Small businesses thrive during holidays and special observances and for good reason! The increase in consumer spending is a massive opportunity to cash in and enjoy a surge in sales.

And not just the major holidays either. “Social media holidays” are sometimes quirky, always fun, and give you a reason to celebrate and connect with your audience – and even to offer special sales when there’s no traditional consumer holiday like Black Friday in sight.

With a bit of planning and a touch of creativity, it’s easy to plan your marketing and promotions around these special occasions to help you meet your business goals and sales targets. 

To give you a jump start toward that end, we’ve pulled together 12 months of social media holidays, post ideas, email marketing promotions, seasonal marketing themes, and monthly marketing challenges to keep you inspired through all 52 weeks of 2024… let’s get started! 

January: New Year, Fresh Start ❄️🎉

In January, people are buying: health and wellness products, electronics, and home goods
Reasons: Post-holiday sales and resolutions to improve health and well-being

This month is all about fresh starts and new year’s resolutions, making it a great time to promote products and services that help your customers reach their personal and business goals.

Here are some more fun facts about consumer behavior in January… 

January Fun Facts

  • People are returning to their regular routines after a busy holiday season, so it’s a great time for businesses to offer products and services that help them in their day-to-day activities. 
  • Online engagement typically spikes due to more time spent indoors, so make the most of this by making sure you’re active on social media. 
  • Email open rates and engagement tend to be higher, so January is a great time to focus on email marketing campaigns and promotions. 
  • People are eager to start their year with something new which is why January is the most popular month for businesses to launch new offerings. 

Marketing in January

Themes: New Year’s Resolutions and Goal Setting

Motivate consumers to achieve their goals and embrace new beginnings.  Share inspiring stories of success and provide actionable tips. Highlight products or services that support personal growth, self-improvement, or lifestyle changes.

January Marketing Challenge: 

Establish your goals for the year and create a consistent social media posting habit: Decide on a social media posting schedule that you can realistically maintain throughout the year to increase your followers, subscribers and traffic in 2024.  Remember, slow and steady wins the “consistency” race! So focus on one platform at a time, such as Instagram or LinkedIn, to avoid spreading yourself too thin. Choose one content format (such as posts, stories, or short-form videos) to start. 

Recommended Tools & Tutorials: 

January 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🙏 National Thank You Month (month of January)
Express gratitude to your community with a heartfelt video or post.

🎨 National Hobby Month
Tell your audience about your favorite hobby and encourage them to share theirs with you.

🎉 New Year’s Day (January 1)
Reflect on your business highlights and lessons learned from the past year, express gratitude to your audience, and share your goals for the year ahead.

🚀 Science Fiction Day (January 2)
Share your favorite science fiction book, movie, or quote.

🗃️ Clean Off Your Desk Day (January 8)
Show your organized workspace and share tips for maintaining a clutter-free workspace.

🤪 Peculiar People Day (January 10)
Share a peculiar fact about yourself or your team.

✊ Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 15)
Share a quote or message from Martin Luther King, Jr. that aligns with your brand’s values.

🚮 Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day (January 17)
Encourage your audience to reflect on what truly matters to them by asking them to share one thing they genuinely want to focus on in the coming months.

🤗 National Hugging Day (January 21)
Send a virtual hug to your audience with a heartfelt and encouraging message.

🌟 National Compliment Day (January 24)
Start a compliment chain by complimenting a fellow business or follower, and encourage others to join in.

January Hashtags

#happynewyear, #NewYearsDay, #NewYearResolution, #newyearresolutions, #makethemostof2024 #byebye2023hello2024, #ImNotGoingToTakeItAnymoreDay, #ElvisBirthday #DavidBowieBirthday, #CleanOffYourDeskDay, #PeculiarPeopleDay, #MLKDay, #MartinLutherKingJrDay, #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay, #NationalHuggingDay, #NationalComplimentDay

January Email Promotions

January is a great time to launch something new or create a special bundle to help your subscribers achieve a business or personal goal in 2024!

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

January Email Subject Lines

  • 🎉 New Year, New Deals: Kickstart 2023 with Exclusive January Savings!
  • 🥂 Cheers to Savings: January Exclusive Offers Just for You!
  • ❄️ Beat the Winter Blues with Hot January Deals!
  • ☀️ Winter Warm-Up: January Deals to Brighten Your Days!
  • 🤸‍♂️ January Jumpstart: 50% OFF Flash Sale Starts NOW! 

February: Love Is in the Air 💕🌹

In February, people are buying: Gifts, travel, apparel, dining out
Reasons: Valentine’s Day and tax refunds

This month is all about love and romance, making it a great time to promote products and services that allow your customers to express their affection for the people (and furry friends!) that matter most to them.

Here are some more fun facts about consumer behavior in February:… 

February Fun Facts

  • Men spend more on Valentine’s Day gifts – roughly twice as much as women do! Tailor your marketing messages accordingly and don’t sleep on offering gift recommendations.
  • The “winter blues” are in full swing – during the colder months, consumers often engage in “winter blues” shopping to lift their spirits. 
  • Gift purchases surge – February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day, and U.S. consumers alone spend an estimated $25.9 Billion on gift purchases.
  • People don’t just buy gifts for their love interests – They also give Valentine’s Day gifts to their parents, children, and even pets! 
  • Engagement levels on email and social media are still going strong – as people remain hunkered down indoors, spending lots of time online.  

Marketing in February

Themes: Love, Connection, and Appreciation

Emphasize the power of love, connection, gratitude, and shared experiences. Share social media posts centered on love and appreciation. Showcase products or services that foster relationships, express gratitude, or create lasting memories. 

February Marketing Challenge: 

Add a new content format to your social media strategy. Experiment with different social media content formats to keep your content fresh and expand your reach. If you primarily share Instagram posts, step outside of your comfort zone and start incorporating Instagram Stories or Instagram Reels into your routine. 

Recommended Tools & Tutorials: 

  • Canva is not only an awesome tool for creating graphics, you can use it to create just about any social media format around including stories, short-form videos, animated .gifs and more with minimal learning curve and design skills needed. 
  • Learn How to turn Instagram Captions into Short-Form Videos 

February 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

✊ Black History Month (February)
Celebrate and honor the contributions of Black people throughout history by sharing stories, achievements, and quotes.

🐿️ Groundhog Day (February 2)
Playfully predict your business forecast for the upcoming weeks, just like the groundhog predicts the weather.

🏈 Super Bowl (February 11)
Share a post related to the event, whether it’s about team predictions, favorite snacks, favorite SuperBowl commercials or ideas for things to do for people who don’t watch.

🛠️ Inventors Day (February 11)
Highlight famous inventors or share interesting facts about inventions you appreciate most.

🐉 Chinese New Year (February 10)
Ring in the Chinese New Year by sharing well-wishes and info about the Year of the Dragon.

🎭 Mardi Gras (February 13)
Share interesting facts about the traditions, origins, and cultural significance of Mardi Gras.

❤️ Valentine’s Day (February 14)
Show your audience some love! Express gratitude for their support, host a special giveaway, or offer a gift with purchase exclusively for your followers and subscribers.

🤝 Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17)
Share ideas for random acts of kindness and encourage your audience to participate.

🇺🇸 Presidents Day (February 19)
Share a quote from a president you admire or ask your audience about their favorite president.

🐾 Love Your Pet Day (February 20)
Share an adorable or funny picture of your pet and ask your followers to tell you about their pets in comments.

February Hashtags 

#ChineseNewYear, #YearOfTheDragon, #ValentinesDay, #LoveIsLove, #CoupleGoals, #DateNight #loveyourself. #GroundhogDay, #SBLVII, #InventorsDay, #RandomActsOfKindnessDay, #PresidentsDay, #LoveYourPetDay

February Email Promotions

February is a great time to share gift ideas and show your subscribers some love with special deals, discounts, and bundles! 

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

February Email Subject Lines

  • 💘 Love is in the Air! Valentine’s Day Deals Inside
  • 💖 Sweetheart Savings: Unlock Valentine’s Day Discounts!
  • ❄️ Frosty February: Cool Deals Just for You!
  • 🏹  Cupid’s Countdown: Gift Ideas for Your Loved Ones
  • 🇺🇸 Historic Savings Inside: President’s Day Deals You Can’t Resist!

March: Spring Fever 🌷🌧️

In March, people are buying: Apparel, home décor, and vacation bookings
Reasons:  Spring break and tax season

This month is all about celebrating the beginning of spring, renewal, and fresh beginnings. Consumers are eager to declutter their homes and get back outdoors, making this a great time to promote products and services that help people get organized and get back outside. 

Here are some more fun facts about consumer behavior in March… 

March Fun Facts

  • People experience a surge in energy and mood As the winter weather subsides, the days grow longer, and the first signs of spring appear, people often feel a boost in their mood! 
  • Time for a change Studies have shown that people are more prone to making impulsive buying decisions during the onset of spring because they’re ready to switch things up.
  • A focus on lifestyle upgrades – With the arrival of spring, people focus on purchases related to home decor, gardening supplies, fitness equipment, and outdoor activities.
  • Renewed commitments – March often sparks a renewed commitment to health and wellness and investment in related products and services.
  • Adventure planning As the weather becomes more inviting, people start planning and booking vacations and outdoor adventures. 
  • Spring cleaning – As the winter months come to an end people instinctively focus on deep cleaning and decluttering.

Marketing in May

Themes: Growth, Renewal, and Spring Awakening

Tap into the cheery energy of spring! Share inspiring tips for getting organized, your favorite vacation destinations, and outdoor spring activities. Showcase products or services that help consumers organize their homes, refresh their wardrobes, and boost their mood. 

Marketing Challenge for March

March is a great time for a digital declutter. Organize and streamline your marketing processes,  update outdated content, dig into your analytics to evaluate what’s working, or create a Repurposing Bank for your content.  

Recommended Tools & Tutorials

  • Click the graphic below to download our FREE Notion Blog Post Optimizer template 
  • Watch Sandra’s Tutorial on how to create a Content Repurposing Bank

“The

March 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🙌 National Employee Appreciation Day (March 1)
Share a post expressing your gratitude for your team’s contributions.

🚫📱 National Day of Unplugging (March 1)
Share tips for a digital detox, and ask followers to share what they enjoy doing when they unplug.

📣👥 National Be Heard Day (March 7)
Shout out a small business you think deserves more visibility and recognition and encourage your followers to shout out their favorite small business too.

👩‍🦰💪 International Women’s Day (March 8)
Share an inspiring story or quotes from your favorite influential woman.

😴💤 World Sleep Day (March 15)
Share the importance of getting sleep and your favorite tips. Give your audience permission to make sleep a priority!

🍀 St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
Share a selfie of you wearing something green or ask ChatGPT to generate a list of St. Patrick’s Day quotes and share your favorite.

😅 Awkward Moments Day (March 18)
Share a lighthearted post or story related to your most awkward/funny/embarrassing moment you’ve had in your business.

🌸 First Day of Spring (March 19)
Share a vibrant photo of blooming flowers and celebrate the arrival of spring!

😊 International Day of Happiness (March 20)
Share a photo of a moment that brought you joy and happiness and the story behind the picture.

😂 National Let’s Laugh Day (March 19)
Post a funny meme, joke, or a humorous anecdote.

🐰 Easter Sunday (March 31st)
Share your favorite Easter traditions with your audience.

March Hashtags

#EmployeeAppreciationDay, #NationalDayofUnplugging, #NationalBeHeardDay, #InternationalWomensDay, #WorldSleepDay, #StPatricksDay, #AwkwardMomentsDay, #FirstDayofSpring, #InternationalDayofHappiness, #NationalLetsLaughDay, #EasterSunday

March Email Promotions

March is an awesome time to celebrate the longer days and renewed energy your subscribers are feeling with mood-boosting special offers!

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

March Email Subject Lines

  • 🌷 Spring into Savings: Exclusive March Deals are Here!
  • ☘️ Luck o’ the Savings: St. Patrick’s Day Deals Inside! 
  • 🕰️ Time to Spring Forward: Daylight Savings Deals For You
  • 🌺 March into Savings with Fresh Deals!
  • 🌈 Spring Fling: Shop Now and Get Up To 50% Off!

April: Spring Forward 🌼☔

In April, people are buying: Easter gifts, gardening, and outdoor activities.
Reasons:  Warmer weather and holiday weekends

This month is all about shedding the chill of winter and enjoying the longer days of spring. Consumers are eager to shed their heavy coats and boots and step into the fresh air, making this a great time to promote products and services that help people get out and enjoy the outdoors. 

Here are some fun facts about consumer behavior in April… 

April Fun Facts

  • Consumers spend nearly $6B  dollars on St. Patrick’s Day
  • Easter is the 7th biggest spending holiday with Americans spending $24 Billion
  • Earth Day brings a focus on sustainability, and businesses aligned with eco-friendly practices can capitalize on this trend.
  • Home improvement and gardening interest peaks in April.
  • Springtime wardrobe renewal & prom season: Website traffic for dresses is 16% higher in April than in summer months! 
  • Tax prep, college prep: Related products and services enjoy peak interest in April.  

Marketing in April

Themes: Rejuvenation, Sustainability, and Earth Day

In honor of Earth Month, emphasize the importance of sustainability and environmental responsibility. Share educational content about sustainable living and encourage consumers to make conscious choices.Showcase products made from recycled materials, promote eco-friendly practices, and support organizations dedicated to environmental protection.

April Marketing Challenge: 

Generate Leads and Accelerate Growth – Start turning your social media into a lead generation machine. Create a lead magnet you can link to in your bio and reference it in your posts. This could be a checklist, a worksheet, a free training or course, or a how-to guide. 

Recommended Tools & Tutorials: 

April 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🤪 April Fool’s Day (April 1)
Share a playful prank your audience can pull on their friends, family, or coworkers today (keeping it light and harmless).

🎉 International Fun at Work Day (April 1)
Share a post about the most fun aspect of your work or a team bonding tradition.

👫 National Siblings Day (April 10)
Share a heartwarming post featuring your siblings or a team member who’s like family.

🐾 National Pet Day (April 11)
Share photos or videos of your pets, it’s always a crowd-pleaser!

🌙 National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day (April 16)
Share a photo of you or your team working in pajamas.

🔍 Get to Know Your Customers Day (April 18)
Engage with your audience by asking fun and insightful questions. Create polls, quizzes, or interactive content to get to know your customers better.

🖐️ National High Five Day (April 18)
Share a post shouting out a customer or colleague who has achieved a milestone or reached a big goal.

🌍 Earth Day (April 22)
Share tips for sustainable living, eco-friendly practices, or highlight your business’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

🦸 National Superhero Day (April 28)
Celebrate everyday heroes! Spotlight individuals in your community or team who demonstrate acts of kindness, courage, or generosity.

🔄 Pay it Forward Day (April 28)
Share ideas about simple acts of kindness your audience can do to celebrate the sentiment of the holiday.

April Hashtags

#Easter, #SpringBreak, #Celebrate, #Family #springintoaction, #easterweekend, #outdooradventures, and #homeimprovement. #AprilFools, #InternationalFunatWorkDay, #NationalSiblingsDay, #NationalPetDay, #WearYourPajamasToWorkDay,  #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay, #HighFiveDay, #EarthDay, #SuperheroDay, #PayItForwardDay

April Email Promotions

April is a great month to share email promotions centered around new beginnings and eco-friendly offerings with your subscribers. 

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

April Email Subject Lines

  • ☔ April Showers of Savings: Special Deals Inside!
  • 🌼 April Awakening: Uncover Exclusive Spring Deals!
  • 🌷 Big Savings are in Bloom: April Deals Just for You!
  • ♻️ Unearth Eco-Fabulous Deals Today
  • 🌍 Celebrating Earth Day with Eco-Friendly Savings For You!

May: Cultivate Community and Celebrate Togetherness 🌸🌞

In May, people are buying: Flowers and other Mother’s Day gifts, graduation gifts, home improvement
Reasons:  Mother’s day, Memorial Day sales and graduation celebrations

This month is all about transitioning into summer, a time for relaxation, outdoor activities, and longer days. Consumers are eager to embrace the warmer weather and make plans for the upcoming season, making this a great time to promote products and services that help them get into the summer spirit.

Here are some more fun facts about consumer behavior in May… 

May Fun Facts

  • A popular trend for Mother’s Day gifts is a focus on personalized experiences such as spa treatments, weekend getaways, concert tickets and gifts that extend beyond Mother’s day like subscription services. 
  • May is “graduation month” – Popular purchases include electronics, gift cards, and items related to travel or the next phase of life.
  • Memorial Day is a significant shopping weekend, and consumers take advantage of discounts on various products, including appliances, furniture, and electronics.

Marketing in May

Themes: Connectedness and Community

As the weather warms, people emerge from their winter hibernation with a desire to connect with others. Share stories of community impact and encourage acts of kindness and compassion. Host virtual or in-person events or offer discounts or promotions that support community initiatives. 

May Marketing Challenge

Build authority with your content – Long form content (such as a blog post) is the best way to build trust and credibility with your audience and to drive traffic back to your website.  Aim to write at least one super valuable blog post this month and promote it on social media. 

Recommended Tools & Tutorials: 

May 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🌸 May Day (May 1)
Share traditions, spring-themed content, or ask your audience about their favorite May Day activities.

🚴‍♂️ National Bike to Work Day (May 17)
Share a post about biking to work or the benefits of cycling.

🌌 Star Wars Day (May 4)
Share Star Wars-themed content, quizzes, or poll your audience to find out their favorite Star Wars character.

🎉 Cinco De Mayo (May 5)
Share content related to Cinco De Mayo such as recipes and cultural insights.

📜 National Limerick Day (May 12)
Share a lighthearted limerick related to your business or industry. (ChatGPT can help!)

👩‍👧‍👦 Mother’s Day (May 12)
Share heartwarming stories, quotes, or a special promotion for Mother’s Day.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 International Day of Families (May 15)
Share a story about a treasured family tradition.

💰 National Be a Millionaire Day (May 20)
Share a post about aspiration or success stories related to your business.

🇺🇸 Memorial Day (May 27)
Share a respectful Memorial Day post, honoring those who have served. Consider sharing patriotic content, quotes, or participating in community initiatives.

😊 National Smile Day (May 31)
Share a cheerful post, a funny meme, or encourage your audience to share what makes them smile.

May Hashtags

#MayDay #BiketoWorkDay2024 #StarWarsDay #Maythe4thBeWithYou #CincoDeMayo #LimerickDay #NursesDay #MothersDay #FamilyDay #MillionaireDay #MemorialDay  #NationalSmileDay

May Email Promotions

May is a great month to share gift recommendations and discounts over Memorial Day weekend for your subscribers.

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

May Email Subject Lines

  • 🌸 Mother’s Day Magic: Pamper Mom with These Exclusive Deals
    🎁  Mom’s Special Day: Gift Ideas & Discounts Inside
  • 🇺🇸 Memorial Day Salute: Honoring Heroes with Exclusive Offers
    🇺🇸 Salute and Save: Memorial Day Deals Inside!
  • 🧹 Dust Off the Deals: Spring Cleaning Specials Just for You!

June: Summer is here! 🏖️🌊

In June, people are buying: Apparel, travel, entertainment, and home improvement
Reasons: Summer vacation, wedding season, Pride month

This month is all about summertime fun and outdoor adventures. Consumers are eager to soak up the sun and enjoy the warm weather, making this a great time to promote products and services that help them enjoy summer to the fullest. 

Here are some more fun facts about consumer behavior in June… 

June Fun Facts

  • 36% of Americans plan to take a trip to a beach or outdoor destination in June.
  • 63% of LGBTQ+ consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that support LGBTQ+ causes.
  • 72% of LGBTQ+ consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from brands that align with their values.
  • LGBTQ+ consumers are more likely to engage with brands on social media during Pride Month.

Marketing in June

Themes: Adventure, Fun, and Summer Vibes

Highlight products or services that cater to outdoor activities, travel experiences, and support for the LGBT+ community. Share inspiring content about travel destinations, adventure activities, or personal development. Offer discounts or promotions related to summer fun.

June Marketing Challenge

Focus on driving traffic to your website. Direct visitors from social media platforms to your website to explore your offerings and learn more about your brand. Promote your blog posts on social media to generate organic traffic. Include links to your website in your bio, captions, and stories. Run social media contests or giveaways with website-specific entries to encourage website visits.

