Struggling to find highly-shareable content for your social media accounts? You’re not alone. But it’s way easier than you think – once you know where to look. Here are five easy, proven techniques to find top-notch content your audience will love.
With aggregated curation tools
Curation tools like Scoop.it can be set up to automatically find and share any content that fits certain parameters. Maybe those parameters are a keyword match, or hashtag use, or something else. As with any auto-sharing setup, err on the side of caution. You don’t want to post something weird just because a tool automatically added it to your feed. And you definitely don’t want to post content that has a bad reflection on what’s going on the latest news.
With content from influencers
Got any influencers you want to make friends with? One of the best ways to start building (and to continue building) a relationship with them is to share their content. If you really trust the influencer, many of the more robust social media sharing tools will let you automatically share whatever they publish. Just be careful with that setting.
Based on what your audience likes (use hashtags and social listening stations)
What marketer doesn’t want to please their followers? So give them what they want… or better let, share what’s already starting to trend with them. The easiest way to do this is through hashtag tracking. There are some tools that can easily show you which content is most popular for a given hashtag.
As always … be mindful of what’s going on in the larger news and social media discussion. Just because something is trending with your audience doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for you to share it.
With content from your team and other co-workers
You’ve got a great content-finding team sitting right next to you. All you need to do is set up an easy way for them to tell you when they’ve found good content.
Consider sweetening the deal with a good incentive. Everybody’s busy, probably busy enough to not stop their work to forward you a great article. So make it worth their time – maybe it’s a free lunch or free coffee. Or something else. . Whatever it takes, start leveraging what your fellow workers know.
Try to get your coworkers to re-share your social media updates, too.
Posting once is not enough. Please don’t put a lot of work into creating the perfect social media update, only to share it once. Round that baby up and share it again, particularly if it did well.
Many social media maestros – like Guy Kawasaki – share every update multiple times. Guy says he does this so people in different time zones won’t miss a post. That’s certainly true, but it also works because the reach for our posts is so very low. Tweets have a lifespan of about 18-24 minutes.
So lose the guilt that you’re cheating somehow by posting updates more than once. And when you have an update that does well (set a house rule for what you define as “did well”), then that should automatically get posted again.
Content repurposing is one of the biggest opportunities in content marketing. Use it to your advantage. Every single post you publish should be converted into at least 20 different social media updates. How?
- Tweet 2-3 stats mentioned in the blog post.
- Tweet 2-3 sentences that stand out.
- Tweet a custom graphic made for the post.
- Do the same for Facebook, Google+ and any of your other platforms.
- Craft 2-3 updates specifically formatted for LinkedIn
3. Create content more efficiently
Does it take four rounds of approval before you can publish something on your company blog? Do you spend more than half an hour creating a header image for each blog post? Does it take a copyeditor more than a few days to edit an ebook?
All those things are signs of a content creation process that lacks efficiency. The cure may be any one of a number of things:
- Do you or other team members need better skills?
- Do you need the help of some content marketing software to automate even some of your work (or to communicate more effectively?)
- Do you need to rework the approval process?
- Do you need to plan more effectively?
- Do you need to batch your work?
- Do you need more staff, or to hire some outside content creation help?
- Do you need a content hub, so you aren’t creating content that’s already been made?
Whatever it is, get on it. There is no perfection here, but almost any content creation system can be improved.
4. Find & use more user generated content
User generated content, aka “UGC” is a goldmine for content marketers. Once you recognize it, you’ll start seeing it everywhere. Here’s just a short list of UGC that social media marketers could leverage:
- Blog post comments
- Shared photos
- Webinar questions
- Reviews on third-party sites
- Contest results
- Polls, quizzes, and surveys
Content shared from third parties is often more believable than content you create yourself. This is especially true for user-generated content. People want to see people like themselves using your product or services. And they love to see their own content picked up as an example – usually.
The operative word there is “usually”. Even though 99% of the time it’s fine to re-use user generated content, play it safe. Always ask permission first. I realize that takes a lot of time, but it’s just smart. All it takes to do damage to your brand is one irate customer who feels you’ve violated their privacy rights.
Bonus: Maximize what you do publish
- Publish when it matters
Be strategic about when you publish content. Pay attention to your analytics data, or try posting at different times to see which time slots tend to work best.
As I’m sure you know, there have been a bunch of studies put out about the best time to publish on social media. Use them as a starting point. Don’t take them as gospel – they don’t apply to your specific audience.
Many of you also know there are social media tools that tell you the best time to post. Take these with a grain of salt, too.
I use one of the tools that makes recommendations about when to post. It’s always wrong. It’s wrong because it tells me to post when the largest number of people in my audience are online. I can see why they choose to call that the best time to post, but my audience’s prime online time is during the day. They’re marketers, so they are crazy busy during the day. I actually get far higher engagement rates for my posts in the evenings, even as late as 1 am EST. So that’s when I post the most.
Your audience may behave differently.
- Follow best practices for formatting and sharing content to get more results from what you do publish.
You know to add an image to everything you publish on social media, right? It increases engagement rates a lot. And you probably know a couple more tricks for getting engagement. But… are you applying them?
- Consider spending a little advertising money on what you publish.
You’ve probably heard about how content marketing requires promotion. Well, that principle applies all the way down to social media posts. So buff up your advertising skills and invest $5-20 in posts that really deserve it.
This doesn’t require a huge budget. $100 a month is a fine start. Keeping your budget small will force you to get better at advertising so you aren’t wasting money.
Once you know where to look, there’s plenty of content to share on social media. You just need:
- An efficient system for turning content into shareable bites
- A way to schedule your content so it gets delivered at a time when your audience is at its hungriest
- To format your content for maximum shares
Once you get your system up and running, you may find a new problem: How to skip over all the good content and only share what’s great.
Back to you
How do you keep your social media accounts buzzing with great content? Share a tip or two in the comments.
And if you’d like to see how content curation can help you improve SEO, you should read this eBook!
Image by Jeremy Segrott.