61 Social media ideas for business: Things to post on social media in 2023By Nicole Lauzon
Have you ever struggled to generate social media ideas? Need to create a clever caption to post along with that funny photo of your dog in a sweater? What about crafting ideas for an entire week’s worth of social media posts? How about a month-long social content calendar for each of your 20 local business clients?
Small and medium businesses are often time-crunched, and would much rather focus on what they do best, leaving their digital marketing efforts to trusted experts. It’s up to those experts to hone in on the best ways to tell a brand story through social media channels, grow followings and increase traffic for clients.
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As you sit in front of a blank social media content calendar for your clients or even your own business, consider these 61 ideas to spark inspiration and get the creative wheels turning in 2023.
Social media ideas to get personal
People don’t often buy into a brand or a product on social media until they connect with the story behind the brand. Don’t be afraid to put a personal spin on the social content you produce. These social media ideas can make any feed feel more personal.
- Remind people of who you are: Penning a post on how you or the business owner got started speaks to both old and new followers. Many who’ve been following an account more recently may not have seen the introduction posts put up when it was created. It’s always a great idea to revisit the who, what, when, where, why, and how behind the brand. Photos with faces have been shown to perform almost 40 percent better than images without faces, so don’t shy away from using selfies on a social media feed to display the friendly face behind the business.
- Go behind the scenes with a video of the operation: A peek at the inner workings of how a business operates always makes for great content. If the industry includes appointments - where the business owner is on-site in different locations like real estate offices or home services locations - video tours of these different places are also fun to post to different channels.
- Share a personal story or struggle: Chances are your clients are not alone in their hardship and followers may often relate, leading to more interaction with the post. As any social media blog will tell you, connecting on a personal level can be very powerful.
- Share a quote: Ask your client who inspires them and conjure up some quote posts by conducting a quick Google search. You can also look for quotes regarding industry-relevant topics. Quotes let an audience in and paint a picture of where your clients find their professional motivation.
- Share a morning routine: There’s nothing more fun than a morning workout selfie, and a mouth-watering picture of that avocado toast creation your client made for breakfast.
- Share what inspired your client to create their product or service: Maybe they were frustrated with the lack of options in their industry, or perhaps they’re motivated by helping others through their product or service. Whatever their motivation is, this type of content can help users feel more connected to a brand.
- Share a favorite childhood memory: This social media idea is a great way to showcase the personal side of a business or brand and to engage with your audience in a nostalgic way. It reminds customers of the real people behind a business, which can be a particularly effective way to build goodwill and boost the brand’s reputation.
- Take followers on a virtual tour of your hometown or favorite local spots: This is a fun way to give followers a peek into your personal life while also highlighting local businesses and attractions.
- Share a fun or unusual hobby that you or your employees have: This can help humanize your brand and make followers feel more connected to you on a personal level.
- Celebrate a personal milestone or achievement: Whether it's a birthday, anniversary, or personal accomplishment, sharing it on social media can help followers feel like they are part of your journey.
- Highlight a personal cause or charity you support: Sharing information about a cause or charity that is important to you can help build brand loyalty and show followers that you care about more than just making a profit.
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Leverage fun social media posts for more engagement
There are a few easy wins when it comes to social content that everyone wants to interact with. Try these social media ideas to get the action rolling with the comments and engagement pouring in.
- Ask a question: Audiences love to weigh in with their unique view on different topics, so ask away.
- Host a poll: Nothing gives you a better read on where an audience stands on a new design or expanded operating hours than a quick poll. Instagram Stories, Facebook, and LinkedIn all have great options for in-platform polling.
- Share a review of your favorite book: Many people are on the hunt for good book recommendations from those they trust online. Share an industry-relevant professional resource or just a fun piece of fiction your client has dug into recently.
- Ask for recommendations: Request recommendations for books, TV shows, apps, music, local restaurants, or anything else related to your industry.
- Host a giveaway: Nothing gets followers commenting and tagging their own friends faster than a great giveaway. Giveaways reward followers while giving a boost to account engagement, building the following at the same time. Be sure to read up on the rules and regulations for giveaways on different social sites. Many platforms like Instagram and Facebook have specific disclosure statements you need to include when posting any kind of giveaway.
Put your daily social media scroll to use and pull content inspiration from accounts you already enjoy following. Keeping tabs on what the competition is doing is another great way to inspire the type of content you’d like to create for the local business accounts you manage.
- Share a funny or relatable meme: Everyone loves memes, and for most businesses, there is an on-brand way to work them into their content feed. Memes are a great way to inject some humor into social media content and connect with the audience in a light-hearted way.
- Create a quiz or trivia game: This can be a fun way for businesses to engage with their audience and test their knowledge on industry-relevant topics. Plus, quizzes and trivia drive direct engagement with the social content in the form of likes, comments, or shares, which can help boost the visibility of the account and make it more discoverable by prospective customers.
- Host a caption contest: Brands can post a funny or interesting photo and ask followers to come up with the best caption for it. This social media idea can result in a huge boost in comments, driving up the post’s engagement.
