BrandMedia

Marketers are constantly looking into the future, trying to predict the next big trend, be it for their brands or their clients. Naturally, marketers are preoccupied with questions like: What is the next big campaign? How can we turn our client into the “next big thing”? What is the next hot trend going to be in retail? Etc. Everyone wants to the answers. Knowing this, what do some of the top minds in marketing predict for their own futures? A recent article by Jeff Beer on Fast Company Create collected 25 future trends that will change the marketing landscape five years from now based on top innovators in marketing and advertising. After reading this, I started to ponder what I saw as the top trends driving marketing.

Here are the 10 trends that I think are going to have the biggest impact on the future of marketing.
  • Mobile is going to become the center of marketing. From cell phones to smartphones, tablets to wearable gadgets, the evolution of mobile devices is one of the prime factors influencing the marketing world. As the focus is shifting to smaller screens, brands will be able to strike up a more personalized relationship with their customers by leveraging the power of mobile.
  • Transparency will dictate brand-customer relationships. Currently, customers are seeking more engagement from brands. This trend will continue with customers becoming more demanding in their expectation of transparency. Genuine brands – the ones that “walk the talk” and create real value – will be rewarded. This means brands that still haven’t made their customer dealings transparent are headed to a future of doom.
  • The need for good content will not slow down. Ever. Content, particularly visual content, will rule the roost in the online marketing world, evolving into various forms and disrupting the conventional marketing models. Moreover, the speed at which a brand can create amazing content will play a part in their success.
  • User-generated content will be the new hit. The power of user-generated content will surpass branded content as brands begin to relinquish control of their own brands’ marketing to their customers. From online reviews, to social media posts and blogs, this means there will be a strong need for brands to create a positive impact in their consumers’ minds. In response to this model of content production, content co-creation between brands and consumers will become a popular trend.
  • Social will become the next Internet. Social will become an integral part of the “broader marketing discipline.” As its impact grows stronger, most brands will fully transition their marketing efforts to social channels. As such, social has the full potential to become not just one of the channels but the channel.
  • Brands will own their audience. By cultivating brand community and entering into direct conversations with their customers, brands will begin to own their audience in a way that will create loyalists and brand advocates. In the future of marketing, branding and marketing efforts will have their seeds rooted in what customers are talking about. The customers’ responses and feelings toward the brand will dictate future campaigns. Essentially, if the customers are happy, they’ll gladly wear the marketer’s hat and do what is needed to bring their favorite brand in focus.
  • Brands solely-focused on Millennials will go out of relevance. Brands will need to understand that the millennials are not a niche "youth" segment but a generation of people who will ultimately give way to a newer generation. Therefore, millennial-focused brands will have to change their game to stay relevant.
  • Good brands will behave like product companies and not like service companies. While service companies aim to create a happy customer and look forward to a contract renewal, product companies thrive on innovation. So, for brands of the future, customer satisfaction and retention will not be enough. They will need to innovate more efficiently to create more value for their customers. However, great service will NEVER go out of style.
  • Personalized, data-driven marketing will become more refined. There is a difference between data-driven marketing and intrusive marketing. While the former is based on relationship-building, the latter is nothing but old-school push marketing wrapped in a new cover. The difference between these two formats will become even more prominent in future. Marketers who focus on relationship building will be rewarded, while intruders will be shut out.
  • More accurate metrics will surface. What most brands do in the name of measuring marketing success is look at hollow “vanity” metrics such as likes, shares, or tweets. Even in terms of data mining, we are still developing more sophisticated means to capture the right data. Many ideas are hypothesized, but few are practical. The future will witness the rise of better analytical tools to help marketers gauge the success of their campaigns.

Internet marketing is a really cool industry to be in. Every day of my life revolves around the accumulation of as much knowledge of recent trends surrounding the vast world of digital marketing. Being in a constantly revolving, growing, and changing industry is both thrilling and exhilarating. You need to make sure to be on top of your game when dealing with all things digital, so it’s important to be aware of the number of websites readily available within our digital reach.

