Posting regularly and consistently is a major part of any effective social media strategy. However, it’s completely normal for business owners to feel stuck sometimes and not know what to post.
Here are 23 customizable social media content ideas for small businesses to boost engagement. Most of these social media post ideas can be shared in just a few minutes or can be incorporated into your local marketing strategy.
Sharing your website on social media is a great way to drive traffic to your site. You should be sharing pages like your company blog posts or your company’s job postings when you’re hiring.
On Facebook and LinkedIn, link previews generate automatically when you paste a URL into the caption. If your webpage automatically has a header image, Facebook and LinkedIn will use that for the image preview.
Facebook prioritizes showing links in a link preview format (as opposed to sharing photos and having a link in the caption separately). Facebook found users were more likely to click through links when they were shared as a preview. It’s best to share links this way whenever possible so you can increase your chance of showing up at the top of fans’ news feeds.
How to share a link preview on Facebook and LinkedIn:
- In your caption, include some content about what readers can expect from the website they’re about to visit.
- Avoid using clickbait, but rather let your readers know why they should read or what they’ll get out of the article.
- Copy the URL to the website and paste it into the caption. A link preview should auto generate with photos from your website.
Orbit Local on LinkedIn
2. Build trust with a behind-the-scenes look
Taking your audience behind-the-scenes at your business has multiple benefits. It helps build your community by allowing your prospective clientele see what your business is really like. It also gives followers a deeper understanding of your day-to-day operations. By showing your customers this, it gives them a chance to trust you and see the humans behind the company.
This also gives a sense of exclusivity. By sharing a behind-the-scenes look, your fans will feel like they’re in on something unique that most people don’t get to see.
To share a behind-the-scenes post:
- Pick a day to capture photos or videos of your employees and/or product.
- Select what you’re going to showcase. For example, a dental hygienist might show what they do to prepare for a teeth cleaning and what all of the tools mean.
- Share your post and provide some context in the caption. Using the dental hygienist as an example, their caption might read, “Go behind the scenes with us as we show you how we get ready for your cleaning appointments and what you can expect!”
For more ideas in the dental space, see our dental marketing ideas post.
3. Engage audiences in real-time with live video
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have options to go live. Live video is a great way to engage your audience, especially since social media platforms notify your followers when you’re on air.
You can showcase new products, give a demonstration of your services, or go live from an event for followers who can’t be there with you in person. Going live is also another great way to share a behind-the-scenes look with your audience.
How to go live:
- Before you start filming, decide what you’ll share with your followers and talk about in your live video. If you’d like, you can share an announcement post a few days before letting your followers know when you’ll be going live.
- Log in to your platform of choice: Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
- On Facebook, when you go to create a post, select Live. You can then choose if you are uploading a pre-recorded video as your Facebook Live or if you are going live in real time from your camera.
- On the Twitter app, tap on the compose button. Then, tap on the camera, and tap on Live at the bottom.
- On the Instagram app, tap on the plus button in the top right corner. In the bottom bar that lets you toggle between content types, select Live.
4. Educate your followers with tips or tricks
This establishes you as a trustworthy resource and brings value to your audience through education. Think of the problems you usually solve for your clients. Then, present the answers in the form of social media posts. For example, a dentist’s office can share a tutorial for the best way to brush your teeth.
To share tips and tricks as social media posts:
- Share a photo relevant to the information you’re sharing with your followers. For example, a lawyer sharing courtroom tips may include a photo of their local courthouse.
- List your tips and tricks in a bulleted format.
- Longer formatted captions are called micro-blogs, which have become increasingly popular on social media platforms. Plus, research from Fohr and Later shows that posts with longer captions see higher engagements on social media.
Source: Later and Fohr
5. Highlight products or services with photo or video
Even if you don’t have any physical products that you sell, you can still show off what you offer on your social media profiles! Photos and videos of services and products are a great way to let your followers know exactly how you can help them.
To highlight your products or services:
- Take a photo or video of one of your products or of you performing a service at your business. For example, a veterinarian can show a video of them trimming a pet’s nails or cleaning their ears.
- Share it on your social media pages briefly describing what you’re offering or providing in the caption.
- Include a call to action to let your followers know how to book services with you or buy your product.