Recommended Tools & Tutorials: 

  • Metricool Autolists (affiliate link) is a feature that allows you to “set it and forget it” when promoting your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter. Metricool will recycle and reshare your links on a schedule you control so you don’t seem “spammy” but you’re ensuring people who miss your links the first time will see them the next time they’re (automatically) shared. 
  • Download our FREE Boost Blog Traffic Guide

June 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🏳️‍🌈 LGBTQ Pride Month
Share posts throughout the month recognizing Pride Month. Highlight LGBTQ+ voices, stories, or organizations. Show support without hashtags.

🌈 Say Something Nice Day (June 1)
Encourage your audience to share something nice about each other, your brand, or the community.

👋 Leave The Office Early Day (June 2)
Share a post promoting the importance of leaving the office early for self-care and share your plans for enjoying the extra time.

👫 Best Friends Day (June 8)
Share a post featuring your best friends or team members who are like family.

👨‍👧‍👦 Father’s Day (June 16)
Share heartwarming stories, quotes, or special promotions for Father’s Day.

☀️ First Day of Summer (June 20)
Share content related to the season, such as summer-themed products, activities, or tips.

🐾 Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 21)
Share a post about bringing dogs to work or showcase your office pets.

📷 National Selfie Day (June 21)
Encourage your audience to share selfies related to your brand or a fun theme. Host a selfie contest or showcase team selfies.

🏢 Micro-, Small-, & Medium-Sized Enterprises Day (June 27)
Share posts highlighting the impact of small and medium-sized enterprises. Encourage your audience to shop local and share their favorite small businesses.

📱 Social Media Day (June 30)
Share a post about the importance of social media for your business. Encourage your audience to connect on various platforms and share their favorite social media tips.

June Hashtags

#PrideMonth, #SaySomethingNice, #LeaveTheOfficeEarlyDay, #BestFriendsDay, #FathersDay, #SummerSolstice, #FirstDayofSummer, #TakeYourDogtoWorkDay, #NationalSelfieDay, #MSMEDay, #SocialMediaDay

June Email Promotions

June is a great month for running promotions related to Father’s Day, hot summer deals and earlybird 4th-of-July sales for your subscribers.  

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

June Email Subject Lines

  • 👔 Dapper Dad Deals: Celebrate Father’s Day with Exclusive Savings
  • 🎉 Cheers to Dad: Father’s Day Toasts with Exclusive Discounts
  • ☀️ Summer Unleashed: Dive into June with Sizzling Savings
  • 🌴 Sun-Kissed Savings: June’s Hottest Summer Deals Inside
  • 🌊 Wave Hello to Summer: Exclusive Deals for You!

July: Midsummer Momentum 🌞🌴

In July, people are buying: Travel, dining out, and entertainment
Reasons: Peak summer travel season and holiday weekends

This month is all about celebrating outdoor festivities. Consumers are eager to gather with friends and family for barbecues, fireworks displays, and backyard parties, making this a great time to promote products and services that help them host memorable celebrations and enjoy the long daylight hours and warm weather.

Here are some more fun facts about consumer behavior in July… 

July Fun Facts

  • Consumers spend $4.4 billion on ice cream in July 
  • The warm and sunny weather means increased spending on leisure goods and services like barbecue grills, pool accessories, travel packages, and outdoor apparel.
  • Consumers are more likely to indulge in luxury purchases in July
  • July is a time for people to focus on relaxation and self-care, making it a great time to promote spa treatments, wellness products, or stress-reducing activities.

Marketing in July

Themes: Independence, Patriotism, and Summer Bliss

Promote products or services that enhance leisure activities, creative pursuits, and personal enjoyment. Share engaging content related to hobbies, entertainment, or creative expression. 

July Marketing Challenge

Engage your email subscribers – Don’t leave your email subscribers hanging! Start sending out weekly emails to keep your brand top-of-mind and to nurture your audience. Invite your subscribers to read your blog posts, offer them some exclusive tips and insights around the topics they’re interested in, and ask them engaging questions to find out what they need help with.  

Recommended Tools & Tutorials: 

  • Activate Your List is a system of broadcast emails to connect and engage with your audience. Adapt the templates for your niche and never run out of things to say to your subscribers! 

July 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🍦 Ice Cream Month
Poll your audience to find out their favorite flavor of ice cream.

😂 International Joke Day (July 1)
Share a joke related to your industry (use ChatGPT if you need help!).

🇺🇸 Independence Day (July 4)
Share a post featuring a patriotic quote or your favorite 4th of July traditions.

🍫 World Chocolate Day (July 7)
Share posts dedicated to the love of chocolate.

🎁 Give Something Away Day (July 15)
Host a giveaway or share posts about giving back to your community.

😄 World Emoji Day (July 17)
Poll your audience to find out which emojis reflect their current mood.

🌍 Nelson Mandela International Day (July 18)
Share posts reflecting on Nelson Mandela’s legacy or sharing a quote that aligns with your brand’s values.

🤝 Get to Know Your Customers Day (July 18)
Poll your audience to find out what they need help with most as it relates to your niche.

🤣 Tell an Old Joke Day (July 24)
Share an old joke or create a post inviting your audience to share their favorite classic jokes. Use ChatGPT to generate ideas!

👫 International Friendship Day (July 30)
Share a post honoring friendships and tag your friends.

July Hashtags

#icecream, #jokeday, #4thofJuly, #IndependenceDay, #WorldChocolateDay, #GiveSomethingAwayDay, #MandelaDay, #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay, #TellAnOldJokeDay, #InternationalFriendshipDay

July Email Promotions

July is a great month to celebrate summer with special offers for Independence Day or you can “create your own holiday” and run a flash sale that helps your subscribers take action on something they’ve been procrastinating on because of the warm weather. 😉 

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

July Email Subject Lines

  • 🌞 Open Up for Sizzling Summer Savings!
  • 🏖️ Heat Up Your July with Hot Discounts
  • 🇺🇸 Independence Day Blowout: Dive into Summer Savings!
  • 🔴⚪🔵 Red, White, Blue and Discounts Too!
  • 🌡️ Beat the Heat with Cool July Deals – Shop Now!

August: Relax & Revitalize 🍉🍦

In August, people are buying: Apparel, dining out, and home entertainment
Reasons: Back-to-school shopping and summer celebrations

This month is all about winding down from the summer rush and preparing for the return of fall. Consumers are eager to catch up on rest and relaxation, making this a great time to promote products and services that help them unwind, recharge, and then gear up for the change of season. 

August Fun Facts

  • August is one of the most popular months for online shopping. This is likely due to the fact that many people have more leisure time in August and are looking for ways to entertain themselves and their families. 
  • Consumers are more likely to make impulse purchases in August, as they are feeling more relaxed and carefree. 
  • August is also a popular month for home improvement projects, as people are looking to make their homes feel more comfortable and inviting after a long summer. 

Marketing in August

Themes: Relaxation, Back to School, and End-of-Summer

Emphasize the start of a new school year, personal growth goals, and learning opportunities. Share content that inspires creativity, academic success, and personal development. Offer discounts or promotions on back-to-school essentials.

August Marketing Challenge

Review key sales and marketing targets you set in January and set your goals for the fall – time to make your plans to end the year strong! What do you need to learn, do, or create to hit your goals? Take advantage of the easy-breezy month of August to level up your skills and prepare for the change of season… it’ll be here before you know it! 

August 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🎒 Back to School Month (August)
Create engaging content, such as back-to-school tips or checklists, and share a post featuring relevant products or services for the upcoming school year.

🌐 World Wide Web Day (August 1)
Share a post about the significance of the World Wide Web, its impact on your life/business, or highlight your favorite internet achievements.

😺 International Cat Day (August 8)
Share a post featuring your office or team cats or cute cat content.

📚 Book Lover’s Day (August 9)
Share a post about your favorite books or your best reading recommendations in different genres.

😴 National Lazy Day (August 10)
Share posts promoting self-care, relaxation tips, or humorous content related to taking it easy.

🧘 National Relaxation Day (August 15)
Share a post featuring calming content, relaxation techniques, or special promotions for relaxation-related products or services.

😄 National Tell a Joke Day (August 16)
Create a humorous post, share a joke related to your industry, or host a joke contest.

📸 World Photography Day (August 19)
Share visually appealing content, highlight photography tips, or showcase your team’s photography skills.

🐾 National Dog Day (August 26)
Share a post featuring your office or team dogs, dog-related products, or heartwarming dog stories.

♀️ Women’s Equality Day (August 26)
Share a post celebrating women’s achievements, quotes, or discussions on gender equality.

August Hashtags

#BacktoSchool, #WorldWideWebDay, #InternationalCatDay, #NationalBookLoversDay, #LazyDay, #NationalRelaxationDay, #NationalTellAJokeDay, #WorldPhotoDay, #NationalDogDay, #WomensEqualityDay

August Email Promotions

August is a great month to promote exclusive summer offers to help your subscribers gear up for the change of season and get back to school and business-as-usual. 

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

August Email Subject Lines

  • 🌅 End-of-Summer Deals Are Here!
  • 🎒 Back-to-School Bonanza: August Essentials On Sale Now!
  • 🌞 Last Call for Summer Fun: Dive into August Savings!
  • 👋 Wave Goodbye to Summer with August Exclusive Deals
  • 🛍️ Shop & Save: August End-of-Summer Retail Therapy

September: Back to School & Business ✏️📚

In September, people are buying: Back-to-school supplies, apparel, electronics, and of course, pumpkin spice lattes 🎃
Reasons: Labor Day sales and preparations for fall

This month is all about bidding farewell to summer and embracing the crispness of autumn. Consumers are eager to prepare for the upcoming holiday season and indulge in cozy comfort, making this a great time to promote products and services that help them transition into the fall season.

Here are some more fun facts about consumer behavior in September… 

September Fun Facts

  • Labor Day rivals the 4th of July and Memorial Day in barbecue-related purchases. 
  • 25% of people plan to get out of town to enjoy the last long weekend of summer. 
  • Many businesses launch new products in September, capitalizing on the start of the new school year and the return to routines.
  • September is a popular month for community events and fundraisers, it’s the second-highest fundraising month, surpassed only by December. 

Marketing in September

Themes: Transition, Preparation, and Autumn Beginnings

Encourage productivity, goal setting, and personal achievement. Share content that provides tips, strategies, and success stories related to work, personal goals, or hobbies. Host webinars or workshops on productivity and personal development.

September Marketing Challenge

4th Quarter is coming up fast and there is no time like the present to start planning your promotional campaigns to end the year strong. 

Recommended Tools & Tutorials:

September 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🛠️ Labor Day (September 2)
Share a post honoring your team’s dedication.

📚 Read a Book Day (September 6)
Share a post featuring your favorite books, reading nooks, or literary recommendations.

👵👴 Grandparents Day (September 8)
Share a post featuring stories or photos of grandparents, promote intergenerational activities, or offer special deals for grandparents.

🇺🇸 National Day of Service and Remembrance (September 11)
Share a post commemorating the events of September 11, promote acts of service, or highlight charitable initiatives.

🤝 National Day of Encouragement (September 12)
Share a post with words of encouragement, motivational quotes, or stories of resilience.

👩‍💼 National Business Women’s Week (September 15-21)
Share a post featuring successful businesswomen, share stories of achievements, or offer support and resources for women in the workplace.

☮️ International Day of Peace (September 21)
Share a peace-themed inspirational quote.

🍂 First Day of Fall (September 22)
Share a post featuring fall-themed products, décor, or activities.

❤️ World Heart Day (September 29)
Share a post promoting health tips, exercises, or heart-healthy recipes.

🎙️ International Podcast Day (September 30)
Share a post highlighting your favorite podcasts or encourage your audience to share their go-to podcasts.

September Hashtags

#LaborDay, #ReadABookDay, #NationalGrandparentsDay,, #NeverForget911, #DayofEncouragement2024, #BusinessWomensWeek, #PeaceDay, FirstDayofFall, #WorldHeartDay, InternationalPodcastDay 

September Email Promotions

September is a great month to help your subscribers get back into routine with special deals and discounts for the back-to-school and back-to-business season. 

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

September Email Subject Lines

  • 🍂 Fall Essentials: Discover Smart Savings this Week Only! 
  • 🍁 Autumn Arrival: Welcoming Fall with Exclusive Deals!
  • 📚 Smart Starts: Back-to-School Deals for All Ages
  • 🌆 Launch into Fall: Back-to-Business Flash Sale!
  • 🌻 Fall in Style with Autumn Discounts!

October:  Cozy Vibes and Fall Feels 🎃🍂

In October, people are buying: Halloween costumes, apparel, and home décor
Reasons: Halloween festivities and fall break

This month is all about celebrating the changing seasons and indulging in fall festivities. Consumers are eager to deck their halls with autumnal décor, gather with friends for pumpkin carving and bonfires, and enjoy the delicious flavors of the season.

Here are some more fun facts about consumer behavior in October… 

October Fun Facts

  • Americans consume an average of 1.4 billion quarts of popcorn during the month of October, primarily due to the popularity of Halloween movie marathons and parties.
  • The Halloween candy industry generates over $2.5 billion in sales annually.
  • Americans consume an estimated 50 million pumpkin pies during the month of October
  • Businesses invest the most in continuing education in the month of October

Marketing in OCtober

Themes: Cozy Comfort, Fall Feels, and Halloween Excitement

As the fall season arrives, foster creativity, storytelling, and imagination. Share engaging content related to holidays, traditions, or creative activities. Organize costume contests or giveaways on social media. Showcase products that encourage imaginative play, storytelling, or spooky adventures. 

October Marketing Challenge

Are you ready? It’s time to prepare for your upcoming email promotions for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. Create your checklist and break down your to-do list into weekly milestones. Stay consistent on social media and engaged with your email list to keep building trust and connection with your audience. 

October 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🎗️ Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)
Share a post celebrating strength, feature inspiring stories of survivors, or host a pink-themed giveaway to spread awareness.

☕ International Coffee Day (October 1)
Share a post celebrating the love of coffee, feature your favorite brews, or host a coffee-themed giveaway.

🌮 National Taco Day (October 4)
Share a post showcasing your favorite taco recipes or host a poll for which restaurants make the best tacos in your area.

😊 World Smile Day (October 4)
Share a post with uplifting content, funny memes, or stories that bring a smile.

🌍 Do Something Nice Day (October 5)
Share a post highlighting acts of kindness, share your company’s charitable initiatives, or encourage followers to do something nice for someone else.

🧠 World Mental Health Day (October 10)
Share a post promoting mental health awareness, resources, or self-care tips.

🧩 National Train Your Brain Day (October 13)
Share a post with brain teasers, puzzles, or interesting facts.

🌎 Columbus Day (October 14)
Share a post featuring your most recent “discoveries” – favorite podcasts, YouTube channels, tools, or creators to follow.

🍰 National Dessert Day (October 14)
Share a post showcasing your favorite dessert or recipe.

🍲 World Food Day (October 16)
Share a post featuring your favorite dishes or recipes from around the world.

👔 National Bosses Day (October 16)
Share a post expressing gratitude for your boss or leadership team, highlight their achievements, or share inspiring leadership quotes.

✅ Checklist Day (October 30)
Share a post with a helpful checklist related to your niche.

🎃 Halloween (October 31)
Share a post featuring your Halloween-themed products, host a costume contest, or share behind-the-scenes looks at your festive decorations.

October Hashtags

#PinkOctober, #BreastCancerAwareness, #CoffeeDay, #InternationalCoffeeDay#NationalTacoDay, #WorldSmileDay, #DoSomethingNiceDay, #WorldMentalHealthDay, #ColumbusDay, #DessertDay, #WorldFoodDay, #BossesDay #NationalBossDay, #ChecklistDay


October Email Promotions

October is a great month for promoting spooky savings and “just because” deals to celebrate cozy fall vibes. 

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

October Email Subject Lines

  • 🎃 October Delights: Fall into Savings This Week Only! 
  • 🍂 Cozy Up to Savings: October’s Best Deals Inside
  • 🌙 Spooky Good Deals: October Savings Are Here!
  • 🕸️ Trick or Treat Yourself: October Deals Inside
  • 🍭 Sweet October: Treat Yourself to Irresistible Deals!

November: Practice Gratitude 🦃🍁

In November, people are buying: Thanksgiving groceries, entertainment, apparel, and holiday gifts
Reasons: Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales

This month is all about celebrating the harvest season and preparing for the upcoming holidays. Consumers are eager to stock up on seasonal produce, indulge in comforting meals, and prepare for the festivities that lie ahead. 

Here are some more fun facts about consumer behavior in November… 

November Fun Facts

  • Online shopping generates nearly 20% of all retail sales in November 
  • Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, with an estimated $9.7 billion in sales in 2022.
  • Cyber Monday follows closely behind, with an estimated $10.7 billion in sales in 2022.
  • November is the second-highest month for charity donations, due to Thanksgiving and the holiday spirit.
  • Americans donate an average of $263 to charity in November.
  • Food banks, homeless shelters, and children’s charities are the recipients of the most donations in November.

Marketing in November

Themes: Gratitude, Thanksgiving, and Early Holiday Cheer

Emphasize the spirit of gratitude, generosity, and community during the holidays. Share content that celebrates traditions, family togetherness, and charitable initiatives. Offer discounts or promotions related to holiday gifting or giving.

November Marketing Challenge:

This month is all about executing your seasonal sales so stay focused on hitting your deadlines and sales targets – this is make-it-or-break it time for many small businesses! 

November 2024 Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

📚 National Authors Day (November 1)
Share a post featuring your favorite authors and recommend books to your audience.

🕰️ Daylight Savings Time Ends (November 5)
Share a post with tips on how to make the most of the time change, promote cozy products, or host a “fallback” giveaway.

🇺🇸 Veteran’s Day (November 11)
Share a post expressing gratitude for veterans or offer special discounts for veterans.

🌍 World Kindness Day (November 13)
Share a post with acts of kindness, encourage followers to perform random acts of kindness, or share stories of kindness within your community.

👩‍💼 National Entrepreneurs Day (November 19)
Share a post highlighting your entrepreneurial journey, offer business tips, or showcase local entrepreneurs.

🦃 Thanksgiving Day (November 28)
Share a post expressing gratitude, share Thanksgiving recipes or traditions, or host a Thanksgiving-themed giveaway.

🛍️ Black Friday (November 29)
Share a post with Black Friday promotions, exclusive discounts, or limited-time offers.

🛒 Small Business Saturday (November 30)
Offer special Small Business Saturday discounts or encourage your audience to shop small and share their favorite local finds.

🌍 World Kindness Week (November 11-17)
Share posts throughout the week highlighting different acts of kindness, or host a kindness challenge for your followers.

🌐 Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 18-24)
Share posts featuring entrepreneurial success stories, offer business advice, or host a virtual networking event.

November Hashtags

#NationalAuthorsDay, #DaylightSavings, #VeteransDay, #WorldKindnessDay, #WKD, #EntrepreneursDay, #Thanksgiving, #GiveThanks, #BlackFriday, #ShopSmall, #SmallBusinessSaturday, #WorldKindnessWeek

November Email Promotions


November is the biggest month of the year for email promotions and seasonal sales. Customers are ready to hear about your Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday deals. Good luck! 🤞💸

From the Seasonal Sales Promo Builder

November Email Subject Lines

  • 🦃 Gobble Up HUGE Savings This Thanksgiving Weekend!
  • 🖤 Black Friday Discount Mania: Your VIP Pass Inside!
  • 🛍️ Shop Small, Save Big: Small Business Saturday Deals!
  • 🌟 Give Back, Get More: Exclusive Giving Tuesday Offer Today Only!
  • 🌐 Cyber Monday Spectacular: Dive into the Best Deals!

December: Festive Cheer, Holiday Celebrations, and Gift-Giving 🎄🎁

In December, people are buying: Gifts, dining out, and holiday decorations
Reasons: Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve celebrations

December is a peak time for gift-giving. Leverage this by offering special promotions or limited-time bundles to boost your end-of-year sales. This month is all about embracing the joy of the holiday season and spreading festive cheer. Consumers are eager to gather with loved ones for gift-giving, festive parties, and holiday traditions.