I have compiled a list of 52 digital marketing websites that cross my path on the daily, and help me in my continuous process of acquiring information. The websites are divided into 5 categories: digital marketing, content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and PPC, and each include a link to an article that has recently caught my particular interest!


1. Marketing Land

Article: How to Simplify Manual Campaign Tracking in Google Analytics

2. HubSpot

Article: 5 Ways to Make Your Brand Magnetic

3. ClickZ

Article: Facebook Ads and Email – A Chance for the Perfect Fit

4. Smart Insights

Article: Are you making the most of mobile advertising opportunities?

5. AdAge

Article: Welcome to the Video Revolution

6. Online Marketing Institute

Article: Fundamentals of a Paid Search Campaign

7. SEMrush

Article: Earning Backlinks Through Media-Driven Content

8. eMarketer

Article: Mobile Beats Desktop for Ad Viewability

9. Cmswire.com

Article: Understanding Our E-Commerce Obsession

10. eMarketing & Commerce

Article: 10 Paid Search Optimization Tactics to Improve ROI

11. iMedia

Article: Content Strategy is not Permanent

12. AdWeek

Article: The 10 Most Intriguing Digital Marketing Stats of the Past Week

13. Direct Marketing News

Article: The Beauty of Marketing is in the Eye of the Customer

14. Convince and Convert

Article: How to Choose the Best Mobile Strategy for Your Business

15. Copyblogger

Article: Will Your Website Survive the Upcoming Google Mobile Penalty?

16. Digiday

Article: The Future of Digital Advertising, in 5 Charts

17. Optimal Digital Marketing

Article: 2 Simple Steps to Ensure Social Media Success on Facebook

18. FitSmallBusiness

Article: 25 Tips to Get Media Coverage

19. Econsultancy

Article: Google Mobilegeddon is upon us

20. Koozai

Article: An Idiot-Proof Guide to Local SEO

21. Digital Vidya

Article: Use Google Plus (G+) to get Page One Rankings

22. Marketo

Article: Stop the Waste! How to Get the RIGHT People to Convert on Your Targeted Ads

23. Distilled

Article: Mobile SEO Guide: Building Your Mobile Friendly Site

24. Digital Marketer

Article: [Checklist] 5 Copywriting Elements to Test On Your Landing Page

25. Marketing Experiments

Article: How Design Impacts User Experience: Reducing Anxiety by Infusing Your Page with Value

26. Jeff Bullas

Article: Digital Marketing Tips: Do You Have a Traffic Problem or a Conversion Problem?

27. Marketing Solutions Blog

Article: B2B Beat: 7 Things Every CEO Needs to Know About Lead Nurturing

28. Matthew Barby

Article: Growing a Social Following from Nothing: My Social Media Strategy

29. mobileStorm

Article: Digital Advertising is 2015’s Ultimate Growth Market

30. Occam’s Razor

Article: Ten Hidden Gems in Google Analytics: Do Smarter Web Data Anlaysis!

31. Neil Patel

Article: How to Use Gmail to Grow Your Blog Traffic

32. Kiss Metrics

Article: 7 Mistakes That Will Make People Unfollow You on Twitter

33. Unbounce

Article: A Step-by-Step Guide to Generating Leads with Your Content Marketing

34. Content Marketing Institute

Article: How Content Strategy and Content Marketing are Separate but Connected

35. MediaPost

Article: Ways to Entertain and Engage Readers With Content

36. Contently Content Strategist

Article: 7 Content Measurements Tools Marketers Should Know About

37. Copy Hackers

Article: Do These 7 Tragic Mistakes on Your ‘About’ Page Chase Customers Away?

38. Boost Blog Traffic

Article: The Compact Guide to Grammar for Busy People

39. The Sales Lion

Article/ Hubcast: Importance of Writing Down Your Inbound & Content Marketing Strategy

40. The Copybot

Article: How to Write a Brilliant Long Sentence

41. Moz

Article: What Does an SEO Do In Their Day-to-Day Work

42. Search Engine Land

Article: Bing Places Adds Several Agency-Friendly Local Business Listing Tools

43. Search Engine Journal

Article: 5 Best Practices for Blogger Outreach

44. Search Engine Watch

Article: Where’s the Value in AdWords Dynamic Structured Snippets?

