Dear Socially Stephanie,
I work for a small company that focuses on bartending and waitress hiring. I've previously interned with them before, and now I am a content creator and curator for the company.
I'm having a hard time finding good material that is trending, especially pertaining only to bartenders and waitresses. I've never worked as a bartender before, so it's hard for me to know what exactly I am looking for. My company has made a shift from article writing to mainly pictures, Twitter, Facebook, and videos. I'm lost at going about finding brilliant shareable content.
Dazed and Confused in D.C.
Dear Dazed and Confused,
First things first. You need to know exactly whom you are looking to connect with. As a company that deals with both sides of the game, you want to determine which networks are best for which audience. The waiters and bar staff might be best suited for Facebook and Pinterest, while you'll have more success with the bar and restaurant owners on LinkedIn. With that said, you'll have to change your strategy to work within the context of the particular networks and share different stories and content accordingly. Luckily for you, this is very easy to do.
Now on to the important stuff. I love, love, love that you mention content curation. You are on the right track: content curation is important because it brands you as a tastemaker while engaing your audience. Not only that, content curators are also influencers because they share highly targeted information to a group of devoted followers. As a brand and business, you should love influencers.
Do a little research, and I'm sure you will find those service industry curators and influencers out there sharing the content that your fans will just eat up. Search for keywords on Twitter and Pinterest and take to Google to search for blogs. Bloggers are the best types of curators to be friends with. Use the people you found in your blogger and influencer outreach research as a jumping off point for finding trending content. Another place you can look for trending content is on Facebook, as they just launched a trending feed. And lastly, check out Reddit, whose snarky community might be a perfect fit for what you are looking for.
While it's good to see what others are sharing within your industry, don't worry too much about trending content. Why, you ask? Simple. The real goal is for you to create the content that will trend. One order of trendable content with a side of social shares, coming right up!
The first thing I want you to starting thinking about is reversing your company's policy of not writing articles. Pictures and images are great, but articles are a social media sharer's best friend. Beyond the sharing aspect of articles, the life of an article is long and virtuous. Once you publish that bad boy on your site it's there to stay. So while the sharing may have lost steam a while ago, the search engine is still registering those words and people will find you. Plus, once that content is in the right influencer's hands, it can have a resurgence of popularity and social shares. I've seen it happen on our blog and it's bound to happen on yours too.
Now that that's settled, let's talk images. Images work on social media and each network uses them differently. Think about creating infographics that highlight the benefits of being in the service industry, or perhaps even the history of it. That one infographic can spark a ton of conversation on your blog, on your social sites, and elsewhere on the internet. Best part about it, no matter who picks it up and shares it, it's branded with YOUR name and thus your reach will increase. Booyah!
Another place to source content is from your fans and members. After all, they are waiters and bartenders and I'm sure they have the war stories to prove it. You can ask them for pictures of their shifts, receipts they've collected and other funny stories and turn it into a regular column. There's no doubt that this content will be shareable and relatable. After all, we're talking about a community here. Communities are filled with like-minded individuals. Think of your page as the place as a watering hole, the place the wait staff and bar staff goes to hang out after hours. Make it a forum for ideas and communication and you are sure to find some trendable and shareable gems.
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email [email protected] and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)
Illustration by Jesse Wells