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Social media relies on content- the creation of it, posting of it, and sharing of it. That’s fine and well and good if you have a lot of time to come up with ideas, but what if it’s Thursday evening and you need to come up with some updates, but your mind is completely blank?

How can you come up with unique status updates that people want to read?

Here are five ideas you can use:

1) What is not being said?

What is the sacred cow (in Seth Godin’s words)- the thing that people keep clinging to, but really shouldn’t be? Is there some grit in your industry that you can speak out about? Can you shine a light on something that needs discussion and then lead the way?

Often, speaking up about what needs to be said is an effective way to build your brand and get attention. You don’t necessarily want to post about things you don’t really care about or don’t believe in, but there are times where some truth rises up that just needs to be said. Why not by you?

2) What is everyone else talking about?

You could, of course, simply parrot what everyone else is already saying. But what if, instead, you came up with a powerful, meaningful, but perhaps contrary opinion? This might be good exercise for your brain- just to practice adopting- and discussing- different viewpoints on the same issue. If you watch TED talks- do you agree with their premise? Why or why not? When you read top blogs in your industry- what would say the same or differently? Sharpening your own sense of critical thinking can give you new insights on core ideas and issues.

3) What are the big trends on the horizon? What do you know now that can help?

As you look ahead, what is coming next? Can you be a sort of trendcaster or oracle for your community? Can you help them avoid pain and experience more success by what you know? This is the time and place to start sharing it. Very often, the knowledge that comes so easy to you- that you take for granted- is the just-in-time piece of information someone else needs to move forward. Why not share something you know that might help someone else?

4) What would you say if you had no fear?

Of course, part of social media is a focus on getting readers, traffic, and subscribers. But, just for instance- what would you say if you had no fear? If you didn’t care about what people thought, what would you say? Of course, your direct self expression may turn people off. But were they really the right people anyway?

5) What questions do people really want answers to?

In every area, there are basic questions that people want answered. They might want to know about the best digital camera to buy. Or the best way to get subscribers from their blogs. Or how to cook the perfect pie. Can you create a series of status updates from your expertise which answer questions your target client has? If you think about the problems you help resolve, you can probably find at least 10 or 20 good status updates to teach people how to do something.

Coming up with ideas for status updates can sometimes be difficult. Using these five strategies will make it easier when you need help.