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Raise your hand if you downloaded Tik Tok during the pandemic for “fun,” and now you can’t stop scrolling?

Tik Tok’s astounding rise to the top –the top site of 2021 according to Google search–proves the enduring popularity of social media. With dozens of platforms with millions of engaged followers looking for precisely what you’re offering, investing your time in social media is still a great idea. But for most business owners, one question keeps them from posting consistently: how do I come up with social media ideas?

My answer (just like every other DIY marketing tactic I share with my clients) is twofold and straightforward: don’t overthink it and make a plan. Here are my top 4 tips on how to come up with social media ideas for your small business marketing.

Follow the Trends

Social media platforms are filled with people who have way more time than you to find and create trends, so the easiest way to come up with social media ideas is to follow the trend makers. Luckily, tons of smart people have launched apps that make finding trends easy.

  • In-app Trending Sounds and Hashtags – LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and many more social platforms offer in-app trend tracking, so you’ll have plenty of content to choose from, especially if you’re short on time.
  • TrendSpottr – The TrendSpotter app sources and curates a list of the ten most popular hashtags and sources. The  full version of TrendSpottr has a $49 / month subscription, but you can add it for free to your free Hootsuite account (cha-ching!)
  • All Hashtags –  All Hashtags is a very cool free resource that gives you chart-topping ideas and a hashtag generator and helps you analyze your favorite go-to tags to see how popular they are.

The critical thing to remember with all these options (and there are dozens more, both free and paid) is to use them to boost the content you’ve already created or give your ideas for fresh content, NOT to stress you out or make you feel like you’re lagging!

Use Your Content Strategy

Content strategy isn’t just for blogging or emails but also can drive your social media content, so you’re not duplicating your efforts. Here’s how it works:

A client has identified April as “Treat Yourself Month.”

  • She has planned two blogs: 10 Self Care Ideas to Try This Month; and Splurge v. Spend: How to Treat Yourself on Any Budget.
  • She has planned three emails: two automatic emails with new blogs and one newsletter that includes a new product, a post from a fellow business owner with a complimentary business about taking care of yourself, and a behind-the-scene photo and short blurb about how she treats herself with her favorite things.

From this content strategy, social media will include:

  • Each blog post shared twice (4 posts)
  • Posts about the new product or featured product shared twice (2 posts)
  • Link to her friend’s blog (1 post)
  • Behind the scenes photo (1 post)
  • Pictures of her favorite things from the newsletter (3 posts)

That’s 11 days worth of social media posts from a planned, cohesive content strategy! If you’ve planned to post three times a week, this will almost fill up your calendar. Add in some sales posts, an invitation to join a newsletter, and a testimonial from a client, and just like that, you have a full calendar.

Ask Your Customers for Social Media Content Ideas

Your social media content ideas should include educating your followers, especially about how your product or service can solve their challenges. So what’s the best way to find an answer? Backtrack and discover the question! Your customers are a vast resource in how to find social media content, so utilize them. Send surveys through email lists or transactional emails, ask questions on social media, and encourage associates to chat with customers about why they choose your product or service.

Once you have these ideas, think about how you can best present the question and solution in short form. Would an Instagram Reel or TikTok convey this best? Can you share with a visual and caption for Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram? There’s no correct answer, and you may be able to use multiple ideas for the same topic.

Remember: if your clients find value in what you’re offering, others will. Anticipate their needs, and you’ll discover raving fans.

When you can find social media content ideas in this many places, you’ll be able to stop worrying about what to post and start getting intentional with your marketing!

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