Dave Shrein


Best Social Media Content Ideas

Coming up with social media content ideas is always a fun, yet challenging task. If you have an established social media content calendar getting together with your content team and dreaming up new ideas will give birth to you rbest breakthrough ideas and help you dream an even bigger vision for your social media platforms.

If you haven’t created a calendar, you’re just ‘posting to be consistent’, and you’re really in search of great ideas for your social media, this post will help you get your creative juices flowing in the direction you need to go. You’ll still need to make decisions about what will be best for your business, but the content below will lead you in a direction to make an informed decision.

There is no one-size-fits-all for social media content and it may be tempting to follow everything in this article (and others similar to it) word for word, but that’s not the best approach. The best approach would be to gather with a team, use this post for ideas, and then create a plan for yourself.

Ideas for social media content are all around you and, believe it or not, you are also FULL of amazing ideas that just need to be drawn out.

Your Larger Online Marketing Strategy

Your social media strategy should be a part of your larger online marketing strategy. In other words, what you post on social media should help you get closer to converting on your key metrics. Even if it is two or three degrees separated from the conversion, as long as it plays a part, that’s what you’re looking for.

As a general rule, your social media strategy should be to create community and grow your influence. The likelihood of going straight from a social media post to selling an expensive online course is very low… unless you’ve developed a community and have established your influence.

Unfortunately, most businesses will start with social media as the first thing in their online marketing plan, mostly for the reason that it’s super easy to create an account, upload a logo, and start posting.

Without an alternative collection of ‘first actions’ it is hard to convince a business owner to start with anything different. This is why I developed a visual for my clients at The Blocks Agency, helping them visually see where social media fits in an online marketing strategy, as well as everything else a serious business owner needs to develop to… before spending time on social media.

You can see the visual below — I call this the Online Business Pathway.

Online Business Marketing Pathway

How to Setup An Online Business

An easy-to-understand explanation for building your online marketing plan and how a website, social media, SEO, blog, and more fit together to make you money (and where each piece goes).

As you can see, you start with developing your brand and establishing a proven product. I can’t help a client make sense if they don’t have a brand or product. I can help them develop their brand or product, but I can’t effectively build a marketing plan if there is no brand and no proven product to sell. Others may, but I can’t. It’s not what I do.

After you’ve built a brand and developed a proven product, you want to move to build a website that serves as your 24/7 sales machine. From there you’ll draft sharable content, create lead generating content, build out your email marketing funnel (we call it the Nurture the Sale Newsletter), launch into paid ads, begin drafting content specifically for SEO, and at that point you’re FINALLY ready to leverage social media.

You will get the most benefit out of social media when you have these other pieces in place and you’ll put yourself in the best position to drive sales when you finally make an irresistible offer.

Starting Your Social Media from Ground Zero

You may be posting regularly on social media or you may be getting serious about social media for the first time. It doesn’t make a difference. Unlocking your best social media content ideas will come from dreaming big.

Identify the Type of Content You Have to Share

Social media is where you invest in community as a way to become an authority. It’s not all about pointing people to your content, but still, you do have sharable content (high value content to educate users and increase brand authority). Draft of a list of all types of content you might share.

To get you started here is a list of sharable content ideas:

  • Webinar invitations
  • Training videos
  • Ebooks
  • Templates
  • Checklists
  • Swipe copy
  • Free trials
  • Discount codes or coupons
  • Statistics
  • Case studies
  • Podcast episodes
  • Surveys
  • Survey results
  • Stock media
  • Articles

The conversation can start with “What type of content do we want to share?” and lead to “What is a creative way we could share our content that makes it enticing and irresistible?”

You’re not deciding anything at this point — you’re just listing the type of content you may want to share in the future, whatever the scenario may be.

Campaign Donut has dozens of free marketing resources from stock media, to checklists, to ebooks, to trainings. Even though the content is helpful to others, it is still self-serving to promote only these resources. Coming up with creative ways to share this content will help improve conversion but, more importantly, build community.

Identify the Type of Social Media Content You Love from Other Brands

There is something to be said for being original – and then there is also something to be said for borrowing from others… especially when it’s a great idea!

Nothing under the sun is new and anything you see someone else doing is either something they copied from someone else or an evolution from a different idea. True originality is rare.

