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5 social media post ideas for small business owners

october 24, 2023

Let's face it: Sometimes, coming up with content ideas for your social media channels can be a struggle. It doesn't matter what industry you're in or how much coffee you have consumed that day (or hour, if I'm being honest), sometimes it just takes the brain a little longer than usual to start generating actionable social media post ideas. Lucky for small business owners, there are many different approaches you can take to promote your business on social media.

Here are five content ideas to get you started.

1. Behind the scenes

If there was ever a time to pull back the curtain and give your customers a little more insight into your business or brand, it's now. Authenticity and transparency are key to building trust with your audience. Do you design jewelry? Show how you source or choose your materials for your next creation. Do you own a food truck? Give a quick demo how you cook and navigate in a compact space.

You can get creative with behind-the-scenes content that can make your audience feel like they're getting a peek into how you run your business. That sneak peek builds connection and trust, which ultimately helps build the strength of your brand and relationship with potential customers.

Another angle you can take with behind-the-scenes content is highlighting yourself or handing the reins over to a trusted employee for a "Day in the Life" post. This gives your audience a deeper look into how you or your employees spend the day, from getting ready in the morning all the way through to clocking out in the evening. Check out Instagram stories and TikTok—these are both great platforms on which to create day-in-the-life content.

Example of a "Day in the life" Instagram post.

Pro tip:

Humanizing your brand by showing the faces of the people attached to your business can encourage a deeper connection between you and your audience. This connection can help you develop fans and advocates who are more likely to spread the word about you and your business.

2. Countdown posts & teasers

Are you launching a new product soon? Hosting a sale? Think about generating buzz with a few teaser posts across your social media channels.

Start by creating a series of countdown posts. Decide how far out you'd like to start your teaser promotion and create social media images to reflect the count. For instance, a few days out from launch, you can create social media images like the examples below.

See if you can take it one step further by hiding a hint about what you're launching within your image that will keep your audience guessing about what this new product could be. These types of teasers can generate great engagement.

Pro tip:

If you want to take your post even further, another tactic to boost engagement and excitement is to create a contest and give away your new product as the prize to the lucky winner!

3. Product Unboxing

Product unboxing can be in the form of an image or video (live or pre-recorded) showing yourself, an employee, or a customer unboxing your latest product.

If an image is more your style, a simple photo of the product shown outside of the box and displayed nicely will do the job!

Person creating an unboxing video for social media.

If you decide to shoot a video, start by opening the package to remove the product as opposed to simply displaying the product outright. The buildup helps create excitement. Remember to go slowly and keep your hand steady. Even better, see if you can get a friend or employee to film the unboxing for you—or invest in a tripod.

Need inspiration to help you get started? Head to the search icon on Instagram and type "unboxing" in the search bar. There are plenty of videos and images to look through.

Pro tip:

Consider sending your product to a customer and having them film the unboxing experience. It adds a level of authenticity and surprise when your customer doesn't know what to expect.

4. Ask your audience

It may not be the most obvious solution, but your customers are some of the best resources to help you create great social media content ideas for your business.

Start by creating a social media post asking your audience what they would like to learn more about.

If you're looking for suggestions on how to share this type of post on different social media platforms, here are a few ideas:

  • A poll on your Instagram story, Twitter feed, or Facebook group
  • An "Ask me Anything" session on Instagram or Facebook
  • A multiple-choice post on your Facebook page (Facebook pages do not currently have poll functionality like a group does, so you'll need to write this out as a text or image post, or link to a survey outside of Facebook if you're feeling ambitious)
  • Standard text post across your social media platforms
Example of an Instagram post that asks a question.

If you prefer more control over how your audience will respond, it may be best to use a poll or multiple-choice format so you can narrow down the topics your audience will choose from based on what you're comfortable creating content about in the future.

You can also source social media content ideas from your audience without directly asking them by looking at the comments they've left on your previous posts. This is of course easier to do if you're a business or a brand who has been posting on social media for a while. What were your customers talking about? Were they asking questions? Were they looking for more information about a specific product? Write down all the relevant questions you find and think about how you can create content to answer them.

Example of an Instagram poll post.

Pro tip:

Write down the names and handles of the people who asked these questions. Then, once you've created your new piece of content answering those questions, go back and respond to each comment directly with something like, "Thanks for the question, [@ insert name]! You can see my response in my new post!"

This tactic accomplishes a few things. First, it notifies the person that they have been mentioned and leads them back to your comment. Second, it establishes a connection between you and the other person, which reinforces building trust and friendship with that person. Remember: People like to bond with people, not faceless brands. It also shows other people who leave comments on your posts that you are responsive to your audience and that you care about answering their questions—yet another way to build authentic connections with your followers.

5. Promote your product

Social media is a great tool to help you promote your business. Whether you're launching a new product or promoting a sale, this is an easy way to get the word out and, of course, it can help generate sales.

When designing your promotion for social media, keep it simple and attractive. Make sure your selling point and your call to action are clear. If you're offering a percentage off purchases, call that out. If the sale is happening within a specific timeframe, make sure that's clear in the image or the copy of your post. First impressions are important, especially on social media where attention spans are measured in seconds. Facebook reported the average attention span for a piece of video content on the newsfeed is about 1.7 seconds on mobile and 2.5 seconds on desktop. Always aim to create content that will make a potential customer stop scrolling.

If you need more inspiration, check out our Microsoft Designer templates and browse through stunning AI-enhanced designs you can use as a starting point.

Pro tip:

If you have a budget, even a small amount to spend, this is the type of post you should consider spending advertising dollars on. Paid promotion can help you accomplish many things, including increasing your reach to new customers, boosting awareness with those who already follow you, and enhancing your targeting parameters. If you're new paid advertising, start with a modest budget, test, and learn. Create a few variations of your promotion with different text and imagery to see what performs best.

Further reading

Are you ready for your small business to make a splash on social media? Be sure to check out these other tips and insights from our creative pros:

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