A Guide to Choosing Your Social Media Content Pillars

How to choose content pillars

Have you ever spent hours in front of the computer, trying to create content for your brand’s social media channels, only to stare at the screen, not knowing what to come up with? Have you then browsed through a good bunch of lists on Pinterest or various websites, all promising amazing ideas for your social media, for a full month, only to end up with almost nothing? Did they all seem too generic and so “not you”? You wanted to create something original, something cool, something that your audience will enjoy watching. But what? How do you know where to start and, more importantly, where you are going?

Don’t worry, you are not alone! This is the most common problem I hear from my clients when we discuss their reasons to hire a social media manager! There is a way to avoid this problem, and I’m gonna teach you how to do it. It involves a bit of work in advance, but you’ll be grateful you did it!

Social media content pillars

It’s all about content pillars! What are those, you ask? In the realm of social media, content pillars are essentially the core themes or topics that your brand consistently communicates about. They serve as the foundation for your content strategy, guiding what type of content you’ll produce and share. Picture them as thematic categories under which your social media content falls.

Suppose your brand is a fitness centre. Your content pillars might be ‘Healthy Recipes,’ ‘Workout Routines,’ and ‘Fitness Motivation.’ These pillars unify your messaging across platforms, ensuring your content remains focused, relevant, and valuable to your audience.

Carefully selected content pillars help you maintain a consistent brand voice, provide structure to your content planning, and allow for variety without straying too far from what your audience expects from you. They serve as the sturdy anchors grounding all your creativity and communication in the stormy seas of social media.

Today we will discuss how to choose the content pillars for your social media.

Choosing content pillars demands thoughtful consideration. You want to create content that is relevant to your audience but at the same time conveys your brand’s message. Worry not, for this process can be simplified into three steps: know your brand, know your audience, and know your goals.

Know Your Brand - Understanding your brand is like feeling the pulse of your business. What does your brand stand for? What value does it bring? Answering these questions enables you to pick pillars that echo your brand’s voice, vision, and value.

Know Your Audience - The next step in choosing content pillars is understanding the audience. Their questions, needs, desires—these should guide your choice of pillars. When your content resonates with your audience’s reality, they connect to it more deeply.

Know Your Goals - What do you aim to achieve with your social media presence? Expand your reach? Foster deeper relationships? Sell more products? Your overarching objectives should influence your pillar choices.

How many content pillars?

Now, once these things are clear, the question becomes -- how many content pillars should you choose? A good rule of thumb is to start with three to five pillars, allowing breadth in your content while retaining focus.

The next critical thing is deciding the type of content that will support each pillar. Is your audience more likely to engage with long posts, enticing infographics, or perhaps videos? Different content formats have their unique strengths and your choice should be influenced by the architecture of your pillar and its intended audience’s preferences. Assuming that at this point you’ve already made your choice on what social media platforms you will use to promote your business, you should research what is trending on each of them and consider what would your audience be attracted to.

You should also take into consideration what is realistically possible for you to produce. For example, if you don’t have someone to take care of your social media and you are doing everything yourself, consider if your time allows for filming 20 videos a month, edit them and post them. The format and consistency are important, but the process of creation needs to be sustainable for you.

How to choose content pillars

Steps to choose your content pillars:

1. Book a few hours in your calendar.

2. Set your space for success: clean your desk, play music that inspires you, light a candle. This is most probably a dreaded task for you, so make sure everything else is inviting and you won’t bail out and postpone.

3. Open a document on your computer and write answers to the questions above: What does your brand stand for? Who is your audience and what are its pain points? What are your goals with social media?

4. Brainstorm possible content pillars, based on your answers. Make a long list and then narrow it down to 3-5 pillars. I recommend three for start, to keep things more simple, and you can add the rest later. A few examples of content pillars are :

  • for a coach: inspiration and motivation, educational content, coach life.
  • for a vegan restaurant: food and menu highlights, ingredients spotlights, community engagement.
  • for a real estate agency: property showcases, neighbourhoods insights, advice from your experts.

5. Choose content formats that will support each of your pillars.

6. Brainstorm content ideas for each pillar. At least 10-15 for each – this will help you in the next step, when you will populate the content calendar. Research what other similar businesses are posting, what is working for them. Get inspiration from popular hashtags and popular creators, and make sure not to let yourself distracted by the scrolling. Stay focused on your research.

7. Congratulate yourself! You’ve just finished something that will make your work much easier from now on!

Once you’ve got all figured out, start creating the content. Populating your content calendar with ideas should be easier now. Create the content in advance, experiment with it, and remember that setting content pillars isn’t a one-time thing. So, stay adaptable, be open to refining your pillars as needed, and don’t be afraid to incorporate new trends that resonate with your brand and audience.


Are you looking for a social media manager who can create original content, tailored to your needs and dedicated to growing your business? Do you need articles for your company's blog? Reach out to me and let’s get started!

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