@MillsCreekAH on Instagram
6. Establish yourself as an expert by sharing industry news and company updates
Sharing company or industry news to your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. This is especially true for Twitter, where 71% of its users get news from the platform.
How to share news updates to your page:
- Look for mentions of your company or your industry in the news. Following local and business news channels is a great way to stay up to date. You can also regularly check the News tab in a Google search.
- Share the information in a social media post with your followers. Be sure to credit wherever you got the information.
- If there is a news article or blog post to accompany the update, attach it as a link preview on Facebook or LinkedIn by adding the link to the post caption.
Memes are funny, relatable, and trendy, which makes them highly engaging for your fans. Creating memes is simple with the use of meme generators online, or you can design your own with a free photo-editing service.
How to post your own meme:
- To use pre-existing images and popular memes, head to a free website like Kapwing, which allows you to add your own text and search for an image you want to use.
- Select your images and add your text. Like in the example from Target below, try to keep it timely and relevant to your brand.
- Add a fun caption that references your meme. For example, when Target made a meme about fall decor in early October, they mentioned the new season.
@Target on Instagram
8. Get audience feedback with polls
Polls are a super engaging feature you can utilize on Facebook, Twitter, and in Instagram Stories. This is a great way to get customer feedback about anything, including feedback on products and services.
How to post a poll:
- On your Facebook page, click within the post window to expand your options. Click on Poll and type up your questions. You also have the option to add photos for each poll option if your poll only has two answer choices.
- On Twitter, begin to compose a tweet. Click on the poll icon (it looks like a sideways bar graph) and input your options. Include the question for the poll in the body of your Tweet.
- On Instagram Stories, tap on the Sticker image in the top right corner (it’s the one that looks like a sticky note with a smiley face). Select Poll and input your question and answer options.
9. Post about trending holidays that connect to your brand
Holidays are always a great chance to boost your impressions by tapping into trending hashtags and topics. It’s an opportunity for fun, conversational brand awareness posts. Of course you’ll want to wish your followers a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, but there are also a ton of speciality holidays like National Ice Cream Day that you can incorporate into your social media marketing.
One of the great things about utilizing holidays is that you can add them to your social media content calendar well in advance. This way, you can save some time by having these posts planned a few weeks or months in the future.
How to find trending holidays:
- Search on a website like National Day Calendar for holidays that are relevant to your brand.
- Select the holiday you’re interested in posting about to learn more about it. Usually, the holidays will all have their own hashtag that you should include in your post.
- Plan a post that connects your brand to that day and share it on that day.
10. Humanize your brand by highlighting your employees
Showcasing your employees on your company’s social media channels helps make a more human connection between your business and your followers.
One way to do this is to have a #FeatureFriday post every week to share a photo of your employees sharing some fun facts about themselves on Instagram. You can also tap into your team for diversity and inclusion initiatives (like Black History Month features) to share on LinkedIn.
How to showcase your employees on your social media:
- Determine your campaign. Is it getting to know all of your employees just for fun or is it part of a larger diversity and inclusion initiative?
- Create a short questionnaire to have your employees answer. Some of the questions can be random fun facts, but some should tie back to your campaign or your company.
- For example, Starbucks Marketplace asks their employees (called Partners) to tell the audience what their favorite Starbucks drink is.
- Send a note to your team to find out who would like to participate.
- Be sure to take a photo of the team member or request they send along their headshot.
- Use their answers to form a caption.
@StarbucksMarketplace on Instagram
11. Inspire followers with a motivational quote
Inspirational quotes are a great way to amplify a positive brand voice. Sharing some #MondayMotivation can be an easy way to get your fans talking or sharing the post to their own feeds if it resonates with them, which boosts your brand exposure.
To share a motivational quote:
- You can use a free website with templates like on Canva to create your own with a quote. Just be sure to credit whoever said the quote you featured in your graphic.
- You can also find photos of quotes online. Give photo credit in your caption to whoever you sourced the quote from.
@healthyhumanlife on Instagram
Sharing user-generated content (UGC) is a great way to engage your followers and build trust at the same time. UGC shows your followers what your business is like from the point of view of a fellow client or customer, which adds a layer of transparency and trust. Plus, loyal fans like to see their photos featured by brands they love!
