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How to Brainstorm Ideas for Social

Running out of ideas for your upcoming social marketing campaigns? Don’t fret. This just means it’s time for a power brainstorm.

How to Brainstorm Ideas for Social

Here are five high-caliber ideas for getting your creative juices flowing again. Some start with our first love, social analytics, and some are slightly more qualitative.

Brainstorm #1: Play Rose and Thorn

Yes, this is a game I typically force my friends to play over a brewski (they love it, I swear…right, guys?), but it’s also applicable to understanding what your social audience wants to see and delivering it.

Ask yourself: What is your social audience’s rose? Which types of things do your audience members look forward to doing the most? Which topics do you know they gravitate towards the most from your previous research and campaigns? On the most basic level: what does your social audience want the most on an everyday basis?

Ask yourself: What is your social audience’s thorn? Which types of things (on social and in life) do your audience members dread the most? How can you empathize with your audience or help them avoid their pain points with your social content, connecting your product with the eradication of the thorn? The topics and campaigns that have generated the greatest fails for your brand (or those you benchmark against) in the past either included this thorn or failed to solve this thorn.

Brainstorm # 2: Audit Your Top Competitor’s Top Posts

No, I’m not suggesting you copy your top competitor, but looking at your top competitor’s top posts for the past month or quarter is sure to get your creative juices flowing again.

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How will it do this?

  • By forcing you to evaluate which characteristics set you apart from your top competitor, and plan social content accordingly
  • By showing you what the audience you wish to dominate gravitates towards 
  • By inspiring you with content types and outlooks you might not have considered previously

We know you’re busy, but setting some regular time aside in your schedule to perform this quick audit will help you stay competitive and refill the creative reserves when you’re running low.

Brainstorm #3: Consultation Time

Schedule time to sit down with an influencer in your industry (or even in your company) and pick their brain. Ask him or her:

  • What are you reading?
  • Where do you think this industry is headed in the next year?
  • Which content would you consume if you could only consume three pieces of social content today?
  • Which resources do you turn to when you’re out of ideas?

By following the conversational roads these questions will send you down, you’re sure to come back to your computer refreshed, inspired, and ready to knock out the research, planning, and measurement written in your stars.

Brainstorm # 4: Conduct a Survey

Take to your social network of choice and ask your audience what they want to see from your brand. Some tips here:

  • Give your audience specific options. For instance, not “A blog post about boats” but “A blog post about a catamaran featuring a special interview with famous catamaran designer Johnny Dexter”
  • Give your audience a previous example. For instance, ask a question like , “Which was your favorite piece of Insert Your Brand Here content during the last Olympics?”
  • Give your audience an incentive. Don’t be afraid to offer an incentive, whether it is merely a chance to win a bigger prize or a guaranteed reward of a $5 Starbucks card

By using tactics like these and conducting a survey, you’ll generate plenty of juicy insight to use when you start your next campaign.

Brainstorm # 5: Check Your Tags

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Look at the hashtags and keywords around your brand that your audience have been responding best to lately. This is especially relevant for Instagram content.

By understanding which tags aid discovery best on Instagram for your brand, you’ll have a bonafide starting point for creating fresh new content that works now.

We’ve given you some solid places to start if you need to pop out of a social marketing rut. If it’s not enough, download our engagement-boosting cheat sheets below for more creative fodder. And let us know what works on Twitter!

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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