45. Backlinko

Article: Want More Traffic That Actually Converts? Follow These 4 Steps…

46. Search Engine Roundtable

Article: How Quickly Will Google Notice My Site Is Mobile Friendly?

47. Social Media Examiner

Article: 7 Ways to Use Video to Boost Your Social Media Marketing

48. Buffer

Article: Conversion Rate Optimization 101: How to Get More Conversions From Landing Pages

Article: Twitter Ads vs. Facebook Ads: The Metrics You Need to See

49. Sprout Social

Article: How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags

50. PPC Hero

Article: Important URL Updates Coming To Bing Ads

52. Beyond the Paid

 

I hope this list of 52 digital marketing websites becomes helpful to you and your success in acquiring continuous knowledge in the digital marketing industry.


Whether you want to sell products, gain subscribers, persuade followers to a point or sway the hearts and minds of readers to your cause, they’ve got to know who you are in the first place.

Your ability to encourage any of these actions comes from your brand’s authority -- and one of the best ways to build that is through the savvy use of social media. In fact, recent research from Econsultancy shows that 71 percent of brands plan to invest more heavily in social media in the coming year to reach new followers and build brand reputation. 

Want to join their ranks and become known in your industry? Here’s everything you need to know about using social media to build your brand:

1. Choose networks that support your brand image.

According to Convince and Convert, 22 percent of Americans use social media multiple times a day, making it one of the best mediums on which to build your brand. There are literally hundreds of social networks out there, but most of them aren’t worth investing your time and energy.

Related: 5 Ways to Use Data to Inform Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Instead, find the platforms that support your brand image, taking the following factors into consideration:
  • Facebook is by the far the best platform for promoting brand awareness, as nearly three quarters of Americans adults use the site. Facebook is a great platform for promoting virtually any brand, due to its very heterogeneous user base.
  • Instagram is a great option for brands that rely heavily on images, such as clothing companies and retailers. It’s also particularly effective for reaching young adults, Hispanics and African Americans.
  • While Google+ hasn’t taken off as well as many people predicted, it can be a great platform to reach men in the technology industry, as two-thirds of the network’s users are men, most of whom work in engineering or other technical professions.
  • Pinterest is an excellent social network to reach women, especially for brands selling jewelry or clothing.
  • Finally, if you operate a business-to-business company, LinkedIn is a stronger choice for promoting business-related content and connecting with other corporate influencers.

2. Provide valuable and shareable content.

It should go without saying, but you’ll create a much stronger brand reputation if you focus on creating useful content that viewers will want to share, rather than cranking out content to meet arbitrary publishing calendars or that covers subjects only you’d want to read.

Keep the following principles in mind as you craft content for social sharing:
  • Every single piece of content you share should support your brand image. Remember, humor can be difficult to pull off. If you can use memes effectively, they can be powerful brand-building tools. But if you aren’t 100 percent sure how your audience will respond to your image, resist the temptation to create memes or engage in clickbait strategies that have the potential to reflect poorly on your company.
  • Figure out which content is most likely to gain visibility on your social networks. Images may resonate better with your audience than blog posts, but you won’t know that if you don’t look at your data.
  • Don’t be afraid to use visual content. Articles with images receive 94 percent more views. Twitter content with images receives nearly twice as many views as text posts, even though there are seven times more text posts on Twitter.

One of the easiest ways to create content for deployment on social media profiles that’ll support your brand building efforts is to see what types of posts others have been successful with and put together your own, better versions.

Say, for example, that one of your competitors has received good social traction with a blog post titled “12 Strategies for Increasing Website Traffic.”

