But… Where Does the Content Come From?

How to Find Social Media Content for Your Business
When you first start to plan out a social media calendar for your business, or maybe after a couple of months when you’ve lost some of your initial steam, you might start to wonder… where, exactly, are all these posts supposed to come from?

There is a method to it, and I’m here to help. With these tips, content creation for your social media platforms becomes quick and easy.

The 80/20 Rule
First, though, it’s important that you understand the 80/20 rule. This rule states that only 20% of your content, or two out of every ten posts, should be promotional — promoting an event, for instance, or your organization. The other 80% is non-promotional, and encompasses all other posts including industry tips and articles, funny memes or quotes, videos, inspirational videos and so on. While there is some wiggle room to this rule, be careful not to post too many promotional posts — promotional to non-promotional should never reach a 1:1 ratio!

Internal Resources
Your first, most obvious (but not always most reliable) source for content is within your company. Consider your own blog, articles on or by members of your team, press releases, and videos or photos of your processes or involvement in the community (use your discretion when choosing — just ensure that the content matches your brand values!). These posts fall under the “promotional” heading, so post judiciously and stay within that 20% limit.

Create a Resource List
A resource list is a collection of sites you can visit as needed to find non-promotional content. This may include blogs, websites, magazines, online journals, news outlets or any online source your industry would use for credible information.

When compiling your list, focus on content that will be valuable to your followers. The goal is for your followers to engage with your posts by liking, commenting, sharing, replying or retweeting. The resources can be local, national or international; they can provide fact-based articles or even funny quotes — as long as they align with your brand and provide content that will interest your followers.

When searching for resources, keep an open mind and write down all the options. It is better to start with too many and remove the ones that don’t provide valuable content. To compile a list, think about where your customers and members of your industry go for information online; local, national and international source options; and which organizations, companies and businesses provide information online that would interest your followers. You may also want to consider groups and activities within social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or Tweet Chats. Next, ask yourself whether the resource provides value to your followers and whether it aligns with your branding and your marketing plan.

The easiest way to revisit these resources in the future as needed is to set up a Feedly account and add your resources there. Feedly allows you to add feeds to your resources, so you can get all of the updates conveniently, and you can quickly locate the best content from your resources.

Use Google Alerts
Another great way to find non-promotional content is to set up Google Alerts for key terms in your industry, and have Google find the content for you! Yes, you heard it right — Google finds articles based on your key terms, and emails them to you. When a website mentions your search term on their website, blog, article, video or discussion, you will receive an email notification. You can customize the search terms, notification frequency (daily or weekly), geographical region and the source type (ex. blog versus video).

When setting up Google Alerts, it is best to use a broad range of keywords, so as to not limit the sources. I recommend having Google send you alerts daily rather than weekly, because it gives you more content in a timely fashion, and in an easy-to-read format, allowing you to quickly review the links and select the best content to share.

Not all your keywords will turn up quality content. It will take some time to figure out which keywords and phrases work best for your audience. Test your Google Alerts by changing sources and removing and adding keywords, until all of your keywords and sources are providing you with engaging content.

Between these three methods of collecting content — within your organization, using your resource list on Feedly and with the help of Google Alerts — you should soon find that finding content for your social media platforms is a breeze!

If you would like to sit down and plan out a social media marketing strategy to really focus your efforts, give me a call. We can create a plan that will save you time and maximize results!

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