THE BLOG

8 Powerful Types of Social Media Update to Try Today

06/25/2015 09:43 am ET | Updated Jun 25, 2016

Do you find yourself struggling to know what to tweet, or what updates to post on Facebook?

Social media demands a constant stream of content if you want to remain visible. It's easy to get stuck in a rut: maintaining your audience but failing to grow your following.

You're probably using social media to share your latest blog posts and product news, driving traffic to your site -- but you could be getting even more mileage from your social media accounts by trying out some of these other types of update.

1. Link to Someone Else's Content

How often do you share a link to your own content versus to someone else's? By promoting other people's great content, you create a win/win/win situation. You help them out by sending them some traffic, you help your audience out by highlighting great content to them, and you position yourself as an expert with your finger on the pulse of what's happening in your niche.

Every day, find at least one great piece of content (a blog post, infographic, free ebook, etc) to share with your audience. Do this for a full month and see what results you get.

2. Share a Great Quote

You've probably seen a fair number of inspirational quotes on Facebook or Pinterest. I'm not suggesting you dust off anything that seems a bit trite -- instead, look for great quotes from individuals in your industry. Make sure you tag the person you're quoting, if they're on social media.

The easiest way to do this is with a retweet (Twitter) or share (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). Find someone else's great update and put it in front of your audience. This has similar benefits to linking to their content.

3. Ask a Question

You may well find yourself answering questions on social media, especially if that's where you offer customer support -- but do you ever ask questions? A quick poll on Facebook or question on Twitter can allow you to easily get a sense of what your audience thinks about a particular issue.

Come up with a couple of ideas for blog posts, and ask your audience which one they'd prefer. You can also do this with product ideas, ebook cover designs, competition prize options. I did this with my product OptinMonster in targeted Facebook groups and found great success.

4. Share One of Your Older Posts

Hopefully, you share all your new content on social media. But what about older content?

Every blog has evergreen posts that've been in your archives for weeks or months that are still relevant to your audience.

Often new users don't see these unless you make a point of sharing older posts on a regular basis. You could include "From the archives" or similar to let people know it's not new.

Choose one of your most popular posts of all time, and share it. You might be surprised how much extra attention it gets (and you'll likely see it get shared multiple times).

I use a combination of Buffer and the BulkBuffer tool to share at least four ever-green articles on Twitter for my site WPBeginner.

5. Use an Image

Images invariably do well on social media. But it can be tricky deciding what to use. If you're sharing a blog post, make sure the featured image is included (check that Facebook, for instance, is pulling through the one you want -- you can select the image before posting your update).

Otherwise, look for opportunities to share images that humanize you and your brand -- perhaps a candid shot from a staff training day, or a shot of you working in a coffee shop.

Find at least one opportunity this week to share an image that's not simply one from a blog post. Bonus points if you can make people laugh (see No. 6, below).

6. Share Something Funny

Humor goes down very well on almost every social media site (LinkedIn is a little more serious, but you can definitely get away with some light-heartedness there). You definitely don't need to be a comedian, but posting an update that raises a smile will help your audience grow to like you and your brand even more.

An easy way to get started with this is to combine it with No. 2: find an amusing quote that's relevant to your audience and share it.

7. Run a Contest

Contests and giveaways are great ways to get some buzz going (though do be aware of different social networks' requirements surrounding these -- you can find Facebook's policy here, under "Promotions"). You could do something as simple as giving a free downloadable ebook to everyone who tweets about your company. Or you could run a full contest with a number of prizes.

Start simple, by giving away a piece of digital content (e.g. poster, infographic, mini-ebook) to everyone who tweets about you. You can automate this with Pay with a Tweet.

8. Promote Other People

As well as promoting content from other businesses, you can find individuals to promote on social media. You might do this by simply recommending them as someone to follow (perhaps through Twitter's #FollowFriday), or by writing a longer endorsement of them. You can even do this to help promote individuals in your own company, or freelancers you work with, perhaps by sharing brief details about a particular company win they've been involved with.

Every day, choose one new person in your network to highlight. Reciprocity will soon kick in, and you'll find that people want to promote you and your company in return.

Which of these eight types of updates will you try today? Let me know in the comments. (And if you have a ninth suggestion for the list, leave that below too.)