The Most Innovative Social Media Content Ideas 2021

A mold of a human head but the face itself is missing. Instead, there is a hole with a lightbulb in the center. The image is like looking inside of a person to see what ideas they are thinking up, which is what this blog about the most innovative social media posts of 2021 is all about.
A mold of a human head but the face itself is missing. Instead, there is a hole with a lightbulb in the center. The image is like looking inside of a person to see what ideas they are thinking up, which is what this blog about the most innovative social media posts of 2021 is all about.

Content is still king in social media management. It provides the foundation for your social media strategy beyond coupons, ad videos, and sales pitches. Content is what makes your brand look and sound real and positions you as a leader in your field.

That said, we’re well past the days when a brand could create content for the sake of content and expect it to “work.” It’s not really about the content itself, but rather the personality and intentions behind it.

Today, effective content is all about purpose and strategy. Your content should not be self-serving. but rather able to leave your audience a little better than you found them.

What does it take to create innovative social media content in 2021? Here are our top insights, suggestions, and favorite examples.

Table of Contents:

What Is Social Media Content?

Desktop computer with video and social icons.

Let’s start with a definition. Social media content is any content (e.g. blogs, images, videos, quizzes, infographics, etc.) created specifically for social media. Content can take a wide range of forms and be used for various purposes.

For example, a brand might create a meme to form an emotional connection with its audience. Or, you might share a behind-the-scenes video of how you create a fan-favorite product.

While social media content can be repurposed for other channels, the primary characteristic is that it’s designed to target social audiences.

What Is Social Media Content Marketing?

Social media content marketing can be described as the intersection where social media and content marketing meet. Brands can optimize their content created for content marketing and share it on their social media channels.

This is a great way to get even more mileage out of every content idea you create. Your target audience has a greater chance of seeing your content, which in turn can drive higher social media engagement.

Though social media content and content marketing have a lot of overlap, the two aren’t quite synonymous.

At its heart, content marketing is all about providing value to the target audience. This usually takes the form of blogs, white papers, infographics, and how-to guides and videos, for example.

Your social media content can be these things, too. But they can also be user-generated content, memes, GIFs, creative videos and images, and many other types of digital marketing content that only make sense for social media marketing.

Why Do You Need Social Media Content?

Every social media marketing strategy depends on content, whether it’s interactive media, user-generated content, your take on industry news, or repurposed content from other digital marketing campaigns.

Without content, your target audience has less reason to engage with you on social media. They have nothing to share on their newsfeeds with their own audience. There’s very little for them to remember you by as they’re scrolling through their friends’ pictures, funny videos, and even advertisements.

But when you have social media content, your brand starts to develop a presence beyond status updates.

Content plays an important role in achieving your digital marketing objectives. It helps to position you as a thought leader. It boosts brand recognition and audience engagement.

Eventually, you can start to build long-term relationships with your audience by constantly engaging with them. This can translate into greater brand equity, higher revenue, and an edge over your competition.

How to Create Content for Social Media

Creating content for social media can take many forms: immersive experiences, content series, contests, Q&As, and more. These content formats usually follow a social-first approach, but can often be repurposed for other channels.

A popular format is Ask Me Anything (AMA), where brands schedule real-time Q&As from the audience. This gives brands a chance to show off a personal side, plus you can raise awareness about your brand without coming off as salesy. In addition, this is a great opportunity to flex your expertise in your field.

If you’re aiming for high value, turn your customers’ most frequently asked questions into social media post ideas or even social media campaign ideas. You’ll have content ideas for weeks, plus you’ll be telling your audience things they actually want to know.

Social media takeovers are fun for brands and audiences alike. A brand can hand over access to its social media account to one of its marketers or an influencer or fan. That person controls the account for 24 hours and documents fun experiences, kind of like a Day in the Life of that person.

If there’s a holiday coming up, you might create holiday social media content to capitalize on current audience sentiments.

And sometimes, creating on-brand content for social media means letting your audience do all the work for you. This is called user-generated content, where your audience creates their own images, videos, and other content specifically for your brand. UGC might be part of a planned brand campaign, or it could happen organically.

Start by exploring the content possibilities for each platform. For example, LinkedIn has its own tool to create a blog post, while Instagram offers IGTV for video content and Instagram Stories and hashtag options for images. Also, think about your social media followers on each channel and what they might be interested to see. 

No matter which social media platforms you’re using, make sure you check out our guide on what not to share on social media.

4 Ways to Build Your Social Media Content Strategy

Now that you know more about the nuts and bolts of social media content, it’s time to use them to build a full-blown social media content strategy.

Your strategy is a game plan that gives you a map to follow. And like any map, you need to know where you’re going with your strategy so you can achieve your goals and get the most click-throughs from your efforts.

