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20 Ideas for Content that People Love to Share on Social Media

Social media is a hungry beast. The social networks require constant feeding. They need to be thrown a diet of content that keeps readers and viewers coming back for more.20 Ideas for Content that Loves to be Shared on Social Media

This is one of the biggest challenges if you want to do social at scale.

Finding ideas for content then leads to the resource intensive process of creating, publishing and promoting  that content. Solving this problem is an integral part of your social media marketing strategy that meets the voracious demands of an information hungry world that is looking for content titillation is never ending.

We want to read and view knowledge and ideas on our PC’s, laptops, smart phones and the latest hot hardware platform… the tablet. We want information and we want it now! Mobile is now providing the freedom to get that content anywhere, anytime. Add a dose of the latest 4G mobile networks and the content is delivered at blistering speeds. No longer is it necessary to experience the “World Wide Wait” that made surfing the web a lesson in patience as videos stopped and started and dribbling downloads demanded a visit to the kettle corner for that cup of tea.

It also needs to be focused. Content about photography is irrelevant to the fashionistas and articles on fishing will not be read by the techies.

The Content Foundation

There are four main types of content that you should be considering creating:

  1. Educational content
  2. Informative content
  3. Entertaining content
  4. Inspiring content

Do all four well and you are on your way to producing advocates and ambassadors on Facebook, Twitter , Google+ and other platforms that will spread and share your content for free.

Content is Multi-Media

Content on a social web also needs to be multi-media rich these include media such as:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Screencasts

The rise of Pinterest and Instagram has fed the desire and demand for beautiful imagery and high definition photos. No longer are people happy with a wall of text that says “boring!!”

The problem that most companies and bloggers have is finding the inspiration to come up with the different types of content and information that keeps the blog fresh, the Twitter stream pumping and the Facebook page flowing. Ignore this and the crowds slowly disappear and the tribe loses interest.

So here are some ideas to create content that on a visual high speed web.

#1. Create Lists

I can hear some of you yawning. The reality is that in a time poor world giving people a list of things to do or 10 tips for creating a great video are the types of headlines and article that people click on. Packaging and chunking it down tells your reader you aren’t wasting tjeir time and it is easy to read and view.

Creating this type of content still works and works well.

Example: 10 Powerful Tips to Increase Fan Engagement on Facebook 

#2. Go Negative

It is sad but true but most people prefer to hear bad news or know about things that they shouldn’t be doing or avoiding. Take the negative angle to a story or learning and be surprised by the traffic.

Example: Personal Branding on LinkedIn: 10 Mistakes to Avoid 

#3. Infographics

The last two years has seen the rise of information that presents complex data and information with a combination of text and images. It’s called “Infographics”

Infographics is a media that has a propensity to get shared on Pinterest and passed around on Twitter.

Example: 23 Hints for Creating content that Google Loves – Infographic

#4. Curate content

Take a topic and find some of the best articles on it when you do a Google search. Package it up and serve it to your readers. You have saved them time and effort by putting all that information in one place.

They will love you a little bit more!!

#5. Provide “How To’s”

It never ceases to surprise me the appetite for simple instructions that take people by the hand and shows them where to start and the steps along the way. Provide a “how to” framework that makes it easy to read, understand and implement.

Your blog will be valued and admired.

Example: How to Verify Your Pinterest Account and why You Should

#6. News

People want to know what is happening whether it is in their industry, city or the world. Help them find it easily and quickly. Create, publish and promote this content fast. It has a nasty habit of becoming outdated and irrelevant very quickly!!

Get it right and the news break streams over the web in a torrent of tweets.

Huffington Post and Mashable are a success beacuse of this.

Example: Apple Makes Huge Announcement About Twitter

#7. Research

Provide research backed facts wrapped up in a well structured article whether it is a singular or multiple source and they are printed off (or emailed) and put in front of the managers and CEO’s eyeballs. If the university research says it is true… it is!!

Many people want proof before they make that first step of action.

Example: How 5 Prestige Brands Innovate and Market on Facebook

#8. Case Studies

Research is great but real world case studies are the real proof that it works. Provide a multiple list of case studies and it is lapped up and shared by your advocates on the social web.

Example: 5 Successful Facebook Marketing Campaigns – Case Studies

#9. Evergreen Content

The web demands fresh news and content very minute of every day. In this frenzy of informing it is often forgotten to tap into the power of content that is just as relevant in 2 years time as it is today. It is content that can be continued to be promoted and shared with your readers for a long time. Create content that is a framework or covers first principles and you will give it longevity and endurance.

