How do you determine the ROI of your social media campaigns? 30+ social media marketers weigh in with their expert advice.
| Aug 10
Jessica Malnik on May 13, 2021 (last modified on May 11, 2021) • 13 minute read
Nearly 60% of companies post at least 2-3 times per week on Facebook.
This is according to our latest survey.
So, it is no surprise that 53% of the marketers we surveyed occasionally experience writer’s block. That’s more than 700 pieces of content just on Facebook.
If you are one of the folks struggling to come up with post ideas, we’ve curated 16 tactics to help you create more new, fresh, and engaging social media content.
Let’s dig in!
Want to learn more about your Facebook followers and how they’re interacting with your page and the content you post? Download this free Facebook (Page Insights) Dashboard Template now.
While this might sound like marketing 101, the key to banishing writer’s block for good is to know your ideal customer in and out.
“An important tip for coming up with engaging Facebook content ideas is to pay close attention to your customer,” says Lacy Summers of crushthepmexam. “Figure out what they want, and deliver it. Yes, in a nutshell, that’s marketing 101, but it works – even when you’re looking for Facebook content.
Analyze your Facebook customer comments and posts, as well as your customer email and Twitter mentions. What do your customers want to know, what do they want to say, and what do they want to post? Use them as a source of inspiration – they are, after all, the target market. Create Facebook posts that respond to their questions (briefly) or address topics that your fans are addressing.”
Editor’s Note: You can use this Facebook Pages dashboard template to better understand how people learn about your brand on Facebook.
Peter Lee of Famlee Digital adds, “When working with our client’s Facebook content strategies, the most effective tactic has always been to interact with, and listen to the consumer. Whether selling a product, or selling a service, the premise remains the same.
Understanding your audience, understanding their anxieties and how you can address them, while all the while listening to what they ask you and are speaking about themselves helps to create content that addresses what the audience wants.
Dependent on the field is dependent on what content approach you take, be it image, video, text, etc. Look at your data to see what works, look at your peers to see what works, and tailor that to what you have learnt about your audience. By paying attention to your audience, you can learn a lot about what they want within a specific niche, and tailor your content accordingly.”
In addition, Lauren Espach of Spitfire Inbound recommends, “I love the inbound marketing methodology of using the buyer’s journey to inform the content I’ll use on Facebook. Depending if our audience is in the awareness, consideration, or decision phase, I’ll structure my social media content accordingly. Using inbound links to drive users to certain website and blog content, prompting the user to take an action and sprinkling post copy with emojis and @tags are all effective tactics in creating engaging Facebook content.”
The best way to learn about your audience is to get curious.
Keyoka Kinzy of Truck Driver Institute says, “Questions are a way to drum up conversation and get the ball rolling with interesting content relevant to your brand. This is a vital strategy to increase interaction on your Facebook account, but also provide you with the opportunity to talk with your consumer base about their likes and dislikes.”
Ronald Samson of CreditDonkey adds, “The biggest key to engaging content is to actually care about the person you are speaking to – it shows in your writing, your images and videos.
One thing that you don’t want to do is try and be “salesy” or appear like you are trying to convince someone to buy something. Instead, focus on the benefits of whatever your product or service is – no one is going to buy if they don’t understand what it’s going to do for them.
An example of this would be a coffee shop.
It’s easy for a coffee shop to post pictures of their delicious coffee, but what does that do for the reader? It doesn’t teach them anything about the products or services you offer, so instead of posting pictures of your food, use some engaging text to explain what your unique selling point is.
Reviews work well as well, having customers share their experiences helps sell your product or service.”
Once you are clear on the fundamentals, the next most popular way to come up with fresh ideas is to study trending topics.
