I’m always looking for things to post on my social media that are both interesting and engaging. I’ve tried many ideas and the list below are my favorites! In the world of social media, the more people are liking, sharing, and commenting on your posts – the more exposure and engagement you have with prospects and potential fans. It seems counter-productive to say this, but I’ve found that the less promotions and sales related content I share, the more engagement and exposure I get. The reason for this is because social media was meant for people to be social. When you’re out socializing among friends, the last thing you want to do is be sold on something by a brand. The same holds true on social media sites. Your fans are fans because they want to get to know you, not be sold by you. Hence the dilemma! How do you accomplish your marketing and promotions goals, without marketing and promoting? The trick is to not promote and market as much, but to socialize more and often. This will spark your fans to do the marketing and promoting work for you through their sharing, liking, commenting, and engaging on your posts. Here are 20 ideas for accomplishing just that.
1. Host an opinion poll. If you can find some hot topic trend or something controversial that would be great. The more controversial, the better. People love to argue their points especially on social media. Figure out a way to use that to your advantage.
2. Ask fans to vote on picture or album cover or t-shirt options.
3. Ask for help with a problem you might have. Be genuine. Your fans want to help and they want to feel like the’ve made a difference. Give that opportunity to them.
4. Share what you are doing for your weekend or holiday, and ask what your fans are doing for their weekend or holiday.
5. Post a song demo or a video and ask for their honest thoughts on it. Be specific and ask for their thoughts on something in particular. It encourages them to listen or watch, as well as comment.
6. Something that is really popular right now are memes. Create a bunch of them and post them throughout the week. Do you have some jokes or deep thoughts on a topic? Those are great to add along with a picture of you making a funny face. You can create them for free here.
7. Try posting candid shots of you doing daily tasks, for example – a photo of you sending your mail order CDs at the post office or putting together your set list, or a picture of you writing a song, or setting up for your show. People love to see you doing your job. They don’t get to hang out with you because they’re at work, but they might enjoy the opportunity to live vicariously through you.
8. Write interesting facts about yourself or your band. How you got started in music, or the meaning behind one of your songs are a couple examples.
9. Run a sharing promotion or contest. Ask your fans to share one of your posts. Have them comment on the post saying “DONE” or “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.” Then do a random drawing from among those who posted and offer something really cool like a CD or something from your merchandise to one lucky winner. It get’s people sharing and posting.
10. Share a motivational quote and include your photo. I once shared that I had accomplished a milestone along with a related quote from Johnny Cash and a great picture of myself. It got the most views, shares, and comments that week. People like to be encouraged.
11. Do you have an interesting perspective to add on a hot topic? Share it and encourage your fans to chime in.
12. Write a blog detailing a personal experience or life lesson of something that happened to you recently. Then write a short summary of it. Try to make your summary suspenseful to entice people to click-through are read your post.
13. Conduct an interview of an interesting person and post the video or blog entry about it on your social media. Ask your interview subject their take on hot-button issues. See if you can get your fans to chime in.
14. Post your interesting take on an article and provide links back to the article.
15. Post a video of you from “backstage.
16. Start a series where you post on a certain topic consistently for a period of time. Have your fans respond or comment. I started a #makeyourmovemonday series asking my fans what they are doing to jumpstart their week. Nearly every time I post this, I get lots of feedback.
17. Write a song or poem together with your fans by having them add a line or word to your post. An author/poet buddy I know started #wordywednesday. She writes a weekly poem using fans’ comments from her #wordywednesday post.
18. Post a song track and simply ask your fans to share it.
19. Create a graphic with a helpful tip on it. These work just like memes, except these provide more deep insight into things. I once posted a picture of a number of helpful tips on how to support me as an independent artist. My fans loved this, and shared it with their friends. The idea behind this was to encourage people to support their local independent artists.
20. Post about a cause. What are you passionate about? Post informative updates, notes and tips on the subject. Post about how you’re contributing to the cause. Post heart-felt genuine pleas or challenges to your audience on how they can help. If your fans are like you, it will resonate with them. They will comment, click, like, and share and hopefully the will join you in the cause whatever that might be.
The idea behind social media is to network and build community. As you can see, most of these suggestions do not involve selling your music or promoting your shows. In my experience these types of posts don’t get the best results when it comes to getting people to respond and engage. This is good information to include, but it’s a better practice to flood your social media with engaging, inspiring, community building posts as well as promotions posts. I would suggest to employ a two-thirds rule. Two-thirds of your content should be engaging and nonsales-y, while the other third can be promotions and selling. This presents a well-balanced look and feel. It also gives you a chance to showcase your depth, identity and creativity – things that your fans crave.