Social Media Content: What Businesses Should Post

So, you’ve committed. You’re ready to kick off your social media marketing strategy, and you’re going to kill it!

There’s only one problem. What are you going to post?

Social media is all about engagement. If your content is stale and lifeless, people won’t interact. We all know sharing is caring! If your audience doesn’t care about what you’re posting, they won’t share it. They won’t repost, retweet, like, comment, or follow either!

So how can you get that engagement? With valuable content, of course!

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What do people share?

Luckily, there’s a science behind what people will or won’t share on social media. Studies have shown that a majority of people sharing content do so because they are entertained, and want to entertain their friends (SocialMediaToday). Another motivation? Altruism. People like to educate, and will share content that will be useful to their friends and followers. From a psychological standpoint, it’s simple: people want to look good (Entrepreneur). People are more inclined to share interesting and engaging content because it makes THEM look interesting and engaging. What’s more, great content helps people to connect with, support and even help their friends, family and followers.

So, now that we know what people share, what kind of content is best?

[clickToTweet tweet="People share posts that entertain, and posts that educate. Does your content do either of these?" quote="People share posts that entertain, and posts that educate. Does your content do either of these?"]

What content to post on social media

Content that caters to emotions

Feelings are a part of daily life for everyone, so it makes sense that content that invokes an emotional response will get a good reaction. But which emotions are the best ones to target? Studies have shown that positive content tends to get more shares than negative content. Furthermore, awe, laughter, and amusement are at the top of the list (Writer’s Write). So, give people something to laugh about!


We all know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Images tell stories, and people love storytelling! Content that includes visuals gets 94% more views than content without (Fast Company). That’s because the brain processes things visually. If you want to draw your audience’s eye, images are the way to do it.

When it comes to your images, size matters (Buffer). Make sure you’re posting images of a high enough resolution that they’ll show up clear and sharp. Nobody likes blurry, stretched images. Not sure where to get images to post? The best ones are the ones you take yourself! If that’s not an option, stock images can work well, too. Whatever you’re posting, make sure to pay attention to copyright!

Related reading: Copyright Online and Fair Use in Social Media


If people love images, they’ll love videos, too! In fact, ⅓ of online activity is spent watching video content, and 92% of mobile video viewers share that content (Agency Nation). That’s HUGE! Video content is a great way to send your message in an engaging way. Live video is even better—it allows you to connect with your followers in real time, giving that “in the moment” experience (Forbes). Videos are also memorable, so if you want a message to stick, make or share a video about it!

Related reading: 5 Simple Ways to Win Big with Video Marketing

Lists and infographics

We live in an age of pocket-sized information. If your content isn’t immediate eye-catching, people will scroll on by. It’s easier—and faster—to absorb information in bite-sized pieces. Lists and infographics feed that need! When you put things in list format (ex. 10 Ways To Pet Your Cat), people know exactly what they’re getting when they click through. Lists and infographics get shared more than other types of content (OkDork), so they’re a great tool for engagement! Infographics are also easy to make with tools like Canva, Vizualize, and more (Creative Bloq). If you don’t want to make one, find one to share (and give credit where credit is due).

content that does best SMM

Interactive content

Who hasn’t clicked through to find out what kind of pizza matches their personality? Interactive content like quizzes are great for interaction and engagement! The benefit of interactive content is that it encourages users to engage instead of just scrolling past. Luckily, creating quizzes, polls, and other interactive content is a breeze. There are many tools made just for that—check out this list from Entrepreneur.

Daily themes and holidays

There’s a hashtag for every day. #MotivationMonday. #ThrowbackThursday. #FlashbackFriday. Daily themes are a great way to engage! This trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so get on board. Similarly, there’s a wacky holiday for almost every day, week and month as well. Did you know there are national food holidays almost every day? Foodimentary has a great calendar of food events. The National Day Calendar is another great resource. With a little pre-planning, you can have some great content prepared to celebrate these observances.

User generated content

Want to know the best way to engage with your audience? Post THEIR content. Your best salespeople are the people who are using your products and services and talking about the experience. Take GoPro for example. What better way to sell their product than show you ALL the ways in which it can be used, and ALL the pictures it can take? Every GoPro user can be a content creator (Advertising Age). That gives GoPro unlimited resources to showcase exactly what their product is capable of.

[clickToTweet tweet="Get engagement with user content! Try holding a contest to encourage your audience to submit content." quote="Get engagement with user content! Try holding a contest to encourage your audience to submit content."]

Self promotion on social media

But what about self promotion?

Did you notice something similar about all of these pieces? That’s right, none of them are links to your business website! That’s because engaging content doesn’t have to be directly linked to your products and services. Whether you’re going by the 30/30/30 guideline (30% promotional, 30% industry relevant, 30% engaging) for your content, or the 90/10 guideline (90% sharing other people’s content, 10% promotional), self promotion should not be the majority of your content.

That doesn’t mean you can’t ever post about your business! In fact, there are times when that’s beneficial.

  • Wrote a blog? Post it!
  • Hours changed? Post it!
  • Starting a sale? Post it!
  • If you’ve got information that is relevant, educational, engaging and everything we’ve talked about, post it!

Just don’t drown your audience in it, because nobody likes when people talk about themselves all the time.

It’s called social media for a reason. People want to connect! They want to engage with causes they care about, they want to support and help their friends and families, and they want to feel and share those feelings. Make your page a place where they can do just that!

If your clients need help with their social media strategy, we have the digital solutions for you! Now your clients can track private shares of their social media content, take advantage of influencer marketing opportunities, and more. Happy posting!

About the Author

Kathleen (B. Arts) is a former Digital Content Creator in Vendasta's Digital Agency where she enjoys flexing her creative muscles through social posting and blogging.

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