Content, with Content.
Content. It is a word that many social media marketing professionals use daily. We create it, we copy it, we paste it, we redefine it in many different ways for people to consume online. Where does it come from? I was recently given this question along with a few others to prepare for a podcast I have been invited to do and I sat and thought to myself, well it comes from many different places. I have pulled content for clients and for myself from various sources online and I thought that I would share a few of those places here for those of you looking for more places to find it. Why am I sharing all of my trade secrets? Well because they aren't trade secrets ha ha. Everything that I am going to share with you today can be accessed by anyone that knows how to perform a decent Google Search. (Searching with Google is an art form in and of itself, but I'll save that for another blog but have provided you with this valuable Google Power Search link for you to play with.)
Ok here goes....
What constitutes good content?
In social media fancy terms, good content can be anything that is readily available and relative to your client's industry or purpose.
Here are a few good things to think about when on the search for creating good social media content.
1. Good content must be interesting or helpful. (Think about who will be viewing your content...you know, your target audience and make your posts about that subject. Offer advice, talk about ideas, discuss arguments against something you read.)
2. Good content must be engaging.(Try and make your content worth engaging with. Ask questions, ask for feedback. Then reply when consumers answer.)
3. Good content must be somewhat visual....ok, a LOT visual. (We like to look at pretty things) There are different ways to make your posts visual. Using Canva or Canva for Work has made it so easy for content managers to create visual pieces quickly and effectively. Use them, but don't forget that you also have Adobe products out there to use like Photoshop and Illustrator to help more advanced digital design professionals create beautiful content for their social sites.
4. Good Content is created, found, argued or agreed with and shared.
Where do you find good content to share or write about?
There are several places that one can find content to share without ever having to write a single thing. For the record, I advise against not writing anything in addition to sharing a piece of content, because your posts can come off as stale and robotic instead of genuine, and endearing.
Here is a quick Top 10 list of my favorite places to find shareable content. Some you may know, some you may not...share and share alike!
- Feedly. Feedly offers users the capability to easily sort through mounds of content with key word searches and allows you to add content sources into lists that are easily available in a side bar whenever you log in. Cost: FREE, but you can also upgrade and get some pretty cool connectivity bells and whistles for around $65/year
- Buffer. Buffer allows you to connect several social media accounts, and easily share and now create visual posts for them. With the installation of the Buffer App you can easily share any content that you discover online. It adds a little icon similar to pinterest "pinit" buttons and allows you to load it into your dashboard. You can schedule posts, cross post to various social sites, integrate RSS feeds, and it offers a sweet set of analytic measurement that is easy to understand and use without being a GOOGLE EXPERT. Cost: $10 for a basic account- $300 for Enterprise.
- StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon gives the user the ability to search or "stumble" onto content that is relevant to keyword searches. It allows you to group and save favorites which can be convenient. You can also add your own lists of interests and filter the stumble by trending posts, photos, or video content. Content is easily sharable through personal pages, but can be taxing if you're wanting to share to multiple channels for different people. You need to go to the actual page, copy the link and then share it in your social calendar or CMS. Bleh. Cost: $FREE! Can't really complain about some free!
- Google the great and powerful. Google is your best friend to look up relevant content about any subject. Simply google the topic or industry that you are seeking or narrow your search by adding a specific location and just browse the stories that appear in the results. Cost: $Free
- HootSuite Content Suggestions (BETA) and RSS feeds: Find your favorite site with relevant content and then follow their RSS Feed. Hootsuite has recently made it easier to find relevant content. By entering in a few key words you are able to then see posts pop up that are automatically scheduled throughout the days for a week. You can edit, view, and schedule posts across your social networks and even add data to the shortened links to measure your reach through Google Analytics. You can add multiple users, and social accounts, and measure relevant analytics data. Best bang for your buck. Cost: PRO: $9.99/month $119.88/year
- Twitter: Use Twitter to find content by doing a simple keyword search. You'll see relevant tweets and you can browse through and determine if any are worth the RT or place into your content calendar with a note about how they are relevant to your audience.
- Piktochart: Create beautiful informative InfoGraphics to share with your viewers. Display them in all of your social channels.
- Voice your opinion. Seriously. Have you ever read a post or blog (not this one) from one of the people that you follow and thought..."what the heck is this guy/girl thinking...that's not right?" Well a great place to find original content is to write an opinion piece about their content. Do you have something valuable that they missed? Write about it and give their article reference and share that among your social channels.
- Facebook Search: Since Facebook has added their search feature it has become easy to perform keyword searches. Search through public posts and even narrow searches by using "+Dallas" or whatever location you are in to see relevant searches by area (granted you'll also see other posts with Dallas in them, but it seems to do a decent job)
- Google+: Google Plus, the dark side of the Google...ok not really but it has been relatively ignored and mistreated by social media circles. It has some beautiful content that is easily searchable thanks to Google's amazing algorithms. Just open up any G+ profile, and enter a search term in the top search box and watch what happens. Relevant posts start to appear, and you can even localize them. It's GOOGMAZING. I made that up. Just now. It's going to be a thing.
Well, that rounds out the content showcase for today. In all, content is available free in most cases online if you're willing to take the time and perform the perfect search. Use some of the tools in this list and your content calendar will fill up and you'll even have some left over, what with the internet being pretty much infinite.
So remember...keep your content Interesting, Helpful, and Engaging.
Did I miss any relevant content sources in my list? Let me know by leaving me a comment below or commenting on the piece itself.