How to share user-generated content:
- Look on Instagram and Twitter to see if anyone has shared photos that mention or tag your company’s name. You can also search for hashtags of your company’s name and, if your business has a physical location, the location tag on Instagram as well.
- Leave a comment on the post asking if you can reshare their photo with credit on your official accounts.
- Example: “Great photo! Can we feature this (with credit!) on our official social media accounts? If so, please reply “yes” in the comment below.”
- If you’re sourcing a lot of UGC, it may help to include a hashtag for the user to reply with (such as #YesCompanyName). This way, you can search the hashtag and see everyone who has replied.
- If the user agrees, screenshot the photo.
- Re-upload the image with your own caption on your social media profiles. At the end of the caption, include “Image credit: @username”
13. Ask for user-generated content
If you want to share UGC from your customers or clients but don’t have any, don’t be afraid to ask! Even if you don’t love all of the photos you receive, this still is a great way to build brand awareness through online word-of-mouth.
To ask for user-generated content:
- Share a post with a photo of your business.
- In the caption, tell your followers that you’d love to hear from them and see their experiences.
- Encourage them to share their photos on their pages and to tag your username with an @mention or to use a hashtag for your company, like #CompanyName.
14. Attract job seekers with employee testimonials
On your LinkedIn profile, sharing employee testimonials is a great way to highlight your company culture. You can pull anonymous reviews from Glassdoor and Indeed and repurpose them into graphics to give job seekers a look at what it’s like to work for your company from the point of view of an employee.
Ways to turn a Glassdoor or Indeed review into a post:
- Take a screenshot of your favorite Glassdoor or Indeed review and use it as the photo. Optionally, you can overlay it onto a photo of your business.
- Alternatively, you can use the review in quotation marks as the post copy to a photo of your employees.
15. Host a contest or giveaway to boost engagements and followers
Hosting a contest or giveaway is a great way to quickly boost your engagements and followers, even if it’s something as simple as branded sunglasses or a t-shirt, because – you guessed it – everybody loves free stuff. You can also use giveaways and contests to promote new products by giving one away to drum up extra excitement.
How to host a giveaway:
- Share a post with an image highlighting what you are giving away.
- In the caption, let people know how much time they have to enter.
- Tell your fans that they need to be following your page and leave a comment to enter.
- In your caption, also be sure to mention that the giveaway is not affiliated with any social platform.
- Once you select your winner, ask them to send you a private message with any information you may need (such as mailing address) to get their prize to them.
@imbuilt on Instagram
Social media takeovers can bring a fresh perspective and new audiences to your social media accounts. When hosting a takeover, the person that will run your account for the day will make an announcement on their own page, which drives traffic to your business’s pages.
Companies will work with an influencer, business they partner with, or even employees. For example, Disney Parks had a security officer at Walt Disney World and Disneyland take over for the day to show a day in their life on the job.
To host a social media takeover:
- Select who will be posting on your account for the day.
- Notify your followers in advance with an announcement post about the upcoming takeover and what they’ll be sharing.
- For example, a cleaning service may partner with an influencer who will talk about their experience working with the company.
- Alternatively, the cleaning company could have one of the employees take over for the day to show what it is like as they work on someone’s house.
- Share the account login information with the person taking over. You should change your password for the day if they’re not already a part of your team.
- The person hosting the takeover will share a post from your account introducing themselves and reminding your followers that they are taking over for the day.
17. Use eye-catching GIFs to make people stop scrolling
Both Twitter and Facebook have features that allow you to add GIFs to posts. This is an easy, fun way to engage with your audience if you feel stuck and like you have no images to post!
You can also ask people to reply with GIFs related to the one you shared. For example, you could share a GIF that says, “Good morning!” and ask your followers to reply with GIFs that describe their mood.
How to add GIFs to a post:
- On Facebook, click the GIF icon in the status box to search for a GIF to add to your post.
- If you do not have this option, you can head to Giphy’s website to search for a GIF you want to use.
- Once you find your GIF on Giphy’s website, you can click on the Facebook upload button within the GIF detail page.
- On Twitter, when you go to compose a Tweet, click on the GIF button to search for and select a GIF to add to your post.
@MegaConOrlando on Twitter
From company news to new products or services, there are plenty of opportunities to share teasers on social media. You can let your audience know that something new and exciting is coming, which gives new viewers an incentive to follow and visit your page more frequently.
