101 Social Media Post Ideas for Business: Increase Engagement & Never Run of Content Again

One of the most difficult tasks for a social media manager is constantly coming up with fresh and exciting ideas for your social media profiles. When you've got 365 days to fill and often multiple time-slots to fill, that's one tricky task. Of course, post recycling can go a long way to plugging the gaps, but if you need some new and and exciting ideas to inspire you,  this post will help!

Below, you'll find a mighty 101 social media post ideas for business. Some are obvious, some less so, but all are paired with a real-life example from big brands to show you how you could go how you might want to create something similar. Ready? Let's go.

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The 3 Best Ways to Use Animated GIFs to Enhance Your Social Media Strategy

The 3 Best Ways to Use Animated GIFs to Enhance Your Social Media Strategy

The 3 Best Ways to Use Animated GIFs to Enhance Your Social Media Strategy

Do you use animated GIFs as part of your social media strategy? Interested in how you to create them and make them work for you? 

In the early days of the Internet as we know it now, animated GIFs had a bit of a bad reputation - poorly drawn, cheesy artwork whose only purpose was, seemingly, to slow down web pages and annoy people. They fell out of favour as chat emoticons took hold, but saw another rise in the era of Myspace.

Fast-forward to 2016 and GIFs are everywhere. Spurred on by widespread use of GIFs on sites like Tumblr, Buzzfeed and Reddit, not even Facebook and Twitter could ignore their popularity. In July 2015, Facebook introduced a GIF search engine to Messenger, and a GIF search engine was rolled out to Twitter in February 2016 - in the year previous, over 100 million GIFs were shared by Twitter users.

Tweet: In 2015, over 100 million GIFs were shared by people on Twitter. #GIFs #socialmediastat


Why use animated GIFs for business

Once looked down upon as unprofessional, GIFs are now a readily-accepted part of social media, and thus, social media marketing. What's more, they're eye-catching and easily shareable across multiple social networks. Whether you design your own or lift one from a GIF search engine, GIFs can add value to your brand offering and encourage people to invest in your cause. 

How to use animated GIFs for business

Let's look at three of the main ways how GIFs can be used for business, alongside some real life examples.

1. To educate

On social media, where people's time and attention span is short, GIFs can be great for quickly educating your audience - like showing a demo of your product or a step-by-step guide to using an app. And as GIFs loop forever, they can watch as many times as they like.

In the above example, Maps4News uses a GIF to demo a new feature of its product.

2. To react

As an alternative to text and emoji, GIFs offer an excellent way to show an emotional reaction to news, thoughts, and situations - often in a humorous way. In the above example, Climate Council uses a  GIF to deliver a sarcastic response to news about the environment.

In the above example, Space Hop turns the tide and uses a GIF to play on the reaction of their fans to their service, again with a none-too-serious tone.

3. To promote

Whether you're teasing a new product for release or advertising a new one, GIFS provide a fun and less in-your-face way to promote your wares and their features. In the above example, Samsung uses a GIF to showcase the fact that it's new phone is water resistant.

In this example, Starbucks uses a GIF to promote its new drink. Notice how vibrant and eye-catching the animation is, and how this would attract attention vs a static image.

How to make your own animated GIFs

GIPHY's GIF maker

GIPHY's GIF maker

Essentially, animated GIFs are either a short video clip or a series of photos that loops continuously. If you're savvy with Photoshop, a GIF can be made with such software, but if you want a quick and easy GIF-making tool, then GIPHY has you covered. To start, visit https://giphy.com/create/gifmaker.

To get started, enter any YouTube, Vimeo, or Vine video URL, drag and drop a video file, or browse your computer to select one.

From here, simply use the slider to select which part of the video you want your GIF to begin and how long you want it to last (up to 10 seconds). Enter a caption and some tags, then hit Create GIF.

Once your GIF has processed, you'll be able to share or download it, and it'll be searchable on GIPHY along with thousands of others (more on this below).

Where to search for GIFs (and how to share them)

If the situation calls for a pre-made animated GIF, there are several quick and easy ways to get hold of one to add to your content. GIPHY.com is the big one, with thousands of searchable GIFs, and the option to share them - it's probably all you'll need. Alternatively, https://gifme.io/ is a more stripped down option.

How to add animated GIFs to Twitter

On Twitter, simply begin to compose a tweet and you'll notice a GIF option. Click or tap this and you'll be able to browse popular types of GIFs, or search for your own. Keep in mind that adding a GIF takes up 26 characters of the allotted 140 limit.

How to add animated GIFs to Facebook Pages

When you go to take a picture, but it opens on the front camera. http://imgur.com/gallery/qo8n3Ex

Posted by Imgur on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

At the time of writing, Facebook's search engine for GIFs only works for personal accounts, i.e not business Pages. What's more, animated GIFs do not work on Pages (whether linked or uploaded as an image), although some larger Pages do have that privilege.

Back in August 2015, Facebook began to test GIF support for certain Pages, and it will use the reaction to them to decide whether to roll support out more widely. 

How to add animated GIFs to Pinterest

Animated GIFs work fine as a direct image upload from your device to Pinterest, or when shared from a GIF search engine like GIFFY. Simply choose the board you want the GIF to appear on.

Over to you

Do you use animated GIFs as part of your social media strategy already, or is is something you'll be giving a go now? Let me know in the comments below!

Andrew Macarthy is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.

Buy 500 Social Media Marketing Tips
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007L50HE6
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How to Create A Social Media Marketing Plan For Business in 6 Easy Steps (Updated 2016)

Do you have a social media marketing plan for your business, or would you like to create one? Many businesses struggle to pinpoint exactly what they want to get out of social media, and how to measure whether all of their hard work is paying dividends. In this blog post, I will show you how to create an easy-to-follow, robust social media marketing strategy in 6 easy steps.

Whether you're already active on social media or are starting from scratch, a plan will help guide your activity and provide you with solid reasoning behind everything that you do, from content creation to customer interaction, to advertising, and more. You'll be able to see how you are performing, experiment to improve results, and easily calculate your return on investment.

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