Instead of wasting your time building content around unproven topics, you could release a stronger content piece on this same subject. For instance, you could put together a post titled “102 Strategies for Increasing Website Traffic,” or you could go through your competitor’s list of techniques and put together your own guide that goes into more depth on how to put these principles into action.

To find the content pieces that are performing well in your industry, use tools such as BuzzSumo and sort based on past social engagement. To learn more about implementing this technique, check out the Backlinko blog’s guide on the subject.

Related: 4 Do's and 4 Don'ts for Businesses Using Social Media
Whether you want to sell products, gain subscribers, persuade followers to a point or sway the hearts and minds of readers to your cause, they’ve got to know who you are in the first place.

Your ability to encourage any of these actions comes from your brand’s authority -- and one of the best ways to build that is through the savvy use of social media. In fact, recent research from Econsultancy shows that 71 percent of brands plan to invest more heavily in social media in the coming year to reach new followers and build brand reputation.

Want to join their ranks and become known in your industry? Here’s everything you need to know about using social media to build your brand:

1. Choose networks that support your brand image

According to Convince and Convert, 22 percent of Americans use social media multiple times a day, making it one of the best mediums on which to build your brand. There are literally hundreds of social networks out there, but most of them aren’t worth investing your time and energy.

Related: 5 Ways to Use Data to Inform Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Instead, find the platforms that support your brand image, taking the following factors into consideration:

Facebook is by the far the best platform for promoting brand awareness, as nearly three quarters of Americans adults use the site. Facebook is a great platform for promoting virtually any brand, due to its very heterogeneous user base.
Instagram is a great option for brands that rely heavily on images, such as clothing companies and retailers. It’s also particularly effective for reaching young adults, Hispanics and African Americans.
While Google+ hasn’t taken off as well as many people predicted, it can be a great platform to reach men in the technology industry, as two-thirds of the network’s users are men, most of whom work in engineering or other technical professions.


Pinterest is an excellent social network to reach women, especially for brands selling jewelry or clothing.
Finally, if you operate a business-to-business company, LinkedIn is a stronger choice for promoting business-related content and connecting with other corporate influencers.

2. Provide valuable and shareable content.

It should go without saying, but you’ll create a much stronger brand reputation if you focus on creating useful content that viewers will want to share, rather than cranking out content to meet arbitrary publishing calendars or that covers subjects only you’d want to read.

Keep the following principles in mind as you craft content for social sharing:

Every single piece of content you share should support your brand image. Remember, humor can be difficult to pull off. If you can use memes effectively, they can be powerful brand-building tools. But if you aren’t 100 percent sure how your audience will respond to your image, resist the temptation to create memes or engage in clickbait strategies that have the potential to reflect poorly on your company.
Figure out which content is most likely to gain visibility on your social networks. Images may resonate better with your audience than blog posts, but you won’t know that if you don’t look at your data.
Don’t be afraid to use visual content. Articles with images receive 94 percent more views. Twitter content with images receives nearly twice as many views as text posts, even though there are seven times more text posts on Twitter.
One of the easiest ways to create content for deployment on social media profiles that’ll support your brand building efforts is to see what types of posts others have been successful with and put together your own, better versions.

Say, for example, that one of your competitors has received good social traction with a blog post titled “12 Strategies for Increasing Website Traffic.”

Instead of wasting your time building content around unproven topics, you could release a stronger content piece on this same subject. For instance, you could put together a post titled “102 Strategies for Increasing Website Traffic,” or you could go through your competitor’s list of techniques and put together your own guide that goes into more depth on how to put these principles into action.

To find the content pieces that are performing well in your industry, use tools such as BuzzSumo and sort based on past social engagement. To learn more about implementing this technique, check out the Backlinko blog’s guide on the subject.

Related: 4 Do's and 4 Don'ts for Businesses Using Social Media

3. Leverage influencers

Publishing killer content to your social profiles is important, but it’s only one part of the equation. If you have a relatively unknown brand, your voice is likely getting lost in the noise. While you can eventually build your own audience through the creation of great content, this strategy is going to take time.

