What to Post on Social Media

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for 2018

Figuring out what to post on social media can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Social media post ideas are one of those things that seem easy, but when you sit down to post it suddenly becomes very difficult and can feel overwhelming.

What to Post on Social Media The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for 2018

What to Post on Social Media The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for 2018

If you’ve ever struggled with what to post on social media or you’ve felt uninspired and desperate for a fresh idea of what to post on social media, you’re in luck! I’ve created the ultimate list of what to post on social media.

This list is complete with 50 content ideas of what to post on social media. I’ve even created a free cheat sheet you can download and keep next to your computer. No more excuses – you always have a fresh idea right at your fingertips.

SEO basics for bloggers

Free Downloadable Cheat Sheet

In a rush? Grab the downloadable cheat sheet at the end of this post!
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These content ideas are ideal for Instagram, but they will work great on all your social media channels. Post once to Instagram and use IFTTT to automatically share the post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

To learn more about IFTTT and scheduling social media content read: How to Schedule Social Media Content Like a Boss Without Spending a Dime.

Before you dig into the list, keep in mind that you want to offer a wide variety of content. For example, you don’t want to promote your blog content two days in a row or share nothing but quotes for weeks on end. Your feed will become a snooze-fest, so be sure to mix up the type of content you’re sharing.

Let’s get started with the list! I’ve broken the 50 social media content ideas out into eight different categories to make it easier for you to mix up your content.  

PHOTOS & VIDEOS



Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that photos and videos increase engagement on social media. Here are seven photo and video ideas to get you thinking outside the box.

1. Before and After

Everyone loves a good transformation! Your before and after photos can be as simple as cleaning up your desk or elaborate as sharing your weight loss journey. Just make sure the before and after photos you share are related to your niche. If you blog about marketing, don’t share before and after photos from cleaning out your refrigerator. Instead, share before and after photos of your office or your scrum board.

2. Funny Meme

Who doesn’t love a good meme? They make us laugh, smile, or say “yes, so true!” Try to share a meme that relates to common problems experienced by your audience, not necessarily by you. If you blog about Yoga, share memes related to everyday struggles with finding balance and pursuing a healthy lifestyle. To create free meme’s like the one below visit: https://imgflip.com/memegenerator.

3. Short video tip

Overcome your fears of perfection and turn one of your quick tips into a short video. Video content is king right now and video posts see more engagement than any other type of post.  Take things one step further and go live on Facebook or create an Instagram story. These platforms are pushing live content so your video will be seen by more people if you go live.

4. Go behind the scenes

Share a photo or video of you hard at work. This could be in your office, on location for a project, or at a tradeshow or special event.

5. Sneak peek

Give your audience a sneak peek at what you’re working on. Share a screenshot of your computer, take a photo of a new craft or recipe you’re creating, record a short video in the home you’re about to list, or create an Instagram story sharing updates from the conference you’re attending. Create a sense of excitement for what’s to come!

6. Flat lay or styled image

Social Media Content Ideas - Flat Lay Example

The flat lay is huge on Instagram and you can flat lay anything – it’s not just for food and fashion. It’s as simple as arranging some items on a flat surface and taking a photograph of them straight from above. Here is an example of a “business-related” flat lay.

Get creative with your flat-lay images. If you’re a real estate agent, flat lay the tray of cookies and your business cards in the home you’re showing. If you’re a chiropractor, flat lay your top selling supplements or essential oils.

7. Video announcement

Go live on Facebook or create an Instagram story announcing the release of something you’ve been working on. This can be as simple as announcing a new blog post you just published or as extravagant as a new product launch.

ASK A QUESTION

Social Media Content Ideas - Ask a question

Asking a question is an outstanding way to increase engagement on your social media profiles. It also helps you separate your true followers from the bots and allows you to interact with them. Below are just a few suggestions for the type of questions you can ask.

For a complete list of questions to ask along with a downloadable swipe file read: 65 Social Media Questions to Increase Engagement.

