There’s no doubt that social media is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. One of the biggest challenges business owners face when starting on social media is deciding what content to post.But what many business owners don’t realize is that social media can also be a great source of content inspiration.
Let’s be honest – a lot of us may go on social media with the intention of finding some content ideas but it’s so easy to get distracted! We log on to Instagram and the first post that pops up is about one of your college friends getting pregnant or moving to Bali. Or, we logon to Facebook and are immediately thrown down some political rabbit hole we had no intention of getting involved in.
But what if your social media feed worked for you rather than against you? What if you could curate your feed and your explore page so that your feed was an endless stream of ideas rather than distractions?
In this article, we’ll outline five ways to generate content ideas on social media without getting overwhelmed or distracted by the platform you’re using.
How to use social media for content inspiration:
Social media is a great source of inspiration when it comes to content creation. Rather than spending hours figuring out what to post, you can easily login to these platforms, consume a bit of content, and get inspired.
By following the tactics outlined in this article, you can curate your feed or optimize your time spent on social media and make these platforms work for you. Finding content inspiration means finding content similar to that which you could create yourself.
Remember, while it’s ok to get inspired by others, it’s not ok to steal their idea directly. Always try to put your own spin on things and be original, creative and have fun!
1: Follow the Right Accounts
On platforms like Instagram, it’s easy to want to follow all your friends and family members. But if you’re looking for content inspiration, it’s better to follow accounts that are in line with your interests. This can be accounts that post about topics similar to what you write about, or even just aesthetically pleasing accounts.
You can always have a personal page on which to follow your friends and family, but your business page should only be accounts that will serve you content ideas.
A good way to find new accounts is by exploring the hashtags related to your niche. For example, on Instagram you can go to your Explore Page and then search for other dog kennels, dog resorts, pet hotels, or dog influencers/creators.
By looking at competitors, you can:
- See what they’re posting
- Look at what’s performing well and what’s not
- Get inspired on content you can create for your own business
- Find audios to use on IG Reels
By looking at creators in your niche you can:
- Find trending audios on Reels
- Find fun and different ways to jump on trends
- Emulate creator content
Social media trends come and go very quickly and good creators are often quick to jump on trends. By following some of the top creators in your business’s niche, you can easily find out what’s trending sooner and jump on the trend as quickly as possible. By leveraging trending content, you increase your chances of having your videos go viral and reaching more people.
This is much more efficient and way less time consuming than following Kevin from high school and seeing what he’s up to or getting sucked down a political rabbit hole!
2: Look at Hashtags
Hashtags are a powerful tool on certain platforms and can definitely inspire you to create content. Going back to our example of a dog kennel owner, perhaps you can look at hashtags like #dogresort, #dogs or #pethotel. The great thing about searching hashtags on Instagram or Tik Tok is that when you type in a hashtag, it provides a list of related hashtags to explore.
Spend some time looking at hashtags that are relevant to your niche. For example, as an entrepreneur, you could look at #entrepreneur or #smallbusiness. This will give you an idea of what others are talking about and you can find some inspiration for yourself.
Hashtags are packed with information and relevant posts on social media. Use them to your advantage!
Another benefit of looking up content through hashtags is that you can determine which hashtags you should be using with your own content. It’s important to know which hashtags your potential customers are using to find businesses like yours!
Pay attention to the editing styles as well as the content. You may find that certain editing styles are popular in your niche and you could either try something different to stand out or edit your own content in a similar way to capitalize on the trend while it lasts.
3: Explore Pinterest
Pinterest is definitely one of my favorite platforms to spend time on and it’s a great place to look for content ideas.
You can explore popular pins, boards, and even topics. And if you have a business account on Pinterest, you can also see what people are searching for right now. This is an amazing way to get inspired and come up with content ideas that are relevant and timely.
The search feature on Pinterest is pretty robust and it’s easy to find lots of content inspiration in basically any industry or niche. Lot’s of small businesses, entrepreneurs, and creators use Pinterest as an outlet to publish their blog content. In fact, Pinterest is the best platform to leverage in terms of driving traffic to your website.
