Everybody knows we have to maintain an active social media presence to remain competitive. It’s no longer a question of “How will this benefit my business?” Now we’ve entered the space of “How can I jumpstart a social media strategy?”
One way to create a strong following is by sharing valuable content on a consistent basis. Think of your target audience and consider the tools and resources that will help them succeed. But where do you find such content?
1. Google Alerts
These alerts do much more than monitor your brand and competitors. They can be a plentiful source of content. You can opt to receive them “As-it-happens,” once a day, or once a week. Set them up using industry keywords to stay abreast of trends and find relevant news items to post about.
2. Email Newsletters
Another way to stay on top of industry news is to have it sent directly to your inbox. Most blogs and other sites have an email subscription available. This will ensure a constant supply of fresh information. Be forewarned, it will clog your email if not managed effectively. Set up specific folders to receive these messages so other important emails don’t get lost in the flood. This is also a great idea for the Google Alerts if you opt to receive them “As-it-happens” rather than once per day.
3. Google Reader
One option to avoid an overly crowded inbox is to set up a Google Reader account to collect the news for you. You select blogs and sites that cover the field in which you’re interested and monitor that daily for fresh content. This means you now have just one destination to hit for all that news. It’s a good resource if you’re in a time-crunch.
4. Social Channels
You have a following on social media, but don’t forget you’re a follower as well. Seek out influencers in your field and look to them for updates. Share their news and blog posts, and RT posts you feel are useful. This is one of the easiest ways to source content and build engagement. You could also scour image-sharing sites for inspirational photos and quotes, or funny little nuggets to fight everyday doldrums.
5. Your Mind
Maybe you don’t have anything to share right now, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to post. Feel free to comment on recent events, ask a question that will get people talking, or simply offer up an industry tip. Just stay away from controversial topics (unless you’re prepared to take the heat) and be sure the message is always on point with your brand.
6. Your Company
Have news to share? Go ahead! A little self-promotion goes a long way, as long as you don’t make it all about you all the time. But every once in a while, when you have a big piece of news that you can’t wait to tell everyone, go on and tell them. Your followers will love being kept in the loop, and you’ll have a larger readership by integrating social. You can share press releases, financial statements, job postings, or whatever else is creating office buzz.
The key to good content is using a mix of the above sources. For the most part, you’ll want to be seen as an authority in your field, providing informative updates. Intersperse that with a little bit of fun and human-speak, and some self-promotion. It’s all a matter of finding the balance that works for your brand. You’ll know you’ve found it when the follows and shares become more consistent.
What other tips do you have for sourcing content? We’d love to hear from you.
Photo credit: ansik / Foter.com / CC BY-NC