Okay. It’s time for that noontime Facebook post. [cracks knuckles] There’s got to be something exciting to talk about. Do we have any new photos? What happened in the lunchroom yesterday?…maybe I’ll see what other pages are posting…oh, hey, they just posted a video and OMIGOD what is that cat doing with that hairdryer??

And before you know it, you’re down the rabbit hole. Without a post to show for it.

Posting regularly on social media is a fun and effective way to engage your target audience and showcase your company’s strengths. But, it’s also a challenge. Lots of frazzled business owners and staffers end up scrambling for ideas at the last minute. The best way around this situation is to plan out your posts at least a couple weeks in advance—or, even better, months at a time. So, here are 9 starter ideas to put on your social media calendar and reuse every month. Let’s get your creative juices flowing!

1. Make Yourself Useful

Posting informative articles or videos is a terrific way to establish your company as a helpful resource, not just a promotional machine. The topics could be directly related to your industry, but you should also think beyond. For instance, if your audience is parents, link to an article on healthy school lunch options or local family activities. Don’t forget about quick tips and advice from your in-house experts.

2. Give Voice to Your Customers

Your social feed is a great place to share customer reviews, so those happy testimonials can reach audiences beyond your website and other review sites. Copy the original text into a visual format, and then schedule the posts regularly throughout your content calendar.

3. Go Local

Let your followers know about other businesses you support and work with. It could be as simple as a shout-out to your office’s favorite takeout lunch spot or a neighboring office. This is not only helpful info, it can promote engagement from other business pages and boost your exposure to new audiences.

4. Video, Video, and More Facebook Live Video

If video isn’t part of your social media strategy yet, it’s time to make it happen! Cisco predicts that nearly 80% of all internet traffic will be driven by video in 2020, with live video streaming increasing to 13% of all video traffic by 2021. The types of videos you create depends on your goals and resources. Some videos, like Facebook Live videos, are great to do on a smartphone for an authentic, grassroots feel. If you’re trying to produce a more polished video, such as an office walk-through or client testimonials, you may want to hire a professional videographer or social media agency.

5. Come Up with Contests

Everyone loves a contest! This is a great way to increase engagement and have some fun with your audience. You might even get ideas for a product design tweak or a new marketing campaign. You can do anything from caption contests to asking for pics and choosing a winner. Just make sure the contest is in good taste, has a goal, and follows social media guidelines (here are Facebook’s, Instagram’s, and Twitter’s).

6. Doing Good? Let People Know.

If your office participates in any charity events or partners with community-related causes, talk about it in your posts. It’s not just about promoting the good work your team is doing; you can also help promote the cause and even inspire others to get involved. When you write a post, add in real content and context. Show pictures of your team volunteering, and interview staff members about what this cause means to them.

7. Not-So-Frequently Asked Questions

Offer a Question and Answer session now and then—it’s a good way to get your audience engaged and learn a thing or two about what’s important to them. Ask your followers for questions, and then feature one or more staff answers (text or video!) in a separate post. You can also generate your own entertaining Q&A topics, like asking staff about their hobbies or favorite animals.

8. Promote Your Events

Events get a lot of attention in the Facebook algorithm—and you can feature everything from specials and promotions to fundraisers and customer appreciation days. Facebook will recommend events to users based on a number of factors, such as location, timing, and event type, so provide as much data as you can. Be sure to select the appropriate event category, too. Lastly, add tags that you think people might be searching for.

9. Go Behind the Scenes

This is a great way to give your business a face and a personality—customers love connecting with real people! Add some behind-the-scenes posts to your calendar, with candid pics of your team at work (or at play) in the office or elsewhere. If you have staff members who do interesting things, like volunteering at animal shelters or running marathons, post a short bio and a personal quote. You might be surprised how many of your followers can relate.

See? You’re on fire! Look at all this content you’ve got at your fingertips. Every one of these ideas can be fleshed out into multiple posts. If you’re doing a staff Q&A theme, make it a series that you post once a week. If you’re partnering with a local charity, set up multiple posts throughout the fundraising period. Meanwhile, pay attention to which types of posts get the most engagement, and use them as a guide for future ideas. Remember that you can track the type of content your followers like the most.

Alicia Piazza, Cofounder – The Spark Social, Inc.