When you’re not sure what to post on social media: 11 content ideas
Anyone who manages social media knows what it’s like to run through their content calendar faster than they can replenish it and then be out of ideas. Or more commonly, there never was a content calendar to begin with and everyone behind the social media accounts has been flying by the seat of their pants with every post.
Fortunately, there are some things you can always return to (or try for the first time!) when you’re in such a rut. Here are the things we at Alto Social have found to be effective, time and again.
1. Ask questions (or poll your audience)
This one can be a huge help, not just in the moment but to set you up with ideas later down the road. Turn the mic away from to your audience: what are they thinking? What do they want to know? More often than not, we find the answers we get surprise us. If we ask a good question, there’s usually something we’ve never heard before. This nets us two birds with one stone. We’ve filled up some dead air time and we can leverage interesting feedback into a later blog post.
2. Look at your RSS feed
(Don’t have one? Alto Social can help you put one together in 2 minutes)
RSS feeds are invaluable tools for parsing huge amounts of bite-size ideas (headlines) and breaking through writer’s blocks with those ideas. Alto Social has an integrated RSS feed feature called your Discover feed, from which you can connect all your favorite sites and instantly share to your audience.
3. Pull out an interesting quote
Even when you’re resharing content that isn’t your own, the nature of social media allows (and encourages) you to add your own commentary. Let’s see you’ve used your Discover feed and found an article you’d like to share. Now, find the crux of the article’s point, or a particularly salient observation it made, and offer your thoughts alongside the article when you share it.
4. Look at trending hashtags
This one is harder to make specific to your industry, but some events are so big they impact just about every industry. For example, an idea gleaned from trending hashtags as of April 2018: what do user privacy protections on Facebook mean for social media marketing? We can think of a few things!
5. Look at your previous posts and pull out an interesting stat
Some posts go viral, others don’t. While this is less of a science and more of an art, the stats for your previous posts give LOTS of room for interpretation. Some of which you should offer! Built into Alto Social is an analytics platform that makes looking through your past post performance a breeze. For example, when you’ve identified a standout post, you can spin that into a case study. Did you learn something about your audience from how this post performed? How did it change how you did things? All are fair game.
6. Reshare an older post
Speaking of older posts, if you’re really in a bind, you can directly share that standout post by itself. That’s it! Alto Social’s analytics lets you identify these old posts, but our upcoming Evergreen Recycling feature can help you share them as well as help you fill out a content calendar with these posts. Because many brand audiences on social media don’t read everything an account has ever published from front to back, the tolerance for reposting older content may be higher than you think–especially if the post is so good as to be timeless.
7. Look through your social media mentions and interactions
The core of social media engagement is answering questions your followers, leads, and customers have about you or your product, whether that’s in response or preemptive. Take a look at people who’ve mentioned you or your brand and see what they’re saying. Are they asking questions? If so, get to answering them! Often, you’ll find that the answer to a great question can be turned into a big blog post (or even a new feature!). Alto Social’s Inbox feature (released in the next few days on web, and out on iOS!) streamlines this process, allowing you to respond to all your interactions with followers, coordinate a response with teammates, and (as a bonus) handle your email communications.
8. Reshare a how-to resource
This one’s pretty straight forward. Sometimes the answer to your customers’ questions is already written out! If so, reshare a guide or how-to resource with a quick note pointing folks to the relevant section. This kind of post can really net some high engagement when timed well.
9. Recognize special days
Unless today is a major holiday and you’ve somehow forgotten, this one is more of a quick mental check to see if there any holidays coming up–in which case, you can design entire campaigns around specific holidays. Think now and see if there’s any quick ideas you can throw on to a content calendar.
10. Go live
This one is not so much a separate idea as it is a way to execute some of the above ideas, but it’s worth mentioning because you can get a lot of eyes and ears on a live video. Moreover, a live video with you speaking directly to your audience is sometimes the best way to get your point across. Nervous about speaking live? Alto Social’s got a new feature coming that allows you to record a video in advance and schedule it to share once you’re ready. Even better, if you have some time to spare, get someone to interview!
11. Ask the question everyone’s thinking but no one’s verbalized yet
Much easier said than done, but we’ve put this at the end of the list because we often get a sense of what “the question” is once we’ve run through everything else. What’s more, you have the Alto Social platform at your disposal to help move on these ideas, and for free. Once you think you’ve got this question down, you can figure out how to message your product as the answer. Or just ask it of your audience!
Think Alto Social can help you or your business? Try us out for free here. Stay on the lookout for new features!