December Fun Facts

  • December is the busiest month for retail sales, generating over $1.5 trillion in sales in 2022.
  • December is one of the highest volume months for B2B sales as companies are looking to close deals before the end of the year
  • December is the most popular month for charity giving
  • 64% of U.S. consumers say they’re likely to buy gift cards as holiday gifts 

Marketing in December

Themes: Festive Joy, Celebration, and Year-End Reflection

Capture the magic of the holiday season with festive content, gift guides, and promotions. Share stories of joy, generosity, and holiday traditions. Organize virtual holiday events, contests, or collaborations.

December Marketing Challenge:

Review 2024 – how did it go? Get organized for the new year and enjoy the holiday season. This is a great time to reflect on the year you’ve had and start thinking about your goals for 2025.  

2024 December Social Media Holidays & Post Ideas

🎁 Cyber Monday (December 2)

Share posts with exclusive promotions, online discounts, or limited-time offers.

🤝 Giving Tuesday (December 3)
Share posts supporting a charitable cause, host a donation drive, or pledge a percentage of your sales to a nonprofit.

🍪 National Cookie Day (December 4)
Share posts showcasing your favorite cookie or cookie recipe.

💌 Christmas Card Day (December 9)
Share a post with your favorite Christmas card designs or DIY card-making tips.

🚚 Free Shipping Day (December 14)
Share a post promoting free shipping on orders or offer a special free shipping code.

🍪 Bake Cookies Day (December 18)
Share a post with your favorite cookie recipes and baking tips.

🎁 Super Saturday (December 21)
Share a post with special Super Saturday discounts, promotions, or gift ideas.

❄️ First Day of Winter / Winter Solstice (December 21)
Celebrate the winter solstice by sharing your frosty photos and favorite winter traditions.

🌟 Christmas Eve (December 24)
Wish your followers a Merry Christmas or share your favorite Christmas Eve tradition.

🎄 Christmas Day (December 25)
Share heartfelt holiday wishes or showcase Christmas morning moments.

🕎 Hanukkah Begins (December 25)
Share a post honoring the start of Hanukkah or feature Hanukkah traditions.

🎉 New Year’s Eve (December 31)
Countdown to a new year! Share posts reflecting on the year or share your resolutions. Encourage your audience to share their hopes for the upcoming year.

December Hashtags

#CyberMonday #ExclusivePromotions #OnlineDiscounts #LimitedTimeOffers #GivingTuesday #CharitableCauseSupport #DonationDrive #NonprofitPledge #NationalCookieDay #Cookies #CookiesOfInstagram #CookieShowcase #ChristmasCardDay #CardMakingIdeas #ChristmasCardDesigns #DIYCardTips #FreeShippingDay #FreeShipping #ShippingPromo #SpecialCode #BakeCookiesDay #CookieRecipes #BakingTips #HomemadeCookies #SuperSaturday #SuperSaturdayDiscounts #Promotions #GiftIdeas #WinterSolstice #Winter #FirstDayofWinter #FrostyPhotos #ChristmasEve #Christmas #ChristmasTime #MerryChristmas #ChristmasTime #ChristmasDay #ChristmasTimeIsHere #HolidayWishes #Hanukkah #HanukkahBegins #HappyHanukkah #HanukkahTraditions #NewYear2024 #NewYear #HappyNewYear #Reflections #Resolutions #NewYearHopes

December Email Promotions

December is a great month to raise money for charity, help your audience find the perfect gift, and get them ready for the new year with special gift guides, offers, and promotions! 

December Email Subject Lines

  • 🎁 Give Back, Get More! Exclusive Giving Tuesday Offer Inside
  • 🔔 Jingle all the way to HUGE savings 
  • 🎅 Ho, Ho, Ho! Our Holiday Gift Guide is Here!  
  • 🎄🥂 Cheers to Our Best Christmas Specials – Open up!
  • 🎉 Countdown to Savings:  Early Access to New Year’s Best Deals

So… Are You Ready to Rock Your Marketing in 2024? 

We hope so! We hope you found some inspiration in this post and are ready to make 2024 your best year ever. 

Keep your chin up if roadblocks get in your way, keep going, and adapt as needed. Remember that consistency is the key that unlocks the door to success and that means doing your best to maintain a regular social media presence, nurture your email list, and keep taking steps to keep your brand stays front and center throughout the year. You might not see the impact right away, but if you keep at it, it’s a guarantee that you’ll be in a completely different and better place this time next year. 🙂

We know you can do it and wish you the very best of luck. Have a wonderful 2024!

by

First, the bad news: If you’re thinking about using ChatGPT to generate social media posts so you can copy and paste them into Instagram and call it good, trust me when I say you’re setting yourself up for massive frustration – not only with ChatGPT, but with your results on social media.

The truth is, as of yet there is no “magic prompt” out there that can make this process truly plug-and-play. 

Now don’t get me wrong, ChatGPT is a powerful tool and using it is a game changer that can help you create amazing content faster and easier, but most people are using it in a way that yields less-than-desirable results…

Using ChatGPT to Create Content the Hard Way

The problem with expecting it to “do your homework for you” is that your target audience can spot ChatGPT-generated content a mile away by now. 

Studies have shown that humans can predictably detect ai-generated content more than half of the time and while ChatGTP generates human-like text, it’s not authentically human. There’s just a little something-something missing that it isn’t able to capture yet and it’s why ai-detection tools can tell you whether your content is human text.

At the very least, you’ll want to spend time putting your captions into your own tone of voice when using it for something your audience will read like an instagram caption.

Even more important: AI tools aren’t responsible for your social media strategy. It’s still up to you to know why you’re posting this or that and how it relates to your customer’s journey. ChatGPT can only follow your instructions and if you’re not careful, you might wind up creating content that doesn’t support your business goals.

Most small business owners can’t afford the luxury of hiring a social media manager to figure all of that out for them, so if you’re creating your own content, save yourself a lot of trial and error by following best practices using a content plan that’s already laid out for you in a social media content calendar like this one. 

It’s when you know which types of social media posts you need in order to guide people from “just browsing” to buying that creating content for social media starts to really pay off. 

But ChatGPT doesn’t consider any of those things when you’re just prompting it to create a social media post for you. It’s like throwing spaghetti on a wall and hoping something sticks. 

And even with the best social media prompts (I think I’ve tried them all by now!), ChatGPT can easily go down bizarre rabbit holes and waste tons of your time before failing to deliver what you need. 

If after a ChatGPT session you feel like it would have been faster/easier/better to write it from scratch, it’s a bit of a false economy.

Now the good news…

What we’re going to do today is take a bit of an unconventional approach to using ChatGPT to level up your social media game by using a strategy most social media marketers aren’t telling you about…

This is a chat gpt technique we’ve been using consistently for the better part of a year with predictable, time-saving, and quality results.

We’re talking “WOW, this is so much better than I expected!” results. 

So for now, forget about finding a specific chat gpt prompt that’ll “finally work” and take a look at how we’re… 

#1 Use ChatGPT in combination with Caption Templates

If you’re looking to speed up content creation for social media (and who isn’t!), the biggest secret is to never start from a blank page. 

It’s that blank page of doom that really gets you when you sit down to create content – trying to come up with an idea out of thin air and then finding the right words to express it … 

Before you know it, half your morning is already over. 

Caption templates, on the other hand, are a starting place. They help you leapfrog over that uncomfortable beginning and get right into the process.

Specifically, caption templates that are written by humans who

  1. Understand the customer journey and what you need to be sharing
  2. Know how to properly structure a post so it keeps your audience’s attention, and
  3. Prompt you to share insights and stories your audience needs to hear

This not only saves you time, but it helps you to get results from your social media content. 

Sure, you still have a bit of manual work to do to adapt them for your niche, but this is where ChatGPT really shines. Caption templates can be used as ChatGPT templates

By providing ChatGPT with a caption template instead of a prompt, you’re less likely to get results that sound like a robot – requiring you to either edit the heck out of them or spend a bunch of time fighting with ChatGPT to get it to sound like something you’d say.   

Together, caption templates and ChatGPT are a powerful combination!  

Think of it this way… 

ChatGPT is a helping hand for taking human-written templates and turning them into engaging posts that are relevant for your niche topics and unique-to-you.


By the way, you can get 885 human-written caption templates inside the Content Calendar System all planned out with the perfect mix of content all businesses need to be sharing for 2 full years and for one low lifetime price.


How to use ChatGPT with Caption Templates

The prompts you’ll need to execute this method works in three steps:

STEP 1: First, provide ChatGPT with the caption template and then ask it what it needs to know (about you, your topic, your business, your audience, etc.) in order to customize it for your niche.

STEP 2: Answer its questions and provide it with relevant information.  Skip over anything that’s not relevant or if you’re struggling to provide an answer. Don’t worry about grammar or perfection.

STEP 3: ChatGPT will then generate a customized caption for you that will work for your specific niche and all you need to do from there is tweak it and post it to social media. 

Let’s do an example from the Content Calendar System so you can see this in action! We’ll use this caption from the “Connect” bucket: 

Copy & Paste Caption Template

What if I told you I never tried to be an expert in [topic], just a good problem solver? And because I love to learn everything I can about [topic], it just so happens I’ve become pretty good at [helping people achieve X outcome].The first time I realized that was when [share how you discovered you were an expert]. If you have any questions about [topic], I’ll be here.

The words in bolded brackets are your writing prompts where you fill in information relevant to your niche. But ChatGPT is going to help us with that!

We’ll use this prompt:

ChatGPT Caption Template Customization Prompt #1

I need to customize this instagram caption template for my niche. What do you need to know/what questions do you need to ask me in order for you to be able to help me write it? [paste CCS caption template]

Now you’ll answer its questions and it will customize the caption template for you.

The reason why this is so helpful is that rather than prompting ChatGPT, you’re giving it a starting point so it can prompt you to provide it what it needs to make a social media post that’s relevant for your brand. 

The cool thing is, the more you do this, the easier and faster it will get if you store your responses in a “seed text document” for future chat sessions. (We’re going to go into more details on this in the next section so stay tuned.) 

Back to the example… 

Let’s say you’re in the fitness and nutrition niche and your responses to ChatGPT’s questions look like this: 

  • Niche/Topic: Fitness and Nutrition
  • Outcome: Helping people achieve their weight loss goals and lead a healthier lifestyle.
  • Personal Story: “The first time I realized I was an expert at helping people achieve their weight loss goals was when I lost 50 pounds myself. I experienced firsthand the challenges and triumphs, and I knew I could use my experience to guide others.”
  • Keywords: Weight loss, healthy living, fitness
  • Tone/Style: Motivational and supportive
  • Call to Action: “If you’re on your own weight loss journey and have questions or need guidance, feel free to reach out. I’m here to help you achieve your goals!”
  • Highlight: Your love for healthy cooking, workout routines, and nutrition tips.

Let’s paste those into ChatGPT and take a look at the resulting caption: 

Pretty cool, right? It sounds human rather than stiff and robotic and your caption template is adapted without you needing to even come up with creative ideas for what to say.

And, it’s following a proven content strategy. “Connect” content is one of the six buckets all small businesses need to be sharing and includes personal stories your audience needs to hear in order to build up your know/like/trust factor (that leads to sales). 

Further reading: For more information about the other types of content you need, check out our Using Content Pillars for Social Media post.

If it’s not 100% perfect at this point, keep in mind this entire process takes only a few seconds. The result is predictably a pretty solid rough draft and tweaking it is much faster than starting with the blank page of doom! 

Now let’s do something completely different and use as our example a product-based business… 

  • Niche/Topic: Eco-friendly and sustainable home products
  • Outcome: Helping people transition to a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle by offering a range of products that reduce environmental impact and promote green living.
  • Personal Story: “My journey to becoming an expert in sustainable home products started when I noticed the overwhelming amount of plastic waste in our daily lives. I felt a strong urge to make a difference, and that led me to source and create products that could help others reduce their ecological footprint.”
  • Keywords: Eco-friendly, sustainable, green living
  • Tone/Style: Professional and educational, focusing on the importance of sustainability.
  • Call to Action: “Explore our range of eco-friendly home products to take the first step towards a greener lifestyle. Visit our website for more information and to make a positive impact on the environment.”
  • Highlight: The range of products, their eco-friendly features, and the commitment to a more sustainable future.

As a reminder, we’re on step 2 so we just need to submit these responses to ChatGPT… 

Two completely different niches, two completely different results. Isn’t that awesome?

Before we move on: Notice that it added some relevant hashtags there at the end of the post. Be advised that ChatGPT doesn’t do a very good job at hashtags despite what it may tell you, so you always want to look them up by searching for them on Instagram to see if there’s an audience for those hashtags. Chances are you’ll want to swap them out or add your own. 

Further reading: You can get more free copy and paste captions just like this over in this blog post if you want to give this “1, 2, 3 method” a try today! 

Tweaking your final caption and making it “yours”

At this point you might be wondering if it’s okay to have a social media post that sounds similar to someone else’s post… I wondered about that too in the beginning, but I’ve been using the Content Calendar System caption templates for 2 years now and our social media content consistently generates engagement, leads, and sales. 

First, the chances that anyone will notice a similarity are astronomical.

Secondly, remember that the entire point of this exercise is to help you stop wasting time spinning your wheels feeling stuck on what to post and what to say. Editing and tweaking is exponentially faster than writing from scratch and you can do that to your heart’s delight.

You can even use a tool like WordTune to help you create variations for your draft captions. ChatGTP is terrible at fine-tuning and it starts to lose the plot, but AI tools like WordTune are designed to help you perfect your copy one line or one paragraph at a time. 

Use ChatGPT to generate topic ideas

There’s one more prompt you’ll need in your toolkit for those times when ChatGPT asks you to provide a particular topic before it can adapt your caption template. What if you don’t have a topic? 

In this scenario you’re going to use ChatGPT to help you generate relevant content ideas for your post!

ChatGPT Caption Template Customization Prompt #2. 

I need some ideas for how to customize this social media caption template for my niche, what do you need to know to help me create a list of possible topics? [paste CCS caption template]

This time let’s use an example prompt from the “EDUCATE” bucket…

ChatGPT Caption Template Customization Prompt #2

Sometimes the truth is hard to hear. 👀 Achieving [goal] doesn’t happen by magic. It takes hard work and results don’t happen overnight. They’re a product of pushing yourself every single day. 💪 So what exactly does it take to do [goal]? Hint: it’s all about your mindset. 🙌 [Insert three shifts they can make]. Remember, I’m here to help you see it through! 🌟

This time I’m feeling lazy so I’m not even going to answer all the possible questions, I’m just going to tell it about our niche and our target customer and see what happens… 

In this scenario, it generated 5 unique ideas I can use as “hooks” I can use to customize the caption template that are appropriate for my niche and target customer. 

A lot of the time, that’s all I need and then I’m off to the races and can quickly finish customizing the caption template. Or, we can prompt ChatGPT to finish it for us…

I’m happy with its suggestions, so what I would do at this point is just copy and paste it into a Google doc or my social media scheduler and tweak it so it sounds like me… and that’s it!

Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Hopefully these examples give you a glimpse of how much smoother the process goes when you’re using caption templates with ChatGPT instead of taking your chances with random prompts. 

You may still need to tweak your final caption in your own writing style for best results, but you would need far more editing if you weren’t using human-written templates as a starting place. 

The final result sounds authentic, and it’s unique to you because you’re directing the substance of the post, but you’ll avoid sounding like you’re just posting generic ai-generated content.  

Now let’s set you up to streamline your workflow even more and circle back to the “seed text document” technique I mentioned earlier… 

#2 Keep a Seed Text Document for a Super Fast ChatGPT Workflow 

As I mentioned earlier, the above process will go faster the more you do it if you store your responses to ChatGPT’s questions in a seed text document. So let’s start by defining…

What is a Seed Text Document?

A seed text document contains text snippets about your brand, your target audience, content guidelines, the topics you stay focused on, the products and services you sell and so on. 

This information can be copied and pasted into ChatGPT to quickly train it on the information it needs in order to help you create content that’s relevant to your business. Think of it like a creative brief that AI can use to produce content tailored to meet the unique voice and needs of your brand.

Why you should maintain a seed text document if you use ChatGTP for content creation:

Consistency: The seed text document helps you articulate your brand’s voice, tone, and values so all content aligns with your brand identity across all social media platforms.

Efficiency: Storing your brand information and audience insights in a seed text document enables ChatGPT to quickly generate content without the need for repeated explanations or references.

Targeted Content: By storing demographics, interests, and pain points in your seed text document, ChatGPT can create content that resonates with your target audience, leading to higher engagement and conversions.

What goes in a Seed Text Document?

This is the part where you may start to groan because it feels like homework (or maybe that’s just me?). But you don’t have to do this all at once! 

The important thing is to have a document handy so you can store snippets of text that you know you’ll need to repeat again when using ChatGPT.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, grab our free Seed Text Document Template here. 

Information about Your Niche: You’ll want to describe your business generally – what you sell, who you sell to, what industry you’re in, etc.

Brand Guidelines: You’ll also want to store things like your brand’s mission, values, unique selling points, your brand’s personality, and brand voice.

Audience Insights: Things like demographics, interests, problems, limiting beliefs and objections your audience has. The better you understand your audience, the more compelling and relatable your content will be.

Content Guidelines: Specify any content guidelines you have. For instance, if you have a list of keywords you’d like to include in your posts, or specific topics you focus on, include them in your seed text document. 

Previous Successful Content: If you have existing content that has performed well on social media, include examples in your seed text document. This can help ChatGPT understand the style and tone of content that resonates with your audience.

And here’s something cool: you can use ChatGPT to help you create these snippets of text! It can take your rough thoughts and polish them up and even help you get clarity about your brand. 

Nobody but you and ChatGPT is going to see this stuff so it doesn’t need to be perfect. This is an “organic document” that will grow and become more useful over time as you add more things to it. 

Now you’ve got a pretty solid method for creating authentic, human-sounding content and a way to make the process lightening fast!

That’s a wrap!

Now you have a way to use ChatGPT to create social media content faster and easier without sounding like everyone else copying & pasting directly from ChatGPT.

With the help of ChatGPT and caption templates, you can create effective posts for all the various social media platforms to attract potential customers and reach a wider audience. In this post we’ve focused on Instagram posts because that’s our social media “home base,” but we also repurpose them as  Facebook posts and schedule them at the same time using Metricool. (affiliate link)

And you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be able to work just as fast but with a better outcome!

We’re all just learning the ropes incorporating ChatGPT in our workflow, but I hope this has inspired you to think outside the box to find better ways to use ChatGPT to enhance social media presence – authentically and strategically.

While ChatGPT may not be “quite there yet” in terms of automatically generating the perfect social media posts, it’s still an incredibly valuable tool you can use for various tasks to help you make your content creation process much easier and more effective. 

And that it’s possible to use content “helpers” like caption templates and AI together to create original content that sounds like you and helps you get your brand message out there.

I wish you much success with your social media efforts! Before you go, be sure to check out our copy & paste caption templates to test drive the this technique today, and grab a copy of our ChatGPT Seed Text Template below.

You might also enjoy:

by

Have you ever stared at a blank screen for hours, wondering what to post on social media? Or struggled to come up with great Instagram captions in order to get more engagement and attract customers for your small business? 

If so, then you’ve come to the right place! Because today we’re going to hook you up with the best Instagram captions that work for any small business – just copy and paste them into the ol’ Instagram app and hit publish! 

These are totally plug-and-play and take only a few minutes to customize to create perfect instagram posts for your ideal audience.


By the way, these captions are straight out of our signature content program, the Content Calendar System where we’ve planned out two years of content with daily copy and paste caption templates just like the ones we’re about to share with you! 

The best part is that there’s nothing random about these captions, they’re different from those generic lists of content ideas where you have to sort through tons of ideas trying to figure out why you should be sharing this or that and how it’s going to help you build your business. 

Good instagram captions always start with strategy, and that’s why the following caption templates are sorted into our “6-Bucket content system.” 

Each bucket plays a role in helping you guide your audience through the buyer journey (total internet stranger all the way to customer!) and the most important thing to keep in mind is you need to share a variety of different types of Instagram posts.

