Inspiration is a process that can hardly be explained and is often even harder to find. The Oxford Dictionary defines inspiration as: “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”

In social media marketing, creative content is vital. Even in case you know your target audience well and you have an idea of what should be shared, finding fresh and interesting ways to produce new content is a constant challenge. Here are some ways to trigger creative inspiration:

1. Take a moment to breathe and reflect on your goals. You won’t be able to think properly if you’re anxious about something or if you generally have other things on your mind.

2. Give yourself space. Do something relaxing or go for a walk. By not thinking, inspiration often occurs to you of its own accord.

3. Look around you – open your eyes. Wherever you are, notice anything that stands out to you as interesting. There are plenty of things that may inspire you if you just stop and take a moment to yourself. Put your phone away and observe your surroundings.

4. Don’t go desperately hunting for inspiration. Trying too hard to find inspiration will make you end up stressed with a headache, or at most with a sloppy idea. Don’t over-think things. Keep what you have as simply as possible.

6. Enrich yourself. All ideas start as tiny seeds in a person’s mind. Of course, many of them die quickly. Try to plant as many of these seeds as you can by enriching yourself with media. Listen to inspirational music, watch videos, read books, analyze articles and try new things every day.

7. Try jotting down ideas that you have thought of previously. Try to recall thoughts that you have had that you found particularly interesting.

8. Don’t quit. When something gets hard or tedious or you just decide you’ve had enough of it, leave it alone and come back to it later. Don’t just abandon it.

9. Organize and apply. If you’re messy with your time, you’re going to end up with a messy head. Create yourself a timetable to manage your time and organize what you need to do.

10. Set yourself reachable goals. Think about what is achievable, think about which of these things you would be proud of achieving, come up with a reasonable solution for reaching this goal and then set out on it.

11. Stay social. What are your followers and the people you are following tweeting about? Scroll through Pinterest boards, Twitter feeds, Instagram feeds, Tumblr, and all the other various networks to gain insight into what’s of current interest.

12. Check out the competition. Write down a list of your major competitors and see what they’re doing on social media. Browse through their content, look up their hashtags, read through the comments and conversations they are having with their fans.

13. Get involved. Attend events related to your industry. Meet people who are interested in your brand and ask questions about what they like. Listen to seminars to learn about the community and their interests.

The moral of the story is simple: Stay open to inspiration. Know your audience and put yourself in situations that allow you to be open. The great lightning bolt of creative genius can strike you when you least expect it.