Thursday, May 3, 2012

Simplifying Social Media: Calming Content Concerns

One of the most intimidating aspects of social media can be content. You want to provide a consistent stream of valuable information. But when you're committing to communicate over several platforms on a daily basis for the foreseeable future, the idea can seem downright scary. You may be asking yourself questions such as:

  • How can I possibly have enough valuable information to share?
  • Won't I eventually run out of things to share? What do I do then?
  • Where can I gather new information to share?
  • Do I have to share different information on each platform?

Don't fret! By implementing the following 6 methods, you can calm those content concerns:

1. The Basics Have Your Back

First, remember that some of your Facebook, Twitter, or other platform posts will revolve around your products, services, sales, and the like. After all, part of the reason people will be following you is to keep up on your offerings. These things shouldn't comprise 100% of your content, but they will make up a fair portion.

2. Start With What You Know

Consider your business and area of expertise. What knowledge and wisdom can you naturally share? Within that, what would your followers be interested in? (Remember to look at things from the practical perspective of your target audience.) Create a list, and breakdown those areas as much as possible. 

Take this blog series as an example. As a web designer, I have knowledge of social media, which is further broken down into specific platforms, tips and tricks, etc. From one general topic, I was able to create a blog series that spanned several months!

3. Trickle Down the Content

There's no rule that says you have to offer different content on different platforms. In fact, the rule of thumb is to trickle your content down among all your platforms.

What do I mean? Say, for example, that you own a fashion boutique and write a blog entry on the classic look of pencil skirts. You would then post on your Twitter and Facebook accounts, alerting your followers on those platforms about the new post. (Providing a link, of course.) Next, you would hop onto your Pinterest account and upload or pin images of pencil skirts. (Supplying a link to your blog entry there as well.) 

In reality, you only created one piece of content - the blog entry. But since you want to share that entry with all your followers, you naturally make posts across all your platforms. 

4. Build on Your Content

Let's take the above example even one step further. A smart boutique owner would publish a blog post about pencil skirts while simultaneously placing them on sale in her store. A day after she shares the blog entry across her social platforms, she can then post about the current sale and any other related promotions. She can also post links to photos of celebrities who are wearing pencil skirts, or links to online articles about the right and wrong way to accessorize a pencil skirt, etc.

It's a snowball of content - and a savvy marketing campaign!

5. Use Social Media to Fuel Social Media

As you engage in social media and create your own following, follow organizations, businesses, and publications that cater to your area of expertise. When they post something your audience would appreciate or needs to know, you can share that information in a post of your own.

Twitter is an especially excellent tool for this. As a web designer, I follow several online social media publications on Twitter. When one of them posts something I know my audience would find valuable, I share it in my own post. It's perfectly acceptable to do so, and most Twitter users will, in their post, credit the fellow user who first shared that information.  (It's one way Twitter users also network.)

6. Google Alerts

If you're still afraid that you'll run out of content, or if your particularly industry can change seemingly overnight, consider utilizing Google Alerts, a free service from Google. With one short form, you can tell Google what information you're interested in, and it will search the web and send relevant articles, news stories, blog posts, and other links right to your email inbox. 

Thus, you will automatically receive a plethora of potential information to share with your followers. All while staying on top of your area of expertise!

What other ideas can you think of for compiling content? Does the idea still scare you? Why or why not? 

No comments:

Post a Comment