If you’re the person who takes care of social media for your business, then you already know you’ve got most people’s dream job—you get to “hang out on social media all day”. (I wish!)
You also know there’s a lot more to it than that, and the key to success is a healthy supply of fresh, original, and hard-to-ignore content. Your fans want content that’s timely, interesting, helpful, and fun. And it gets harder to keep coming up with new content ideas as the year rolls on.
So our final post in our deep-dive social media series is also our gift to you: a bunch of killer content ideas to get you back on track and help you recapture your fans’ attention. To make it even easier, we’ve sorted them into categories so you can pick and choose the ones that best suit your brand identity.
1. Content That’s Timely
Birthday celebrationsWhen we’re children, we celebrate every birthday; adults tend to celebrate milestones with huge parties. It should be no different with your ecommerce store! Make sure your fans and followers are well aware of your upcoming birthday celebrations with posts about what’s in it for them (sales and promotions), and follow up on the day with pictures of your team party. (Or a dog in a party hat. Everyone loves dogs in party hats.)
Sneak peeks and early access
Reward your loyal fans and followers with a sneak preview of your new product lines before they arrive in store. You can also give them advance access to sales by tipping them off early with social posts.
Blog post announcements
We hope you’re already social sharing your blog content on a regular basis. We also hope each blog post falls into at least two of the other categories as well: fun and interesting, fun and helpful, or helpful and interesting!
Seasonal postsDepending on the time of year, seasonal posts are a great way to engage your followers. It's important to have a little fun with this one and really showcase the human side of your business. Here's a few different ways you can share in the celebrations:
- A photo of your decorated store or warehouse
- A video of your team singing a song
- A link to your ultimate gift-buying guide, which you’ve posted on your blog
- An animated end-of-year thank you.
2. Content that’s interesting
InfographicsDid you know that people like and share infographics on social media three times more than other any other content type? They’re popular because they present information in a way that’s easy to read and beautiful to look at. The trick is in choosing your topic. If you sell sporting goods, you could create an infographic about different foot types and running gaits, how common they are in the population, and which shoe styles would suit each. Don’t have your own designer? Check out easel.ly, an easy online tool for creating infographics, and check out their blog for great ideas on infographics for your business.
Did you know?People like and share infographics on social media three times more than other any other content type?
Useful content from other sites
You don’t have to come up with all the interesting content yourself. If you’ve read something online that you know your fans and followers will love, share it on social media. Try to avoid sharing things from your direct competitors, though! Instead, look for complementary businesses. If you sell lighting products and a large part of your audience are home renovators, you could share an article about the latest trends in interior design, a quirky post from the perspective of a local plumber, or a comparative review of different electricity providers
| Related Reading: Social Media That Is Tailored to Your Target Audience
Behind the scenesFans are interested in your business, and you can build that relationship by giving them a glimpse of the faces behind the name. Give your staff members their five minutes of fame with a video interview and blog transcript explaining their job roles, goals, and interests, and letting their personalities shine through.
3. Content that’s helpful
Discounts and promotionsFor over half of your customers, the best help you can offer is to give them an exclusive discount on products or shipping.
Answers to their direct questionsCustomers will often come directly to your social media channels with questions, so this is a great chance to be really helpful. You can also use this as an opportunity to educate your customers about helping themselves, by sharing links to help articles on your website, where appropriate.
Answers to frequently asked questions
Trawl through your support desk queries (or ask someone to do it for you!) for the most common question over the past week. Then prepare a short video and blog post that answers the question succinctly, like “How to use the XYZ dog harness for safer road trips.”
| Related Reading: 8 Ways to Build Brand Trust Through Positive Social Media Interactions
Buying guidesCreate interactive or PDF buying guides to help your customers make the right decision. Give them really clear titles, like “Which flea prevention is best for my cat?” or “Choosing the right tools for home bicycle maintenance”. This is the sort of content that will get shared by other businesses in your industry, too.
Surveys and pollsYour fans love to feel like they’re being heard, so give them an invitation to speak by posting a survey or poll. You can ask them about which products they prefer, what factors are important to them when making a decision, who they’re buying for…there’s really no limit, so long as you keep it simple and focused.
Fix it for themSearch online forums to identify customer pain points, like products that have been out of stock for too long, or items that appear to be in the wrong category of your online store. Write a blog post about how you’re proactively resolving the problem, and share it widely.
4. Content That's Fun
If your followers have taken the time to post photos using your products or to write a review on their own blog, be sure to share these posts with a wider audience. Be wary of copying and pasting any content directly, though—if you have to do more than just click a “share” button, it’s usually best to ask for permission first.
| Related reading: 3 things customers want on social media (and how to convert them)
Giveaways and competitionsAlmost half of all consumers are interested in giveaways from businesses they follow, so throw in a freebie deal for your social media followers or run a competition. Most competitions ask fans to like your page (or follow your profile) and then either tag a friend in a comment or share the post on your own page.
Event photos and videosIf you’re launching a new product or attending an event and you can’t invite all your fans to join you, make them feel like they’re still a part of it. Share a short video (30–90 seconds) or a photo collage from the event, but make sure to ask permission from the people involved before you post it.
Conversation startersAsking a question is a great way to start a conversation. But unlike polls and surveys, these conversation starters don’t need to be particularly on-topic. Instead of seeking feedback on products, you’re looking to get an overall impression of who your customers are. You can ask your fans anything from “How do you get through #humpday?” to “What’s your favourite domestic animal?”
5. Content That Gets Results
There are many ways to build a relationship with your fans and, as with any marketing strategy, you’ll need to track engagement and conversions to really understand what’s working and what’s not. That’s the real benefit of a retail management platform with inbuilt analytics, social media sharing, and integrations to digital marketing platforms.
Ready to start planning ahead? Download our Free Social Media Kit with the 2018 Retail Calendar and inside so you never miss a beat (or a date!)