Example: 10 Ways to Launch and Promote a product Using Social Media

#10. Images

Create content that takes screenshots or uses images to convey an idea, concept or story. It provides emtional impact and they get shared on Facebook more than any other content type. A tool that helps me do this is Snagit and it is now an indispensable part of my content creation and optimising toolkit.

Images can take your content from average to awesome!!

Example: A Powerful Two Step System to Increase the Value of Your Facebook Community

#11. Video

When  creating a content you can share your story and ideas many ways but as online video now streams easily on the high speed internet it needs to be included in your content marketing mix. It can be a direct to camera video, a video capturing your screen (such as the Camtasia software) or it can be sourcing videos from YouTube that enhance your story.

#12. Slideshare

Slideshare is the YouTube for Powerpoint presentations.It is often underestimated as a means of making your content accessible and attractive. It is also a very visual platform that displays ideas and concepts quickly and easily. You can take your articles, research papers and blog posts and put them into a Powerpoint that can then be uploaded to Slideshare.

In the last year I have used it more extensively and views of my Slideshare account are now averaging from 25,000 to 35,000 views a month and total views are now over 330,000.

It is a format for your content that should be seriously considered.

Example: How to get Started with Social Media Marketing

#13. Top 10 Lists

People love to know who or what is on top in almost any category or sector that you care to name. Create content that display this and watch the traffic spike.

Example: 10 Top Pinterest Boards

#14. Tool or Application Reviews

Everyone is looking for better ways,tools and apps that make life easier in what is sometimes seen as a complicated web world. Make it easy for your readers to find and download the software.

Example: 10 Must have WordPress Plugins Every Blogger Should Know About

#15. Solving problems

Provide step by step instructions about the major issues that plague your industry. This content adds enormous value to your readers and great content creation is always about adding value.

Example: 20 ways to Increase Your Facebook Likes and Engagement

#16. Statistics and facts

Content that outlines the latest statistics and facts are always an option that produces clicks and shares. People are intrigued by the bigger and better and articles about this are always a hit.

Example: 72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012 


Put a quote on Twitter or Facebook and watch the “likes” leap. Nothing like an inspiring quote to put a gleam in someone’s eye to start their day.

Example: Stephen King on what is required to be a good writer “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

#18. Podcasting

Podcasting was big a few years ago but it is making a resurgence. Technology is making it easier than ever before to create a podcast. Not only produce content that is a podcast but take your old articles and turn them into podacsts. same content different medium. This media can be downloaded and listened to as people drive, commute and sit on a park bench.

Example: Marketing Is Dead

#19. eBooks

Turning content into an ebook is a great way to make tour content spread. Use them to build your email lists by acquiring a name and email for the privilege of accessing an eBook that offers valuable information.

Example: In my ebook on Amazon “Blogging the Smart Way”  a lot of the chapters used blog articles as the foundation for the content

#20. Transcripts

Transcription services are now low cost and easy to do. This takes your podcast or video and turns it into a document.

What about you?

What ideas have worked for you in the past. Are there some you would like to try?

Have you tried  podcasting? How is the visual web treating your content, sharing and liking?

Look forward to hearing your stories in the comments below.




Want to Learn More About How to Create Compelling Content that Your Audience Wants to Read and Share?

My book – Blogging the Smart Way “How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 120,000.

Download and read it now.

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Thanks for this great list. Thanks for doing such a great job for so many of us! Love reading your blog.

    • Your kind feedback is very much appreciated 🙂

  • Awesome post Jeff. What a great list with some awesome examples. We have had some success with videos, mostly on YouTube and Slideshare. With Slideshare, you can now embed YouTube videos in presentations. The transcript is a great idea also as it helps with discovery by the, search engines. We have had some luck with eBooks for email collection as an offer promoted through a call to action. Solving problems/how to posts works great too. One our most successful posts is “Adding a Facebook Button To Your Website in 4 Minutes or Less” which includes a screen cast showing how to actual embed a button on a
    page and verify that it work, in under 4 minutes. Video on YouTube aids in
    discovery in video search while embedding video in page. Another successful
    post was a screen cast of a Google Analytics intro demo. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Rick or the verification and “social proof” of the ideas!! It sounds like you are having fun in the content sandbox..

  • Love the ideas Jeff!

    I use How To’s, 2 Simple Steps, Videos, sometimes webinars. Each works well, but the 3 Simple Steps or Tips really resonates with my readers.

    I feel each numbered post creates order in my reader’s minds, and with this pleasing order established I get a ton more clicks.

    Thanks Jeff!