These 6 content buckets represent the types of content that every business needs to share because they work together to reach people at all stages of awareness. They are:

  1. INSPIRE: Aspirational post captions to encourage likes and shares and helps you get more reach 
  2. ASK: Engaging questions that encourage instagram comments
  3. CONNECT: Stories that build your know/like/trust factor (that leads to sales!) 
  4. EDUCATE: Authority-building posts that build trust and credibility around niche topics
  5. EVERGREEN: Timeless content you need to share on a recurring basis to attract customers
  6. CONVERT: Information about your products and services and encourage people to take action

When you think of it like a timeline and how your audience is experiencing your content, it looks something like this… 

I’ve organized the following copy & paste caption templates into these six buckets so not only can you create the perfect Instagram caption for your small business TODAY, as you read through these different sections you’ll begin to see this system in action so you’re always creating the best IG captions in order increase your engagement, build your following, and generate leads and sales. 

For each of the six buckets I’ll be sharing three captions you can copy and paste and use for your own Instagram account beginning with the first bucket – INSPIRE.

Content Bucket #1: INSPIRE


WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED TO SHARE ‘INSPIRE’ CONTENT

People come to social media to get inspired, so this is a fun one! This bucket is where you can share beautiful photos and inspirational Instagram quotes paired with cool captions that inspire and motivate your audience. 

We all need pep talks to build our confidence and keep going, and this type of content gets people commenting and liking your posts, which the algorithms love becauae engagement is a signal that people like your content.

You can even repurpose these inspirational quotes as engaging an Instagram story – just customize your graphic to the right size using a tool like Canva. 

Copy & Paste Caption Template #1 – You Are Limitless

Imagine no limitations on what you can be, have, or do.’ – Brian Tracy. Don’t wait for someone or something to hand your dream to you or give you permission.Instead, look in the mirror and give yourself permission. Ask yourself what it’s going to take to be successful. You have all the answers you need. You are limitless!

Copy & Paste Caption Template #2 – Forget Your Phone

3 REASONS TO FORGET YOUR PHONE MORE OFTEN:  1) You’ll feel better when you’re unplugged.2) Phones take you away from real life and your environment. 3) You’ll create more connections with people in the outdoors, which we all need. When was the last time you completely forgot to look at your phone?

Copy & Paste Caption Template #3 – Good Things Come to Those Who Work

No dream is too big or unattainable. No problem is too big that can’t be solved. You have the power and are the only one standing in the way of you reaching your dreams.
That means you have limitless potential. Whatever you want to create in your life, you can do it. Just make sure you start SOON!!

Pro-tip! Use relevant hashtags strategically to increase the discoverability of your posts and reach a wider audience such as #MotivationMonday and #businessinspiration

That’s all we have from the Inspire bucket today! But there are lots more content ideas like these in our Content Calendar System.

Content Bucket #2: ASK

WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED TO SHARE ‘ASK’ CONTENT

The second content bucket I am sharing today is called Ask. Think of content that comes from the Ask bucket as “icebreaker content”. This is where you’re going to be asking your audience questions and getting them to engage with you and interact with your posts.  The beautiful thing about “ask” captions is that engagement and interaction show algorithms that people love your content – so they’re going to show it to more people.

The first piece of content is an icebreaker question about good habits. Just copy and paste the following template into a social media of choice like Facebook or Instagram – something that doesn’t have a character limit like Twitter. Don’t forget to insert your own comment into the brackets!

Copy & Paste Caption Template #4 – Good habits

Quick question for you guys… What good habits have you been slacking on lately? No judgments here, it happens! Maybe you’ve been procrastinating, making excuses, or just plain not doing what you should be doing. I hear you! I used [to positive habit you’ve let go]. This week, I’m getting back to it! Let me know in the comments what you want to get back to. I’m here to cheer you on and help you do it!

The second idea in this set of social media content ideas for small businesses is about the comfort zone. Another icebreaker for easy engagement!

Copy & Paste Caption Template #5 – Comfort Zone

The last time I stepped out of my comfort zone was…[describe what you did, how you felt, and a lesson you learned that stuck with you]. Is it time to step out of your comfort zone again? Remember, if it doesn’t scare you – you won’t grow! What’s one thing you know would change everything if you just DID IT?!!

The third idea encourages followers to look back at last year. People love to reminisce, and nostalgia is powerful. Ask your followers what they were doing a year ago at this time, and share the same information yourself!

Copy & Paste Caption Template #6 – A Look Back to Yesteryear

WOW, can you believe how FAST time flies? Just last year, I was [describe what you were doing related to your niche]. Now I’m [share what’s changed and why you’re grateful]. Everything is possible when you put in the work! What’s changed for you this year?

Pro-tip! Don’t forget to use emojis to help you set the tone of your brand voice and break up your Instagram text with visuals.

That’s content bucket number two!

Content Bucket #3: CONNECT

WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED TO SHARE ‘CONNECT’ CONTENT

That leads us right to bucket number three – Connect. This is where great captions will build your know/like/trust factor because you’re relating to them as a real human being with flaws and struggles. You’re sharing your goals and your journey, creating a network of good friends on social media who relate to your experiences.

When you share from the Connect bucket, you’re essentially warming people up to you and your business.The best thing about these is they’re equally perfect for people in your audience who are completely unaware of you as well as your best friends and brand loyal customers too — we all love relatable stories! 

Copy & Paste Caption Template #7 – Shout out to Followers

Thank you for being here. We are [X days, months, years, and x amount of followers] strong. Thanks for making the connection!I truly think it’s wonderful that we can connect and grow and learn from each other. And I hope that my feed can bring you a smile or some inspo as I share my [life and journey/tips and stories] with you!

Copy & Paste Caption Template #8 – Expert in my Niche

What if I told you I never tried to be an expert in [topic], just a good problem solver? And because I love to learn everything I can about [topic], it just so happens I’ve become pretty good at [helping people achieve X outcome].The first time I realized that was when [share how you discovered you were an expert]. If you have any questions about [topic], I’ll be here.

Copy & Paste Caption Template #9 – Flaws

Most people don’t know this about me, but I am secretly [share a flaw or weakness you have]. And I used to hate that about myself! But you know what? I think that’s been the secret to my success. [Share why your flaws helped you get where you are today]. What’s your secret flaw that most people don’t know about? If you need help turning it into a superpower, I’m here.

Connecting with your audience means you’re building a strong following of Instagram followers. Building your know/like/trust factor with content from the Connect bucket is an important part of building customer relationships – which can also improve customer retention. 

Pro-tip! When copying and pasting your captions into Instagram, don’t forget to use line breaks. Whether you’re sharing heartfelt stories or sassy Instagram captions, line breaks help maintain a clean and visually appealing format. To add a line break on most social media platforms, simply press the ‘Return’ or ‘Enter’ key twice.

Bucket #4: EDUCATE

WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED TO SHARE ‘EDUCATE’ CONTENT

The next bucket is bucket number 4, and that’s Educate. This is teaching content. It’s where you’re helping your audience solve a problem or take the next step with something they’re struggling with. And in the process, you’re really sharing your expertise and becoming a go-to resource in your niche, which is continuing to warm them up to your business and what you do. 

Copy & Paste Caption Template #10 – A Better Way to Achieve A Specific Result

Let’s talk about [topic]. 🙄 Many people believe the only way to [achieve X outcome] is to [insert a common approach].But they’re completely wrong. Here’s why: 👆 [Insert three reasons]. For years now, I’ve been [getting the result they want] by [insert your unique strategy]. And guess what? You can too!Ask me about it in the comments. 💬

Copy & Paste Caption Template #11 – 3 Easy Habits to Achieve X

Easy everyday habits you can foster right now 👏 We all want to achieve [ niche topic ], right? Well, here’s the secret – all it takes is a complete switch of your daily habits! For me, these habits were the crucial stepping stones I needed to find success today: 🌟 [ Habit #1 ] 🌟 [ Habit #2 ] 🌟 [ Habit #3 ] To quote Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Are you ready to switch up your daily routine? 👀

Copy & Paste Caption Template #12 – Accountability

Sometimes the truth is hard to hear. 👀 Achieving [goal] doesn’t happen by magic. It takes hard work and results don’t happen overnight. They’re a product of pushing yourself every single day. 💪 So what exactly does it take to do [goal]? Hint: it’s all about your mindset. 🙌 [Insert three shifts they can make]. Remember, I’m here to help you see it through! 🌟

Sharing from the Educate bucket also builds your authority on your chosen topic, positioning yourself as an expert in your niche and building trust factor. Keep in mind that visual content aids in understanding so try to find ways to incorporate infographics, charts, and captivating Instagram photos to help convey educational information effectively.

Pro-tip! With educate posts, add bullet points to list ideas or steps to help break up your copy and make it more visual so it’s easy to skim and scan.

Content Bucket #5: EVERGREEN

WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED TO SHARE ‘EVERGREEN’ CONTENT

Evergreen is recurring content – which is content that you can share at any time. This content is meant to drive traffic to your website, your blog posts, your freebies, videos, and anything that you’re posting elsewhere. 

You can also share your favorite caption from the past as part of your Evergreen content strategy to keep your audience engaged and get more exposure on content you’ve already created. 

Plus, you can share any weekly insights, or those “aha!” moments you have along the way…reintroduce yourself to your community. 

Essentially, what you’re doing is staying connected to your audience by sharing small moments along the way, week to week, month to month.

Copy & Paste Caption Template #13 – Milestones

Woo! I did it. Been working hard on [X], and I’m finally starting to see results![Share your win] Time to check in on your [niche topic] goals!Are you powering through, or have you been slipping lately? DM me if you need help getting [the thing they want to achieve] back on track!

Copy & Paste Caption Template #14 – Favorite Tools and Resources

There are so many tools out there to help with [topic]. And it’s super easy to feel overwhelmed! So I thought I’d share my current must-haves that I’m using all the time and recommending to my customers: [Share 3-5 tools you use and why.]What tools are you using every day? Remember, start slow… you don’t need a gazillion tools, just the right ones!

Copy & Paste Caption Template #15 – Re-introduce Yourself

It’s time we got to know each other, don’t you think? 👋 I see a lot of lovely new faces here lately. So, allow me to reintroduce myself: My name is [ Name ] and I [ insert job mission – e.g., help clients supercharge their business with powerful copywriting ]. 😁 As much as [ niche ] is my passion, it’s not what I do 24/7. In my spare time, you’ll find me: ✨ [ Activity #1 – e.g., hanging with friends and family ]. [ expand – e.g., this helps me to relax and recharge ]. ✨ [ Activity #2 – attending gym classes ]. [ expand ]. ✨ [ Activity #3 – visiting the theater ]. [ expand ]. Tell me about you in the comments below and let’s connect 🤩💭

Bucket #6: CONVERT

WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED TO SHARE ‘CONVERT’ CONTENT

That brings us right to bucket number 6, which is Convert. This is your promotional content. By now, you have loads of other kinds of posts. They’re working hard to grow your account, build that relationship with your followers, and help them make some quick wins. You definitely want to throw promotional content in the mix so they know what you offer. 

It’s easy to assume that our followers already know what we offer, but chances are that they don’t – especially if you’re not using this type of post often. This type of content makes them aware of your products and services and what you have to offer and helps you generate those leads and sales. 

Copy & Paste Caption Template #16 – Here’s How I Can Help

Do you have a plan for [achieving X]? You need a strategy fast! One that will help you get all the way to [a huge milestone]. How relieved would you feel knowing you had a [step-by-step roadmap]? In my program, you’ll get [explain your offer, what’s included, and what it will help them do]. Link in bio to learn more.

Copy & Paste Caption Template #17 – Customer Testimonial

Nothing makes me happier than seeing messages like this from my amazing [product or service name] customers… “[Insert your best testimonial]” High five, [@name]! You made my day.☀️ P.S. – Want to know how you can get results like this too? Head over to my website for more info. Website.com

Copy & Paste Caption Template #18 – Getting out of Your Comfort Zone

What if we all step out of our comfort zone and do something really different that could alter the way we approach life/business? ⁠ ⁠ If you want to [reach X goal, do this]. ⁠ If you want to [reach Y goal, do this]. ⁠ ⁠ If you want to [achieve a really big outcome that you provide], send me a DM. ⁠ The best time to make your dreams come true is today. You may not reach the stars in a day but you’ll be one step closer to them. Heck, you may get close enough to see them sparkle!


We share loads more Promotional social media content ideas in our Content Calendar System – you should check it out! It’s important to share from a mixture of all the buckets in order to have a really well-rounded content strategy.


That’s it for the 6 buckets! These templates will make it easy for you to copy Instagram captions that align with your content strategy and engage your audience effectively.

Caption All Your Social Media Posts Using the 6-Bucket Strategy

So far, I’ve shared 18 expanded content ideas with copy and paste caption templates. If there’s anything you take away from this post, I hope you can see the strategy that’s really baked into these ideas by filling up each of the buckets you need to grow your business on social media. 

These 6 Content Buckets are designed to correspond with all phases of the customer journey and guide your audience through different stages of awareness…

By following the 6-bucket strategy, not only are you growing your following and attracting your audience, but you’re warming them up to your business and guiding them on a journey to become a customer

The journey begins with content designed to attract your audience and boost engagement.

Then, you’re bringing them a little bit deeper: connecting with them on a personal level and earning their trust by sharing your expertise.

Taking them further on the journey, you’ll invite them to take action in order to convert your followers into leads and customers. Rather than coming across as “salesy,” it will feel completely natural and authentic — you’re comfortable and relaxed and just letting them know how you can help, who you’ve helped before, and what you have to offer. 

With your Evergreen content, you’re continuing to build a relationship, sharing your new ideas, new discoveries, and new content that you’ve created. You’re driving traffic to your business and essentially keeping everything you’ve built thus far going and growing!

Having ideas at your fingertips and copy and paste captions will save you massive amounts of time, but just make sure you’re using the 6-bucket content strategy I shared with you today to make sure your social media posts attract the right audience to your content, warm them up to your business, and close the sale. 

The other thing I hope you’re taking away from this post is that consistency is key on social media. Just like anything else, you have to show up regularly to get those results. 

If you find that difficult, you’re not the only one! Tons of small business owners are regularly staring at their phones, wondering what to post on Instagram or what to post on Facebook. 

The easiest way to skip over being stuck on what to post is to have a plan with simple steps to follow ready in advance…

You need content ideas just like this, pre-planned, ready to go, and a way to quickly pull together your content for the entire month in just a few hours so when you’re ready to create your Instagram content, all you need to do is open Instagram and use the ideas you’ve prepared.

I have good news – that’s exactly what’s inside our Content Calendar System.

The Content Calendar System (CCS)

CCS is a great way to show up regularly every day without stress and without overwhelm because you’ll have loads more ideas and captions just like this already planned out for you in a two-year content calendar. 

Rather than taking your chances with an AI-powered Instagram caption generator or pulling from a random list of ideas you find online, CCS is a proven system used by thousands of small businesses just like yours to get results on social media.

You’ll be able to use our daily templates to create new Instagram captions for your posts following the same 6-bucket content strategy we’ve shared with you today. 

All you have to do is grab your caption, tweak it, grab your graphic, and post it. So you’re literally done and done! Never rack your brain for Instagram content ideas again…just shake up your strategy with CCS! 

We really want to save you time and stress creating content so you can show up confidently and super excited about what you’re sharing. 

Remember, the only thing stopping people from showing up on social media the way they want is lack of confidence in their strategy and lack of time. The Content Calendar System solves both. Don’t forget to check it out!

As always, thank you so much for reading, and I will see you next time!

by

Are you curious about how to use content pillars to create social media content but not sure how to get started? You’ve come to the right place! In this illustrated, step-by-step guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about:

  • What they are
  • Why you need them if you want results with content marketing
  • How to figure out what yours should be so you can attract your dream customers into your audience
  • How to use them to create content for social media more effortlessly, and
  • How to streamline your content creation process and save tons of time

Not only that, I’m also going to show you how they fit into your larger content strategy and how to easily plan your content so you can stay consistent with less stress. 

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a roadmap for always knowing what to post and when to post it in order to grow your social media presence. 

Sound good? 

Before we get too far, be sure to download the free Content Planning Template so you can put all the steps you’re about to learn into action.

First thing’s first: 

What are Content Pillars?

Content pillars are the main topics or themes that all of your content can be sorted into. 

These themes connect your content to your business goals and make life easier by providing a framework for everything you share so you can attract your ideal audience, earn their trust, and guide them toward becoming a customer.  

The biggest benefit of all? Time savings. The average small business owner spends hours each week stuck on the question, “what should I be posting?” because they’re not following a content pillar plan like the one I’m about to show you. 

A general rule of thumb is that you want to narrow the topics you post about down to 3-5 broad topic categories to make sure your brand message is focused and your audience knows exactly what to expect when they follow you. 

Each of your 3-5 content pillars should represent a topic theme that’s…

  1. Relevant to your brand and the products and services you sell
  2. Relevant to your ideal audience

They can have infinite subtopics and specific topics, but they all must relate to the pillar topics. 

We’re going to go over the steps to determine your own content pillars shortly, but first it’ll be helpful to see where you’re headed. So let’s kick things off by taking a look at what content pillars look like in practice with some examples… 

Social Media Content Pillar Examples 

The easiest way to determine your content pillars is to just start brainstorming topics that relate to what you sell, or what you want to sell, and the things your ideal customers might have questions about. 

Say you’re a digital product and course creator that helps small businesses with digital marketing. The topics you come up with might look like this… 

A picture of topics written on a piece of paper as part of the brainstorming process to create content pillars

Once you’ve brainstormed your list of topics, you want to start grouping them together in common themes or “clusters.” It may take some shuffling around, but eventually you should be able to put them all under 3-5 broad topic categories.

(If you come up with 3 that’s perfect, don’t strain yourself trying to get to 5. The more you niche down, the simpler it will be to manage. But if you need 4 pillars or 5 that’s perfectly fine too.)

In this example, those main pillars might look something like this…

Illustration of topic clusters forming content pillars

For this business (which happens to be ours!), each pillar relates to the things we sell and topics our ideal customers are interested in (as they relate to what we sell).   

That said, this does NOT mean that you should constantly talk about your products and services in your content. Instead, you want to create content that builds brand awareness and trust around the topics that relate to your offerings. 

That way, you’ll fill up your audience with people who are most likely to eventually make a purchase. 

Since we have multiple product lines, our approach is to focus on one pillar at a time in our content depending on what we’re promoting during that particular time period. 

This makes it easier to batch create content for social media posts, emails, blog posts, and videos because we’re immersed in one topic area at a time. 

Notice that each of our pillars is broad enough so we can include multiple subtopics. 

From those subtopics, we have the flexibility to break them down into an infinite number of tips, personal stories, case studies, how-to guides, industry news updates, and so on and still maintain a cohesive brand story (who we help and how we help them).  

Just for fun, I thought I’d show you a few more… 

Content Pillar Examples for Different Niches

Let’s explore examples of content pillar topics for various niches to give you inspiration for your own business… 

An illustration of different possible content pillars for different niches

These topics are just fictional examples to get your creative juices flowing. If you see your niche here, your pillars might look completely different and that’s okay! Your pillars are unique to your business. 

Now let’s take a look at how your pillars will fit into your larger social media content strategy, because this is a key point a lot of marketing gurus fail to point out…  

👉If you want to attract customers and generate leads and sales with your content, having content pillars alone is not enough. You also need to consider the types of content you need for people in your audience who are at different stages of awareness. 

Content Pillars As Part of Your Larger Social Media Content Strategy

I want to zoom out and give you the big picture of creating an effective social media strategy because this is the part that can get confusing depending on who you listen to. 

Content marketers teach the concept of “content pillars” in two different ways:

1) As the 3-5 topic themes you stay focused on 

OR… 

2) The types of content you need to be sharing (e.g. personal stories, educational tips, inspirational quotes, etc).

If you landed on this post because you were curious about which one you need, we’re about to clear this up for good!

Content Pillars vs Types of Content

A lot of unnecessary confusion is created when words like “content pillars” and “content buckets” and “content types” are used interchangeably – it gives the impression there’s something complicated about this or even some controversy (there’s not). 

It’s actually very simple! 

