Without a doubt, the reason I hear most for people being unwilling to run a social media feed is that they don’t feel they can write as many inspired posts as they require. And lots of them are probably right; keeping your social media content inspiration bucket overflowing is hard. Real hard. Even for those who are well-versed in it, creative juices can dry up, leaving you frustrated, bored and unmotivated.
No one likes to feel any of those things. That’s why I have a huge list of ways to re-fill my social media content inspiration bucket until it’s overflowing again.
Days of the week
Think about your audience and what day of the week your post is going out on. How are they feeling at the beginning of the week, compared to the middle or the end? Are Mondays likely to be dragging or exciting? Are humpdays a key milestone in your audience’s week? Are they going to be looking forward to the weekend?
Identify how they’re going to feel on any given day, and construct a post that feeds them inspirations or feelings that they’d like to pair with it. Echo their emotions in just the right way, and you’ll have their attention.
There is pretty much at least one National Day happening on every single day of the week, all year around. They are PERFECT social media content inspiration, and they generate truly brilliant creative ideas.
Even if you don’t want to address some National Days directly, use them as a content guide and put your own personal spin on each one. That way it also doesn’t matter if the day isn’t necessarily notable in your country – you still have at least one solid and inspired post that came out of it that you’ve made relevant to your followers.
Any content planner worth its salt will have notable days listed for you in the calendar.
Yeah ok, this one seems off-the-wall, fair observation. but hear me out.
People have dreams and aspirations. People also relate to people – even on a digital platform. Ergo, sharing your visions on social media is unlikely to go down like a lead balloon.
If you’re representing yourself online, this can be a lot more fluid – you can share anything from your five-year business plan to the flash house you dream of owning when you’re rich and famous. Indulge.
An organisation might have to be a little more restrained with what’s shared on this subject, but if you’re in a position to establish the ideals of your target audience or beneficiaries, riff on that. Take them on the journey your organisation is going on to reach a destination that everyone can relate to.
Live tweeting is the done thing at events now. But if you’re truly there to be inspired by the event’s content, I always find that social media content inspiration flows to me more easily when I am armed with a simple pen and notebook.
If inspiration does hit, make a detailed note there and then. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get home later only to find that the backbone of your fabulous idea has been lost in your other scrawled notes, and the key parts that made it so great were left somewhere among the free wine.
Old blog posts
An oldie but a goodie!
Sometimes you create a perfectly good blog post that doesn’t quite manage to go into the detail you wanted it to. It’s common to accidentally cram a little too much info into a single post and go too broad, and whilst it doesn’t mean the post is unpublishable it might be missing a little somethin’ somethin’.
When you’re out of ideas, take inspiration from that post. Cover that real niche bit you wanted to go into detail on. Get technical. Flesh it all out and then pull it apart again to talk about over a series of social media posts.
If you’re in the habit of listening to the morning new on the radio or TV while you have a morning cuppa, keep something to hand to jot ideas down in.
News snippets, whilst they won’t all be relevant to you, are very handy if you want to challenge an opinion or make a stand or even just reach out and support a person or cause. The morning reports will give you the time to put quick, reactive and topical posts together that generate high engagement rates on social media. If it’s part of your routine to tune into this information source anyway, you may as well make it work for you for the rest of the day.
This is similar to the news idea above but is more to do with niche topics and content aggregation.
Set yourself up with a Feedly account, and add your absolute best website sources for industry news, sites your target audience spend time on and any other sites that you generally find helpful when it comes to social media content inspiration.
I have a Feedly set up for each of my clients so I can see at a glance what’s going on in the world of their industry and of their client. Then I can choose whether I want to mention and link to the actual article, or if I want to use what they’re saying as part of the social media messaging I’m creating, where I can expand on the topic or spark debate around it.
A good Feedly account can make content creation a million times easier – I swear by it.
I once listened to an entire episode of an affirmations podcast for self-belief. When I got to the end I had to restart it again because every single line had provided me with a burst of inspiration for blog posts and social media content. Which is great for brainstorming, not so great for my self-belief reminders!
The point is, social media content inspiration can come in the strangest forms. So if you’re just not into businessy podcasts or podcasts that are necessarily directly about the sector you work in, don’t feel like you have to force yourself to listen to them in the hope of grabbing a glimmer of inspiration. It’s not a fun or economical way to generate content ideas.
Instead, listen to what you like, and be brave enough to take an idea that comes from an unexpected source and run with it.
Much like the podcast process, harking back to hobbies you undertake in your spare time have ample opportunity to provide a fresh new look on a business topic.
Take the angle. Apply it to your profession. If people react well to it on social media, then keep doing it!