15 Foolproof Content Ideas to Fire Up Your Social Media Engagement

fireupsocialmediaThe #1 question I get asked in my social media workshops and classes is “what should I post?” Business people are often stumped as they sit down with their computer and attempt to post an update on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

There is a popular phrase that “content is king” but a close second is that “engagement is queen”  Not only do you need to strive for great content in your social media posts, but it should be content that motivates your readers to actually engage with you and others.

I was reminded of philosophy in Amy Porterfield’s recent article “The 2015 Guide to Facebook Engagement” – “In each and every status update you post, you’ll want to influence your audience to engage in at least one of the four ways that count: liking, commenting, sharing, or clicking a link…it’s not enough to be clever, or even thoughtful.”

Her article is full of tactics that will work not only on Facebook, but also on LinkedIn, Twitter, and even your weekly blog posts. Above all, the goal is get readers to engage with you and your content, not just consume your info and move on to the next item. Amy’s advice to stop and think “How can I thoughtfully construct this post to ignite the action needed for my fans to engage?” is they key to creating better content for your readers.

In support of your quest for social media content engagement, I have created a list of 15 foolproof content ideas for your daily social media updates, along with screenshot examples of each type of update. Using these content ideas will help you focus on building engagement with your fans/followers and deliver the true value they are expecting. It will no longer be *crickets* when you post daily updates, as you’ll start earning more likes, comments, shares, and clicks for your social media content.

When sharing content, it’s also important to remember the 80/20 rule – 80% of your content should be focused on others and building relationships,  and only 20% about marketing and selling your own business. This ratio keeps things in balance and compels your audience to come back for more each day. The list below will give you a nice blend of posts to support others, in addition to “non-salesy” ways to promote your own business.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Dale Carnegie

15 Foolproof Content Ideas to Fire Up Your Social Media Engagement

Ask for their opinion
One thing I know for sure – people love to give their opinion! Ask your fans an open-ended question or give them a “chocolate or vanilla?” choice, and watch your comments and the ensuing conversation soar! Also, the higher the engagement on a post, the wider reach it will receive on Facebook.

askaquestion

Celebrate holidays
People love to celebrate holidays and you’ll notice your News Feed is full of festive pictures around most major holidays – even “unofficial” holidays like National Bacon Day! This is a great way to showcase your clients/customers and they will likely share the post on their personal feed, giving you even greater exposure to new followers. And it shows your business can be fun, too!

 

holiday

Comment on current local events
Show your civic pride and community involvement by highlighting local events. These may be events you are attending, participating in, or just want to help promote. You are doing the event organizers a big favor by increasing their exposure, which is a win-win for everyone. Also, when you are discussing “trending” topics that many others are talking about and seeking out, you will get wider exposure on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

localevent

Congratulate someone
Help increase visibility for your business colleagues by sharing their good news, awards, or accomplishments. This helps give you exposure in front of their audience and portrays you as a supportive business that cares about the success of others – not just yourself.

congratulate

Display before/after photos
People love to see a great transformation, so showing your “before/after” photos is a great way to show off your skills but also to highlight your customers/clients. This is a great tactics for those in fashion, interior design, construction, beauty, fitness and other “makeover” type businesses. Another bonus is your client/customer will likely share to their personal page, giving your business new exposure to a broader audience, showing how awesome it is to work with you.

beforeafter

Educate us about your business or industry
Rather than “selling” us in your social media posts, an easier way to attract clients is to educate them about what you do, so they understand the value. Then they can draw the conclusion that they need your help, and won’t feel the pressure to make an immediate purchase. And even if they aren’t in the market for what you are offering, they may share the post with friends who could benefit from your products and services.

educate

Offer exclusive deals
A great tactic to pull customers/clients to you is to offer them exclusive deals or offers that they can’t get anywhere else. For example, a restaurant could offer something free only to Facebook fans, or you could give a code word on Twitter that would get them a discount. This also makes it easy to track how your promotions are working, since you can easily correlate each offer to where it was exclusively advertised – and then do more of what worked1

exclusive

Post a link to an article
Providing value to your followers includes not only your own awesome blog content, but sharing valuable information from other sources. You may read industry-specific articles or lesser-known publications that contain information that your readers would like to know, but they would never see it if you didn’t share. Make yourself a valuable content curator by sharing targeted content that your readers will appreciate, and return for daily.

postalink

Promote an upcoming event
Let us know about exciting events coming up that you may be attending, sponsoring or just want to help promote. Pointing the spotlight on others to help grow their business will help put you in a good light as well, and the favor will most likely be reciprocated. Also, you become a curator of content and events that are of interest to your particular followers, and that creates a strong following for you.

promoteevent

Provide customer service
Like it or not, social media has become a major outlet for customer service, as people continually ask questions (or complain!) online, hoping to draw your attention. And smart businesses (like Alaska Airlines, Comcast, etc) have learned how to get in front of these issues and offer attentive service and timely replies to those expressing concerns on social media. You can also provide great customer service in the form of thanking people for coming in or doing business with you, asking questions about what people would like you to offer, sharing info about your new hours, or publicizing new products.

customerservice

Publicize other businesses
Again, social media is not all about you, and one of the most generous things you can do is share other people’s events, articles and great ideas. Your endorsements mean a great deal to your followers, and it’s a great way to showcase your partners, vendors, suppliers, etc.

promoteothers

Reference a trending news topic
If the entire nation is obsessed with talking about the Super Bowl, the Oscars, or the weather, why not join them? If you are posting about trending national or local activities, you will likely get more engagement on your posts, since people are eager to chime in with their opinions!

trending

Share your good reviews or news mentions
Yes, it’s okay to “toot your own horn” on social media! Your followers may not have seen that great article about your business, or heard about the recent award you won, so go ahead and share that good news. People want to support you and you’ll likely get many great comments/congratulations on those posts,  so please do share those publicly.

 

goodnews2

Show us your other interests outside of business
Remember, people buy from people (not businesses!), and they are interested in who you are! Followers love to know about the personal side of those they do business with, and they often will choose you over other options because of your non-business interests. Tell us about your hobbies, pets, travels, etc. – just not in every post! Show us you are not all work and no play :)

somethingpersonal

Take us behind the scenes of your business
People love to know what “really” goes on behind the scenes of your business, no matter how mundane or trivial it might seem to you. They love to see what’s going on behind the kitchen door in a restaurant, or watch you laying your new tile floor with pennies one by one…it’s amazing how much engagement you will get when you “open the kimono” to your business!

behindscenes

 

So are you ready to make content your king and engagement your queen?! I’m looking forward to seeing how you apply these tactics to your social media posts – leave me a comment below and let me know how it’s working for you!

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