3 Easy Steps to Finding Great Social Media Content to Share

By Rachel Thompson

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As discussed in my last post (What should writers blog about? A quick guide), hopefully you’ve now figured out about five or so topics that you are interested in, passionate about, are an expert in, or simply enjoy sharing. Keep in mind, these may or may not having anything at all to do with your book (I suggest at least one or two are related).

How to find content to share across your social media? I’m going to walk you through how I find content for one of my keyword/phrases, #socialmedia. Keep in mind, this can be on any one of your social media channels, a blog post, whatever. Please keep in mind, I never advocate full automation — however, I do recommend scheduling in some content, and live interacting as well. Balance, right?

Let’s deconstruct.

HOOTSUITE

One of the many benefits of using a social media management scheduling tool like Hootsuite is that you can schedule in content, live interact, manage Twitter, Facebook and Google+ (and lots more), all in one place! In addition, they have a neat feature in beta right now that pulls relevant articles for you based on keywords you enter, which you then approve or not, based on whatever your criteria is.

So, for example, I will put in #socialmedia, and these are just three of the twenty articles that popped up (today):

5 Musts Before Hiring a Social Media Specialist http://ow.ly/2Pt9oq

4 Simple Tips to Improve Social Media Marketing Results http://ow.ly/2Pt9or

25 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Presence http://ow.ly/2Pt9ou

The free account offers only 3 accounts and one post per day — most people require more than that. If you want to try a free 30-day trial of a Pro account (which is definitely well worth the $8.99/month in the time you’ll save!), click here. You also get cool analytics — if you are a nerd like me, this makes you happy. (Or take a look at all their plans here.) I manage over 70 accounts with them and couldn’t be happier. I love this new beta option because I don’t have to click or search — the articles come to me. If I don’t like them, I fiddle with my keyword/phrases slightly, and new articles come in.

To schedule, I click a box and boom, done.

Buffer is similar in that you can schedule, live interact, manage several accounts, and pull content. I simply prefer the layout of Hootsuite and have used it now for probably five years. Go with what works best for you. Note: Tweetdeck is another option however, it is Twitter-specific only.

GOOGLE ALERTS

Totally free and easy to set up, I have Google Alerts sent to my inbox daily. Super easy to set up (I googled it here and found step-by-step instructions), I find these alerts helpful as a jumping off point for finding content. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s meh, but hey, it comes right to me. What’s great is you can really tailor it: daily, weekly, only top article, by locale, etc. And remember, you can change it up as needed.

So, for example, today I received this #socialmedia alert with these social media articles:

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/10/17/3-ways-to-make-social-media-work-for-you

http://wgno.com/2014/10/20/woman-groped-by-stranger-in-seattle-fights-back-on-social-media/

There were more, but you get the idea.

CONTENT CURATION TOOLS

Don’t run away. This isn’t something scary that will bite you, I promise. If you want to share great content, but have no time and don’t want to pay for it (or pay a few bucks at most to save you time), here’s a list of awesome sites:

Swayy

Storify

Feedly

Scoop.It

PostPlanner (FB only)

Topsie

Newsie

Read the rundown of each here (Source: Ragan.com). Simply enter your keywords/key phrases, and the content is then aggregated to fit your interests. Pretty cool, right?

MY FORMULA

Because I am a social media, branding, and marketing consultant, I write quite a bit about these topics, so I share blog posts I write (here, on Huffington Post, San Francisco Book Review, and others), guest posts by experts much smarter than me, quotes, visuals, various pictures, and other meaningful content that relate to the keyword (in this case, #socialmedia).

Pull one-liners from your blogs or articles, books quotes — yours or others (Goodreads is a good source), share others’ content who interests you, check what’s trending…but do it with forethought. There are no ‘rules’ and I’m not here to say ‘do this, do that, or the Twitter police will come after you!’ But at least give thought to what you share: not all links, not all quotes, not all ‘thank you for the follow.’ Mix it up, make it interesting!

P.S. My new favorite free photo site is Unsplash. Just subscribe (it’s free), and they’ll send you awesome photos every week.

And, as always, think bigger picture: building relationships, not the hard sell.

 

 photo courtesy of unsplash.com
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