- Run a "guess the product" contest: The idea behind this type of post is to share a zoomed-in close-up image of a product and ask followers to guess what it is. This encourages the audience to think through the product catalog, which just might be the judge some prospects need to make a purchase.
- Create a social media challenge: Social media challenges have the potential to go viral, so this is a worthwhile fun social media post idea to work into any brand’s social feeds. Come up with a challenge related to the brand or industry, and encourage the audience to participate and share their own results on social media. This can be an effective way to generate buzz, build a community, and make the brand name or hashtag more recognizable.
Post on social media as a thought leader
Your clients likely have years or perhaps even decades of experience in their field. Position them as thought leaders in their industries with these social media ideas:
- Post a how-to tutorial: Demand for video content is increasing. In fact, 54 percent of people say they want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. Encourage your client to take a minute out of their day to record a favorite life hack or how-to tidbit that might be relevant to an online audience.
- Build an infographic: Infographics make for great snapshots on a particular topic and it’s a social content type that’s highly shareable, which should spike your engagement rates.
- Share a quick tip: Implementing a weekly ‘Tip Tuesday’ post can work for a variety of verticals.
- Share the learning from a loss or failure: A leader calls out a loss and turns it into a learning moment or opportunity for growth. Social media is a place where followers look for authenticity so here’s a strategy to give your client accounts a boost.
- On the flipside don’t hesitate to celebrate a win: A good humble brag can get followers in a brand’s corner and show the hard work they’ve put in to achieve something great.
- Find testimonials to post on social media: Build credibility by leveraging the testimonials of clients, customers, and colleagues who interact favorably with the business.
- Share the “secret sauce” of the business offering: Create a post focusing on something that sets the business apart, or that the business should be known for. There’s no need to share proprietary information, but a little bit of insider knowledge can help establish a business as a leading thought leader in its niche.
- Share industry news and insights: Keep followers up-to-date on the latest trends, news, and developments in the industry. This type of post helps to position businesses as authoritative, well-informed sources of information.
- Share predictions for the future of the industry: Provide fresh, original analysis and predictions on where the industry is headed, and what businesses should do to prepare. Sharing predictions for the future of the industry shows audiences that the brand is a valuable source of niche intel. When predictions play out, it helps to cement the authority of the brand or business.
- Participate in industry Twitter conversations: Twitter is often overlooked by SMBs, and it’s easy to understand why. Our culture is visually dominated and image and video-based platforms get a lot of eyeballs and customer attention. However, Twitter conversations can be a great way to connect with other thought leaders and engage in lively discussions on industry topics.
- Host a Q&A session: Allow followers to ask questions about the brand or industry, and provide thoughtful and informative answers to showcase your expertise. Hosting a Q&A session demonstrates transparency and expertise, both of which make a brand more appealing to prospective customers. Q&A sessions can take place on Instagram Reels, Tik Tok, Facebook Stories, or even text-based platforms like Twitter and Reddit.
- Create a LinkedIn article: LinkedIn articles are a great way to provide in-depth analysis and commentary on brand developments or relevant industry topics. When it comes to thought leadership, LinkedIn is definitely a platform worth paying attention to. It may not be appropriate for every SMB client, but you might be surprised at just how many industries have a thriving community on Twitter.
- Share your favorite industry-related podcasts or books: Sharing is caring! Entrepreneurs and brands can periodically share podcasts and books that have influenced their thinking and shaped their perspectives. Creating a post about a favorite industry-related podcast or book allows the audience to learn more about the resources that have helped shaped the brand they support, and offers a refreshing change from the usual promotional content.
- Provide a case study or success story: Share a real-life example of how the product or service has been effectively used by a client. Providing a case study or success story allows brands to showcase their expertise and demonstrate their ability to solve problems and provide solutions. If using this social media idea on Instagram, a case study is well-suited to a carousel post, video post, or story.
- Weigh in on controversial industry topics: While some brands may be edgier and more comfortable opining on controversial topics than others, taking a stand on a hotly debated issue can be a great way to encourage engagement and conversation. It can also be an effective technique for communicating the brand’s values.
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Classic social content considerations
These social media ideas are those you’ve likely seen on social media before. Don’t doubt their ability to boost your online presence:
- Do a #ThrowbackThursday post to reamplify older content: Try reposting old blogs, graphics, quotes, and professional milestones. You can also “throwback” to photos of a personal or work trip.
- Post ‘Motivational Monday’ content to kickstart the week
- Thank your followers: This is a great one to post every time your client accounts gain another 500 or 1000 followers. Celebrate and recognize them for their support of the brand.
- Post something seasonal or highlight a holiday: There are a ton of great resources and social media day calendars to follow.
- Talk about the top pain points the solution solves: The key to selling any product or service is effectively communicating the pain point that it solves. This type of social media post gives brands the opportunity to zero in on what makes their offering special, unique, or useful. Examples of how to create this type of content include having an influencer address the point in a video that the brand reposts, or having the owner or employees talk about their goals in creating the product or service.
- Share a success story: This doesn’t have to be a full-on case study, but rather a snappy, fun, and engaging piece of content that reminds the audience of the success they might also achieve by using a product or trying a service.