Let’s look at some ways you can build a social media content strategy:

Go Deep on One Social Media Platform

One content marketing strategy is to put all your digital eggs in one social media basket. You can focus your efforts on creating the best content for just one channel instead of spreading your resources thinner across multiple channels.

There are big benefits to this: for starters, you can get to know that social platform’s audience better and more deeply. In turn, this helps you create more content that caters to them.

The downside, of course, is that you’re only reaching people on that channel unless they cross-promote or re-share your content on other platforms (e.g. sharing a TikTok video to Facebook). And if that platform changes its algorithm, well, then you might have a hard time reaching your audience in the same way that you are used to.

Spread Out on Multiple Platforms

The opposite strategy is to create a content strategy for multiple social media platforms. For example, instead of sticking with just Facebook, you can also include Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter. You can expand your reach and don’t necessarily have to start from scratch with all of your content. 

However, more platforms mean more work. You still need enough social media ideas to fill up all of your channels. Decide if your marketing resources will allow you to create high-quality content for multiple channels and multiple social media campaigns.

Let Your Goals Guide Your Content Development

Social media content marketing doesn’t start with content. You first need to figure out what you want your content to accomplish, then work backward from there.

For example, do you want to raise brand awareness? If so, then you might want to try your hand at creating viral content. If you want to grow your email list, then you’ll need some top-of-the-funnel content to encourage sign-ups and followers. Figure out your goals, then create content to support those goals.

Plan Your Content Mix

Planning ahead isn’t always an option for social media content marketers, especially when they want to capitalize on something new or trendy. But what you can plan for is the type of content in your social content mix.

Explore the different content options and formats for each channel (e.g. interviews, behind-the-scenes, Q&As, social media takeovers, live video, etc.) and create guidelines on how to use each of them. When opportunities arise to share something timely on social media, you can jump right into action.

Tools for Social Media Content Marketing

Using tools like a social media planner can make the life of a content marketer more organized and less time-consuming. Social media planners analyze your metrics, streamline the process of social media publishing, and can even post on your behalf.

This way, you have more time to spend on content creation to generate a product that's shareable, relevant, well-rounded, and lives up to your high brand standards.

Meltwater

Social media content calendar.

Naturally, our favorite solution is Meltwater’s all-in-one platform that lets you create, manage, and optimize your social media content calendar. Monitor your brand’s social presence across multiple platforms, gain insights into your social analytics, and watch for branded PR coverage, all within the same interface.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite content calendar.

If you’re looking for a more basic social media content tool, Hootsuite has you covered with an easy-to-use interface and low monthly pricing. You can schedule posts ahead of time and combine all of your social channels into a single tool. Hootsuite also includes an image asset library for easier asset management so you can visualize your content strategy at a glance.

MeetEdgar

MeetEdgar content calendar.

If you like the idea of done-for-you social content, MeetEdgar is an indispensable social scheduling tool. Connect it to your blog to automatically scrape new posts and write social media captions on your behalf. You can also override the automation features to tweak your own copy or make your own posts from scratch.

Innovative Ideas for Social Media Content to Try Today

Ready to start standing out on social? Remember, it’s not just about creating content for the sake of content. You want to make sure that what you’re posting is something your target customer needs, wants, or likes. Be valuable to them, and do it in a way that also lets your brand’s personality shine through.

Try these fun social media content ideas to start growing (and impressing!) your audience.

Helpful Facts

Helpful facts for getting people to know your products.

Help people get to know your products and things related to your industry. Bite-sized pieces of information tend to stay with users longer and ensures they take something away from your post. 23andMe has mastered this with its genetics-related snippets on IG.

Company Culture

Sales man on the phone.

Who knows your brand better than fellow employees? Put willing employees in the spotlight, especially those who usually work behind the scenes and don’t often get a chance to connect directly with customers. HubSpot’s “Day in the Life” series on Instagram is all too relatable and shows off the struggles of the job in a humorous way.

Brand News

Small business owner profile.

Partnering with a high-profile client? Busting sales record after sales record? Launching a new product? Don’t be afraid to celebrate your wins with your audience. This helps establish credibility and social proof, and can show people why you’re the real deal.

Google shares brand news all the time, like its recent donation of $1.25M to the National Congress of American Indians to support Native American-owned small businesses. In their post, they also highlighted one of the recipients of some of the funding.

Inspirational Content

Inspirational photos of products.

The most engaging content is the kind that moves people to do something with what they’ve just seen or heard. Try highlighting your product in a different way to show off its potential. Oreo does an excellent job of this on IG with its collection of inspiring recipes and even videos on where you can hide your cookie stash!

Ready to start creating your social media content strategy? Reach out today to see how Meltwater empowers you to be social!

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