Forget about all the social media marketing lingo for just a second… 

What’s important to understand is that there are 2 main components of a social media content strategy, and in plain language they are:

  1. 3-5 broad topic areas you’ll stay focused on so people understand what you’re about and so you attract the right audience 
  2. Different types of content (e.g. inspirational, educational, promotional, etc.) 

The reason we need different types of content is so we can get the attention of people in your audience who are at different stages of awareness (more on that in a second).   

Here’s the bottom line 👉You need both. 

No matter what people call these components, you need both in order to grow a targeted audience and guide them to a purchase. 

This is all going to come together soon but let’s lock in the definitions for how we’ll describe these 2 content strategy components:

Content pillars = broad topic categories (unique to your business)
Content buckets = types of content categories (that all businesses need to share) 

Here’s a helpful way to think about it…

Your content pillars are about YOU 👉 the topics that communicate what your business is about

Your content buckets are about YOUR AUDIENCE 👉 what they need based on their awareness 

An illustration with of content pillars (YOU) and content buckets (YOUR AUDIENCE)

Each of the different content buckets plays a different role and works to either:

  • Get more followers
  • Encourage them to like, comment, and share your posts (a positive signal to the the algorithms that helps your content reach more people)  
  • Create a personal connection and build the know/like/trust factor that leads to sales
  • Establish credibility and earn your followers’ trust 
  • Position you as the best choice when compared to your competition 
  • Inspire members of your audience to take the next steps with you (sign up to your mailing list, DM you, buy something, etc.) 

If you were just to show up and post about the stuff you sell… nobody would follow you, engage with you, or even make a purchase. It would be like asking someone to marry you on the first date.

That said, while a person who doesn’t know anything about you yet isn’t ready for a sales pitch, a brand loyal customer is just waiting to hear what you have to sell them next. 

👉They need different types of content. 

You need to fill up ALL your buckets because… 

Before someone becomes a customer, they go through a decision-making process and that process can take minutes or it can take years but the process is always the same… 

Picture it like a timeline:

Illustration of the social media customer journey timeline

People start out completely unaware of you and with the help of your social media posts…

→ Move toward becoming a follower. Things like inspirational posts and relatable personal stories work great at this stage to help people to get to know you and like what you’re about.

→ Then you want to earn your followers’ trust and you do that by sharing value – educational content, lessons learned, recommendations, success stories and so on. 

→ After they know, like, and trust you they’ll consider signing up for your email list or buy your products and services. So a portion of the time – about 20% – you need to be sharing information directly related to your offerings and calling your audience to action. 

The other 80% of your time you want to be sharing value to keep guiding people along this timeline.  

At this point, try not to over complicate the way you think about this. All you need to know is that you want to mix up the types of content you share and in a moment, we’re going to go over exactly what those are

The way you ensure you’re mixing things up is to use a content calendar to plan it all out. 

👉A social media content calendar is where your content pillars and your content buckets come together to form a plan for you to follow. 

Illustration of content pillars going into content buckets that are planned out in a content calendar

Using a content calendar helps you stay consistent, reduces stress, and simplifies the content creation process. 

So from here, we’re going to go over the steps you need to reach the final destination: a content calendar all planned out using your content pillars and content buckets: 

→ Determine your content pillars
→ Go over the 6 content buckets you need to share
→ Put them together in a content calendar 

Ready?  


If you haven’t yet grabbed the Content Planning Template, be sure to do that now so you can follow along with the upcoming exercises.


Figuring Out Your Social Media Content Pillars

Having intel about your ideal customer is an essential component of creating great content that’ll capture their attention and get them to stop scrolling and read your posts. 

So we start by getting clarity about who they are and what they need to hear from you…

Step 1: Define Key Target Audience Profiles

You’ll need information like demographics, interests and hobbies, challenges and pain points, goals and aspirations, behavioral characteristics, and preferred platforms. 

But if you don’t have any of those things yet, don’t sweat it. You can create fictional target audience profiles based on the products and services you sell (or want to sell).

ChatGPT is not so great at writing social media content, but it’s an excellent tool for research which means it can help you create audience profiles. Just open up ChatGTP and insert following prompt (after you’ve customized the text in brackets): 


Hello ChatGPT! I’m looking to define target audience profiles for my content strategy, but I need help generating insights. I don’t have specific audience details yet, so I’d like you to help me create fictional profiles based on what I’m offering and the topics I want to focus on.

The products or services I plan to focus on are [describe your products/services]. The general topics I’m interested in are [mention the topics].

Can you assist me in creating target audience profiles based on these offerings and topics? I’d like to understand their potential demographics, interests, challenges, and behavior. Thank you!


ChatGPT will then generate a list of what it considers to be the best target audiences for you and it actually does a pretty great job with its suggestions! When you’re happy with it, you want to store these in a document for handy reference. 

Illustration of people in key audiences - marketing, creative professionals, entrepreneurs

The next step is to … 

Step 2: Create a Customer Persona

Creating a customer persona (or “buyer persona”) can help you speak to one person rather than a big anonymous target audience. This will help you better connect with the people who fit this profile and make sure your content sounds natural. 

You can use ChatGPT for this too. Taking your key target audience profiles you worked on in the last step, you’ll prompt ChatGPT to “now create a customer persona for me and put it in table form.” 

Again, save this in a document for reference. We keep ours in the same worksheet.

Illustration of a customer persona

Now rather than speaking to “just anyone” we can picture Sarah and speak directly to her in our content. 

But we’re not done. Now it’s time to do a deep dive into figuring out what Sarah really needs…

Step 3: Identify Audience Internal Needs and Emotional Triggers


Defining key audiences and creating a customer persona is a great start but it’s not enough. You also need to get to the bottom of what they’re feeling if you want to create content that gets their attention. 

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What are they struggling with?
  • What problems keep them up at night? 
  • What do they desire most? 
  • What’s standing in their way?
  • What beliefs are holding them back?
  • What does life look like once they get what they want?

Once you have the answers to these questions you can use “emotional triggers” in every single piece of content to hook them in and keep their attention. 

These triggers are universal to us all, and they have EVERYTHING to do with whether your person takes action, and they include:

  • Goals + Desires
  • Challenges + Pain Points
  • Limiting Beliefs
  • Objections

Think of this as an “empathy exercise.” When you’re able to see things from your customer’s perspective, and you have one representational person to write content for, you’ll be able to create meaningful content for the people you want to connect with. 

When you’re done, you should have something that looks like this: 

Illustration of customer desire map - goals and desires, pain points and frustrations, limiting beliefs, objections

Keep track of this information for reference and use it when creating any given piece of content!

If you’re tempted to skip over these exercises, don’t! With your audience defined and their “emotional map” figured out, you’ll be able to create high quality content with an authentic tone of voice and trust us… it’ll get their attention!

Now we can move on to the next step and that is to…

Step 4: Identify Core Topics and Key Themes

The next step is to identify the core topics or themes that are relevant to both your audience and your business. Start by generating a list of smaller subtopics or content themes you think would be a good fit for you. This will help: 

  • Competitor Research: Study your competitors and their content to identify the topics they focus on. This can inspire and provide insights into potential core topics for your content pillars.
  • Keyword Research: Utilize keyword research tools like SEMScoop and AnswerSocrates to identify high-volume keywords and questions related to your niche. What questions do they have? What related questions do they have? As you find topics that relate to your business, add them to your list.   
  • Brainstorming Sessions: Conduct brainstorming sessions with your team (or with ChatGPT!) to generate more ideas of potential topics related to your products or services you offer and the insights you’ve learned about your audience. If you’re using ChatGPT for this, plug in the audience information you discovered in Step #1 and ask it to generate a list of the most common questions they ask and topics they’re most interested in. 

Step 5: Organize Your List of Topics into Topic Clusters

Once you have a list of topics, start organizing them into topic clusters and keep experimenting until all of them neatly fit under 3-5 broad topic themes to create your content pillars. 

If you can’t narrow your topics into 5 content pillars or fewer, it could be that you’re not niched down enough. If you try to cover too many broad topics, not only will it be harder for you to create content, it’ll be harder for people to know if your content is meant for them

Now you should have a pretty good grasp of your own content pillars, but if you feel a little nervous or unsure about it at this point, don’t stress… 

This is not set in stone. 

You are allowed to change your strategy if you find that something isn’t working or if you change direction in your business. 

What matters is that you’re creating a framework for approaching your content so it’s easier to manage day-to-day. In content marketing, if something doesn’t work, you can always adapt and improve it! 

But now we’ve got a great starting point, so let’s continue so we can apply these content pillars to your daily content creation activities…  

The 6 Content Buckets Your Business Needs to Share 

Recall that it’s your social media content calendar that allows you to ensure you’re sharing a mix of content so you can feel confident you’re always attracting, engaging, educating, and converting your audience. 

The good news is, this part is super straightforward!

There are 6 content buckets that every business needs to be sharing because they work together to reach people at all stages of awareness.


We call these:

  1. INSPIRE: Inspirational, motivational, and uplifting content
  2. ASK: Engaging questions that break the ice and spark conversations and engagement 
  3. CONNECT: Personal stories and anecdotes that create a human connection 
  4. EDUCATE: Educational tips, how-tos, insights, and recommendations 
  5. CONVERT: Information related to your products and services 
  6. EVERGREEN: Recurring and timeless content that you need to share for all audiences including answering FAQs and driving traffic to your blog posts and freebies 

Let’s see how a content calendar might look when we include all 6 buckets in your content plan: 

Image of a content calendar planned out with the six content buckets: inspire, ask, connect, convert, educate, evergreen

Pretty cool, right?

In the above example, you can see we’ve got some inspirational content, educational content, personal stories to “connect” with your audience, questions to “ask” your audience to spark conversations and so on. 

How they correspond with different levels of awareness looks like this: 

Illustration of the timeline of the customer journey as they relate to the content buckets, with inspire on the far left, then ask, then connect, then educate, then evergreen, then convert

This is what marketers call the “customer’s journey” and it’s really just a fancy way of describing the process we all go through before we buy something. 

When making content, the most important question you always want to ask yourself is… 

“What do they already know?” 

  • Unaware: Doesn’t know they have a problem or anything about your brand.
  • Problem Aware: Knows they have a problem, but doesn’t know what the solution is.
  • Solution Aware: Knows there are potential solutions to their problem, but they’re still exploring options and might not be aware of specific brands or products.
  • Product Aware: Knows about products or services that might help them get what they want. They compare features, benefits, and brands. 
  • Brand Aware: Knows about your brand and offerings, including features, benefits, and how it addresses their needs or problems. This stage is where most people will make an initial purchase. Then, they evaluate their experience and hopefully share their (great!) experience with others and become a repeat customer. 

In content marketing, we say that we “meet people where they are” (in this process) with our content. 

An image of the customer journey as a funnel, starting with unaware at the top and funneling down to customer at the bottom.

As an example, say somebody is “solution aware” – they know they have a problem and they’re gathering intel about the best way to solve it. They will appreciate hearing stories of how you or the people you’ve helped got an outcome they want (e.g., case studies, success stories, testimonials). 

→ This type of content gets dropped in the CONVERT bucket. 

Let’s say somebody’s “problem aware” and their problem is that they’re feeling demoralized because they can never seem to strike everything off their “to do” list (problem) but they don’t know what’s causing that or how to go about finding solutions. 

→ They need EDUCATE content that speaks to their problem – e.g., “Feeling demoralized because you can never keep up with your to-do list? Today, I have 3 tips to help!” 

Once you show them you understand what they’re going through, they’ll be receptive to hearing about the solutions you offer that can help them even further. 

So far so good? Right now you might be wondering… 


Where do content pillars fit in?


Now that we know we need a mix of different content buckets, any given piece of content that goes into those buckets needs to be relevant to your business and to your audience. 

That’s where your content pillars come in. 

You want to pull from your content pillars to create all these different types of social media posts, but there’s a little twist… 

The most important buckets to fill up with content pillar topics are:

EDUCATE: – tips & tricks, how-to’s, “best ways to”, recommendations, etc.
CONVERT: – customer success stories, promotional posts, answering common objections
EVERGREEN:– core and best-performing content from the educate, connect, and convert buckets that you want to share over and over again 

The above buckets are for people with medium to high awareness. They’re following you because they need help with the problems your products and services solve.

But it’s okay to go a little off-topic with…

INSPIRE: – motivational content 
ASK: – engaging questions 

These buckets are for people with low awareness. 

It’s okay to have a bit of fun on social media and this type of content drives engagement, they don’t strictly need to pull from your content pillars. If you can, great! Just try to make these posts relevant to your target audience. 

This bucket falls somewhere in the middle… 

CONNECT: – personal stories 

The CONNECT bucket includes personal stories – think “how I achieved something” and “what I learned from failure” stories. These are posts that allow you to connect with your audience on a personal level and build your know/like/trust factor. 

You want to try to connect the personal stories you tell to your content pillars as much as possible, but it’s also okay to just share off-topic personal anecdotes and life updates once in a while. 

Below, the CONNECT bucket is represented twice in the middle of the customer journey to distinguish between these two types of stories…

  1. Personal stories – e.g., “Life update! I’m moving to Bali!” will resonate with people at any stage of awareness including low awareness. 
  1. Stories that relate to your content pillars – e.g, “Lessons I’ve learned about [pillar topic]” – will be more relevant to people with problem/solution awareness. 
Illustration of the customer journey as a funnel with specific examples of content in the different content buckets guiding people in the audience toward being a customer


What about the EVERGREEN bucket? Good question!

This is a “wildcard” bucket because there’s certain content you’ll always want to share on an “evergreen” schedule and you want to plug that into your calendar too so you don’t forget.

This includes re-sharing your core or best content from your CONNECT, EDUCATE, and CONVERT bucket as well things like links to blog posts to drive traffic, invitations to sign up for your freebies, and information about your promotions and so on… 

Image of evergreen content bucket with examples such as FAQs, blog posts, testimonials, success stories

Pssst… If you’re feeling like this is a lot to keep track of, I promise it gets easy with practice. Mentally sorting your content into buckets becomes like second nature! Examples of the types of content that go into each bucket can be referenced from our free content planner. You can also check out our signature Content Calendar System which gives you 2 years of daily content prompts all planned out following the 6-bucket content strategy.


Connecting Content Pillars and Content Buckets 

Now let’s take a look at some examples of social media posts that connect the content buckets and content pillars together. 

EDUCATE is a no-brainer bucket – it’s always pillar-focused. You can share tips, tutorials, how-tos, best ways to achieve a desired outcome, recommendations and so on from any of your content pillars and drop them into the EDUCATE bucket… 

Illustration of content pillars going into the educate content bucket


Here’s an example of an EDUCATE post…

Here, we’re sharing tips that relate to our “content creation” pillar… 

Illustration of content pillars going into the educate bucket pulling from a subtopic

Now let’s look at an example of a post from the INSPIRE bucket…  

This is a pep talk about keeping your chin up during times of business adversity. It’s relevant to our audience of entrepreneurs and relates to one of our content pillars… 

Illustration of the Inspire content bucket - a subtopic from the content pillars goes into the inspire category

CONVERT is another bucket that should always pull from your content pillars because it’s the bucket that’s designated for generating leads and sales… 

This post invites our audience to sign up for our free content planner and it’s that call to action that makes it a CONVERT post. Your call to action doesn’t always have to be “buy now,” it can be any action you ask them to take that helps guide your audience to the next step. 

Connecting this post to our content pillars looks like this… 

Illustration of the convert content bucket with a subtopic from the content pillars going into the bucket

The bottom line is that you…

👉Always want to be filling up your 6 content buckets.
👉Almost always want to be pulling topics from your content pillars. 

If you can connect them all of the time, that’s awesome! Because … 

Illustration of content pillars being able to go into any content bucket

Make sense?

The social media content strategy is starting to come together now! 

→ We’ve got social media content pillars ✅

→ And the content buckets we need to fill up ✅


So now that we’ve got our two components for our content strategy figured out, it’s time to use them to create a plan you can follow in your day-to-day.

And the easiest way to do that is to simply map all of this out in a content calendar… 

Turning Your Content Pillar Strategy into a Daily Action Plan

Now we’re going to walk you through the system we’ve used to help thousands of small business owners get results on social media without all the stress and overwhelm! 🙌

Be sure to download the free content planner (pictured below) and we’ll walk through the process step-by-step… 

Step 1: Collect & categorize your content ideas and sort them into the 6 content buckets

Screen capture of a content planner with columns to store ideas by content bucket

One of the biggest time-wasters around is not having ideas to pull from when you sit down to create content. The KEY is to have a way to collect them as inspiration strikes or while you’re researching your competition or doing keyword or topic research. 

This handy idea library will not only help you capture those ideas, it’ll help you start thinking of them in terms of content buckets

Each column has examples of the types of content that go into each bucket to use as a reference and above the columns you can see why you’re creating this content and the role each bucket serves in your customer’s journey.

When you want to store an idea, just drop it into the column that makes the most sense. Don’t worry about whether it’s related to a content pillar for now, the important thing is to just capture all your ideas here first. 

The next step is to move your ideas into the next tab, which is a content planner where you can organize your ideas by content pillar to make sure you’re staying focused on those… 

Step 2: Sort your Ideas into Content Pillars Using the Content Planner

Add your content pillars to the header rows in gray and then copy and paste your ideas from the idea library under them. Then, assign its content bucket with the dropdown menu in the next column.

Image of a content planner with ideas sorted by content pillar then a dropdown menu selecting content bucket

Next to the content bucket column you’ll have options for…

  • Selecting the content format (post, video, story, etc.)
  • The status (not started → published)
  • The main channel you’re posting to
  • The social media channels you’ll also share it to to get more reach (a.k.a. “cross post”). 
  • Storing URLS to any images or graphic templates that go with the post
  • Storing URLs to blog posts, landing pages, etc. you’ll be referencing in your posts

At this stage, you’re planning everything out and gathering up all the assets you need so they’re handy. That way, when you sit down to batch create content, you’re not starting with a blank page – you’re just executing your plan.

Taking the time to plan all this out not only makes your content more strategic, it makes the process exponentially more efficient and less stressful.   

Step 3: Add Your Posts to the Social Media Content Calendar

At last, it’s time to move everything into a calendar format! 

→ You’ve collected content ideas that relate to your content buckets
→ And organized them by content pillar…

Now all you need to do is make sure you’re sharing a nice mix of content throughout the month.

You want to use color-coding for your content buckets so it’s easy to visualize, and if you grabbed the free content planning template, that’s already set up for you! 

In that template, you’ll also have one week of social media posts already planned out (with content ideas from our signature Content Calendar System for each bucket with pre-written captions that you can customize with topics from your content pillars).   

As you move your own post ideas into the calendar, the different colors for each bucket makes it easy to see “where you’re at” with your content mix… 

Image of a content calendar planned out by content bucket - where the content ideas can be moved

Notice there are tiny black corners in the top right hand side of each day – that’s where you will store your captions so they’re right there when you’re ready to schedule and publish them. 

In the first row you’ll see the sample captions we provided for you there, so just follow this example… 

Image of content planner storing captions in notes in Google sheets

Step 4: Share your posts & keep track of where you share them

If you have a social media presence on different platforms, you can check off where you shared your posts to keep track using this template. 

This is where it gets really fun because you’ll see a visual of how one piece of content can reach more people just by sharing them to other platforms!  

Image of a content calendar with check boxes where content can be tracked where it can be shared

Final Tips for Planning Your Social Media Content

Use a Social Media Scheduler to Crosspost to Different Platforms

We recommend choosing one main social media platform (e.g. Instagram) to focus your energies to start. But look for opportunities to “cross post” that content to other channels! 

For example…

  • Instagram Posts are great to share to Facebook
  • Reels are great to share to TikTok and YouTube, and 
  • IG Stories are perfect for Facebook and Pinterest too

Once you have your content planned out in your calendar, we recommend creating your content in batches and then scheduling them with a tool like Metricool (affiliate link). 

This will allow you to select multiple platforms to share your content to and in advance. 

That way, you can schedule a week, a month, or even several months ahead of time and then forget about it while you focus on other things in your business – your scheduler will take care of publishing them for you! 

There are lots of great schedulers out there but we always like to suggest Metricool because you can get started for free and have full functionality. All your direct messages across all your platforms will be right there and you’ll have analytics and insights for all your channels too. 

The only time you need to upgrade is if you’re scheduling a volume of content and by that point, it more than pays for itself in the time it’ll save you.  

