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social media how toDo you struggle to get your fans to engage?

Interested in ideas to get people talking?

Simple content ideas can give you something to talk about, even if you feel like you don’t have anything new or original to say.

In this article you’ll discover six ways to create social media conversations with content.

improve engagement with social media content

Discover how to improve engagement with social media content.

Listen to this article:

#1: Ask Your Audience Questions

Everyone wants to be heard, so consider asking questions in your social media posts. This gives your audience the opportunity to chime in with their opinions, tips and wisdom.

Inviting people to join the conversation makes them feel like your company cares about what they have to say. It also provides insights into your audience that can inform your marketing decisions.

Prior to opening a new location, YO! Sushi asked their Facebook followers to guess where the new location would be, based on photos of local landmarks.

yo! sushi facebook post

Ask your audience to guess the answer to a question.

Everything that Loot Crate does on social media pertains to the gamer and geek culture. In this Facebook post Shenron the dragon asks the audience a question from Anime Expo.

loot crate facebook post

Asking questions is an easy way to spark a conversation.

Female Entrepreneur Association is all about inspiring and empowering female entrepreneurs and creating a community for them. The question posed below not only engages their audience, but also creates a sense of community among members who are planning to attend the same conference.

female entrepreneur association facebook post

Ask questions that foster community among your followers.

Money Crashers, which provides expert information on personal finance, flips the script in this post and asks the audience to share their tips.

money crashers facebook post

Flip the script and ask the audience for tips.

Asking a simple question like “Where in the world are you?” is an easy way to connect with people and find out more about them.

the girls mean business facebook post

Ask a simple question that’s easy to respond to.

This Facebook post from Sprouting Photographer provides an inspirational quote and then asks followers to share their favorite quotes.

sprouting photographer facebook post

Allow people to share what inspires them.

#2: Post Lighthearted or Humorous Content

If you’re having a rough day, lighthearted or humorous social content can lighten your mood a bit. You can be that ray of sunshine for your followers, and at the same time, develop meaningful relationships.

The Honest Company, whose mission is to empower people to live happy and healthy lives, does a great job of using graphics. The brand is lighthearted, so this amusing post ties in perfectly.

the honest company facebook post

The Honest Company uses cheerful graphics in their social posts.

If you see content that makes you smile, it will probably make your followers smile as well. In this post Save The Date Wedding Podcast shares a cute animal video from BuzzFeed.

save the date wedding podcast facebook post

Save The Date Wedding Podcast links to a cute animal video to brighten their followers’ day.

Headspace, a meditation app, posts graphics that people can identify with and asks followers to tag friends on Instagram who are like-minded.

headspace instagram post

Headspace celebrates meditation and has a great “one of us” community feel to their posts.

Denise Duffield-Thomas has an audience of female entrepreneurs who work from home, so she knew this photo of a smartphone cover would make them laugh.

denise d t instagram post

Post a humorous photo to connect with your audience.

#3: Show Off Your Personal Side

The more people connect with you on a personal level, the more likely they are to do business with you. If you’re a business owner, give people a glimpse into your personal life. If you’re a marketer, show what it’s like behind the scenes of your company.

This post from business strategist Amber McCue reminds people that she, too, is juggling a family life and career. By sharing this post about her kids, she connects with other entrepreneurial moms.

amber mccue facebook post

Share a personal anecdote to connect with your audience.

Fizzle focuses on helping people start businesses. They post behind-the-scenes photos of their staff spending time together, which helps them connect with their audience.

fizzle facebook post

Show candid photos of your staff to humanize your brand.

Even Oprah takes readers behind the scenes on her social accounts. In this Instagram post she’s learning to make Tibetan dumplings for a lesson she showed on Periscope.

oprah instagram post

Post photos that take your audience behind the scenes.

Natalie Sisson’s followers are interested in her Suitcase Entrepreneur lifestyle, and this Facebook post gives them a taste.

natalie sisson suitcase entrepreneur facebook post

Share something about your life that would interest your audience.

#4: Share Inspirational Quotes

We all love to be inspired. That’s why posts with quotes are so popular on social media. When choosing quotes, keep in mind the perspective of your customers and what they hope to achieve.