A much faster approach is to leverage the audiences existing influencers in your industry have already built. There are a few different ways you can do this:

Mention their names or cite their websites in your content pieces. Influencers with Google Alerts or other notifications set up on their names will see your content after it’s published.
Tag any influencers you’ve referenced when sharing content to your social media profiles.
Email influencers after you’ve published your content to let them know they’ve been referenced in your work.
The goal of all these different actions is to get them to share your content piece with their followers via social networking. It can take time to build up the kinds of relationships that lead to influencer sharing, but if you’re consistent about producing quality content, your efforts will get noticed.

4. Use social campaigns to promote content.

Finally, keep in mind that, in an age of diminishing organic reach, paid campaigns -- especially those run through native advertising platforms -- may be one of your better options for building your brand on social networks.

A growing number of brands use strategies such as contests and other social media campaigns to successfully gain visibility and generate leads.

To take advantage of this effect, provide your audience with valuable incentives that encourage user participation and make sure that your campaigns offers value to all participants.

While social media is one of the most powerful ways to reach new leads, it’s easy to waste time or alienate people if you don’t use it appropriately. That’s what makes having a sound social media strategy in place so important.

If you make it a priority to consistently share great content and leverage the power of existing social media influencers, your brand building efforts are bound to pay off in the long-run.


Marketers are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to engage their existing users and acquire new ones. And with new marketing solutions being offered to brands every other day, choosing the right one that will best suit their needs and help them promote their business to a vast number of users is crucial.

For many socially-focused marketers and service providers, Viber and Messenger’s chat extensions offer a great solution to help them stay involved in their users’ experience while promoting their brand. Not only can chat extensions help marketers turn their brand loyalists into brand activists, but they are also able to promote higher engagement levels among users who will prefer a specific app and its chat extensions to all others.

From a marketing standpoint, both Viber and Messenger chose to implement chat extensions into their messaging apps in order to enhance the ways in which a user can interact in a chat with friends. By providing users with seamless access to social features, including music players, YouTube videos, and travel booking apps, chat extensions are able to address the majority of today’s marketing trends, exposing users to specific brands or promotions.

Viber’s Chat Extensions, introduced in December 2016, offer a variety of features for users, from GIFs, Spotify, Vice, Booking, and even YouTube. Nearly a year later, Messenger introduced their version of the feature, focusing more on creating chat extensions such as Kayak and Swelly that will help users reach desired chatbots. The possibilities chat extensions offer marketers and brands that are looking to reach a wider audience are endless. Here are examples of brands that have already realized Viber and Messenger’s chat extensions’ marketing potential.

In this blog, you’ll find examples of brands that have already realized Viber and Messenger’s chat extensions’ marketing potential as well as some key tips on how to best implement chat with your company.

Kayak
Messenger’s Kayak Travel Planner allows you to create a poll of possible destinations and travel dates and share them on your group chat so your friends can cast their vote. It also enables users to look for flights, hotels, and car rentals as well as visit the Kayak Messenger bot for more direct and personal traveling information. This chat extension, as well as the others on this list, enable the brand or business to insert itself into users’ conversations without extra effort on the part of the user. In essence, Kayak is going to where their users are planning and therefore able to be involved in the process from start to finish.

Booking
With a whopping 1,413,232 properties to choose from and 118,478 destinations in 226 countries and territories worldwide, there’s no wonder that more than 1,200,000 room nights are reserved every day on the Booking platform. Viber’s Chat Extensions enable users to choose a specific location and date, pick out their preferred hotel, and book it immediately. Tourism brands can benefit from the possibilities of enabling users to gain access to their service in a brand-new way through chat extensions. The more brands are using chat extensions, the more users will neglect regular online searches for hotels and flights and simply opt for trusted brand offerings that are right in front of them. Building this level of trust with customers is invaluable in the Engagement Economy. 