Image of Metricool social media scheduler planning tool

Use Weekly or Monthly Themes based on Content Pillars

We recommend focusing on one content pillar per week or month, especially if you need to “warm up” your audience around a certain topic to plan for an upcoming launch or email promotion. For instance, if you’re a wellness coach you might make October “Healthy Recipes Month” and focus on your “nutrition” pillar.

Be Consistent

Establish a consistent posting schedule. You don’t have to post every day if you can’t swing it, but it’s good to find a  rhythm that works for you and keeps your audience engaged.

It’s better to be consistent and post 2-3x per week than it is to post every day for the first week and then nothing for the rest of the month. 

Batch Create & Schedule 

Plan out all your content in one sitting and then batch create the actual content in a separate session. This will save you heaps of time and keep your mind focused on one aspect of the process at a time, making it much less overwhelming. 

Monitor and Adjust Your Strategy as Needed

Monitor the performance of your content and adjust your content strategy accordingly. If certain content buckets are generating more results for you, consider allocating more energy to those.

Since we’re an educational business, we go a bit more heavy with EDUCATE content. If you’re a life coach, you may need to go a bit more heavy with CONNECT content. And that’s okay! 

These are both “middle of the funnel” buckets for people who are problem aware so it’s perfectly okay to swap those out in your schedule if it makes sense for your business and audience. 

If you’re just getting started in your business, you may not have a lot of stories to share or offers to promote, so you might start off sharing lots of inspirational content and asking engaging questions. That’s okay too. 

As your business and following grows, you can move toward a more balanced content mix and layer on more content buckets. 

Tailor Content for Each Social Media Platform

Consider tailoring your content in a way that works best for each platform – whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or others.

While all six buckets are perfect to share on any platform, things to consider when sharing to the following social media accounts:

  • Facebook and LinkedIn: Ideal for sharing industry insights, thought leadership, and links to your long-form content
  • Instagram & Pinterest: Perfect for visually appealing content that showcases products, services, freebies
  • Twitter and LinkedIn: Great for sharing quick updates, relevant blog posts and videos, and engaging in industry conversations related to your content pillar strategy

And that’s a wrap! Thank you for reading this illustrated guide to content pillars!

We hope this has helped you get clarity around your content pillars and overall social media strategy, and most of all, we hope you feel ready to plan out a content calendar that’ll save you time and help you crush your business goals.

Last chance to download the free content calendar template for Google Sheets by clicking on the image below and get started with seeing better results on social media without all the overwhelm!

If you have any questions about anything you’ve learned in this post, please don’t hesitate to drop us a comment below. We’re always happy to help.

Further reading and resources:

And before you go, if you’d like to get your hands on the ultimate plug-and-play content plan, Content Calendar System includes 2 years of content already planned out for you with 885 daily caption templates you can use to adapt for your niche. You’ll have hundreds of content ideas at your fingertips already organized in the 6 content buckets your business needs to be sharing so you never get stuck on what to post again! We hope to see you inside! 🙂

by

Oh, those Instagram captions. Despite your best intentions to stay consistent on social media, they sure can stop you dead in your tracks.

If you’re anything like us, creating social media posts from scratch goes something like this…

You collect tons of inspiration from social media and know your brain is filled with valuable tips and stories you really should share with your audience….

But your good intentions never actually make it to Instagram because you still need to write the dang caption… 

And oops! Time’s up. A million other priorities have popped up that need your attention. 😩 This is what we call… 

The Social Media Caption Problem

As small business owners, we know exactly how frustrating it is to craft captivating social media captions when we just don’t have that much time to work with. 

Running a small business is a whirlwind of responsibilities, and while we all know how important it is to have an active Instagram presence, finding the time and creativity to consistently produce compelling social media content used to overwhelm us to the point of mental burnout. 

If that sounds like you, the truth is – it’s not easy to come up with great captions. They’re somewhere between a mini-blog and a mini-story, and sometimes you just don’t feel inspired to pull yet another thoughtful story out of your hat.

It can be hard to know what to say, and a lot of people – even full time content creators – can get stuck right there.

And for small businesses? Forget about it. None of us has the bandwidth to create Instagram posts starting from a blank page – you know this is not a good use of your time.

Don’t you just wish that a “Hey, y’all! 👋” would do? 😂

You may have even experimented with generating social media captions with AI tools like ChatGPT, but found that it was more trouble than it was worth and you wound up sounding like a robot 🤖 like everybody else these days. 

If you ever feel like you’re not sure what to write, or that it takes way too long to come up with something brilliant, there’s a method you can use to do it… (and no, it’s not generating uninspiring AI content!)  

I’m about to share the biggest game-changing secret when it comes to speeding up your social media caption writing workflow and that is… to use caption templates.

The Solution: Instagram Caption Templates

Yup! Social media caption templates are a thing, and you can use them to create authentic content to get your business visible without eating up all of your time. 

A photo of caption templates next to a final instagram post.

After years of being frustrated that it would take us hours of our time just to get one single post up on social media, and despite having decades of combined experience creating content, we discovered that many of the top instagram accounts weren’t pulling everything out of the clear blue sky at all… 

They were starting with caption templates.

And it made perfect sense… 

The key to writing social media posts that sound authentic and don’t take forever to write is to never start with a blank page. 

So we experimented with using different free content templates but they were never quite right, they were the type of captions that feel too generic and uninspiring to feel good about posting, or worse, they were just prompts with completely blank captions. 

Caption Templates Alone Aren’t Enough – You Need a Caption Strategy

You have to know WHICH captions you need and they need to be structured in a way that hooks your audience in and guides them to the next step toward becoming a customer, and to be honest, even for lifelong marketers like us, that was a bit of a struggle for us to figure that out at first… 

But we knew if we wanted quality caption templates we needed to create them ourselves. We wanted more than uninspiring same-old-same old caption templates, we wanted an entire caption system that we could use to quickly create engaging, unique content for our social media marketing. 

We started by spending over a year analyzing the content strategies of hundreds of top Instagram influencers until we cracked the code, both for the types of captions we need as well as the flow and tone of the copy within each post… 

Then we set about creating 885 meticulously-crafted caption templates over months and months of writing and editing until we knew that no matter which one we pulled, we’d have a perfect Instagram caption.

And then we kept going!

We planned them all out in a 2-year content calendar with a formula for sharing every type of content a small business needs in order to attract and convert customers and generate leads and sales. 

And the Content Calendar System was born! 

A photo of a 2-year content calendar with caption templates in various categories.

Today CCS is the Best Caption Template System that’s Helped Thousands of Small Business Owners with Their Social Media Marketing 

We found that captions from successful social media accounts getting the most engagement fell into 6 distinct caption categories, each one serving a specific social media goal. There are some to…

  • Build your following
  • Drive Instagram engagement
  • Boost the know/like/trust factor that leads to sales
  • Educate to establish authority and credibility around niche topics
  • Post info about products and services to generate leads and sales, and of course.. 
  • To drive traffic to your business or blog 

Essentially, the captions are organized in such a way that no matter what level of awareness your audience is in, you can meet them where they are in their customer journey and keep moving them closer to taking the next steps with you. 

Because let’s face it… ultimately that’s why small businesses are on social media to begin with: to attract, convert, and nurture customers. 

We wanted to see the caption templates organized by each of the types of content we need to be sharing – educational, inspirational, promotional, engagement questions and so on in a content library we could pull from quickly and easily.

Having a social media strategy to follow and the caption templates there to pull from gave us the solid starting place we were desperate for. Rather than sitting down staring at our screens racking our brains what to post, all we need to do now is adapt the captions for our niche topics and post! 

A Caption Creation Workflow that’s Consistent and Repeatable

Skipping over the “what do I say?” problem means it takes exponentially less time to create the perfect caption and get back to the things we need to focus on in our business. Saving time creating content is mostly just about having a workflow that’s consistent repeatable: look at the calendar, get your idea for the day, and then grab the caption template to customize and post.

Since then, thousands of other small business owners have been using our Content Calendar System with 2-years of daily prompts and 885 pre-written caption templates to stay consistent on social media without all the stress and time wasted. 

But that’s not all… 

It was important to us that the content system be accessible to businesses of all sizes and budgets  – whether you’re a one-person business doing your own social media marketing, a social media manager or virtual assistant creating content for multiple clients, or you own a small business – so that meant making it available for one low lifetime price without the burden of monthly fees. 

In fact, the entire system costs less than outsourcing one single post to a content writer! 

The way it works is that we keep the content calendar updated so no matter when you buy it, you’ll have your content planned out for today and the next 730 days. And there’s a complete content library too, so you can pull caption templates from any of the six categories anytime you need something specific. 

If you’re spending too much time writing social media captions, and if you’re not ready to outsource caption writing, and if you’re like us and you hate the thought of subscribing to yet another monthly-fee program you rarely use… check out what our customers have to say about using the Content Calendar System and how the caption templates have helped them in their business: 

Customize the Caption Templates for Your Niche & Infuse Your Own Voice & Creativity

Think of the Content Calendar System like a “caption builder” that allows you to tailor your own captions to fit your brand’s voice. You’ll be prompted to customize them for your niche topics and many of our customers have even told us that CCS helps them to be more creative. It’s all about having that starting place and then you’re off to the races!

You can also use these in combination with ChatGPT (and in fact, they make using ChatGPT 1000% less frustrating!) – just tell ChatGPT about your business, your audience, and your topic and plug in the CCS caption templates and you’ll be able to generate an authentic-sounding, unique-to-you caption in seconds! We’ve even included 100 ChatGPT prompts for content creators as one of the many bonuses included in the system.

If you’ve been ghosting social media or stuck at the starting line…. Just imagine always having a fully prompted caption template at your fingertips every single day…

No matter your niche, no matter how experienced you are with social media, and no matter how busy…

CCS is for busy entrepreneurs like you so all you need to do is follow along and feel confident you’re sharing the right things to grow your business. With this powerful tool in your back pocket, you can finally say goodbye to writer’s block and hello to a streamlined content creation process. It’s like having a personal content assistant guiding you with every post you create.

Get instant access to all 885 caption templates with a 2-year content calendar planned out and get started for as low as $49 lifetime. No monthly fees and a 7-day risk-free money back guarantee. Available for Google Sheets, Google Calendar and an optional Trello Board. 

We can’t wait to see you inside!

P.S. Still on the fence? You might be wondering… 

Will this work for my business?” 

It’s the most common question we get and the answer in a nutshell is yes. 🙂

CCS is perfect for 1-1 service providers like coaches, consultants, designers, virtual assistants, social media managers, content creators, bloggers, course creators, online entrepreneurs, digital product businesses and your business! The content categories in CCS are the ones every business needs to share no matter your niche or industry to build brand awareness and generate business on social media. No matter what you sell, you’re in good hands because the key is to be consistent and share captions that are written in a way that grows your audience, builds your know/like/trust factor, drives engagement and generates leads and sales. CCS has you covered with all of that!

“What’s the quality of these captions?” 

We spent months analyzing top-performing social posts to figure out the formula for creating persuasive captions that engage, inspire, connect, ask, educate, and convert. Each caption template was handcrafted by real human copywriters and reviewed, edited, and refined by perfectionistic content marketers until we were all happy enough with them to use in our own business.

In fact, if you’d like to see an actual example of the caption templates you can do that right here

“Sounds amazing, but I’m just not ready.” 

We get it! We’ve got something just for you. Why not try out a 7-day sample of the Content Calendar System with 7 free captions? You’ll also get an instant digital download of our content planner and calendar that you can use to create your own social media plan and apply our CCS strategy to your own content. Get the free download here. 

“Will they help me boost engagement?”

You betcha! CCS is so much more than a bunch of ideas, there’s strategy baked into every post to help you grow your following and get your audience commenting, liking, and sharing your posts.

“What if CCS just doesn’t work for me?” 

We want you to be absolutely psyched about using The Content Calendar System! If you just don’t think it’s a good fit for you, email us within 7 days of purchase at team@conversionminded.com for a full refund. We believe CCS will absolutely work for you but we want you to try it out for yourself and rest easy knowing your purchase is risk free. 

And of course, use that email address if you have any questions, we’re happy to help you decide if CCS is right for you and we’ll give you the straight scoop.

What have you got to lose? Join thousands of business owners like you inside the Content Calendar System!

by
dominate social media with Pinterest

Did you know you can use Pinterest to drive traffic to Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube?

Now that video pins and square pins are approved, the opportunity to dominate social media with Pinterest is finally here, friends.

Not only is Pinterest a secret traffic weapon for your website, it’s also a powerful way to build your social media following. 

So if you’ve been trying to grow your YouTube channel, get more views on your videos, or build your following on Instagram and Facebook, Pinterest can help you do it.

(maybe even help free up the time you spend following, unfollowing, liking, and commenting. Blek.)

Ready to dominate social media? Let’s dig in.

Pin a Facebook image on Pinterest

You won’t be able to use this method to share link posts (which are any posts that link to external websites, landing pages and blog posts). This method works when you manually upload an image and add a description that doesn’t contain links.

First, find an image post you want to share.

Double click the image to open it in a new window. Then right click and hit Copy Image Location.

Pin a Facebook post to Pinterest

Next, head over to Pinterest and select the + sign in the top right of your dashboard. In the Save from Website field, past the image link and select the board you want to save it to.

Add a pin to Pinterest

Once your pin is saved, you’ll want to update the description with the URL you copied. Select See the Pin to edit your pin.

That’s it!

Given that Pinterest supports square images, I recommend creating a 1080px image so you can share it to Instagram, too.

If you have pre-set templates all ready to go – with your branding, colors, fonts, and so on – this should be an easy step. I think you’ll love my Canva Social Media Templates!

Pin an Instagram post on Pinterest

On your phone, find the Instagram post and click the three dots above the image.

Select Share, then Copy Link. This will copy the link to your clipboard.

Copy Instagram link

Next, open the Pinterest app. You’ll be prompted to share your copied link Select Pin it and choose a board. Voila!

Your Instagram caption will become the description by default. So you have two options here:

You can edit the caption before you save it to Pinterest. Or, you can save the pin with the existing caption and edit the pin description later.

If you decide that you want to use the Instagram pin to drive traffic to, say, a blog post, you can change the link to your website URL.

Pin a YouTube video on Pinterest

This is a relatively new thing for me, and I think I’m going to have fun with it!

Straight out of the gate, video pins look different than standard 2:3 pins. (Need a refresher on pin image sizes? Check out this post.)

There are two ways you can pin YouTube videos:

First, use the Pin it Button to share it directly from the video page. When you do this, your thumbnail image will become the pin image.

You’ll also notice two black bars on the top and the bottom of your video, which you may not want.

The second way to pin a YouTube video is to head over to Pinterest and select the + sign to create a new pin.

In the pop-up window, select Save from Site and enter the URL for your YouTube video.

Here again, should you decide that you want to redirect people to your website rather than the YouTube video, make sure you edit the pin and change the website URL.

Change the URL of your video pin to redirect to your website.

Don’t forget to add keywords and hashtags to the description so people can find your video pin!

Psst…You can also upload YouTube videos directly to Pinterest, which I think I prefer. If you want to find out more about that, read this post.

Pin a Facebook Live on Pinterest

Follow the steps above, only add one more step.

After you record your live stream, go to Publishing Tools and select your new video. Then hit Edit.

In the next window, click the gear icon to save the HD version to your desktop. Once the video has downloaded, you can upload it to YouTube and follow the steps above.

Once the video pin is saved to your board, go back and edit it. This time, change the website to your Facebook page.

Facebook Page Publishing Tools Video Library
Edit your Facebook Post and Save HD video.

That’s all there is to it! For more details on Pinterest SEO strategies that drive traffic, make sure you read these posts:

by

10 smart ways to use Pinterest vs InstagramPinterest vs. Instagram: Which one will give my business the biggest boost?

Ever ask yourself that questions?

I admit…I’m a bit Instagram-obsessed these days. Still, Pinterest does amazing things for my business so it’s a tough call.

They’re both visual content platforms, and the similarities can make it hard to decide which one to focus on.

But the way people use them is wildly different, so we have to use them differently too.

Today, I’m covering ten key differences between Pinterest vs. Instagram to help you decide which one will work better for your business. Hopefully, this post will clear up any confusion you may have and guide your strategy on both platforms.

PINTEREST vs. INSTAGRAM

 

1) Desktop vs. mobile

KEY DIFFERENCE: INSTAGRAM IS A MOBILE APP; PINTEREST IS A WEBSITE

Instagram

Some features aren’t available on desktop. If you want to apply filters to your photos, delete or edit posts, reply to comments, create stories, and so on, you need to do it from the app.

Pinterest

Pinterest is completely functional on both desktop and mobile. You can upload pins, access your account, create boards, and run ads on both devices.

That said, you’ll likely spend most of your time creating pins from your laptop. And it’ll be easy to forget about mobile, but please don’t.

I can’t tell you how many times I created a brilliant pin that looked like a tiny spec on my phone.

OMG!! You can’t even READ that text! How am I even getting traffic?!

So check your pins on mobile. 80% of Pinterest users log in from their phones, and you want your pins to grab their attention instead of someone else’s.

2) How you share content

KEY DIFFERENCE: FROM YOUR PHONE ON INSTAGRAM; FROM YOUR LAPTOP ON PINTEREST

Instagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing app, which means you can grab photos directly from your camera, apply cool filters and captions, and share them.

What you can’t do on Instagram is share images from your desktop.

Remember, it’s an app and not a website.

But there are workarounds! Scheduling tools like Later, Planoly, and Tailwind will share your custom graphics for you.

(I use Later to plan my grid and love it.)

Pinterest

Can you pin photos from your camera?

Yep, but I wouldn’t…

Pinterest is a place where people go to find things. Your pins should be optimized for search before you share them, and you can’t do that with straight photos. Design and upload them from your laptop instead.

3) What you share

KEY DIFFERENCE: YOUR CONTENT ON IG; OTHER PEOPLE’S CONTENT ON PINTEREST

Instagram

Instagram has always has been about original content. There’s just no easy way to repost another person’s photo on your page.

(not without third-party apps, *wink)

For that reason, most people stick to their own images and photos.

That doesn’t mean you CAN’T share other people’s posts. It just means Instagram doesn’t make it easy. With Later and Repost for Instagram, you can fill your calendar with posts from other users if you want

But be careful, people may not want you sharing their personal photos. Make sure you adhere to Instagram’s policies.

From Instagram:

You might also be able to use someone else’s content on Instagram if you’ve gotten permission (for example, a license), or if your use is covered by fair use or some other exception to copyright. It’s generally a good idea to get permission before posting content, and to get that permission in writing.

Most people will thank you for sharing their content so I wouldn’t get too freaked by this. You just have to ask, and credit them as the original source in your caption. Super simple.

For more info on Instagram copyright policies, review their help page here.

Pinterest

Pinterest users share original content and content from other users.

And it all boils down to the algorithm and how it works:

Pinterest rewards pinners who share high-quality content. And it doesn’t matter if that content is yours or someone else’s. 

That’s why a lot of people share pins from others until they build up enough original content. Then they share their own pins and drive traffic to their website.

4) Graphic design tools

KEY DIFFERENCE: DESIGN APPS FOR INSTAGRAM

Instagram

To create custom images on my laptop, I use Photoshop and Canva.

There are so many other to choose from (Adobe Spark, PicMonkey, RelayThat). I’ve been using Photoshop and Canva for so long I don’t even have to think about graphics. But if others work better for you, use those. Don’t let tech slow down your graphics!

To edit photos on my phone, I use PicMonkey and Typorama or Font Candy for fonts.

I rarely share photos directly from my phone, though. I usually airdrop and edit in Photoshop, then upload to Later.

Pinterest

Ditto on all the tools except for Typorama and Font Candy. I design pins on my laptop with Photoshop or Canva.

Real quick…Pre-made templates will save you loads of time!! Create 3-4 variations with colors, fonts, logo, images, and other brand elements you plan to use. You’ll thank me later. 🙂

5) The way you use links

KEY DIFFERENCE: ONE LINK IN INSTAGRAM; MULTIPLE LINKS IN PINTEREST

Instagram

Links are a pain on Insta because we only get one link in the bio. So we have to use it wisely.