Sera Chern of Virtudesk adds, “We have been consistently monitoring trends to make sure we are updated. One effective way that we use to come up with fresh and engaging Facebook content ideas is through using social media listening tools. Tools such as Sprout Social and E-clincher have social listening features that allow us to get popular hashtags and keywords. Another tool that we use to get content ideas is Google Keyword Planner. This provides us insights on what are the most common keywords that users are searching for. This helps us narrow down on what type of topics people will be more interested in.”
“One of our best ways to come up with fresh and engaging content is Google Trends,” says Kendal Taylor of Tandem Buzz. “Google Trends uses keyword research and competitive data to compare trending or viral content on Google. Our team can find trending and relevant content topics based on regions, seasons, demographics, and latest stories and insights. Based off the data, we create a content calendar for our clients on Facebook. Google Trends even provides keywords that are perfect for Facebook captions.
Google Trends helps us consistently come up with new content on Facebook, even if we are trying to come up with new content ideas for Facebook. That’s why our award-winning Facebook social media marketing creates a buzz!”
Google Alerts is another useful free tool for monitoring brand mentions and trends.
“Setting up multiple Google Alerts for trending topics in your industry,” says Emma Eck of Rain. “It’s a great way to stay informed on important news and get inspired for creating fresh content.”
Another popular way to search trending content is using the tool, Buzzsumo.
“To find fresh and engaging Facebook content ideas, you want to search for content that is already working well on other pages,” says Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers Company. “How to do that? Tools like BuzzSumo and RightRelevance will help you find what’s trending on social media. You just need to type your keywords and you will discover topics that are successful.
Then, you don’t just want to copy or steal that content. What you want to do is get inspired by that content and produce something even better.”
Oftentimes, the best post inspiration comes from being an active member of industry-specific groups.
Martina Balazowa of Kontentino explains, “In the past, I used to follow Facebook pages. Today, I still follow them, but social media groups have become my making source of knowledge when it comes to new content ideas. This is where trends are discussed, social media crisis situations are revealed, and great insights are provided. Must-have is a social media manager toolbox.”
Another goldmine for content inspiration is Reddit.
“One of the best ways to find content ideas for Facebook is to see what’s trending and popular on other sites,” says Anita Carroll of Very Create. “I find that Reddit is a goldmine for this since they have subreddits for virtually every topic you can think of. Once you find a relevant subreddit, you just need to look for the top posts to see what’s popular with people in your target audience. And then you find a way to recreate that content for Facebook.”
Just like you can learn from analyzing trending topics, you can do the same with your competitors’ social media posts.
“Find inspiration through your competitors and other businesses in your space,” says Devin Ahern of Mid Florida Material Handling. “I would never recommend stealing, plagiarizing or ripping off other people’s content but you can use their posts as examples of what to do (or what not to do). Look to see what other companies are doing to create engaging Facebook posts and build from there.”
Kim Adamof of Edge Digital says, “Research their social media to identify posts with a lot of engagement. Did they use video, graphics, a slideshow, etc.? What tips can you garner from other’s social media content?”
Lastly, “Follow brands that are similar to yours and learn from them or get inspired by their most engaging content,” says Miguel Gonzalez Fernandez of Dealers League S.L. “Also trial and error. Being brave when posting content may be the key to know what works and what doesn’t.”
Staying on top of current events can be another source of content ideas.
“Stay informed about current events and trends,” says Kimberly Smith of Clarify Capital. “Just like all other content, you want what you put out there to be relevant and timely. Creating posts that consider what’s current and trending helps your audience connect with you. It also provides opportunities for thoughtful discussion, which means more comments, value, and a boost to your engagement metrics.”
For example, Jake Peterson of Atiba Software adds, “We look at a few things when coming up for Facebook ideas:
Current news stories. Our clients are tech-savvy people and try and provide news stories to them. These can be things like software updates, security issues, or new products.”
For brands that skew more edgy, you may want to experiment with newsjacking where you hijack a trending news story or topic.
For example, Aristide Basque of K6 Agency says, “Watch social media trends and incorporate them into engagement posts for your audience. Identifying a few of the top social media trends and memes of each week and applying them to your brand can generate lots of engagement and keep you relevant.”
Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging adds, “People love to share their opinions on current events. Since there are always new holidays and news stories, piggybacking off news and holidays provides you an endless stream of fresh ideas. Make sure you share your opinion and ask others for their opinion. People love to share their opinions. This leads to an active conversation.”
If your business has been around for a little while, there is a good chance that you already have a ton of content that you’ve created in the past. Repurpose the best stuff on social media.
Adam Connell of Startup Bonsai says, “Most businesses will typically have an abundance of content on their blog that they can repurpose into Facebook content.
A good approach is to find your most popular content by digging through your analytics. Then take snippets from those articles and turn them into Facebook posts.”
Editor’s Note: Looking for a quick way to see your top-performing blog posts? Use this Google Analytics Content Analysis Dashboard.
Another approach is to organize + repurpose your old posts into themes or content pillars.
Adam Yaeger of Llama Lead Gen explains, “Generate content pillars/themes. You can formulate your already existing content into usable social media posts for Facebook. Content pillars/themes should play off of your company’s main value proposition. However, these should never be sales-y. Anything close to trolling or sneaky content is going to be frowned upon and likely not well received. Share content around what you’re passionate about. The best way to come up with engaging Facebook content ideas is to participate authentically.”
Brian Dechesare of Breaking Into Wall Street shares, “If the popularity of Humans of New York tells us one thing, it’s that people love reading stories about each other. Using stories to connect with your audience can result in higher engagement, as it both shares relevant information about your product while giving the viewers a chance to connect deeper emotionally with it. Engaging stories can come from employees within the company, owners, and from your customers, too!”
You don’t need to create all of the posts in a vacuum. Crowdsourcing ideas from your team in a shared Google Document or spreadsheet can be incredibly helpful.
“Some of the main ways our creative team brainstorms and comes up with engaging content ideas for Facebook is to create a Google document and start with questions/topics,” says Alex Cascio of Vibrant Media Productions. “We then build a list of top questions or trending topics in our industry (video production/photography) and how we can fill that gap or become a go-to resource.
Building out these ideas helps us determine what type of content we can repurpose from our brand assets or what we need to go out and create. It really does help by simply laying out notes and coming up with ideas – also good to follow larger accounts to see how they format their posts, captions, etc. for ideas on style.”
Megan Thielen of Twelve Three Media adds, “One thing we do is encourage everyone to openly share during brainstorms. You never know what can come from something that may not seem good in your head or that you’re afraid to share. Some of the best ideas we’ve executed on have come from something that, at face-value, doesn’t seem all that great or fully baked. Another thing is to disrupt how you approach your brainstorms – think of an idea, then think about how to execute on that idea from a tactical perspective. A lot of people get stuck or immediately jump to tactics and miss out on the bigger idea or thing you’re trying to accomplish.”
Another great source of inspiration is podcasts and audiobooks.
“I think podcasts are a great way to find good content ideas for Facebook that you may not have otherwise found on your own,” says David Douek of Beeco. “The nice thing about using podcasts for this purpose is that they are very timely so you know that you’re not getting stale information. So, you can identify a good topic from a podcast episode and maybe create an infographic or other graphic to make it even more engaging for the Facebook audience.”
Editor’s note: Looking for a great podcast to listen to? Why not start with ours? Check out Databox’s Metrics & Chill podcast here.
While this won’t work for every page, creating your own memes or borrowing others can be effective.
Katheriin Liibert of #muhoov says, “I’ve found that the most engaging content is well-timed and entertaining. Look at memes, news and other trends that you could create content around, best if it’s funny. Our best performing content that has gone viral has always been tied to something current and its content has been funny.”
When it comes to figuring out what to post on Facebook, it all boils down to knowing your audience. Then, take the time to follow your competitors, analyze the top trends and crowdsource ideas from your team.
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