  • guzie

    This is sick stuff Jeff. This is what I hear my son say when he sees or hears something amazing. Just replace “Jeff” with Dad. Your ideas, tips and emails inspire me to continue on.

  • Target Emotions!

  • Wow, great list. Worth tacking to my bulletin board! I have a way that’s really worked for me, and that’s whenever someone signs up for email list, I go to the domain in their email (assuming it’s not generic like Gmail or Hotmail). And I look at their website and/or social channels and imagine what I would be telling that person to improve their presence. Someone’s annoying Twitter feed embedded on their site becomes my next blog post about why you shouldn’t embed a Twitter feed on your website. Gives me plenty of fodder and also it speaks to my audience in a way I know matters.

  • KenSchmitt

    These are fantastic ideas! It’s helpful when professionals share their wisdom. Not only does it give us new things to work on but confirms that we are on the right track with what we are implementing already! Thanks! I have found that humor/entertainment go a long way. I write a monthly article for my firm’s newsletter and receive very positive feedback when I use either a personal story or some humor mixed in.
    Ken Schmitt

  • Writing for the web is an art form and a science. A wall of text is an instant click away for most!!

  • Thanks Beth for the comment. Adding enormous value should always be the aim!!

  • These are all well and good Jeff, some good reminders for when we’re stumped for ideas, myself included. I just want more. Say for a client, I put a clever quip (#17) out there, likes and RTs have a little bump. And? Did it reach the people that need reaching? Did anyone do more, discuss why THAT quip is relevant to them or that business? Did it at least bring in more of the right fans, followers?

    Sharing and engagement are essential for SM.. but not the prize in and of themselves. Content (and its SEO juju) is to be a gateway to building relationships, developing brands – with the end-game being to support the business in meaningful ways, ways that help the business grow, meet its objectives. Otherwise you’re a pop star w/ millions of web views and shares, fans and followers… and declining sales and a bankrupt tour. FWIW.

    • Engagement is just the start as you pointed out. The next steps are to move them from a prospect to a customer.

  • Those 20 tips are from my own experience which is facilitated by the readers responses, sharing metrics and observations by my readers. The blog is like a continual change and growth experience for me, fed by global feedback driven by social networks.

    On idea inspiration it is driven by 2 things

    1. Passion for the subject area which is the entire social media ecosystem which provides the energy and the fuel for the writing and content creation

    2. Reading a lot of blogs, books and viewing videos

    There is a quote by Steven King the famous author that resonates with me.

    “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

  • I agree with you that you can overwhelm. People really appreciate it when you lead them by the hand and show them the steps from A to Z.
    Another way to think of it is, providing a “Framework”

  • Terrific tips! Quotes on Facebook and Twitter really do draw. I started that recently and it’s amazing how much interaction I get.

  • Glad to hear that you are enjoying the blog! 🙂

  • Thank you for the information on Slideshare. I use an old computer that does not support any video program I have tried, so I turned to Powerpoint to make a slideshow, only to find it would not load up to youtube! Curses! Foiled again! Thanks to your info, I can now try Slideshare.

  • Maricar Gomez

    Great ideas and information.. It helps me a lot..

    Google apps archiving

  • Thank you for the article, Jeff! It’s always interesting to see what other’s like to read about. We’ll be sure to add more How-To articles from our unique skill sets!

  • marikane

    Great ideas Jeff. Here’s one more: How to line edit for typos and grammer. Ex: tour content.

  • Stephen Heath

    Honesty. Vulnerability. There’s a lot of “How to…”, “I’m an expert” material out there, but I think people really relate to someone who is willing to come out of their shell and talk about concerns, screw ups, and goals. Obviously it depends on your audience and every good story needs a resolution, but starting from a place of vulnerability can really connect with your audience.

  • Thanks for this wonderful article Jeff. I have a niche blog on MS Excel, and How To’s are all what I have used. Your article gave me the ideas for content curation and negative headlines.. Need to try this out!!

  • Sofie Nelen

    Another great way to share your content, create engagement AND stimulate people to share is by creating quizzes or assessments around your topic. Both asking them for answers and giving knowledge and fun facts back!

  • Sahil

    Oops!! their is a mistake in
    # 1.Create Lists
    “you aren’t wasting tjeir time”

    it should be their instead of tjeir..!!!

  • Thijs Decker

    I think we need to look at the basics first: #21 Spell check your content to be taken seriously. This article has some really good information, but my reading turned into skimming, which then turned into “should I bother finishing this article.” After the third spelling error I was rolling my eyes. #22 If you choose to have commenting available, read the comments.

  • Informative read on the various ideas of content sharing done by folks on social media..