We’ll tell you where to look for ideas for new content. Suitable not only for beginners, but also for experienced SMMs.

When you have decided why and for whom you will conduct social networks, it is time to think about how to draw up a content plan. Finding ideas and creating publications is not a quick process. The job of a good specialist is not limited to posting posts written a month ago. The ultimate goal of content is to earn loyalty, promote promotions, and convert your target audience into real customers. Let’s figure out where to look for ideas for new content and what publications should be.

Regardless of what result you expect from your community, quality content should come first – informative, useful and interesting, but also special and attention-grabbing. But what kind of content do people want to share? The New York Times Customer Insight Group conducted a study and identified five main reasons that lead people to post.

What drives people to post on social media: 5 main reasons
What drives people to post on social media: 5 main reasons

Content psychology

Based on the results of the Customer Insight Group research, it is possible to draw several conclusions and understand how to earn user attention.

1. Help your readers to realize themselves… Post useful and educational content. Help solve subscribers’ problems and stay on the same page with them.

2. Get into trust… Publications should not be official or intrusive. Don’t try to sell products and services from the beginning – start from afar and provide general information. Share reviews or write expert content so people understand why you can be trusted.

3. Step into the reader’s shoes… Every time you prepare a new post, look at it from the perspective of the reader. Think about who he is, what he loves, and why he needs to read you. Don’t forget who you are on social media for (no, not your boss).

4. Stay simple… Most people don’t read articles beyond the headline or the first paragraph (at best). If the content looks too complex, the user will probably not delve into it. Below is a rather radical example that clearly shows what simple and complex content looks like.

Simple vs. Complex Content Example: Stay Simple, Readers Love It
Simple vs. Complex Content Example: Stay Simple, Readers Love It

Idea Search Services

There are several tools that will help you create a content plan for posts for VKontakte, Instagram, Facebook. Some of them aggregate headlines, while others offer search for ideas by industry and keyword.

BuzzSumo… In the free version, the service helps to search the Internet for publications by key queries and provides statistics on likes, reposts and engagement. There is also a search for mentions on the pages of bloggers. The search engine searches for content that is most relevant to the query – this is how it helps to find popular destinations.

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BuzzSumo also has paid features: the system provides analytics of its own publications in order to analyze which posts are gaining more responses from the audience. You can also track the content activity of competitors and opinion leaders for key queries.

Simple and intuitive BuzzSumo interface - enter a request and get a list of top publications
Simple and intuitive BuzzSumo interface – enter a request and get a list of top publications
Finding the best authors from niche blogs is easy with BuzzSumo
Finding the best authors from niche blogs is easy with BuzzSumo

Feedly… The tool offers the creation of an RSS feed in which sources can be grouped by topic. This is a good tool for newsjacking – promoting a company through the latest news. The main thing is to correctly integrate your brand into the news.

The disadvantage of this approach is that you need to work quickly, because in a day the news will be of no interest to anyone. And you need to verify the information, so it’s better to use reputable news sources.

Feedly: the latest news on your topic is now in the palm of your hand
Feedly: the latest news on your topic is now at a glance

ContentStudio… There are tools for searching and monitoring popular content, opportunities for selecting publications and drawing up a content plan. The service helps to fill pages in social networks with interesting articles, videos, images, gifs or quotes.

ContentStudio visually resembles Pinterest, adapted for SMM professionals. The mechanism uses sites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and other services, helps to track trends over the past few hours or days. Supports search by region and content in different languages. It would seem that everything is perfect, but you need to register to use the service. After a 14-day trial period, you will have to buy a subscription.

Choose topics that interest you in ContentStudio and track trends
Choose topics that interest you in ContentStudio and track trends
Explore the latest news and plan your social media content with ContentStudio
Explore the latest news and plan your social media content with ContentStudio

Pinterest… Initially, the tool was used as a search for pictures for inspiration. Now it contains a huge number of articles, and therefore ideas for publications. For example, you can borrow a title and prepare your material on this topic. And, of course, find videos and photos to illustrate social media posts.

To find “good” content, it is better to use queries in English – there are more of them, so it becomes easier to find high-quality publications. Moreover, smart algorithms find recommended content based on already saved pins.

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Pinterest has tons of ideas for creating informative, engaging and branding content
Pinterest has tons of ideas for creating informative, engaging and branding content

Wordstat… This free service helps to assess the audience’s interest in a specific topic, learn about trends, find new ideas for publications, see the geography of demand and the influence of seasonality on it. Choose the region you need, enter key queries, analyze the data and draw conclusions.

In Wordstat, you can see statistics on words for the last month + relevant and similar queries (left and right columns), and if you go to the “Query History” tab, you can see the dynamics for 2 years. Search cues also help in finding trends, use them in tandem with the service to find new ideas for a content plan.