DailyWorth, a personal finance site, shares quotes from successful people and quotes about money.

daily worth facebook post

DailyWorth uses quotes about finance to appeal to their audience.

The Happy Wives Club Facebook page uses all of the post categories detailed in this article, but they’re especially adept at creating and sharing inspirational graphics.

happy wives club facebook post

Happy Wives Club posts inspirational graphics.

Reading Rainbow has an audience of avid readers, so they share quotes from authors and quotes about reading.

reading rainbow facebook post

Reading Rainbow shares quotes about reading.

Foundr, a magazine for young entrepreneurs, has built a massive following of over 270,000 people on Instagram by sharing inspirational posts like these.

foundr instagram post

Foundr chooses quotes that will inspire young entrepreneurs.

Foundr generates a lot of sales from their Instagram account, so it’s possible that inspirational content could also benefit your bottom line.

#5: Repost Evergreen Content

Social media moves fast, so if you’re sharing your evergreen content only when it’s new, most people won’t see it. If you have relevant content sitting in your archives, schedule social posts to promote it to a new audience.

Claire Pelletreau, a Facebook ads expert, posts evergreen content that addresses common questions from her audience about Facebook ads.

claire pelletreau facebook post

Content that answers frequently asked questions can stay relevant over a long time period.

An opt-in offer can be another type of evergreen content that’s helpful to your audience.

evolve your wedding business facebook post

An opt-in offer can be another form of evergreen content.

#6: Curate Relevant Content

Curating content that your audience will love is an effective way to complement your own social content.

Think about what blogs your ideal customer or prospect reads. Then share posts from those blogs or their social accounts. This way you’re providing your audience with valuable content and building relationships with people who cater to your ideal client.

When you see posts that you know will resonate with your audience, share them. In this Facebook post The Freelance to Freedom Project shares a relevant online marketing article with their fans.

the freelance to freedom facebook post

Link to relevant articles for your audience.

There are lots of businesses that offer products and services that complement your brand. ThinkGeek knew that their audience would love these Mario-themed donuts, as well as the user’s other creations.

thinkgeek facebook post

Post links to products that complement your own products and services.

If you’re not an expert on a particular topic, you can link to other people’s content to provide information that your audience might benefit from, as Val Geisler did here.

val geisler facebook post

Link to valuable content that will appeal to your audience.

If you want to learn more about curating amazing content for your audience, check out this podcast with Ian Cleary.

Conclusion

Sometimes you may feel like you don’t have anything new or original to contribute on social media, and that can leave you feeling stuck. If you’re not sure what to post, use the post ideas outlined in this article for inspiration.

What do you think? What do you do when you have no idea what to post on social media and need good social media content? Have you tried some of these types of posts? What has worked best for you? Let us know in the comments below!

ways to improve engagement with social media content

Tips for improving engagement with social media content.

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  • Great pointers! Thanks for sharing.

  • Nice Post!

    I’ll post Q&As and humorous images/posts. I pay attention to “national” days and spin them. I also try to post video since this drives engagement and traffic. I like to curate content from other pages and websites too.

    It’s important to have a balance between sharing about you (public figure), your brand, company, etc. Social media cannot be all about you and your business. That’s a one-sided relationship that is sure to fizzle out.

  • Advice number 4 is great but I see so many marketers and small businesses sharing inspirational quotes that are totally irrelevant to their line of work.

  • I could not agree more and that’s a mistake that a lot of people make. A lot of people forget that social media needs to be SOCIAL. Clue is in the word ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m a big fan of curation myself and I’ve found that questions work really well with my audience. I like the national days idea, I might have to give that a try!

  • Thank you I’m glad it was helpful!

  • True, it definitely has to be on brand. It’s easy to be tempted to share any quote you can find but if it doesn’t connect to your target market, it doesn’t really matter how many times it gets shared because you won’t see any results from it.

  • Sara

    Thank you for this post. I ask questions on my page often, but don’t see a lot of engagement from that. Is audience size (number of page likes) a factor in engagement? And thank you for the reminder to use evergreen content. I forget to do that!

  • Hi Sara – it could be a factor and reach can be a factor as well. Have you tried using an image in the post along with the question? You can do it outside Facebook as well. For instance, I’ve seen it work well on Instagram and the more questions I post, the more engagement I get each time.

