Long gone are the times when providing quality service was enough to run a successful business. In today’s digital era, good word of mouth is no longer sufficient.
People spend more and more time on social media and being active on the web is one of the key ways of finding and retaining customers.
Social Media Posts Ideas for Small Business
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are now major players in advertising any business. Depending on the type of business, you may not need to cover all platforms. But you’ll still need to maintain several social media accounts.
Big-time companies have whole marketing teams to take care of their multiple accounts. A team of specially trained professionals brainstorming ideas all day every day to come up with custom and original content to keep their accounts up-to-date and their followers satisfied.
If you are running a small business, however, posting regular content may be something low on your priorities list. After all, you have a business to run.
On the other hand, posting content is the quickest task. The hardest part is coming up with original content so that you don’t end up recycling the same ideas over and over again.
To help you out, here are a few ideas to use when you’re stuck.
#1 Free User Guides and Downloads
Everyone loves free stuff. Whether it’s something small like a short pdf guide or free samples, freebies are a proven way to bring new followers and engage the ones you already have.
Step-by-step user guides are very popular among DIY fans. A free user guide related to your business could be helpful to your followers and will bring some benefits for you as well.
There are two major ways user guides are usually distributed: by posting a step-by-step article on your website or blog, or by providing a pdf for the user to download.
A free guide posted on your website or your social media channels could also be presented with a short video. For best effect, keep it under a minute to avoid losing the viewer’s attention.
The second option, downloadable guides, could also help you increase your mailing list by prompting the user to subscribe in order to access the file for download. Try to stick to a format that will not require the user to have paid for a specific license to open it. PDF is a popular and trusted solution for downloadable content.
If you’re providing a service where you don’t want to give the reader the full information for free, (for example, if you offer online courses), consider providing the users a taste of what they will get if they pay for your service.
Give them a detailed summary of what they will get, provide them access to the first part of the training so they get curious to find out the rest, or explain the benefits and end up with a call-to-action so they can contact you for more.
Alternatively, you could provide your followers with links to free resources from yours or other websites in your niche. The resources may include ebooks, templates, guides, or any other useful online or downloadable content.
#2 Giveaways and Contests
Talking about free stuff, if you need to increase the number of followers on your social media account, one of the best ways to do it is by running contests and giveaways.
Contests like “share or invite someone to enter” are common throughout Facebook and Instagram and usually have very good marketing results.
The “prize” at the end does not need to be big, and the options depend on the type of business you are running.
You may offer samples if you are selling cosmetics, free consultations if you are running a service-based business, a product from your latest catalog, premium membership, and more.
If you decide to go for a contest or a giveaway here are some general tips to follow:
- Select the prize. Keep it related to your business to target the right audience and to avoid people who are just entering any contest they can find.
- Choose the way to enter. There are many options to engage your followers in the contest. Some of them include asking them to share a post, to give feedback about your business, to post a hashtag, to recommend to a friend and add them to your community, etc.
- Provide terms and conditions. This is a crucial part to avoid any legal complications. And to make your contests look more legit. Still, you don’t necessarily need a lawyer to prepare them. There are plenty of guides on the internet. Just make sure to include when the contest starts and ends, who is eligible, what they need to do, what is the prize, and when and how will the winner be selected. Make sure everything is clear and easy to understand. And don’t forget to add your contact details as well.
#3 Featured Products
If you are running an e-commerce website showing off your products can give you a lot of material for posting.
Such content may be posted when you’re launching a new product or service, or when you want to put an old product back in the spotlight.
To distinguish your social media walls from an online store, try to be creative with the images of the products you post. Instead of the standard white background, you could try shooting them in front of an interesting scene, grouping them, shooting them while they are used, or even deconstructing them.
Post an occasional teaser about an upcoming product by shooting the environment in which it would fit perfectly or a close-up so your followers could try to guess what it is or what new features it will have.
You could also shoot short videos about your products. For example, how to assemble, user guides, or tips and tricks. Unboxing videos are also pretty trendy.
Keep in mind, however, that too much product advertising may make your account look like a pushy sales pitch. Instead, try to follow the 80/20 rule.
In other words, keep 80% of your posts on the selected platform for interesting and engaging content. The other 20% can safely be used for advertising.
For those of you whose business is providing services instead of products, social media marketing can also be used to show off your work.
Creating a separate album with images of completed projects is a must for most service-based businesses.
If you provide a vast number of services it is recommended to organise them in categories. This will help future customers to easily find your work without scrolling through your wall.
Additionally, you could add photos from work in progress or your environment or office setup. The behind-the-scene insights will add to a more personal relationship with your customers and inspire trust in your followers and potential customers.
If you are looking for extra posting ideas, think about creating a series regarding your services.
Talk about each service in detail, explain the benefits, and show why the potential customer should choose you instead of your competitors. The posts don’t need to be lengthy, but original, engaging, and convincing. Don’t forget to end with a call-to-action so the users can reach you directly without browsing for your contact details.
Last but not least, include testimonials from satisfied customers. People tend to trust user recommendations more than the company’s marketing team.
#5 Blog Posts and Articles
Running a blog has become extremely popular over the last ten years.
If you are keeping a blog related to your business, sharing the latest posts to all your social media accounts is probably something you’re already doing. If not, now is a good time to start.