8. Take a poll

Test new ideas with your audience. For example, “I’m thinking of creating a new e-book. What topic would you like to learn more about?” Then list 4 or 5 options for your audience to choose from. Facebook has a polling feature you can use when making a status update and Instagram has a polling feature within Stories. 

9. This or That

In my experience, “This or that” questions generate the most engagement. They are simple to answer and tend to invoke a lot of passion. The key to this or that questions is to keep them simple. You don’t need a long introduction, just simply list two items and let the debate unfold. A few examples are: tea or coffee, Pepsi or Coke, salty snack or sweet treat. 

10. Would you rather…

Watch your engagement skyrocket when you present your audience with a “would you rather” question. For example, would you rather have free Starbucks for a year or free iTunes for a lifetime?

11. If You Could…

“If you could” questions are a lot of fun and you can get really creative with what you ask. For example, if you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

12. Fill in the blank

Fill in the blank questions ask your audience to fill in the blank to a statement you provide. These are great questions to tailor specific to your niche and generate engagement. For example, a Chiropractor could post, Fill in the blank: my favorite health and wellness blog is __________. Or, a travel agent could post, “Fill in the blank: My favorite travel destination is __________.”  

GET PERSONAL

Social Media Content Ideas - Get personal
Your social media followers want to get to know you on a deeper level. They want a glimpse of your personal life and a taste of your personality. Getting personal works best on Instagram and Facebook. LinkedIn is becoming more personal, but it continues to remain a professional network so be mindful of the type and level of personal information you share.

13. Fun fact

Share a fun fact about you that not everyone knows and allows your audience to get to know you better. All the better if you have a photo to back it up. For example, “check out this hilarious photo of me in college when I tried cheerleading for a few months.”

14. Share a hobby

Share a photo or video of you engaging in one of your hobbies or favorite activities. If you’re posting on behalf of a company, share a photo of the employees taking a break or having fun together.

15. Offer a glimpse into your family time

More than likely, your family is the most important part of your life so share that with your audience! Just be mindful not to post any photos that indicate where you live or where you are, such as street signs or the name of your kids’ school.

16. Exploring your city

If you’re out and about exploring your city, whether it’s in nature or an urban area, share it! Tag your city in the photo to get more reach and followers.

17. Book you’re reading

Social Media Content Ideas - Read a book

Let your audience in on what you’re currently reading or learning. Whether it’s a fiction novel, a nonfiction self-help book, an educational resource or online course, your audience wants to know what you’re reading in your free time. Bonus points if you include key takeaways and a link for your followers to get their own copy.


18. Relaxation time

Human beings are curious creatures. Not only do your followers want to learn your business tips and secrets, but they also want to know how and where you unwind after a long day. Not to mention, seeing a photo of you relaxing by a fire or drinking wine in front of the TV inspires your audience to also take time to relax.

19. Inspirational quote

Quotes tend to get a lot of engagement on social media. Share one of your favorite inspiring quotes. You can style quotes on a beautiful photo or a plain colored background using a  design tool like Canva.com or apps like Textgram. For help finding inspiring quotes read: 37 Inspirational Quotes.

20. Personal mantra

Do you have a mantra or affirmations you say to keep you motivated to accomplish your goals? Share them with your audience! If you represent a company, share the company values. My personal mantra is “perseverance, not perfection, is the key to success.” I often share this mantra with my audience to offer a reminder that success takes time and hard work. In fact, I even wrote a blog post about this. Read: 10 Reason Perseverance, Not Perfection, is the Key to Success on Social Media.

SHARE THE LOVE

Social Media Content Ideas - Share the love

The number one complaint with social media is the massive amount of negativity and complaining that takes place. Additionally, it’s easy to become consumed with the “me, me, me” mentality. Thankfully, you can choose to be different. Be a source of positivity, love, and gratitude and remember to focus on others.

21. Share gratitude

Share something or someone you’re grateful for or share a photo of something that brings you happiness.