    I use Edgar to keep my evergreen content in rotation but if you don’t want to use a tool like that you could just make a list of your most popular posts and make a date with yourself to schedule them.

  • Alicia Dunlop Photog

    I found this really useful – thanks for sharing! One of the frustrating thing is the lack of engagement. I’ve struggle to get responses to questions. To the point where I no longer ask them… Could this be geographical do you think?

  • I’m so happy to hear that Alicia! What sorts of questions were you asking previously? It could have to do with what you’re asking. When you ask could it be geographical, do you mean that you’re thinking they’re not seeing it because of where they’re located compared to when you’re posting?

  • Alicia Dunlop Photog

    Hi Heidi! Ref the geographical… I’m in the UK & posts so rarely get interaction, from blogs, through to Twitter/Facebook etc. I wonder if its the stiff British upper lip? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve asked all sorts of questions – from what are you doing today, through to what do you look for in your wedding photographer… & sadly no response…

  • That could be the case, really it could be a multitude of reasons, but I would recommend asking questions that pertain more directly to their wedding.

    For example you could ask them things like “What are your wedding colours?” or “What is one thing that is driving you nuts when it comes to planning your wedding?” or “How many bridesmaids is too many?”. It doesn’t necessarily have to pertain to photography.

    By asking about when they care about you’re going to form a connection with them. If you find the another type of content works better than questions that’s totally fine too!

  • Bella Zadithya

    i love your quote “people forget that social media needs to be SOCIAL” , the fact, some brands doesn’t want their account become social with other social media accounts, and i think that’s a bad idea ๐Ÿ˜€

  • This is the same list that’s been floating around since 2010/11 about how to get more engagement on social media, and in 2015 – this list isn’t going to get you far. These are by far the most basic things you should be doing anyway on your page, and these will get you the bare minimum amount of engagement. Today, you have to do so much more.

  • Well said all points ! Soical media play a vital role for B2B and business to consumer โ€“ relationships, the value placed on social media sites is typically highest with Facebook and move down through Twitter, You Tube, Blogs AND Linked In. Also you’d mentioned the brands/person that uniquely talks through facebook page. I like the Orpah Pic ๐Ÿ™‚ I have one question, For example, Brand company would like to demostrate product or services that tend to show case the customers in that case blogging would be right tool to do it ? Or I think you tube will be effective isn’t ?

  • Pete Wild

    I like the Q&A… cheers

  • Very much useful, thanks Heidi..

  • What would you add to the list Avtar?

  • That is so weird to me that some brands just don’t want to interact.

  • Thanks Pete!

  • Thank you Shiya. Are there any in particular that stood out to you?

  • A strategic approach to content, not an executional one – is imperative.

  • 1st time i read your blog Heidi, find much useful information thanks for sharing

  • Thanks I’m glad you found it helpful!

  • Awesome tips. But the most powerful tip I can think of for better engagement is to know when your post should be publish.

  • Propertunity Homes

    I have been doing all of this, and sometimes the engagment is decent and other times it is awful.

  • Yes that is a very good point!

  • Interesting – have you noticed any patterns among what does best?

  • Propertunity Homes

    No and I have tried always posting at the same time just to see if that was a factor and it had no effect, I’ve tried posting at different times as well it is a week to week basis some weeks are great some are awful.

  • Points 1,2, and 3 seems to be great, Heidi. But sometimes I doubt whether G+ is more formal than FB w.r.t those points.

  • That’s really interesting. The social media geek in me wants to go into detective mode ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you noticed certain days are better than others?

  • It definitely depends and can depend on your audience too. It’s worth testing though.

  • Exactly! Likes and shares don’t mean anything if you don’t attract people to buy your product/use your services.

  • Those likes can give little dopamine hits and make us feel good about ourselves but I feel the same way and I’m very results focused.

  • treb072410

    Great post Heidi, specially number 1..

  • Propertunity Homes

    If you want to go onto our facebook page and see what advice you could give that would be more than appreciated. Propertunity Homes, INC

  • Thanks I’m glad you liked it!

  • Good post with good points.I found this really useful for various people who wants to boost their business. Getting in touch with audience on social media will be of great value.Thanks for sharing useful points.