Simple and intuitive Wordstat interface: enter the required queries one by one and evaluate the results
Simple and intuitive Wordstat interface: enter the required queries one by one and evaluate the results
Use the Query History feature in Wordstat to see the impact of seasonality on demand
Use the Query History feature in Wordstat to see the impact of seasonality on demand
Use search clues to create your social media content plan
Use search clues to create your social media content plan

Pepper.Ninja… How to make a content plan for VKontakte, Instagram, Facebook and other social networks, if time is running out? Use the Pepper.Ninja audience parsing service. With the help of “Search Communities 3.1” find thematic publics by key queries and other parameters. Collect top posts from communities and draw conclusions about which content the audience likes best.

The parser is available for those who have activated any Pepper.Ninja paid plan or SMMplanner service. But if you have not used the parser before, you have the opportunity to get acquainted with its full functionality for free within three days after registration.

Find interesting communities by keywords and other search parameters with Pepper.Ninja
Find interesting communities by keywords and other search parameters with Pepper.Ninja
Fast parsing in Pepper.Ninja allows you to get a list of publics and find the most popular posts in a few seconds
Fast parsing in Pepper.Ninja allows you to get a list of publics and find the most popular posts in a few seconds

Generator of ideas for posts from SMMplanner. When there are no ideas and it is difficult to find a suitable theme, use the “idea” generator from the deferred posting service SMMplanner. One page contains not just interesting ideas, but real examples with instructions for implementation.

Choose a category, find interesting ideas and adapt them to your community
Choose a category, find interesting ideas and adapt them to your community

Read also:

  • Content plan tools and templates
  • How to make a content plan 5 minutes in advance for months in advance
  • How to write an expert post in 20 minutes or less

Ideas map for content generation

Idea Map or Mind Mapping is a technique that has been talked about since 2008. It involves the use of visual diagrams and connections to display ideas and thoughts.

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Ideas List – First Way to Use Maps… For example, below are some travel blog themes built with Coggle. At the ends of the branches, there are different types of publications and ideas for them. And between the title and the subject – methods of collecting information. With a team brainstorming session in 20 minutes, you can collect many more ideas for a content plan for a month in advance.

The idea map visually displays the thoughts of the team: half an hour of brainstorming and an approximate content plan is ready
The idea map visually displays the thoughts of the team: half an hour of brainstorming and an approximate content plan is ready

The second way is adapting old ideas or repackaging content.… If you write a lot in one direction, it is quite possible to reformat the post or expand it. See what’s new on this topic, add and update information. Below is an example of expanding the idea of ​​”How to navigate in a new city”.

How to expand the idea: a visual diagram of content repackaging
How to expand the idea: a visual diagram of content repackaging

There is also a helpful video tutorial on techniques and techniques for repackaging content. In less than an hour you will learn about all the tricks from the specialists of the school of promotion in social networks SMM.school.

5 tasks to solve when creating a content plan

When you have figured out the search for ideas, you need to create publications. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for making social media posts because content is supposed to create an emotional connection with your audience. Hence, there are five main tasks that need to be solved when preparing content.

  1. Always think about your readers… Study thematic forums, analyze the interests and problems of the audience. If posts don’t match subscriber preferences, even a detailed content plan can fail.
  2. Find your tone… Content will increase loyalty faster if it is associated with a brand. Think about what kind of person will be behind the community. For example, for Facebook, a serious, professional tone is relevant, for Instagram it is more playful and inspiring, for VKontakte it is light and entertaining. Experienced SMMs often use the “golden formula” of content: 40% of entertainment posts, 30% of branded posts, 25% of educational / expert posts, and only 5% of advertising posts.
  3. Tell stories… Social networks are a place for communication with the audience. So make sure the content aligns with the company’s values. Share what matters to your company and audience. For example, a green electronics manufacturer can tell you how to upgrade your computer in an environmentally friendly way.
  4. Try new formats… When compiling a content plan for posts, supplement the texts with audio and video recordings, presentations and illustrations. Readers will quickly get bored with some texts. In addition to standard posts, publish detailed analyzes of specific topics, step-by-step guides, comparisons and reviews, cases, interviews, news.
  5. Know your competitors… The effectiveness of social media promotion is to stand out from the competition. So find the key players and think about what you do best. Study competitors’ social media and analyze audience behavior to understand what topics the market is concerned about. But by no means copy your competitors – be unique.

Developing a content plan for social media will help you reach your goals faster. Do not create content for the sake of content, be sure to think and plan everything, otherwise there is a risk of slipping into procrastination and facing a complete lack of ideas. Feel free to try different types of publications, do not be afraid to ask audience questions, be open and very soon you will achieve reader loyalty.

The article has been updated. First published June 27, 2018