Think about where you want to send your followers. Do you have a coaching program or masterclass you’re promoting? Link to that. Otherwise, direct your followers to a Link.tree or Linkin.bio page that houses all of your clickable posts. That way, you can maximize Instagram traffic.

#HEADSUP You can add swipe-up links to stories if you have 10K followers (one more reason to build a following, in my book!).

Pinterest

Every pin should include a link to a specific page or post that is the source of the pin.

So all you have to do is create multiple pins and link them to the same post, and you can get thousands of page views!

When you upload a pin to Pinterest, you’ll need to add the URL manually. When you save a pin from your website, the URL will populate automatically.

You can even hide pins in your post so that readers can’t see them until they click to save your visible pin. Then, all your “pinnable” images will appear, and they’ll be able to select the one they want.

If you’re hiding a lot of pins, reduce the file sizes with TinyPNG so they don’t bloat the page. ⏳

6) Engagement

KEY DIFFERENCE: LIKES + COMMENTS ON INSTAGRAM; REPINS + CLICKS ON PINTEREST

Instagram

For the most part, Instagram measures engagement in likes and comments, then gives you a “score.” Higher engagement scores mean that more people will find your posts.

Can you see why it’s so important to have a killer content strategy?

For example:

Let’s say, you have 500 IG followers…

They love everything you share. They send you hearts, blow kisses at you, and comment on every post.

Instagram will see their activity and reward you for it. All of a sudden, your posts will start showing up for more competitive hashtags (#7, below).

Now, if those same followers DON’T interact with your posts, Instagram will squash your posts. If that’s the case, get your engagement up, up, up!

Pinterest

Pinterest is a social bookmarking site, so repins and clicks carry more weight than comments.

And yep, you get scored here, too!

When you share high-performing content, Pinterest will show your pins to more people. That goes for brand new pins, older pins, and pins you share from other users.

Pinterest needs savvy pinners like you and me to help them curate content for users.

So as long as your pins are brilliant, content shared from your domain will have more reach.

Keep this in mind…

None of these rules are hard and fast. Having a lot of followers and sharing content frequently can help balance out low engagement. Still, you get the gist. Build your following, share engaging posts + pins, and more people will see them and follow you.

7) Keywords and hashtags

KEY DIFFERENCE: ONLY HASHTAGS ON INSTAGRAM; BOTH ON PINTEREST

Instagram

Hashtags on Instagram are non-negotiable! They help your content get discovered.

They’re a way of indexing specific words and phrases so that people can find your posts.

(There are no hashtags on Instagram, only keywords.)

And while some experts recommend using less than 10 per post, Instagram allows you to use 30. I say, use them all to your advantage.

Here’s why:

First off, I noticed a drop in engagement when I tested fewer hashtags. So there’s that.

Plus, hashtags make your content discoverable. It makes sense that more hashtags will make your posts more discoverable.

Between you and me, I think people with hundreds of thousands of followers and can get by with fewer hashtags. We’ll get there, *wink.

Meantime, use every hashtag Instagram gives you, and use them strategically.

Think about search terms your target audience would use to find your business.

For example:

Let’s say your post is about social media strategies. You search for relevant hashtags and find #socialmediaboss, #sociamediagirl, and #socialmediatips.

Even though #socialmediaboss and #socialmediagirl are targeted hashtags, it’s unlikely that people will use those terms when they search. They’ll probably search for #socialmediatips instead.

Next, once you’ve found relevant hashtags, it’s time to narrow them down.

Less is more with hashtags, which is a cryptic way of saying, You’ll have an easier shot at ranking if you use long-tail hashtags that are aren’t already being used by hundreds of thousands of other posts.

In our case, #socialmediatipsandtricks hits the sweet spot. Only 10,000 posts are competing for it, and it’s highly targeted. Perfect.

On Instagram, you can see how many posts use a specific hashtag. Most people think more is better, but it’s the opposite: aim for low-competition hashtags and you'll have a better chance of ranking.Click To Tweet

Pinterest

On Pinterest, keywords are keywords, and hashtags are hashtags. Whew.

And here’s the thing: You need them both.

Hashtags should go in your pins, and keywords should go in your profile, boards, and pins. For pins, aim for 2-3 hashtags and 3-4 keywords.

Whatever you do, don’t keyword-stuff. You’re more creative than that! Use full sentences in pin descriptions, include a call to action, and find ways to weave in keywords so that they sound natural and organic.

When you add the right keywords to your pins and share them to indexed boards, you make it super easy for Pinterest to categorize them (and show them).

8) Posting frequency

KEY DIFFERENCE: 1-3X A DAY ON INSTAGRAM; 30X A DAY ON PINTEREST

Instagram

Ideally, you want to post 3x a day on Instagram. That way, you can test the best times to share, and people will notice you more.

Now, if you can’t start there, no biggie. Try to share one post a day until you work up to it.

You can always do what I did at first: Use Later to find and share other people’s content!

(Remember step #3, above.)

If you treat each post as a microblog and hook people in with your caption, you’ll get a lot of likes and comments.

While you’re at it, create a story. Stories are getting a lot of traction these days, even more than posts.

Pinterest

Many entrepreneurs ask me if Pinterest will work without a blog.

Honestly, my answer is yes and no.

See, Pinterest wants creators to share fresh content.

Like, a lot of it…

Like, 30-pins-a-day of it…

If you really want to build your brand and business with Pinterest, that can be hard to do without a blog.

Sure, you can pin other people’s content, but you’ll be losing out on valuable traffic opportunities.

Now, here’s the yes part:

Start by sharing pins for your sales pages and landing pages.

Say, 10 pins for each one.

Make sure you mix it up with  content from others at the same time.

Then, start a blog so you have more content to share.

Because the real power of Pinterest lies in:

  • Diving pin traffic back to your blog posts
  • Converting blog readers into subscribers
  • Introducing products to your subscribers

Now, I know you may be thinking, That’s a lot of work! How am I going to blog and share 30 pins a day?

I hear ya! It’s actually easier than it sounds, and you don’t have to share 30 pins at first.

Plus, consider this:

All you need is a few pins to go viral, and you’ll get traffic for months, even years.

Just keep sharing those pins over and over, so they keep working for you. You can easily loop your pins in Tailwind.

Heck, you won’t even have to log in to Pinterest to get that traffic! How’s that for workin’ smart?

9) Image sizes

KEY DIFFERENCE: SQUARE FOR INSTAGRAM; VERTICAL FOR PINTEREST

Instagram

Instagram posts should be 1080px square, stories should be 1080 x 1920 px.

Pinterest

The recommended size is 600 x 900 px.

Honestly, any vertical pin with a 2:3 ratio will work. I prefer 800 x 1200 px, and if you use Canva, the preset will be 735 x 1102 px.

You can even experiment with longer pins that mimic infographics. Descriptive images almost always get more engagement than plain text.

You can also share square pins now. So if you want to reshare Instagram posts to Pinterest, you can do it! Just make sure you:

  • Change the link if you want traffic to your website instead of Instagram
  • Choose posts that will perform well as pins

10) How people buy

KEY DIFFERENCE: DIRECTLY ON INSTAGRAM; FROM YOUR WEBSITE ON PINTEREST

Instagram

Shoppable posts allow you to “tag” products in your posts so that people can buy them. When someone clicks on your image, they’ll be taken to a product page where they can make a purchase.

Your followers don’t have to go out of their way, or leave Instagram, to find your products. They can discover, shop, and buy within the app.

Talk about convenient. Just imagine how that can impact your sales!

Pinterest

Product pins are a bit different than shoppable posts.

People can’t actually buy products within Pinterest. They’ll have to click to your sales page, and away from Pinterest.

Still, product pins show pricing, availability, and where to buy. People will be more inclined to make a purchase.

That’s a wrap!

There you have it… My ten key differences between Pinterest and Instagram. Which one will you be focusing on next? Let me know in the comments!

by

pinterest rich pinsEver wonder what the fuss is all about with Pinterest Rich Pins? Or why you even need them?

Rich pins are organic Pinterest pins that display your profile name, image, title and description on the pin image. I liken them to meta descriptions, and here’s why:

Both rich pins and meta descriptions are not direct ranking signals, meaning that they won’t help your content appear high on Pinterest or Google. But a compelling meta description can entice people to click on your post over someone else’s. Here’s an example of a meta description:

Your post’s meta description will appear next to your image when you install Pinterest rich pins.When you install rich pins, that meta description will appear on your pin (and it will stay with it). If you change the title or meta description of your blog post, the details on the rich pin will change too.

From Pinterest:

Rich Pins add extra details to Pins and update important information from the websites they came from. If something changes on the original website, the Rich Pin updates to reflect that change.

You can spot a rich pin by the extra information above and/or below the image on a closeup, and by the bold title in the grid. They can help you get more traffic, profile views and followers because they show people the original pin source. And by pulling in details from your post, people will know what your pin is about and be more likely to click on it.

What do Pinterest rich pins look like?

They can be hard to detect at first, but once you recognize them, you’ll spot them right away. Here’s an example of a rich pin (desktop, closeup view):

Example of a rich pin on Pinterest

 

And here’s that same closeup on mobile:

A Pinterest Rich Pin on mobile

At the end of the day, rich pins are one of those “best practice” things to do. Since they take about 5 minutes to set up, why not do it? Let’s dig in.

First, what types of rich pins are available?

There are four major types of rich pins you can use:

  • Recipe rich pins add details such as cooking time, ingredients list, and other special recipe instructions.
  • Article rich pins display the meta title, meta description and author of your blog post (these are the ones most bloggers use).
  • Product rich pins are the updated version of buyable pins and display pricing and product details, along with where people can buy and how many you stock.
  • App install rich pins direct iOS users to the app store so they can download your app.

Why should you set up rich pins?

Not convinced you need ’em just yet? I get it! In addition to what I mentioned above, consider this:

  • Pinterest rich pins give people the information they need to take action.
  • They help your content get discovered by more people who will likely click and repin.
  • The bold title helps them stand out in the feed.

#HEADSUP – If you been using Pinterest at all, you know they like to change things up! The same is true with rich pins. Check their website real quick before you start (but don’t freak…Pinterest instructions can be overly technical). The method I’m sharing here is super easy and non-techie.

Note: This method is for WordPress websites. If you use SquareSpace or another platform, ask a developer for help. Don’t let the tech stuff trip you up!

1. First, install Yoast SEO

Yoast is an SEO tool that helps you optimize your blog posts so they appear in Google for important search terms.

(It’s also great for Facebook. The OpenGraph will pull in metadata from your post, including site name and blog title, description, and link image.)

But I digress! We’ll be using that metadata for Pinterest.

If you don’t already have the plugin installed, head over to your WordPress dashboard and select plugins (left sidebar), then add new (at the top). Search for Yoast, install and activate it.

Once it’s installed, SEO will appear in your left sidebar. Hover over it and hit social.

From there, use the Accounts tab to add links to all your social media platforms. Then toggle over to the Facebook tab and double check that Facebook OpenGraph is enabled.

Facebook OpenGraph settings in Yoast SEO

 

It should be enabled by default. If it isn’t already, enable it.

That’s all there is to it! Your blog posts are ready to display as article rich pins. ?

2. Create a business account

You probably already have a business account, right? If so, you can skip this step.

If you have a personal account, head over to settings (top right) and click account settings.

Pinterest business account settings

 

See the business type section at the bottom? Personal accounts will say something like change to a business account.

Now, I bet you’re probably wondering, I want to keep my personal account! Can’t I just create a new one for my business?

The answer is that it really depends. If you’ve been sharing loads of personal pins to your account, it may be better to start a new one. When you’re using Pinterest for business, you want people to see boards that are relevant to your niche and target audience.

If you don’t have many boards and pins already, you can switch it over.

Make sure you set up your business account and boards correctly so that Pinterest can rapidly index your pins. This post covers everything you need to know about Pinterest SEO.

3. Claim your website

All you’re doing here is verifying with Pinterest that the pins you share are yours. It’s a simple step. And it’s a prerequisite for Pinterest analytics, ads, and yep, rich pins. Once your website is claimed, your profile image and link will appear beneath the meta title on all pins you share from your website.

Here’s an example:

Profile image beneath the meta title

Can you see how this step will help you build a strong Pinterest brand? People will start to click on your pins simply because they know and like your content, even if your blog post titles and graphics are less than brilliant, *wink.

To claim your website, head back over to settings, then claim:

Claim your website for Pinterest rich pins

Since my website is already verified, the green checkmark is there. You’ll want to enter your website URL and hit claim website.

On the next screen, select add HTML tag and copy the code (we’re going to enter this into Yoast next).

Go to your WordPress dashboard and select seo > social from the left sidebar. Then click the Pinterest tab. Paste the HTML code you just copied into the Pinterest confirmation field, right here:

Hit save, and you’re done!

Well…almost.

The last step is to go back to Pinterest and hit the red finish button. Then you’re good.

4.  Finally, validate and apply for rich pins.

Head over to the Rich Pins Validator and enter the URL for a blog post (any one will do). Just know that the validator tool won’t work if you enter your root domain instead of a post.

To clarify, your URL should have at least three forward slashes in it. For example:

Use ? https://conversionminded.com/pinterest-seo

Not ? http://conversionminded.com

When you’re ready, hit the blue validate button. Once you get the green check and the Your Pin’s have been validated! message, you can apply.

Validate and apply for Pinterest rich pins

Pinterest should validate your pins right away. Be patient though! It can take a few days. If you see this message…

We’ll review it and email you with any questions or next steps.

…check your pins over the next few days to see if your profile image and link show up. That’s when you’ll know they’re rich pins!

5. So, you’re a rich pinner, now what?

Now that Pinterest is adding metadata to your pins, it’s time to get serious about optimization. Many standard SEO strategies apply to Pinterest SEO, and rich pins in particular.

Every time you write a new blog post, make sure you:

1. Write great meta titles and descriptions!

Wondering what the heck a meta title is? It’s your SEO title, and it’s usually the same as your WordPress blog title.

That’s the one at the top of the edit window, right here:

example of a blog title for Pinterest rich pins

 

Scroll down to the Yoast SEO section and you’ll see the SEO title. Here’s where you can enter important SEO details and your target keyword. In our case, we’re looking at the SEO title and meta description.

(If you don’t see the SEO title, toggle open snippet preview.)

Here’s an example:

The SEO title will be pulled in when you enable Pinterest Rich Pins.

Notice how my SEO title is different than the blog title?

There are a few reasons you might do this:

First off, Yoast will prompt you to add your target keyword to the beginning of your SEO title. Now, if I can make that happen in a way that sounds natural and organic, I’ll do it (in this case, it worked).

(In the grand scheme of SEO ranking signals, I’m not sure it really matters.)

Second, Yoast will display a preview of your post in search results. I usually tool around with the title and description until I like the way they look.

And depending on how the new SEO title looks on pin images, I may update the blog title. Otherwise, I’ll leave it alone. I’d rather match the blog title to my pins, but hey, that’s just my personal preference. 🙂

So play around with those a bit.

Part of it comes down to priorities, in my book. How important is this keyword to your business? Do you REALLY need to rank for it? If so, be super geeky about SEO.

Last thing I’ll say here is:

Some *experts* say that the two titles should match. Others say they should be different. And still others say it doesn’t matter. Go figure…

What I do know for sure is…

Blog titles and meta descriptions carry serious weight when it comes to click through rates.

Huffington Post, Digg, and Mashable are great for headline inspiration. Try to mimic the headline formats they use (don’t copy the actual titles!), and make a list of power words that grab your attention, e.g., brilliant, shocking, undeniable, and so on. See if you can work them into your titles.

Want done-for-you blog titles? You’re in luck! I created this list of over 120 blog title templates you can use. All you have to do is fill in the blanks, and you’re done. Click the image below to download it. 

Download 120+ Clever Blog Title Templates

2. Next, create brilliant pins.

Nothing will help you stand out and get engagement like a brilliant pin image!

If you’re wondering where to start here, check your Pinterest feed. Search for topics completely unrelated to your brand (e.g., meal plans, gardening, pattern making). See what jumps out at you.

Use your laptop first, then check the app. Notice a difference? Many times the pins that jump out on desktop are completely different than your phone.

Still, there are design “best practices” you need for each. For example:

  • Bright colors
  • Bold, sans-serif fonts
  • The use of text overlays
  • Lifestyle images that reflect your brand
  • And more…

Want an in-depth guide on pin design? Read this post!

#CREATEANDGO Templates will help speed things up with Pinterest graphics. A style guide will help too. Make sure you define the fonts, colors and images you want to use so you, and your team, can create them on the fly. And you’ll know that your Pinterest brand will always be consistent and cohesive.

If you need help creating templates, or just want a jump start, my Viral Pin Templates may be just what you’re looking for! There are over 23 pre-made templates inside. You’ll have my best pin designs that have gotten thousands of page views and clicks! Click the image below to learn more about the Viral Pin Templates.

Viral pin templates | viral Pinterest graphics templates

3. Add descriptions to your pins.

Back in the day, you’d see descriptions beneath the pin images in your feed. And we’d all write super elaborate text to encourage people to click through.

Now they’ve lost their *engagement juice* because you have to view close-ups to see them. But they still pack a big punch for keywords!

Every time you share a new pin, include a keyword-rich description (1-3 keywords, 1-3 hashtags).

There are two ways you can do this:

One. Upload the pin from your computer and add the description manually.

Two. Add text to the pin in WordPress, and click save from website in Pinterest.

I won’t go into too much detail here. Just know that if you choose #2, both the image and the text will be shared when someone saves the pin from your website.

The way to make this happen is to install Tasty Pins or Social Warfare. When you upload a new image, you’ll see a custom field for Pinterest text. Here’s what it looks like using Tasty Pins:

example of Tasty Pins

 

That’s where your pin description goes. Don’t worry if you forget to add it at first, you can always edit it later.

Oh, and…see the alternative text field below it? That’s where your SEO keyword goes, just so ya know.

You’re done! Now, every time someone shares the pin from your site, the description will travel with it.

Whatever you do, please don’t leave the description blank! You’ll miss out on traffic.

4. SEO your blog post.

Last but not least, SEO the hell out of your post. Now, there are a lot of on-page SEO things you need to do (in addition to steps #1 and #3 above). And I cover them all right here. There’s even an SEO checklist you can keep handy. (I like to check things off right before I hit publish, which I’m about to do right now!)

by

Social Media Design Tips

Social Media Design Tips to Skyrocket your Traffic | Feeling creatively challenged when it comes to social media graphics? No worries, I've got you covered! Use these crazy simple design tips plus step by step guide to create social media graphics that look professional and cohesive everywhere. #socialmedia #graphicdesign

As a blogger or online business owner you probably know that sharing captivating visuals on social media is crucial for getting your audience to engage with you. Which means that good social media design is crucial to attracting your ideal customers.

But did you know that the reason has to do with how the human brain processes information?

Consider this:

  • Your followers on social media are sorting through thousands of messages every single day, some studies say up to 10,000!
  • In order to cope, they sort out what’s meant for them (and what’s not) in the fastest way humanly possible.
  • Rather than carefully examining every word, they “skim and scan” first, looking for visual cues to help them find subjects that are relevant to them.
  • All of this happens faster than you can imagine. According to this study done by MIT, the human brain processes visual information first and in as little as 13 milliseconds!

Milli. Seconds. ?

Visuals can make or break your engagement, but what makes an effective social media design?

A big mistake people make with design is assuming that its function is just to make things look cool. Ooof! The pressure!

If graphic design isn’t your cup of tea, luckily for you it’s much simpler than that, and I’m going to share some tips that’ll have you feeling like a design pro in no time.

First, let’s go back to how your audience is skimming, scanning, and sorting out messages on social:

The best way to level-up your design game on social media is to begin to think about it as the way you’re going to help your audience understand the context of your post as quickly as humanly possible.

Your graphics should also work hard for you to accomplish several goals:

  • Express the personality of your brand. How do you want people to feel when they see something from you in their feed? Do you want to be perceived as trustworthy? Zany? Serious? Inspiring?

Communicating your brand personality visually is accomplished by choosing fonts, colors and imagery that are in alignment with those traits.