By pinning your content inspiration to a board, you can keep all your ideas organized in one place. This can be super helpful when you’re in a pinch and aren’t quite sure what content to create.
Agency 8 even has a Pinterest board filled with content ideas for small business owners that you can check out here!
For example, I spend about 30 minutes of time on Pinterest in the morning before work while I’m having my coffee. I’ve noticed that if I start to watch a lot of content about workouts, I’ll see more and more of it in my home feed every time I log on or refresh the feed. If I stop looking so much at workouts and look at recipes, I’ll get a healthy mix of both topics in my feed sprinkled in with a few other pins relevant to my other boards.
This means that if you’re exclusively using Pinterest to research content ideas for your business and relevant topics within your niche, you’ll train your Pinterest algorithm to show you more of this content. Ultimately, this can lead to an endless feed of great ideas delivered to you anytime you open the app!
4: Unfollow the Wrong People
Ok – unfollowing people is hard! Sometimes you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or maybe you really are interested in what Kevin from high school is up to – and that’s fine!
On your business page though, it’s important to keep who you’re following to accounts that are directly relevant to your business. These include:
- Potential customers
- Influencers in your niche
- Other businesses that inspire you
When it comes to political accounts, cute dog accounts, or whatever else it is that you’re into on social media – keep that to your own profile. This way, when you log in to your businesses social media accounts, you can get inspired instead of distracted.
Also, don’t forget that on platforms like Instagram, anyone can see who it is that you’re following. So if you’re wanting to keep your social media business page on the up-and-up, make sure that you’re only following accounts that would reflect positively on your business.
You can always have a personal profile for personal reasons. Keep your business profile about engaging with clients or potential clients and providing inspiration.
5: Read Blogs
Ok – blogs don’t really count as social media necessarily but they can definitely be a great source of inspiration for content. I mean, you’re reading this blog right now!
There’s plenty of meaningful blogs out there that can tell you what content to post for your niche. Find some niched down and industry relevant websites with prolific blogs and save them to your bookmarks bar. As a digital marketer, I have the Later Blog and The Drum US saved to my bookmarks bar so I can stay up to date with what’s trending in my industry.
Pinterest is a great place to find blogs as many bloggers share their content to Pinterest as well. Maybe you even found this article from our Pinterest!
Other ways to find relevant blogs in your niche are by conducting a Google Search. For example “best finance blogs” or “best blogs for entrepreneurs”. You could also ask your audience which blogs they read frequently or that they recommend.
When you find a blog article with engaging content, there’s a few things you could do:
- Write your own blog on the same topic but with your own spin
- Take a new approach to the topic
- Turn the main points into a video
- Tweet about the article
Pay attention to what drew you in to the article in the first place. Was it the title? Was it the introduction paragraph? These are elements you can repurpose for your own content or emulate in order to put your own spin on it.
Or – if you’re still getting distracted, go offline
Sometimes the best ways to get new content ideas for social media are by logging off entirely. Social media is designed to be distracting, so if you’re finding that the above tips aren’t working for you – sign off!
The best inspiration can come when you’re least expecting it, especially when you’ve shifted your mindset to look for content ideas in the world around you.
Take a walk, have a coffee, and jot down any ideas that come to mind. You can always post them later. Reading books, listening to podcasts, and having conversations with co-workers are other great sources of inspiration that don’t involve logging on to social media and giving yourself the opportunity to spend hours scrolling aimlessly through your feed (trust me, I’ve been there).
By following these five tips, you should be able to more easily generate content ideas the next time you log onto social media.
As business owners, it’s so easy to get distracted and pulled away from meaningful tasks by social media. This is why, if you have the budget for it, hiring a social media manager might be the better option for you. A social media manager is generally an expert that understands the ins and outs of social media and someone you trust to maintain your brand’s reputation online.
If you’re the one in charge of your own social media, these tips should help make it easier to get in and out of social media when you need to. Content inspiration for small business owners like yourself can be found all over social media if you just know where to look!
We hope this article helped give you some new ways of finding content for your business!
Happy posting! 🙂