Build Your Business:

Generating Content for Social Media

Here’s a few content ideas you should be considering for online promotional opportunities.

By Deborah Sexton, Contributing Writer

Supporting a cause you believe in through your social media promotes your shop and the cause. It’s a great way to give back while gaining exposure to potential customers, whether or not that is what motivates you to do it. Traxler Printing, Columbus, Ohio, recently printed up a variety of merchandise for Black Lives Matter and donated 100% of the proceeds to organizations supporting this movement. Photo courtesy of, Columbus, Ohio

September 3, 2020

For anyone just getting started putting together a social media content calendar, one of the biggest challenges is deciding what to post. Over time, you’ll get feedback from past posts that will tell you what types garner the greatest response. But initially, it’s largely a trial-and-error process.

The overriding rule to remember is that every post should do one of three things: educate, entertain and inspire. Social media is not a free bulletin board to post all about your wonderful company and its products and services. The feel of your business fan page should not be promotional or salesy. You’ll quickly find you will never pop up in anyone’s newsfeed if you try that approach.

Also, remember when researching and brainstorming for ideas, it’s not necessary that every post be original content generated by you. Sharing relevant stories, ideas, quotes, photos, or news that you believe will be of interest to your customers is a great way to keep your home page pipeline full and keep your name out in front of clients.

To get you started, here’s just a few ideas:

Seasonal. We all know what the seasons are, and there’s no end to free graphics you can use to communicate anticipation and excitement about an upcoming holiday or yearly event such as back to school, football season, spring, etc. It might be about decorations, food, crafts, gifts, humor, community, service, or just a fun or thoughtful message.

If you want to tie in some type of promotion or special offer regarding decorated apparel, this is a great way to do it without seeming to be too hard sell.

Envision Screen Printing and Embroidery, Dubuque, Iowa, featured a solution for the back-to school season during this pandemic. It offered a kit containing a full-color face mask and school pennant that could be mailed directly to a favorite student, athlete, alumni or other supporter. With so many schools being forced to conduct classes through Zoom or to only hold classes several times a week vs. every day, this was a great way to help build spirit and camaraderie among the students and teachers.

December, one of the biggest holiday seasons of the year, is right around the corner. Whether it’s Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico), consider how you can inspire, entertain or make your customers laugh. Printed Threads, Fort Worth, created a holiday Christmas card one year featuring a photo of their entire staff.

December also is a time when our thoughts are turned to giving to others. Whether it’s family and friends or people in need, consider sharing heartwarming stories that will get your readers into the holiday spirit and encourage them to join the experience.

If your company participates in community food drives, toys for tots, or similar activities, these all give you an opportunity to give back yourself, encourage others to contribute and to create sharable content for your page.

It’s a win-win.

We all struggle with the desire to want to show someone our love and appreciation during holidays, but often struggle with what to get. Professional photos presenting gift ideas will be of high interest to viewers, and a decorated apparel shop’s ability to personalize gifts increases the appeal. Come up with some unique gift ideas your shop might offer and see what kind of reactions you get.

Hosting A Sale. If there’s something most decorated apparel shops have in common, it’s leftover T-shirts. Whether they are misprints, overprints, or not sold for a myriad of other reasons, hosting a annual or bi-annual T-shirt clearance is a great way to get rid of merchandise taking up space in your shop and to gain exposure for your company.

This topic gives you fodder for a series of posts that start with the announcing of the sale, to teasers showing some of the shirts customers can pick up for a song, to fun photos showing people who come and getting then them to comment on their finds.

If you want to get even more mileage out of this event, start a mailing list for people who want to be notified the next time you host one and post that on your social media pages as well.

Support A Cause. T-shirts have long been popular as a great way to share our support for causes and to help raise money for worthy endeavors. Whether they are local or national issues, helping publicize and promote something you believe in is another way to strengthen your ties to the community and generate positive content for your pages.

Back in June of this year, Traxler Printing, Columbus, Ohio, printed up Black Lives Matter shirts and held a sale in their community with 100% of the proceeds being donated to organizations that assist this movement. Products included unisex T-shirts, masks, men’s and women’s tank tops and even signs.

Many decorators in our industry participated in the “#Here For Good” campaign that was another great example of win-win. Shops like Rocket Shirts, Murfreesboro, Tenn., took on the cost of creating shirts for local businesses. These were sold online with the decorator keeping a portion to pay for the consumables and labor, and the remainder going to the small business. It kept decorators in business as well as local shops.

These are only a few ideas you should be experimenting with as you create social media content. I will be presenting more ideas in the coming months so stay tuned to Impressions website for future columns.

Deborah Sexton is the former editor of Impressions Magazine, where she worked from 1981 to 2001. She now owns her own company, Saracen Communications, doing digital media marketing, copywriting, and public relations for companies in the decorated apparel industry. You can reach her at