22. Fan photo

Take a look at your fans and their social profiles. You’ll be amazed at the wonderful content they’re sharing. Find a gorgeous, funny or inspiring photo and share it with your audience. Just be sure to give them credit and tag them in the photo. 

23. @mention a follower

Do you have a follower who engages regularly with your content? Give them a shout out using an @mention and thank them. They will feel so special and be grateful for the social media attention.

24. @mention an influencer

Is there an influencer in your niche that you’d like to develop a relationship with? @mention them in a post and share something you’ve learned from them or promote one of their products or services. @mentions on social media are a great way to get the attention of someone you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. 

25. Thank your followers

A simple thank you goes a long way. Don’t forget to thank you audience from time-to-time and share your genuine appreciation.

SEO basics for bloggers

Free Downloadable Cheat Sheet

In a rush? Grab the downloadable cheat sheet at the end of this post!
DOWNLOAD NOW

BE THE EXPERT

Social Media Content Ideas - Be the Expert

People like to follow social media accounts that provide them with value. You can provide value by being the expert and sharing actionable tips and advice. If you’re not sharing a video tip, be sure to include a photo that will catch the reader’s eye and entice them to read, like, comment or share your post.

26. Industry article

Share an educational or informative article related to your niche topic or industry.  

27. Answer FAQs

Answer a question you tend to get asked a lot. If you’ve recently received a handful of emails or direct messages, most likely there are more people in your audience who will benefit from the answer.

28. Industry fact

Share a fun fact about your industry or niche. This can be as simple as a quote from a great article. Be sure to include the link!

29. Infographic

Who doesn’t love a good infographic? They tend to rack up more engagement and shares than other images. Share an infographic with helpful tips or information for your audience. 

30. Time-Saving Tip

Share a tip that will help your audience be more efficient and save time. These tips are also called “hacks” and they are very popular right now. For example, if you have a parenting blog, share your hack on how to quickly prepare a week’s worth of school lunches. 

31. Money-Saving Tip

Share a tip or “hack” that will help your audience save money. For example, if you’re a food blogger, share how you store your vegetables to preserve their freshness longer

32. Solve a Problem

Have you discovered a simple solution to solve a problem you’ve experienced? Chances are your audience has the same problem. Solve their problem and share your solution!

FAVORITE THINGS


via GIPHY
No, I’m not suggesting you play Oprah and give away a car to all of your followers. Although that would be pretty great! I’m suggesting you give away your “secrets” to your audience and share your favorite things related to your niche.

33. Favorite educational resource

What’s your favorite book or course related to your niche? Include the link for your audience to access or buy it and include a few takeaways or lessons you learned.

34. Favorite tool or software

Is there a tool or resource you can’t live without to do your job or run your business? Share it with your audience! Don’t forget to check if you can earn some affiliate cash by sharing that tool.

35. Favorite product or service

Share a product or service you love and your audience will benefit from. Keep in mind, this is not your own product or service. That comes later, so keep reading.

36. Favorite social profile

Who inspires and motivates you? Who do you learn from? Chances are your audience will love them as well. Share your favorite blogger, influencer or social profile.

TIMELY TOPICS

Social Media Content Ideas - Trending Topics

Timely topics are more difficult to automate and schedule in advance. You can plan for holidays and recurring annual events, but you can’t plan for significant news events, trending topics, or viral videos. When you plan your social media content, be sure to leave room to post about unforeseen news and events as they occur.

37. Federal or religious holiday

Holidays are easy to plan for, but be mindful of your audience. If the majority of your followers live in the United States, stick with United States holidays. A quick Google search will direct you to resources with the dates of holidays recognized by your country or religion. Or, you can grab a copy of my 2018 Social Media Content Calendar. It contains 47 U.S. holidays and national days to celebrate on social media. 

38. Celebrate a national day/week/month

Think, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Nurse’s Week or National Chocolate Day. For a complete listing of all the national (U.S.) and international days/weeks/months, visit: nationalcalendarday.com This site is a treasure trove of fun days to celebrate.