- Share a relevant tweet: Trying cross-sharing between different platforms. Republish a relevant tweet to your client's Facebook page or LinkedIn account. This can be a tweet that the brand posted or a related tweet by a fan or customer. There are great social media management tools out there that make cross-posting a breeze.
- Answer questions in a reel: FAQ content is a tried and true classic social media idea, but Reels give businesses an opportunity to put a fresh spin on it. Creating Instagram reels that answer customer questions is a great way to engage with audiences and provide them with valuable information in a casual, familiar way.
Once you have a list of questions, batch create a series of short videos that provide a clear and concise answer to each. Eye-catching visuals and engaging captions can grab the viewer's attention, but keeping it simple can also be effective depending on the brand.
Try to keep your reels to 30 seconds or less: this will ensure that your content is easy to consume and shareable.
Lean on others for what to post on social media
Leverage the audience or influencers in your client’s network to get more eyes on content:
- Host a takeover: Let a business staff member or connected influencer take over your client’s social media accounts for a day. Not only does this inject a new perspective and content style into the feed, but it also provides a full day of content that doesn’t need to be scheduled into your social media management platform. Often, brand will provide some simple guidelines for takeovers, but generally allow the person taking over to put their own spin on things.
- Show someone using the product or service: People love seeing real-life examples of products or services in use. For this social media post idea, showcasing a satisfied customer using the product or service and highlighting their experience. This can help build trust and credibility since it isn’t just the brand talking about how great they are.
- Shout out to or mention other brands: Tagging another brand or account within a post is a great way to encourage resharing and reach more people. This is also a very effective way to build relationships with other brands, which can lead to fruitful partnerships such as joint giveaway contests.
- Mention your clients: Tap into an even broader audience by tagging customers of the business, encouraging them to reshare content with friends and family. Whenever resharing content, just make sure to get permission first.
- Host an interview with a guest: An easy way to accomplish this is to set up a video call on Zoom or Google Meet between your client and a guest of interest. Record the meeting and conduct the interview virtually. After the meeting, the service will send you a downloadable video file that can be uploaded to the social media platform of your choice. Look for guests whose audiences line up well with the business’s target audience. That way, those discovering the business through the interview are more likely to become prospective customers.
- Showcase user-generated content: UGC has become a mainstay of digital marketing, and it’s easy to understand why. Content created by users feels far more authentic and relatable than polished, staged marketing images. Not only does this type of content invite audiences to imagine themselves using the product or service, but it also communicates that the brand is engaged with and values its customers.
- Highlight charitable partnerships: If your client partners with a charitable organization, consider sharing content related to that partnership. This can help to show the company’s commitment to social responsibility and attract like-minded customers. Many charitable organizations will have shareable content ready to go so that their partners don’t have to create original content.
Growth ideas for social media posts
Finally, a few more mechanisms you can use for social growth.
- Give people a compelling reason to join an email list: Be sure to spell out the benefit and takeaways they’ll receive. You must clearly state what’s in it for them whether it's exclusive access to promotions or special content, or being the first to know about upcoming events or product launches.
- Give the audience a gift: Use your client accounts to promote special discount codes, sales, and freebies. In addition, consider creating downloadable content, such as e-books or infographics, that provide value to the audience and showcase your expertise in the industry. Also known as lead magnets, these gifts create an incentive to follow an account or sign up for their marketing list.
- Post about events your client hosts or attends: For hosting, Facebook and LinkedIn both publish dedicated event pages, improving the chances of discoverability by a broader audience. If your client is attending an event, be sure to search for relevant event hashtags before crafting the post, and consider sharing real-time updates during the event to engage with followers.
- Post upcoming speaking events or presentations: In addition to promoting speaking events or presentations that clients can participate in, businesses can share clips for these events as bit-sized pieces of content across their social channels.
- Share contact information: Make it easy for followers to get in touch with your clients by sharing their contact information in a prominent location on social media profiles or posts. If any changes are made to contact information, social media posts are a great way to get the word out.
- Ask the audience how they found your client: Engage with followers by asking them how they discovered your client’s business, and use their responses to inform future marketing strategies.
- Share other social profile connections: In addition to promoting your clients' other social media profiles to encourage followers to join along on other platforms, consider sharing profiles for industry influences or other relevant accounts to build connections and expand reach.
- Amplify new blogs and other written content from your website: Content is king when it comes to digital marketing, and cross-sharing is the perfect way to get as many eyes as possible on new blogs, interviews, videos, and any other pieces of content that aren’t directly accessible on social media channels.
- Conduct a survey: Engage with followers by conducting a survey about your client’s current product offering, products they might want to see in the future, or any other subject that can help you gain actionable marketing insights while making customers feel seen and valued.
- Collaborate with another brand: Team up with a complementary brand to create a co-branded fun social media post or campaign. This can be a contest, a limited-release product, or anything else that allows both businesses to benefit from each other's audiences. Generating social media ideas in collaboration with a partner brand can produce innovative results that might be harder to create alone.