Refresh how you write your content.

Ever find yourself a little tapped out when it comes to ideas for what to say in a social media post? Me, too. Especially if you are a social media professional who writes them day in and day out, it can become difficult to think of new ways of approaching the same old Facebook update or tweet.

I went looking for prompts to help me be a little more creative. Often, in creative writing classes, teachers provide their students with prompts for writing exercises. Sometimes a teacher will ask everyone to write a story starting with the same first line. Or a poem including the words “whale,” “torrent,” and “climb.” A teacher I know once asked students to write a description of a building from the perspective of a man who’d just lost his son in a war. But not to mention the son. Or the war.

There are a whole slew of ways to compose, style, and organize a social media update. Trying out new formats or ideas, and then looking at their analytics to see which do best with your audience, is a great way to stay relevant on social media. Do try a bunch of these. Then a/b test them. (Thanks to Kevan Lee for some of these ideas.)

Prompts for Facebook Updates

Start the update with a question

End the update with a question

Give instructions

Make a comparison

Include a fill-in-the-blank question

Post a statistic

Post a surprising fact

Post an image and then text that somewhat contradicts (or complicates) the image

Use a custom URL (e.g., for KISSmetrics)

Sign the update with “- Your Name”

Post something about your team so that the public can get to know them as people

Explain a conflict, but don’t take sides

Post a problem, then ask for help with solutions

Explain a problem and a solution

Use a quote from an expert

Use a number

Make a list

Use an image with text overlay

Use an image without text overlay

Post about your favorite thing about a topic

Post about something that makes you angry about a topic

Write your headline in title case (e.g., capitalize all the main words)

Write your headline in sentence case (e.g., capitalize the first word and proper nouns only)

Tell a joke

No text at all, just an image

Insert a horizontal rule

Place hashtags inside the update

Place hashtags at the end of the update

Use emoji

Post a video

Post a GIF

Post in advance of something happen to get people excited

Post behind-the-scenes photos

Congratulate someone else on an achievement

Insert how you’re feeling (for profiles only – example below)

Attribute and tag other accounts

Punctuation-heavy text (think: plain-text emails)

Place everything in the same paragraph

Place things on separate lines

Also important: Keep in mind that Facebook truncates posts in the news feed after the fifth line.

Prompts for Tweets

Place your comments before the headline or retweet

Place your comments after the headline or retweet

“Commentary –> tweet”

“Commentary + tweet”

“Commentary > tweet”

“Commentary :: tweet”

“Commentary – tweet”

“Tweet [commentary]” (example below)

“Commentary || tweet”

Place hashtags inside the tweet

Place hashtags outside the tweet, at the end

Attribution after “via”

Attribution after “by”

Acknowledge others with an “HT” (stands for hat tip)

Manually retweet with an RT (stands for retweet)

Manually retweet with an MT (stands for modified tweet)

Insert hard returns so your tweet appears on multiple lines (example below)

Title case for capitalization

Sentence case for capitalization

Use custom shortening URL



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