Swelly
Both Viber and Messenger have already introduced Swelly, a social voting bot, to their users. Messenger has also included Swelly as one of its chat extension features. The Swell pad lets users vote for one of two images in the same category and then allows them to share their answers with friends in order to compare results. The bot, on the other hand, not only lets users vote for their preferred image but then instructs them on how they too can create their own “Swells.” In a “Swell,” a user can upload two images in a specific category and receive data regarding the votes the images received and which one was more popular. There’s no doubt that brands like Swelly are onto something. Users often need advice on what to wear and buy and will tend to trust like-minded or experienced consumers over people they know.
Marketers Can’t Afford to Pass up the Opportunity
If there’s one thing marketers should take from these examples, it’s the importance of investing in messaging apps. As social activity becomes more private, and one-to-one messaging begins to dominate the social media world, marketers are faced with an unbelievable opportunity. With everything they need at their fingertips, users trust in the platforms they are using will rise as well as their trust in the brands those platforms choose to work with.

Marketers, and in particular those who run social-based businesses, should consider turning to the likes of Viber and Messenger in order to have their service and brand added as a chat extension feature. By doing so they’ll be able to not only reach hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU) but will also keep users engaged on a platform that they’re already using. If marketers are looking for further reassurance as to why they should invest in messaging apps, data from 2016 has already shown that messaging apps have surpassed social networks in terms of monthly active user numbers, and that is something marketers can’t afford to ignore.

How have you incorporated chat into your marketing plan? What can you take from this blog to implement in your own strategy?

Sub

Never run out of social media content ideas again! The following list covers just about everything you could possibly post on social media. From personal, to business-related, to promotional posts, this list of 100 ideas will keep you inspired for a long time.

1. Quotes: Humorous, inspiring or motivational quotes always perform well.

2. Fill-in-the-blank posts (e.g. “If I had $1 million I would _________”)

3. Polls: While Facebook offers built-in polls, I find running them manually works best for boosting engagement (e.g. “Which of these books is your favorite?”)

4. Behind-the-scenes photos: Take candid shots of yourself, your employees, or snap a shot of your office or workspace.

5. Statistics or data: Share new, relevant industry statistics (these perform great in terms of retweets and shares)

6. Post a link to an old blog post: There’s nothing wrong with recycling, and old posts will gain new engagement, extending their life.

7. Questions: Pose simple, basic questions that your followers can answer quickly.

8. Link to a guest post: Share (or re-share) a link to a post you contributed to another site. If you’re interested in learning how and why guest blogging should be part of your online strategy, see my article, The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Business by Guest Blogging.

9. Post a branded image: Post a funny or inspirational image with your logo or website URL on it.

10. Infographics: Find an infographic your followers would appreciate. Check out Daily Infographic for ideas, or better yet, create your own.


11. Product photos: Work best on sites like Pinterest or Instagram. Think about how you can add a unique angle to the shots (e.g. an employee actually using the product, a customer-submitted photo, etc.).

12. Photos that have nothing to do with your products or business: Instead, they convey the feeling behind your brand. For instance, how Starbucks shares photos on Instagram to associate their brand with sunshine, warmth, and good friends (not just coffee).

13. Behind-the-scenes product shots: Photos of your products being manufactured or sourced.

14. Link to a controversial blog post: There’s nothing better for eliciting engagement than a little controversy.

15. Ask for input on your products: Your followers will love giving their thoughts on how to improve your products.

16. Let Pinterest inspire you: Pinterest is a goldmine in terms of finding beautiful images you can share (particularly images with quotes). Just be sure to give proper credit.

17. Share a helpful resource: If you’re truly concerned about sharing the most useful info with your followers, don’t be afraid to direct them to other people’s valuable content (not just your own).

18. Post a Slideshare presentation: If you want to find one that’s already proven itself to be popular, go to the ‘Trending in Social Media’ section at the bottom of the Slideshare homepage.

19. Link to a case study: Case studies are great for delivering useful info in a way that’s often more palatable and actionable than a standard blog post.

20. Link to an industry-related IFTTT recipe: Haven’t heard of IFTTT (short for If This Then That)? You need to check it out. Then share a link to a recipe your followers would find useful.

