11 Ways to Create Engaging Social Media Content
If you’re here right now, we’re guessing it’s for one of three reasons.
One, you are running low on time, energy, or ideas for social media content. Two, managing social media feels like a burden and you need help making the process easier. Or three, you’ve invested many efforts in creating content but didn’t get the engagement you envisioned.
We know piloting the social media plane can sometimes feel like bearing the weight of the world—especially if you’re a small business owner or an all-in-one digital marketer.
And you may think you’re not a mighty globe-carrying titan, but we beg to differ.
You can create engaging social media content without sacrificing your sanity, spending your whole marketing budget, or abandoning social media practices entirely.
We hope these 11 tips give you more confidence to engage your audience, help your brand stand out, and make carrying the world a bit easier.
1. Be a Storyteller
People thrive on stories, especially stories that move them.
It’s easy to tell a user how great your brand or product is. Instead, challenge yourself to show the product in action. Create a relatable character who resonates with your audience, introduce their conflict, and show readers how the character found a solution.
Storytelling can be incorporated on all social media platforms, although some are different than others. Platforms like Facebook or Instagram allow for more lengthy storytelling, while Twitter has a stricter character limit.
One fantastic example of social storytelling comes from Emmy winner Oneika Raymond. She is a world travel influencer and on-camera host who has traveled to 120 countries.
In this post, like many others, her stories as a Black female entrepreneur, mother, and world traveler inspire others to see a world outside their comfort zone.
Other mothers and female entrepreneurs relate to Raymond’s story, while also selling herself—her brand—as a traveler. The images show what her life is like to help create that genuine connection.
In many of her Facebook and Instagram posts, she uses four elements of storytelling.
Single Grain details these five points, maintaining that storytelling is a message shared in the form of a story. What are they?
- Choose a relatable character
- Present the best elements first
- Create a conflict
- Tell a story the audience will listen to
- Craft an authentic story
Including these five elements can be a great start in reaching your target audience in different ways.
In short, make your content more meaningful with stories. This could entail talking about what employees enjoy most about their job, what the business’s mission is, or how the business was created.
2. Make It Relevant
Customers love to read content that’s relevant to them, whether it’s humorous, sad, angering, or realistic.
People enjoy memes because they draw attention to things that frustrate them, make them laugh, or make them grateful to be alive. This LinkedIn post from Semrush is a great example.
Most of us can relate to this meme because we either watched the 2022 Oscars or heard about it on social media, making its timeliness relevant to users.
Model after this LinkedIn post by creating engaging and relevant content:
- Speak to a customer’s pain points
- Follow current trends (national holidays, celebrity news, etc.)
- Appeal to emotions (sadness, frustration, joy, fear, etc.)
- Share a personal experience or challenge
In short, use relatable moments in visually creative ways to connect with your audience.
You can also create more relevant content by viewing the most engaging posts from your competitors. From there, model after those high-performing posts and incorporate similar ones into your own strategy. This can easily be done using the Semrush Social Media Tracker.
3. Utilize User-Generated Content (UGC)
When you’re struggling to create content or you’re just out of time, let your customers generate it for you. Create a social media challenge or contest to cultivate user-generated content (UGC).
Apple’s Shot on an iPhone campaign challenged customers with an iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Max to shoot photos using the macro function then post them on Instagram using the hashtags #shotonaniPhone or #iPhonemacrochallenge.
After the contest ran for nearly a month, a team of Apple staff and expert photographers chose the best content and shared it on their platforms. The challenge already generated nearly 60,000 posts for Apple. Customers are still sharing their photos, even though the contest is over.
To create your own UGC, you could start with a contest similar to Apple’s, or you can ask customers to get more creative. Ask them to send videos unboxing the product, engage them in a design remix challenge that spotlights the product, or have them take photos of them using the product.
4. Use Employee-Generated Content (EGC)
If you’re running low on social media content ideas and need something fresh and new, have your employees add their perspectives to the mix.
Employee-generated content (EGC) can improve brand trust for customers, provide a fresh perspective, and help lighten the social media manager’s load.
Implement EGC by:
- Using employee-led social media takeovers
- Allowing them to share their work-life experience
- Asking them to provide a week’s worth of posts for each quarter
- Letting them create videos educating customers on the product or service you’re selling
Below is a great example of employee-generated content:
On a final note, don’t force your employees to participate in your social media strategy. You may not get the best result. Instead, encourage passionate employees who are comfortable with social media content creation to participate.