When your followers react to your posts, don’t forget to respond in a timely matter to any queries they may have, thank them for positive feedback, and ask them to contact you if they are dissatisfied with a product or service. Having a personal approach can do a lot for keeping your current users and attracting new by word of mouth.
Not sure what to blog about? Here are a few ideas:
Topical Blog Series
In case you run out of article ideas to post, you may think about starting a series. Daily, weekly, or monthly series will keep your readers busy and can provide a lot of inspiration.
To start a series, select a topic close to your business that needs to be updated regularly.
It could be a report, catalog, product reviews, AMA (ask me anything) campaigns, success stories, presenting your team, “behind the scene” stories, interviews, and more. Use a hashtag for the series to make them easy to find and follow.
Just like regular articles, try to involve your readers by asking for their views.
Polls are also a proven way to engage your followers. You could link the poll to a blog post or leave it as a separate social media post. In any case, users love to share their opinion.
The topics could be anything from their favourite product or service, how satisfied they are with you, what they would like to see in your catalog, their opinion on industry-related news, or anything that is at least a little bit related to your business niche.
Major milestones could also make a good post. If you have reached a follower or sales goal, upgraded your office or got mentioned in a major publication, share the good news with your users to celebrate together. Where appropriate, be sure to include links for additional engagement.
#6 Catchy Images
Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words?
The same goes for visuals on your social media wall. When users are scrolling through their feeds, they are going to skip over a lot of stuff. A stunning image, however, is a lot more likely to grab their attention and make them stop scrolling.
Here are some ideas:
One way to create images for posting is by re-purposing old posts.
If you are particularly proud of a quote from a previous post you could share it as a separate image (that could also link to the post). You can also quote from other sources, but be sure to mention the source and preferably link to it.
Some image quotes could also be used for tag-a-friend campaigns. Asking your followers to tag a friend who may like the post is a relatively easy way to gain more awareness. Still, using this tactic too often may discourage your regular viewers.
If you have some extra time, think about creating an infographic about your business or the industry.
Infographics let you present a ton of information and can make even boring statistic data into share-worthy content.
Our infographic from our website maintenance & security blog
Don’t forget to take advantage of the holidays as well. Whether it would be an image, a short video, or a full-length article, sharing the holiday spirit could lighten up your online presence.
Humorous Memes and GIFs
Depending on your business and your target audience, images could also be used to add a little humour to your wall. Memes and GIFs are very popular, and when used properly tend to get a lot more likes and shares than regular images.
Still, any humour material should be used with caution. Avoid political and sensitive topics because they could cause more harm than good.
Company and Customer Photos
And let’s not forget good old photo sharing. If you host a company event, for example, this is a great opportunity to add a bit of personal touch to your brand.
Don’t miss an opportunity to take advantage of user-generated content as well. If your followers share a picture with you related to their positive experience with your product or your brands, sharing the image will also make a good impression to your other customers.
When preparing visuals for your social media accounts, keep in mind that the different platforms have different recommendations regarding the size of the images. Keep a cheat-sheet around so you don’t have to look them up every time.
#7 Video Content
Video content is getting more popular by the day. And not just on YouTube.
Many small business owners think that creating engaging video content is something too complicated or expensive.
Maybe this is the case if you wish to present a full-scale detailed video tutorial. But you don’t need long and complex videos to get the attention of your followers.
Bite-size videos are a great way to capture your audience’s attention and interrupt their mindless scrolling. The topic of the video could be advertising a new product or service or a creative entertaining clip related to your industry.
If you decide to make a video tutorial or a how-to, be sure to break things down into actionable steps that the viewers can follow easily.
Short videos are quick to shoot, do not require a lot of editing, and are easy to share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To get the most engagement, upload the video on each platform separately, instead of sharing the same YouTube link across platforms.
If you’re about to launch a new product, announce an event, or wish to present a trustworthy demonstration, consider posting a live video. Live videos are still trending on social channels and have a positive effect on the users’ confidence in your brand.
#8 Industry News
Not all of the information you post has to be your own original content. And no, plagiarism is not OK. There are, however, alternative ways to use others’ posts to your advantage.
If you follow the social media accounts of other similar businesses or media platforms related to the industry you can use their content to boost your online presence.
Share and retweet any content you believe may be interesting to your followers. Just make sure you share the original post and not copy it and present it as your original content.
A good rule of thumb is to create a list of sources posting news in your industry. Follow them on their social accounts and subscribe to their mailing lists from their website or blog.
This will help you notice any interesting news on time so you can quickly share it with your followers as well.
News is not the only content you could share. Anything related to your niche could be shared if you believe it would be of interest to your followers.
Sharing others’ original content is also known as curated content. It could save you a lot of time and stress when you need to fill a gap in your social calendar but lack any inspiration at the moment.
If your niche is not one to generate a lot of news, you could also share occasional interesting facts or statistics about the industry.
Get Your Social Media Marketing Done Right
Hopefully, these ideas helped to fight off the desert of creativity you may be struggling through.
Still, if you’re running a small business being active online may be hard to fit in your schedule.
When managing your social media is too overwhelming, when you lack inspiration, or just don’t have the time to do it regularly, consider hiring a team of specialists to help you out.
Contact Masters of Digital to find out more about our social media marketing service that will ensure regular and stress-free original content, tailored to your business.
Want help with your social media posts? Complete the below form to discuss your project and get a free quote.