Have you ever wondered why people love eating at buffets?
It’s not because all-you-can-eat options are better for your wallet; in fact, economists have proved ordering traditional dishes is actually cheaper.
Humans crave variety. With a buffet ticket, you can try the dumplings, the salad, the spare ribs, brussels sprouts, and the pasta—and that variety makes you feel good.
This principle of variety definitely applies to social media content: It’s easier to surprise and delight your followers when you’re not always serving up the same things. By continually introducing new content types into your social media lineup, you’ll keep your audience members on their toes and engaged.
If you’re eager to explore, but not sure where to start, check out this list of seven awesome types of social media content you can be creating right now.
1. Custom GIFs
Create your own animated GIFs to boost engagement and tell a story
A great GIF is worth a thousand words. Along with driving massive engagement, GIFs help you explain difficult ideas, add some visual variety to your feed, and have some fun with your audience.
There are tons of awesome GIFs already floating around (in fact, we’ve got a stocked moodboard you’re welcome to pull from). However, creating your own guarantees you’ll have unique, eye-catching content. And good news: You can whip up a GIF in mere minutes.
A few of our favorite GIF-making tools include:
Giphy’s GIF Maker – for turning videos and YouTube links into GIFs
Gifmaker.me – for stitching together a series of images into a GIF
Licecap – for screenshot GIFs
If you need inspiration, check out NASA’s Twitter. NASA’s content is already visually compelling; after all, it doesn’t get more beautiful than the solar system. However, the agency takes things to the next level by animating things like shuttle take-offs, planets in rotation, and shots from space.
NASA also makes GIFs for its recurring social features. Its monthly “What’s Up” post, which showcases the coolest things happening in the night sky, gets a custom GIF for Twitter promotion.
InVision, a wireframing and prototyping tool, has an admirable GIF strategy as well. For every 10 blog posts the company shares on social media, one or two will have accompanying GIFs that illustrate a concept from the post.
Finally, GIFs are a handy way to quickly educate your followers.
To take things to the next level…
A cinemagraph has the same file format as a GIF; however, rather than a series of images playing in a loop, it’s a static image with movement in one part of the frame. Cinemagraphs are, as designer Jason Winter puts it, “scroll-stoppers.”
They’re also really effective: this one from Coke got 80,000 notes on Tumblr in 14 days.