You can also use the Countdown sticker in your Instagram Stories to help drum up the excitement. With this feature, people can tell Instagram to remind them when your countdown ends, which brings them back to your profile.
How to post a teaser:
- Using a template like this one on Canva, create a graphic to tease your upcoming event, news, or product launch.
- You can customize the template to match your brand’s colors to stay consistent with the rest of your content.
- In your Instagram Stories, tap on the sticker icon and select Countdown.
- Customize the sticker with the name of your countdown and when it should end before posting.
19. Inform your audience with infographics
Infographics can increase your web traffic by 12%, so you’ll definitely want to incorporate them into your content strategy. Sharing information this way is easy for users to digest.
To make and share an infographic:
- Choose a topic relevant to your brand that you can share a handful of facts about in an order that flows.
- Many websites offer free infographic templates and have free elements like graphics and stock images you can add. You can also download some free templates from Hubspot.
- Introduce the infographic with some context in your caption, but don’t give away too much information so that way people will read through your infographic.
20. Post client testimonials and feedback
If your clients leave a positive review on Google, Yelp or other online business directories, you can share that as a social media post! According to Nielsen, the second most trusted source of information about brands are online reviews. People are going to social media to seek out reviews on businesses, so highlighting some of your best ones is a great way to build consumer trust.
To share client testimonials:
- Take a screenshot of your favorite review and use it as the photo.
- In your caption, be sure to include a call to action to let people know how to contact you for your services.
Orbit Local on Facebook
While on client/customer reviews, always be sure to respond to reviews, even negative ones. Wanna know how? Check out our guide that teaches you how to respond to Google reviews.
21. Gain exposure by participating in Twitter chats
A Twitter chat is a scheduled time for Twitter users with common interests to discuss a certain topic in their niche. These are sometimes hosted weekly or monthly. They usually last around an hour and have their own hashtags.
A host or group of co-hosts will ask a series of questions throughout the hour. When responding, it’s best to be authentic and focus on genuine engagement rather than necessarily trying to push sales.
How to do this:
- Find a Twitter chat relevant to your niche. For example, if you’re a travel company, you may look up “travel Twitter chat” on Google or even within Twitter itself.
- Follow the co-hosts of the chat to stay up to date.
- See if the co-hosts have shared the schedule online. Some of them will share the questions in advance so people can prepare their answers.
- When the chat starts, reply to the Tweets with the chat hashtags.
- Respond to others in the chat to humanize your brand.
@Hootsuite on Twitter
22. Educate your followers by hosting Q&A sessions
Also known as an AMA (short for “ask me anything”), hosting a Q&A session builds trust with your followers by showing transparency. Q&A sessions grew in popularity on reddit and are now fairly common on Facebook and Instagram Stories.
As followers ask questions, you can answer them in real-time by responding to comments or sharing the answers on your Instagram Stories if you’re using their question box.
How to do this:
- On Facebook and Twitter, share a post asking followers if they have any questions about your company or a specific product or service. They can leave a comment on Facebook or reply on Twitter with any they might have.
- On Instagram, share an Instagram story using the Questions sticker for followers to ask questions.
- Answer comments and replies on Facebook and/or Twitter in real-time, and share answers within your Instagram stories.
- After your Q&A session is over, you can use the questions to create an FAQ infographic to share on your feeds.
23. Ask your followers questions
You can create a post asking your followers questions to boost engagements. Asking a question is an easy way to prompt your followers to start a conversation.
You can also do this to ask your followers what kind of content they’d like to see more from you or if there are any products or services they’d find helpful.
How to do this:
- Decide what you want to ask your followers.
- Create a post with your question as the caption.
- Use an eye-catching image that is related to your question for the photo.
- Respond to comments to keep the conversation going.
- After about 24 hours, take a look at the sentiment of the posts. Take note of the answers and tailor future posts accordingly.
Steal Our Social Media Content Ideas for Your Small Business
These social media post ideas can be adapted to any business and are a great place to start if you’re feeling stuck or have just launched your online presence. If you’re ready to grow your presence on social media platforms, contact Orbit Local today! We offer custom social media marketing for small businesses looking to increase brand awareness and connect with their audience.