21. Ask for reviews or testimonials: Eliciting reviews from fans or followers is one of the best ways to get testimonials you can use as social proof on your website.

22. Fan photos: Search for hashtags related to your business or products, and share a customer photo on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

23. Recommend a tool: Share a (preferably free) tool or resource you think your followers would find useful.

24. Share a favorite book: Similar to #23, share a book recommendation your fans or followers would appreciate.

25. A day in the life post: Give a recap of a typical day in the life of a graphic designer, author, CEO, etc.

26. Recommend your favorite products: If you’re an e-commerce site, share a list of your top sellers or highest-rated products. If you’re a service provider, share a list of the products that help you succeed in your business.

27. Share random tips: Periodically post a random tip or trick your followers would find useful. Hint: using random tip numbers adds interest to your post (e.g. Tip #256: __________)

28. Link to your most popular blog post: Give a brief intro to the post and explain why it’s your most read and shared post.

29. Provide a recommendation: Share the love by recommending a business you’ve worked with successfully in the past.

30. Share a work/life balance tip: Your social media followers want to know you’re a real person with the same struggles as them. Share a tip you’ve learned for balancing work, life and family.

31. Ask for advice: Pose a hypothetical question and ask your followers what they would do in that situation.

32. Take a trip down memory lane: Share photos of old logos, websites or your very first product.

33. Random posts that show you’re a real person: For instance, what you had for dinner last night or what you’re doing this weekend.

34. Share popular Reddit topic: Visit Reddit’s Trending Subreddit page to find popular and trending topics to post about.

35. Recommend someone else to follow on social media: Share a link to someone else’s social media profile and encourage your fans to ‘like’ or follow them.

36. Share a Pinterest board: If your customers are on Pinterest (hint: if your demographic is educated, high-income females, they probably are), share a Pinterest board via Facebook or Twitter.

37. Share a comic or meme: Getting your customers to laugh with you is a great way to start building relationships.

38. Post a video testimonial: Share a video review; or better yet, ask your social media followers to submit their own video testimonials.

39. Recommend a colleague on LinkedIn: Encourage your connections to reach out to someone who acts as a valuable resource for your business.

40. Hold a photo contest: Ask for photo submissions and then get your fans to vote. Share the winning photos, too!

41. Share a trending Twitter topic: Use Topsy to find content that’s popular and trending on Twitter.

42. Hold a debate on social media: This can go downhill pretty quickly, so be sure to stay on top of it!

43. ‘Caption this’: Post a photo and ask your fans to come up with creative or funny captions.

44. YouTube video: Find a cute or inspirational video and promote it to your fans or followers.

45. Tag another Facebook page: Generate some good karma by helping to promote another business.

46. Share breaking industry news: Stay on stop of what’s going on in your industry or niche by using Google Alerts.

47. Share country-specific holidays: Wish your followers from around the world happy holidays (a full list of worldwide holidays can be found here).

48. Share (and ask for) predictions: For instance, “I predict that Germany will win the World Cup. Who do you think will win?”.

49. Offer a free e-book: Build your email list while generating some goodwill with your fans.

50. Ask for questions: Let your fans ask you anything.

51. Post a controversial view: Play devil’s advocate, but tread carefully.

52. Use Facebook Interest lists for content ideas: See what topics are trending and share them with your fans or use them to generate your own content.

53. Profile an employee: Let your followers know they’re dealing with real people.

54. Post product recall notices: Keep your ear to the ground so you can be the first to share important safety information with your followers.

55. Post a ‘truth or fiction’ question: Let your fans guess whether it’s the truth or a myth.

56. Share a trending Google search: Visit Google’s Top Charts to find out what people are currently searching for; give your own spin on one of these topics.

57. Fan of the month: Acknowledge your brand ambassadors and let them know they’re appreciated.

58. Share industry research: Post a link to and synopsis of research your fans would find useful.

59. Hold a flash sale: Use Snapchat to offer a limited-time coupon.

60. Celebrate odd holidays: For instance, did you know June 17 is Apple Strudel Day? Use a tool like Days of the Year to find out what today’s holiday is.