  • Hi Heidi
    All 6 are true but 1-4 sums it up well… I think those are very great styles to have in posting style. I think it’s also evident to what the big pages of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram post. Anyway, this was a fun read. Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks! Let me know how it goes.

  • I love doing 1-4 for engagement, 5 for driving traffic to evergreen posts that get forgotten and 6 for building that community feeling and showing that you get your people.

  • I love it! I always practice evergreen content. You can never go wrong with that. It’s effective and long term. Social media engagement can be tricky but it’s not rocket-science. lol I love the tips you’ve shared here. It all boils down to value. If we nail that and be ourselves, social media will be a huge success. Thanks for sharing these.

  • You are absolutely right, it is all about value!

  • Gregory Allan

    Curating content can be a great way to stay in front of your readers. It is always a good idea to include your own introduction to each piece of content you share though.

    Just like many people post inspirational content that is not really on topic with their niche, it is important to make your intro text on topic and relevant to both your audience and the content you are sharing.

    Thanks for taking the time to make a great (and attractive) post, Heidi I am sure to come back again during the week.

  • Great point Gregory! I know that in the Society here there was a training about curation and using Sniply.

  • Yoors

    Really enjoyed reading this. Helpful i think. Have to try out some things first. I’ll report my findings here ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Please do!

  • Yoors

    I will!

  • Gregory Allan

    Oh wow, I don’t think I mentioned Sniply here. That must mean you took the time to research my posts.

    Thanks for the effort, I will certainly add this blog to my list of important places to hang out at!

  • Anna Blume

    Alicia – we have made the same experience – we are in Germany.

  • Anna Blume

    B2B? I dought it, as somebody in B2B does not use FB or Instagram – the use Google and that’s it!

  • My business is B2B and Facebook has been good and Instagram had been amazing. I regularly get clients from Instagram. It depends on your audience though.

  • anna

    May be the German situation is another one. Thank you for your reply, Heidi.

  • Alicia Dunlop Photog

    Thanks Heidi, I’ll give it a go! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alicia Dunlop Photog

    Hi Anna,
    Its a real challenge I think… but I’ll give Heidi’s suggestion a go. Nothing to lose ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alicia Dunlop Photog

    Hi Avtar,
    When you say a strategic approach to content can you give some examples please?

  • Hey @aliciadunlopphotog:disqus, happy to. We’ve moved past the stage where ‘asking a question’ and ‘making an emotional connect’ or whatever with the audience on social is enough. It’s now “hygiene”. If we’re not doing that, then we shouldn’t be in this business.

    What really lacks in terms of a social strategy and social content perspective is the “why” we’re posting certain content. Take for example, a restaurant. Should they post pictures of food? Duh. Should they post pictures of their staff? Duh. Should they post pictures of their deals, specials, customer reviews, what’s around the restaurant, their most renowned dishes – duh. But then there’s the add on. Are they collecting e-mail addresses from the people that are dining at their restaurant? Do they have a billing system in which they log which person orders which meal and then sends them targeted messages about the same?

    Tom had a burger at their restaurant a month ago, and left them a great review. Tom hasn’t been back at their restaurant since then. The same with 200 other people. Shouldn’t they put out marketing messages for Tom and those 200 other people saying that the burger they loved is missing them and waiting for them with a special add-on?

    That’s personal. That’s making a connect. That’s actually using the value of social and the power of Facebook ads targeting.

    All the rest about being make your content timely, make it this, ask a question etc is very standard now. We need to talk about the bigger things and case studies on how great companies do this! That’s what will add value to marketers.

  • Gregory Allan

    That’s right PJ. And when you provide value you don’t have to worry about what results you will get. Everything you write helps yourself even if an individual piece does not get the views you want.

  • Great article Heidi! I would love to follow the points in my campaigns.

    Referring to point 6, I reckon that curating content will not give a weightage to your brand. You are referring to inf that is produced from other source than you. Consequently, you are inspiring your audience to switch to other brand for the relevant inf.

  • Tracy

    Good sharing and informative. Like it!

  • Elizabeth Delaney

    Great article. Learned heaps. Thanks.

  • I’m so happy you learned from it!