5. Share Customer Testimonials
Small businesses strive for great reviews because reviews put them at the forefront of online search. Reviews and testimonials can impact the brand’s reputation and help a company build trust with potential customers.
In fact, 67% of customers make their buying decisions based on a review or testimonial. Therefore, sharing positive testimonials on social media is a great tactic.
Show them off with beautiful graphics or short videos. This video from Omada Health is a great example.
6. Share Content From Other Brands
Not all social media content has to be created by you alone. One effective social media tactic is to share articles or posts from other brands. As long as they relate to your industry and aren’t coming from competitors, articles from other brands can be valuable to your audience.
It also gives your audience a bit of a break from your brand so they don’t become fatigued with your content.
Scour the internet or use RSS feeds (see tip 8) for great articles, then easily share them using the Semrush Social Media Poster.
With one click, the Semrush Social Media Poster allows you to instantly share online content to your social media platforms or schedule it for another time.
7. Offer a Backstage Pass to Customers
Seeing how things or people work behind the scenes can be intriguing to some followers.
If you’re proud of how efficiently you pack an order, how you foster a good work culture, or how you brainstorm ideas, use that to your advantage.
You may have seen this trend on TikTok recently. For example, small business owners record themselves packing an order or showing how they create a resin coffee tumbler.
This TikTok video from Pearlury is a great example.
Videos like this are both satisfying to watch and a creative way to share social media content.
An RSS feed is a data file that shows updates from a website in listicle form. As the website adds a post or article to their site, the RSS feed is updated.
Within the Semrush Social Media Poster, you can gather content ideas by adding RSS feeds from your favorite blogs or resources. This element of the tool can be helpful in a crunch and in scheduling out social media content.
You can add up to five different RSS feeds from other websites to help generate great social media content ideas.
If you find a content idea that suits your topic for the day or the week, just click the button to “schedule” the post, and you have content for that day.
9. Create Beautiful Graphics
We are visual creatures. The brain processes images and videos 60,000 times faster than text can.
So, when planning your social media content, switch it up with some beautiful branded graphics.
You don’t need to be a designer to make graphics that speak to your audience. Web-based platforms like PicMonkey make it possible and easy.
PicMonkey offers you a variety of templates to help you create posts for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
All you have to do is choose a template and start creating.
For maximum reach, try this #Instagram hashtag strategy ð
#️⃣ 3-5 popular hashtags (300,000+ posts)
#️⃣ 3-5 moderately popular (80,000 – 300,000)
#️⃣ 3-5 niche specific
#️⃣ 1-2 branded hashtags
More details ð https://t.co/lgGwkDRrED via @jenns_trends of @SMExaminer
— Semrush (@semrush) January 18, 2020
Too many hashtags or hashtags that aren’t relevant can decrease the likelihood of engagement and interrupt social media content strategy.
Hashtags are supposed to help you reach people across social media. But if you’re using hashtags that people don’t follow or hashtags that don’t relate to your content, you may not be reaching the widest audience possible.
Here are some helpful tips on using hashtags:
- Do your research
- Target hashtags with both high and low competition
- Keep them simple and not too wordy
- Make sure hashtags are spelled correctly
- Use trending hashtags when you can
- Don’t use too many hashtags—this depends on the platform, but less is usually more
- Use your branded hashtags
Researching the right hashtags is key to your social media strategy. Grab a spreadsheet to help you organize the hashtags that best suit your brand.
11. Repurpose Existing Content
Sharing the same blog posts again and again on your social media accounts will bore your followers.
Now that you have a wealth of social media content ideas at your disposal, try these easy ways to repurpose your content for social media sharing:
- Take quotes from your blogs and make them into graphics
- Record podcasts or audio clips of your blog posts
- Make short text-based videos about blog posts
For example, E! Online does a great job of using a quote from an article on Instagram.
For a story about the Bridgerton Series, E! Online used a picture and a quote from actor, Jonathan Bailey, that directs the user to the link in the bio where they can read the entire article.
Don’t forget, creating graphics like this one can be easily done using PicMonkey.
Empower Your Social Media Content Strategy with Semrush
Social media content creation doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. These ideas can help you change the way you create, distribute, and analyze your content.
When used correctly and in unison, you will have more time for other areas of your business or marketing. When you achieve results, you get engagement. When you get engagement, the number of leads increases as well as customer retention and loyalty.
It also helps to have every tool available to make creation and distribution that much easier.
Thankfully, Semrush has a Social Media Toolkit bundled with everything you need to bring your social media content ideas to life.
And for our final advice—enjoying the process of social media content creation can be empowering. And when the process feels easier, that enthusiasm shines through.