Look at what other brands are doing — regardless of their industry — and make note. Take screenshots, save links, or write down the general idea. When you finally gather with a team to build out your strategy, you can share the content you’ve found interesting or effective. Whether you want to copy from the idea or just use it as an example, your team will immediately get ideas just reacting to what others have done.

Take a simple screenshot of posts you see online that represent some of the things you might want to consider for your social media plan. Adding something to your list doesn’t mean you’ll use it, but it gives you something to share with your team and something everyone can react to.
A customer named Pete Neubacher had Tweeted Burger King so many times about bringing back the Original Italian Chicken Sandwich that they create a marketing campaign to announce the return… including Pete. This isn’t something BK does regularly, but it’s a great idea that could inspire your brand.

Identify the Media Formats For Your Social Media Posts

For every one post you share, there could be two to five different formats that post takes.

For instance, if you have a podcast you will share new episodes — and that could be a very simple text post with a link with thumbnail. This would represent one post format.

A second post could be an audiogram made from a clip of the podcast episode — technically, that would be a video post.

The podcasting app Descript allows you create audiograms generated from your audio or video content. These are awesome for sharing online. The clip above is a square audiogram produced from Descript that I pulled into a video editing app and laid a background underneath.

A third post could be an individual quote pulled from the episode (or five quotes, for that matter) and that quote is turned into a graphic. That would be a graphic post.

A fourth post could be an individual quote pulled from the episode and instead of using a graphic, you just paste the text into the post. You can add the link, but delete the link thumbnail. This would be a text only post.

There are definitely more ways you can share content from your podcast. These are just four examples of how content can be multiplied and expanded beyond what’s obvious.

Here is a bullet list of all the different types of formats your content can take on social media:

  • Photos
  • Graphics
  • Quotes
  • Link thumbnails
  • Text
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Polls
  • Re-shares (Retweets on Twitter, shares on Facebook and others)
  • Gifs
  • Live stream
  • Stories (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat)
  • Events

The point in listing everything out like this is to show you that there is an endless stream of possibility for your content and you don’t have to limit yourself to one post for every type of content.

Identify Themes Throughout the Year for Your Social Media

Creating Content for Social Media from Blog Posts

If you run a blog you most likely have several dozen posts which are already packaged and finished. Have you gone through these completed works and extracted every last bit of social media content from each of them?

Look for short snippets of text that carry the main idea of the main content without requiring the entire post. Once you find these short snippets use a tool like Spruce or Pablo to turn them into shareable images.

Creating Content for Social Media from Video Clips

Have you recorded any videos (interviews, broadcasts, trainings) that you can steal clips from?

Every other week I hold a Google On Air show called #dactalk which provides young entrepreneurs with a look into the successes and failures of entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams. The entire conversation is recorded and afterwards I break up each episode into  small clips. From the one large video I am able to extract upwards of 10-12 shorter clips.

Video is so rich and not only can individual clips serve as individual pieces of content but the dialogue can serve as the foundation for future blog posts.

Creating Content for Social Media from Social Media

Yep, that’s right! There are so many social media sites that you may contribute to it’s logical to ask what kind of cross posting could you do?

Recently I’ve been using Periscope to share idea on building an online business. These videos, once recorded, disappear into the abyss of Periscope – except, I can opt to have the video saved to my phone once it’s finished airing. I import these saved clips into my computer and then quickly edit them with an intro, an outro and cut out any irrelevant clips and then upload them to my website, various social media channels and YouTube.

Facebook and Twitter also provide the option to embed past posts onto a webpage – meaning that the past content you’ve created could live forever on your website. Could you do a weekly post of most popular Facebook content, embedding Facebook posts into the entry and then shoot that out on Social Media?

The Ultimate Goal is Scaling Your Content

It’s unrealistic to think you can create 100% organic content multiple times a week. Maybe if you have 1-2 people who’s role is 100% content creation you could accomplish that but I am almost certain that you do not have that luxury. The next best (and quite honestly, wisest) approach is to stretch the content you have. Get as much use out of everything you do and you’ll find you have much more content available than you ever imagined.

Online Business Marketing Pathway

How to Setup An Online Business

An easy-to-understand explanation for building your online marketing plan and how a website, social media, SEO, blog, and more fit together to make you money (and where each piece goes).

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