No matter your niche, you can find a day to celebrate. Did you know there is a National Personal Chef’s Day, a National Lash Day, and a National Crayon Day? And those don’t even scratch the surface of the completely strange days. There’s a National Shower with a Friend Day!

39. Trending topic or news event

Is there a major news event everyone is talking about? Share your thoughts on it or share an article with an interesting perspective. Just be mindful not to hitch your wagon to heated political or religious news events that are unrelated to your niche.

Luckily, you don’t have to get involved in polarizing topics to take advantage of trending news. Remember the white and gold or blue and black dress debacle? Be creative and take advantage of trending topics and hashtags to grow your audience.

40. Funny or viral video

Jump on YouTube and see what videos are trending. Make sure to include a teaser in your description that entices your audience to watch the video.

PROMOTE YOURSELF

Social Media Content Ideas - Promote Yourself

If you’re not promoting yourself then why are you bothering with social media? It’s important to promote yourself, but you don’t want your entire feed filled with promotional content. That’s the quickest way to get unfollowed. Most experts recommend following the 80/20 rule. Meaning, only 20% of your social media posts are promoting your own content, products or services.  Notice how I placed this section at the end and it comprises 20% of the 50 social media post ideas? There’s a method to my madness!

41. New blog post

Share your latest blog post. Give your audience a teaser of what they’ll learn or what problem you’re solving in the post.

42. Repurpose old content

Dust off an old blog post and update the images and headline – then share it with your audience.  

43. Share popular content

Take a look at the analytics from your website and social channels to identify your most popular content. Then, share it again! Chances are a large percent of your audience have never seen it.

44. Free download

Share a worksheet, checklist, cheat sheet or other printable your audience can download for free from your website. Drive traffic to your website and watch the subscribers pour in!

45. Product or service

Share one of your products or services. Tell a story about how it solves a problem, saves time, or saves money for your ideal customer. Don’t forget to include a link to a conversion-optimized landing page.

46. Share a testimonial

Share a quote, case study or video from a satisfied customer. Give your audience some social proof to what you’re trying to sell.  

47. Promote your newsletter

Let your audience know what special information or goodies your newsletter subscribers get and encourage your audience to subscribe.

48. Promote your other social profiles

Hopefully, you’re not sharing the exact same thing on all your social channels. If that’s the case, let your audience know what new gems they’ll discover by connecting with you on your other channels.

49. Conduct a contest

Encourage your audience to share your content with others. Track this by creating a unique hashtag, For example, whoever has the most posts with #FollowAngieGensler wins a free copy of my 2018 Social Media Content Calendar.

50. Run a special

If you’re selling a product or service, run a special. You don’t need an excuse to run specials, but it can help to run them around holidays. Think outside the box and beyond the obvious holidays like Black Friday. You can run a special simply because it’s National Hugging Day (January 21st).

SEO basics for bloggers

Now that you know what to post, it’s time to learn how to post. If you’re not taking advantage of social media scheduling tools you’re wasting hours of time each week.  

To learn how to get started with free social media scheduling tools read: How to Schedule Social Media Posts Like a Boss Without Spending a Dime.

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Not sure what to post on social media? Here are 50 ideas and a free downloadable cheat sheet of what to post on social media. #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #socialmediatips

About the Author:

Angie Gensler teaches online business owners how to use online sales funnels and digital marketing strategies to drive traffic, generate leads, and increase sales. She is a seasoned marketing professional focused on keeping it real. This means real simple tutorials and resources that cut out the confusion and provide actionable tips. She is passionate about her family, dance parties, and creating a life worth living!
  • Lydia C. Samson

    Thanks for organizing the cheat sheet. I have so many days where I run out of idea a, so this will help a lot!

  • Irene Gallardo

    I have been struggling with what to share on social media and this post is just so full of value that is extremelly helpful to me. And thank you for the cheat sheet!

    • Hi Irene, you are very welcome! I’m so happy to hear you found the post extremely helpful. Makes it worth all the hours I spent writing it. 😉