61. Awards or accolades you’ve received: Just do this carefully…the idea is to build trust, not to brag.

62. Promote someone else’s sale: Share a link to a coupon or sale from a complimentary (not competing) business.

63. Latest company news: Anything changing in your business? New employee? New hours of operation? New product offering?

64. Share pictures from a recent industry event: Don’t forget to use the event hashtag for maximum exposure.

65. Promote a free download: This could be a plugin, white paper, e-book or anything else that would be useful for your audience.

66. Thank your fans: A simple thank you can go a long way to building connections with your fans.

67. Offer expert insights into a topic: This helps establish you as a thought leader in your field.

68. Do a post series: We do this on our blogs, why not on social media? Share a series of similar posts over a certain number of days.

69. Weekly round up: Post a list of the ‘must read’ articles for the week.

70. Get your employees to guest post: Have your employees take turns posting a ‘fun fact’ on Facebook or Twitter.

71. Create and share a compilation of industry news stories: Flipboard is a great way to do this.

72. Host a Google+ hangout: Promote it through all your social media channels.

73. Encourage your followers to support a cause: Post a link to an online fundraiser (and contribute to it yourself).

74. Post an expert quote: Ask an industry expert a question and post their answer on social media. This is great for getting retweets and shares.

75. Hold a giveaway: This can be as simple as asking your fans or followers to comment to enter.

76. Offer a sneak peek: Whet your fans’ appetites by showing a sneak peek of an upcoming blog post, contest or product launch.

77. Start a conversation with an industry leader: Tag or mention an industry guru in a post (just be aware you might be left hanging!).

78. Post a photo collage: A tool like PicMonkey can help you create one.

79. Teaser content: Posting a link to a blog post? Don’t reveal the punch line. This will usually increase your clickthroughs.

80. Make an industry prediction: Speculate on what’s in store for your niche or industry.

81. Post a creative or unexpected use for your product:Be sure to also ask your fans for ideas.

82. Link to a blog comment: Have a particularly helpful or controversial comment on your blog? Post a link and get your fans and followers to weigh in.

83. Answer an FAQ: Have a question you get asked a lot? Answer it on social media.

84. Post a link to old newsletters: Recycle your newsletters and gain new subscribers at the same time.

85. Ask your fans for content ideas: Find out which issues or problems your fans need help with.

86. Post a link to a helpful Facebook or LinkedIn group:If you know of a helpful resource on Facebook or LinkedIn, share a link with your fans.

87. Tell a story: Share a funny or interesting anecdote from your life.

88. Find out what your competitors are sharing, and do it better: An easy way to do this is by using a tool like Social Crawlytics.

89. Use your website analytics to find content ideas: Take a quick look through your analytics to find out which topics generate the most interest from your audience.

90. Hold a Q&A session: Promote a live Q&A period where you’ll answer fan questions.

91. Share an opinion: Your followers want to know you stand for something; don’t be afraid to take sides on an issue (as long as you can and do stand behind your views).

92. Post a link to an employee bio: If you have bios on your site, post a link to help your fans get to know the brains behind your company.

93. Answer a question from Quora: Find a relevant question on Quora and answer it on social media.

94. Respond to a tag or mention: See who’s been trying to get your attention and respond to them in a post.

95. Post an excerpt from a blog post: Rather than just posting a link and summary of the post, cut and paste a particularly intriguing excerpt to pique your readers’ interest.

96. Share a chart: Share an interesting chart or graph that’s relevant to your audience.

97. Post a screenshot of a social media conversation (with permission): Add your own thoughts to the conversation.

98. Promote an industry-related event: This can either be a live or online event.

99. Share a funny commercial: Post a commercial that would be appeal to your fans or followers.

100. Promote your products or services:  There’s a reason this one is last on the list. There’s a time and a place for self-promotion on social media, but first and foremost, use social media to build relationships, establish trust, and build your reputation as an industry expert. When people do want to buy, who do you think they’ll come to first?