas you want to come back to later. These ideas don’t have to be from within your industry either. When you train yourself to look for inspiration, you’ll start seeing it everywhere.
I will often screenshot graphics I like, for design inspiration, or clever ad copy that shows up in my feed. If you’re active on TikTok and/or Instagram Reels, you should also be keeping an eye out for trends so you can join in on the fun!
Tired of scrolling? Inspiration is everywhere. TV ads, podcasts, billboards, and even junk mail have all served as fodder for post ideas. Just keep your eyes open!
Step 2: Pick Content Buckets
Start broad and then narrow down your focus! In this step, I just want you to make a list of the types of content you would like to create. Keep your business/marketing goals in mind…but don’t think too hard!
Below, I’ve outlined nine “content buckets” that I use with my clients’ social media sites; you can choose anywhere from three to nine for your small business:
Asking people to take the next step in buying your product or service.
Providing a resource such as a tip, resource, or video related to your expertise. This could be content you create yourself or content that you curate from a trusted source.
Talking about your “why” – your mission, values, or purpose of existing.
Bringing people behind the curtain of your organization, such as showcasing how something is made or describing what goes into your process.
Showing what it’s like to work with you, such as a group meeting, employee spotlight, or talking about why people want to work for you.
Sharing testimonials or success stories from happy customers or clients.
Inviting people to engage with your content with a question, poll, or contest.
Giving encouragement or motivation through a quote, a throwback story from your organization’s history, or another inspirational story.
Sharing a funny cartoon, meme, or video. This could be something you create or something you curate from another source.
Step 3: Brain Dump Ideas Into Each Content Bucket
Look at the categories you just chose. What topics could you cover (or posts could you create) under each category?
Here are some examples:
Content Bucket: Educational
- List out all the FAQs you get. Create a video or post to answer each one.
- Share snippets of blogs you’ve written or quotes from podcasts you’ve recorded.
- Share an interesting article that relates to your industry.
- Create an infographic or carousel post with stats that relate to your business or industry.
- Share fun facts about you, your business, or your industry.
Content Bucket: Behind-the-Scenes
- What inspires you? Share photos and a heartfelt caption.
- How did you get started in your business? Record a storytelling video.
- Share photos or a video of you putting together a customer’s order (product-based business).
- Take a photo that’s a teaser of something new you’re launching.
- Express what you’re grateful for in your business.
Content Bucket: Success Stories
- Put a customer/client testimonial on a graphic.
- Put a customer/client testimonial in the caption of a post.
- Share a mini case study in a video, carousel post, or caption.
- Provide a link to your Google reviews.
- Mention a client in your post.
- Ask your customers to share photos using your product, then repost with credit.
See where I’m going with this? Having content buckets helps drill down into specific themes, and once you start brain dumping ideas into those themes, the possibilities quickly add up.
By the way, if you want to see how this looks when it’s fully fleshed out, I recently released a helpful PDF guide: 57 Social Media Post Ideas. It’s designed to be a working, fully personalized document, with each of the 57 specific, attainable ideas designed to be used either once or as recurring features. Check it out!
Step 4: Create Your Content
This is when you finally get to start making all the posts you brainstormed in the previous step!
Take a look at this article, where I broke down the steps for creating a content calendar.
I recommend putting together 1 week or 1 month of content at a time, and using a scheduling software like Agorapulse. This gives you time to react to new post ideas that pop up, while still providing leeway in case you have a busy week coming up and you want your social media to run itself.
Step 5: Recycle Past Content
Read that again… I want you to recycle past content! Seriously!
Most businesses aren’t changing minute by minute. Chances are, that great post you wrote about your client success story three months ago would still be relevant and interesting to your audience today. Most people aren’t going to remember the quote you shared a few months ago, either, so go ahead and share it again. You could also recreate videos you did in the past, with a little new information if applicable…or just share the whole video again!
Of course, you could freshen up your recycled post with a new photo or rewrite the caption a little bit, but the concept is to reuse great content that still applies to your business. I love how Canva* lets me recreate graphics with just a few clicks, if you just want to swap out the visual.
Need Help Creating Content?
If you’re still coming up short with new ideas, or need help putting all your brilliant ideas into action, my team and I would love to help. We specialize in seamlessly fitting into a wide variety of brand voices and crafting compelling, irresistible content that inspires, engages, and converts!