  • Enhance brand recognition. Recognition leads to trust which makes engaging with your posts more likely. This happens by being consistent with your visuals so your audience instantly notices and registers who it’s from when they see a post from you.
  • Remove uncertainty. You want to make sure that your audience knows that if they pay attention to your message it will be useful to them.

This happens when you communicate clearly and avoid using trickery — like irrelevant images just to grab attention and “clickbait” titles that don’t follow through on their promises.  

Why designs fail to capture attention on social media

In most cases, when a design fails to capture attention, it’s because there’s too much information to process and it’s difficult to read or understand.

Good design is only as complicated as it needs to be to communicate clearly and no more. It’s as much about restraint than it is about adding pretty-looking things.

And here’s a secret: designers follow rules. (Yes, rules can be broken! But you first need to know what they are.)

The great thing about that is if creating attention-worthy graphics isn’t something you feel confident about, this is something you can absolutely learn.

Without further ado, let’s dive in to some of these rules so you can take your social media design to the next level!

#1. Determine your most important thing

Think about the MAIN thing you want people to notice about your graphic first. What will your audience care most about?

In design lingo this is called a focal point.

Contrast is an excellent way to draw the eyes where you want them to focus. For  example, you might highlight a highly-descriptive word or phrase with a different color or a contrasting font.

example of a high-contrast font

Because “Mother’s Day” is in contrast to the rest, your eyes naturally go there first.

See, it’s not so much about using a pretty color and a pretty font, it’s about solving the problem of “where do I want their eyes to go so they immediately understand this post is for them?”

(BTW, design is just another way to say “problem solving”!)

Before you finalize your design, take look to see if there are any elements that are distracting from your most important thing and remove any visual clutter that’s competing for attention.

#2. Choose 1-2 readable fonts to use consistently

I know how tempting it is to change your fonts every time there’s a sale over on TheHungryJpeg. (You know who you are. *slowly raises hand*)

But reinventing the wheel by experimenting with different fonts for every design you create is not only a bad use of your time, it can actually work against you in the noisy social media feed.

Remember that your audience is looking for cues for what to pay attention to and that it happens fast. By using the same fonts time and time again, you’re training them to recognize and remember your content.

(If you’re getting bored looking at your fonts, you’re doing it right.)

Some ground rules:

Choose one main font for setting text.

At least half of your audience will see your graphics on mobile, so you want to choose a font that’s suuuuper easy to read.

As a rule of thumb, sans serif fonts work best online. You can tell a sans serif font because it lacks the foot-like edges you see with serif fonts.

serif vs sans serif font

Google fonts is a great place to find free fonts that are available for commercial use. Just make sure you choose one that comes in multiple styles so you can create lots of contrast between headings, subheadings, and callouts.

Here’s what I mean by lots of styles:

Font styles for social media design

The above example is Fira Sans, but other versatile go-to Google fonts include Open Sans, Roboto, and Raleway.

Test your text on mobile!

I have been soooo guilty of this one because I primarily use my laptop when using social media, but you want to make sure your text is easy to read without squinting when viewing your graphics on a mobile device.

Test on all of the devices you can, because if it’s difficult to read, people aren’t going to zoom in to figure it out — they’re just gonna keep on scrollin’.

Start paying attention to other people’s graphics too. Which ones catch your attention? Which ones are too hard to read to even bother? Which ones are totally (un)missable?

Pin examples

Don’t use too many fonts.

You might’ve heard this one before. But a lot of people misunderstand this advice so I want to dig in a bit deeper and clarify.

First, a font and a typeface are two different things, and it’s helpful to understand the difference because this is where it can get confusing.

Think of a typeface as a font family. For example: Arial is a typeface.

A font is one specific style within that family. For example: Arial regular, Arial bold, and Arial italic are all fonts.

But, the words “font” and “typeface” are used interchangeably these days.

So when someone says “stick to 1-2 fonts” (*ahem*… like I did in the beginning of this section), what they really mean to say is “stick to 1-2 typefaces for your brand.”

(Sometimes 3 but you don’t want to get carried away.)

When I say “don’t use too many fonts” what I mean is don’t use too many font styles — even if you’re only using one typeface.

Still with me? How ‘bout let’s do an example to illustrate.

In the following graphic, I’m only using one typeface: Raleway.

In the example on the left, there are way too many fonts. Notice all the different styles and sizes and weights competing for attention and creating visual chaos. I have no idea where to put my eyes first, do you?

One typeface, too many fonts.

Too many fonts make your social media post hard to read.

In the example on the right, I’m also using just Raleway, but fewer font styles.

It’s clear that the first thing I want you to notice is that there are a lot of tips in store for you (23!). Then, that this is about “digital product ideas,”  because I used a contrasting color from the rest of the text to set it apart. Then, I want you to notice there’s a free checklist.

This is called visual hierarchy. Take a look at the total composition of your graphic to see if it’s clear what you want people to notice first, then whether it’s obvious  where their eyes should go next and so on.

By reducing the number of font styles used in the second example, I was able to create a sense of quiet in some areas and bring back contrast where I really wanted it.

Think of it like this: every time you add variation to your text — a different weight, size, or style (e.g. initial caps, all caps, italic) — you’re adding a new design element.

And the more design elements you use, the harder it is to create visual harmony and a strong focal point. Rule of thumb is to keep it simple, then make it fancy in strategic places.

Choose one brand-appropriate accent font.

Accent fonts are a fantastic way to draw the eye to something in your text that you want to emphasize, and they help with brand recognition too.

But, probably the biggest design crime out there is abuse of accent fonts.

I know, I know, I love fancy fonts too. But use them carefully and they’ll work much harder for you to capture your audience’s attention.

The main goal we have for your accent font is that it absolutely, positively, no-question-about-it must be READABLE.

Some ground rules:

Never set large bodies of text with a decorative accent font.

Example of overusing an accent font in an Instagram post.

You may love your accent font and know what it’s supposed to say, but don’t assume your audience will be able to read it. Anything that’s even remotely hard to read is just not worth the risk.

Below I’m using the same font applied to the word I want you to focus on. Not only does it draw your eyes where I want them to go, it elevates the font and makes it look way cooler!

Example of good use of an accent font

Choose an accent font that’s brand-appropriate.

Fonts have personality and your accent fonts should reflect your brand’s! It’s not so  much about picking out fonts you find pleasing to look at as it is choosing one that can be a great ambassador for your brand.

Are you casual and relatable consultant? Is your product reliable, sturdy and timeless? Do you stand for luxury and elegance? Do you have a quirky and youthful spirit?

Choose a font that best reflects the way you want people to perceive you.

Font personalities for social media graphics

#3. Choose brand colors and stick to them

Color evokes powerful psychological responses and they vary from person to person and culture to culture.

Rather than following the latest trends or just choosing colors you like, you want to use color strategically to help you stand out and capture attention.

The important things to consider when choosing a color palette for your branded social media graphics are:

Brand appropriate: Same as with fonts, colors have personality so go back to those brand personality traits you want to become known for. Then, choose a palette that’ll help you express those traits.

Social media brand colors

The most important thing is to use these colors consistently so you can begin to train your audience that when they see your brand colors, they instantly know it’s a post from you.

Competition: take a look at what others in your industry are doing — there are  usually color themes people in your industry or niche will follow.

Now think of ways you can use color to stand out from your competition (while also being brand appropriate).

For example, if everyone in your industry uses corporate blue, consider using Harvard red or forest green.

Versatility: You want to make sure that your colors are versatile enough so there’s enough opportunity for you to create contrast wherever you need it.   

Example of contrast color

Related: How to Choose Colors That Will Make Your Brand Stand Out

#4. Create some rules for the images you’ll use

Having a game plan for the types of images you’ll use will make researching images exponentially easier and it’ll help you create brand consistency too.

Will you use stock photography? Original photography? Illustrations?

What style? What mood do you want to convey?

Again, think about your brand’s personality and determine a few adjectives you can use when choosing images.

Here’s an example of some image rules I created for a foodie blog brand guide. You can see that by having some rules in place, the images tell a more consistent story.

Image brand style guide example

The more consistent you are in using the same fonts, colors and image styles, the more people will begin to recognize, remember, and grow to trust you. When people trust you, they’re more likely to engage with and share your content.

#5 Make whitespace your design BFF

Whitespace is not necessarily white, think of it as the space between things. One of the best ways to elevate your designs is to pay as much attention to the areas that surround your design elements as the elements themselves. Like…

Don’t push text right up to the edge, give it plenty of margin.

I see this a LOT on social media. While it’s tempting to make your text as big as possible and to use all the space available to you, bigger doesn’t always mean it’s more readable.

It’s actually better to allow plenty of breathing room around the words so the eyes have an easier time focusing.

whitespace in design and graphics

Align design elements and create even margins.

Wherever you can, make the spaces between things equal to improve visual harmony. Designers very often use grids and rulers and guides, but you don’t need to be pixel-perfect, just eyeballing it works too.

When you look at the following example, you might not immediately see the problem or even the difference between the top left graphic and the right, but when the top and bottom margins are measured, the left is off-balance.

add whitespace to your social media graphics

Is this nitpicky? Well yes, it is. But little details like this where something’s slightly off about a composition is like having “visual clutter” — and wherever possible you want to avoid that.

#6. Use relevant images

The other day a graphic caught my attention because it had a photo of yummy-looking, colorful cookies. Problem was, it was a blog post about affiliate marketing. (I’m still perplexed.)

Wherever possible, use relevant images to communicate your message.

The more relevant your image is to the topic of your post or story, the more it’s likely to grab the attention of people who are actually interested in that topic.

The following example works well to capture attention because we all need a weekend getaway to relax at the beach, right?

It immediately makes me go, “OMG I WANT THIS TO BE MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!”

weekend getaway on the beach

But the following example is even more relevant for people who struggle with the problem of always packing too much for short trips… which is the actual topic. (Not weekend getaways. Sadly.)

packing for a weekend trip

The great thing about social media is that you can test different graphics to see what works best!

Because most people are going to miss most of your posts most of the time (thanks algorhithms), it’s perfectly okay and even advised to share your posts multiple times.

Use the opportunity to experiment with different images to see what people respond to.

#7. When setting text on top of a photo, make sure there’s enough contrast

By now you’ve probably caught on that clear, easy to read graphics is the KEY to effective social media design.

One of the most common mistakes I see people making over and over again is setting text on top of a photo with virtually no contrast.

text overlay examples

The way to fix that is to either choose photos that have areas with very little detail where text can easily be read when placed on top, or to use an overlay.

An overlay is basically just a shape with a background color either set to full opacity or a bit of transparency so the background can still be recognized.

Flat lay designs are very popular because they’re usually composed in a way that leaves a blank space that works perfectly for adding text on top. So when you’re researching images add the keywords “flat lay” (flat lay desk, flat lay floral, flat lay food, flat lay fitness, etc.) to your search!

flatlay or styled stock photo example

#8. Ask for design critiques

I know this is probably a terrifying concept, but one of the very best ways to create more engaging designs is to be open to critique and criticism.

A huge benefit of getting a formal design education is the valuable feedback that happens in the classroom, and professional designers consider processing criticism a necessary aspect of growth.

But you don’t need to go to design school to get the same benefit! If you’re not sure whether something you’ve created is click-worthy, get feedback from people in your target audience.

Facebook groups are great for this! People looooove to engage with “what do you think of this design?” posts. Everybody enjoys sharing their opinions about design.

Then, buckle up, because no design is ever going to satisfy everyone. Just take what’s useful to you and really listen, but don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t like it.

This is the fast track to becoming more objective about what you’re creating which is required for making effective, engaging graphics.

#9. Use analytics

A lot of times people will tell you they LOVE your graphic design handiwork (bless their hearts), but in practice you’re just not seeing the engagement you want.  

This is where analytics can be immensely helpful.

Check your social media analytics and see which tweets, pins and posts are performing the best. Then, look at posts that aren’t as successful.

The reason why could be the subject matter, but it might also be the design. Do you see any patterns in the graphics that perform best or worst?

When you use analytics for anything, think like a scientist:

–What’s working?
Why do I think it’s working?
–What isn’t working?
Why do I think it’s not working?

Then form a hypothesis and test it.  

For example: When I look at my top performing Pinterest pins for the last 30 days, I notice that graphics with a teal background are performing best.

I also have pins with pink backgrounds, white backgrounds, yellow backgrounds and gray backgrounds and those didn’t get nearly as much traction.

Pinterest analytics

What’s my theory on this? Well…

  • It could mean that people are starting to recognize that teal color and because they trust my content, they’re engaging more.
  • It could be the subject matter is more popular and I’m getting better at creating the right content for my audience.
  • The teal pops and people love it.
  • It’s a coincidence. Maybe I just inadvertently made more teal graphics than usual this month.

It’s really just something to make a mental note of so you can compare results over time and get smarter and smarter about what works and what doesn’t.

But here’s where it gets interesting. The top performing pin uses a new color I’ve recently introduced into my palette–a light blueish-gray color.

This could mean that I’m on to something with this new style, or it could mean that  people just really liked the topic.

Because I saw more engagement on this pin than usual, I’m going to form a hypothesis: that people are responding more favorably to this style of graphic.

I’ll test it by creating more pins (for different blog posts) that follow that style and check back in a month to see what happens.

If those posts perform significantly better than their pink, teal, gray or yellow counterparts, I’ll modify my design templates accordingly going forward.

It doesn’t really matter that I prefer my pretty pink pins, what matters is what my audience responds to. Analytics will always give you the straight scoop and never sugar coat it for you.

And that’s great because when it comes to design, it’s easy to let our own personal taste and assumptions get in the way of results.   

#10. Start with templates

Here’s another secret: there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel if you’re not comfortable designing graphics from scratch.

Using professionally-designed social media design templates as a starting point using a tool like Canva is one of the best ways to look like a pro even if you have no experience with design.

You don’t have to use templates forever, the idea is to develop an eye for how to compose an engaging graphic and learn the “rules” of design by actually doing design.

Pretty soon, you’ll be creating graphics from scratch and even grow comfortable making your own templates!

Pro design template packs like Biz-in-a-Box still allow you plenty of flexibility to put your own twist on things and make them unique to your brand.

Ready to level-up your social media design game?

I hope this post has been helpful and you’re ready to make social media a more beautiful place! If you have any questions, hit me up in comments below.

by

5 Easy Ways to Set Up Instagram Shoppable Posts | Want to sell more products? Want people to be able to buy them right from Instagram, without having to go to your website? This post is for you! It includes a simple step by step process for setting up Instagram shopping so you can level up your Instagram marketing and make more money with every post.If you sell physical products, Instagram shoppable posts are your new best friend. So you probably want to know everything you can about how to get approved for them, right?

Because Instagram is the fastest-growing channel out there. Just look at these stats from Hootsuite and Omnicore:

  • 1 billion users (and counting)
  • 500 million daily active users
  • 68% of users are female
  • 38% of users check Instagram multiple times a day
  • 72% of users have bought a product they saw on Instagram

Luckily, my friend Yandy Zuo is here to share her steps for enabling Instagram Shopping. And believe me, she had to wrestle with Instagram’s guidelines for a looong time before she got approved.

If you’ve been wondering how to create shoppable posts, or if you’ve been struggling to get the thumb’s up from Instagram, this post will help.

First off, here’s what a shoppable post looks like:

Shoppable posts on Instagram

See that “Tap to View Products” button? Click on it, and you can buy right from within Instagram, which is HUGE. A total game-changer and worth going through the steps to get this set up, in my book. 🙂

Read on for Yandy’s best tips on setting up Instagram shoppable posts…

––––––––––––––

I’ve never felt happier than when I finally got approved for Instagram Shopping.

Now I can tag my products in my Instagram posts. When a customer sees one of my handmade cards or bookmarks in a post, they can click on the product and buy it right inside the app without having to go to my website.

My social media marketing is *next level* now.

If you sell products and use Instagram to market your products, shoppable posts are essential to increasing sales.

Think about it. Shoppers want to do the least amount of work possible. They don’t want to go to the trouble of heading to your website and manually finding the product. If they’re going to buy something, they want to buy it immediately.

That’s why Instagram Shopping made headlines when it was introduced. It’s also why I spent months trying to get approved. Before I set up shoppable posts, I had to direct people to my website and try to get them to buy. Basically impossible! Especially since Instagram gives you just one place to put a link…in your profile.

Now that I’m approved, I’m loving this feature! Not only can I tag my products in posts, but I can tag them in stories. Wow.

If you don’t yet have this Instagram shopping designation, you may be missing out on a lot of potential sales. But don’t worry.  Three months ago, I didn’t have it either.

Want to know how you get this super cool designation?

It’s actually quite simple to get approved if you follow these five easy steps…

1) First, have a business Instagram account.

This one should be a no-brainer. Why would a personal user need to tag products for people to buy?

Instagram only gives the product tagging to business accounts because they are selling stuff. Also, it’s a way for Instagram to ensure that your business is legitimate and won’t scam users.

To switch over to a business account, go to your settings and click “Switch to Business Profile”.

Related: How to Grow Your Instagram Followers Organically

2) Make sure you have the right policies on your website.

This was the big issue I had with getting approved. You need to have Privacy, Refund, and Terms of Service policies already on your website before you request approval from Instagram.

If you use Shopify, just head to the settings tab and go to the legal section. There, you can create your own policies or use the templates Shopify provides.

If you don’t have Shopify but use something like it (e.g., BigCommerce, WooCommerce), I’m sure they have a section for policies too.

If you use another hosting platform like Squarespace, Wix or WordPress, you can add your policy to the footer, as a link in your cart page or create a dedicated landing page on your website.

Whatever e-commerce platform you use, just make sure you check that all of your policies are there.

3) Sell physical products

This one comes straight from Instagram’s help center. I mean, how do you tag a service?

If you sell both services and products, Instagram will only allow you to tag your products.

If you sell a service or digital product, I recommend using Link in Profile or Link Tree to maximize that one link Instagram gives us. I use Link in Profile for my blog posts and custom order page.

4) Connect your account to a Facebook catalog.

Your Instagram account needs to be connected to a Facebook catalog. If you are using Shopify, head over to the sales channels section and add Facebook first, then Instagram to them.

When you add Facebook, Shopify creates a Shop section on your business Facebook page that displays all of your products. Follow the prompts and wait for Facebook to approve.

I got approved for Facebook right away, so unless your shop contradicts Facebook’s requirements, this shouldn’t be an issue.

If you are not using Shopify, set up your own Facebook page for your business and go to the Shop section. If it isn’t there, you will have to change your page template to the Shopping template. Just click “Set Up Shop” and follow the prompts from there.

Wondering why you need to connect to a Facebook catalog? Because that’s how Instagram can access your products and prices.

Once you have that out of the way, add Instagram to your sales channel and follow the prompts.

If you don’t use Shopify, you will have to manually add Instagram Shopping on Catalog Manager or Facebook’s Business Manager and wait for approval.

5) Comply with the merchant agreement and commerce policies.

This one, in addition to step #2 above, is essential to getting approved by Instagram.

Now, you’re probably already doing this, but it’s worth mentioning that to set up Instagram Shopping, you have to follow both Instagram and Facebook’s guidelines.

If you’re curious, below is a list of content that is prohibited from selling:

  • Commerce posts must not violate their Community Standards
  • Illegal, prescription or recreational drugs
  • Tobacco products and related paraphernalia (e.g. e-cigarettes, tobacco pipes, etc.)
  • Unsafe supplements
  • Weapons, ammunition or explosives
  • Animals
  • Adult products or services
  • Alcohol
  • Healthcare products
  • Real money gambling services
  • Anything that is fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or offensive
  • Subscriptions or electronic products
  • Digital media and electronic devices
  • Real, virtual or fake currency
  • Anything that constitutes Third-Party infringement
  • Anything discriminatory

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t post about something like this if you are a business account (although you might get shut down). It just means that you will not be approved for Instagram shopping. Which means you won’t be able to tag your products in your posts.

If you do post about and product tag one of the products/topics as mentioned above, Instagram can and probably will revoke your approval. Make sense?

That’s it! That’s how I got approved for Instagram shopping. Have you tried any of these tips? Let me know in the comments!

I even made you an infographic so you can easily share and access these steps:

Want to enable Instagram Shopping on your posts? Follow this simple step-by-step guide. It includes everything you need to know to get started with Shoppable Posts on Instagram so you can sell more products.

by