How to Come Up With Content Ideas for Social Media

3 strategic ways to come up with social media content ideas

Elan Iâl - June 2023

What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to social media?

One thing we hear all the time is “but what do we post?”

Coming up with creative ideas can be hard. Especially when you're sat at a desk all day, looking at a screen. Not exactly the most creative environment.

How to come up with content ideas for social media

Here are 3 simple, strategic and structured ways to come up with social media content ideas so you never have to be pulling your hair out staring at an empty content calendar again.

You're busy, you have a million things on your to-do list and you definitely don't have time to be creating content for the sake of content.

Luckily, content is not a game of volume. It's not about the quantity of the content you produce. It's about quality. It's about relevance. It's about purpose.

So to make sure that the content ideas you pursue are 

a) relevant to your target audience

b) strategic to your business goals, and

c) serving a purpose

First, answer these 3 questions:

Got your answers? Ok, now let's dive into how to generate those content ideas.

Use search data to find what your audience is searching for and create content that answers their queries.

There are two great free tools you can use to do this: Google Trends and Answer the Public. Use them to find search queries relating to your


Say you sell men's accessories. Belts, wallets, socks etc. Maybe you position them as perfect gifts for fathers day, birthdays or Christmas. Type 'gifts for men' in to Google Trends or Answer the Public to find out what people are searching for and want answers to.

You'll be presented with a series of questions, prepositions and actual queries that people have searched around 'gifts for men'.

This tells you what people are searching for. Create content as answers to these queries, and there you have your content ideas!

Why this method works

2. Creative ways to come up with social media content ideas

Here are three creative-driven ways to help you when you're in a content rut.

They say that there is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing wrong with using other people's content as inspiration. Keep them in a file on Instagram, Pinterest or Notion to give you some inspiration when you're stuck.

2. Use AI. Yes, really! Using AI is not cheating, but you need to use it wisely. Using Chat GPT or other AI tools, ask it for content ideas to reach your specific target audience in a specific TOV (if you have one) with X, Y and Z specific key messages. The more specifics, the better and more relevant the output.

3. Audit your website, social media platforms and email newsletters for your best performing content. The email headlines with the highest click-through-rates, the social media content with the most shares and watch time, the web pages with the most visitors and time spent on page. Examine what worked about them. Can you pinpoint exactly why they outperformed other pieces of content? Jot all this down in a coherent, accessible format, learn from it and apply it to your future content planning.

There's no need to reinvent the wheel every time.

Try to replicate what’s already working. You can even use old content. 


Got a reel or TikTok that didn't perform quite like you'd expect? Post it again but with a different 3 second intro/hook and see how that affects performance.

Why this method works

3. Funnel driven ways to come up with social media content ideas

Good content creation helps guide a prospect through the customer journey funnel toward a purchase. 

What role does social media play for your business?

Is it top of funnel - bringing in the masses and people who have little to no awareness of your brand?

Is it middle of funnel - do you use social media to build trust by sharing case studies, testimonials and explainers relatin to your offering?

Is it bottom of funnel - is social media where you get (or want to get) the majority of your direct sales?

Let's look at specific types of content you can create to engage your audience at different stages of the funnel.

TOF (Top of funnel): Engaging, widely relatable content that inspires people to share (digital word of mouth), comment and get involved with your content to bring prospects into the top of the funnel.

Example content types: Quizzes, how tos, tips, ideas, jump on trending content. Don't forget to consider SEO for your social media content to optimise discovery!

MOF (Middle of funnel): Educating and positioning content. Is your ideal customer unaware of exactly what your business or product does? Pepper in some content that solidifies the image and purpose of your business in the eyes of your target market.

Example content types: Case studies, testimonials, explainer videos, infographics

BOF (Bottom of funnel): Sales. Content that sells. 

Example content types: Product success stories, product comparisons, calls to action, special offers.

The balance between creating content for each of these stages will be different for every business. The main thing is to find a balance that works for you.

Why this method works

Looking for guidance on what content you should be creating for your business? We can help with tailored 1-1s, consulting, training or audits to help you craft an effective content strategy. Get in touch!