Even the most avid social sharers can sometimes run out of valuable things to say or share. Engaging in social media is a full-time conversation. Even with the constant flood of information and content and the constantly evolving nature of social media and social networks, you may find that you feel like you’ve said it all before. So how do you keep your social media fresh so you can keep your target audience engaged?
Here are some top options for finding a wealth of content to convert into conversation.
1. Set your Google Alerts.
Why go out and hunt for content when Google is willing to bring it to you? You will need to set up a Google Gmail account if you don’t already have one. It’s free and easy. Simply go to Google.com and click on the Gmail account tab at the top. This will take you to a page where you can login to an existing account or click the “Create an account” link towards the bottom left.
After you set up your Gmail account, log in. Once inside, click on your name in the upper right corner and select the “Account settings” link in the dropdown menu. You will be taken to a page with several links; one will say “Alerts”. If you see a different page than what we have mentioned, it’s because Google, like Facebook, has decided to change their layout, look and navigation once again. Just make sure you’re logged in, then go to: http://www.google.com/alerts
Once you’re on the Google Alerts page, you will see some selections: Type, How often, Volume, and Deliver to. This will allow you to decide what kind of content you want sent to you, how frequently, the quality of the matching results, and the Gmail account where you want Google to send the notifications to. Below these four options is a Create Alert button.
At the top of the page, you will see a search field to the right of the “Google alerts” name. Fill in the search criteria you would use for finding the content you want to follow. For example, if you manage a social media site for the auto repair industry, you may want to include a search for “auto maintenance”. Once you fill this search in and select the four options mentioned above, click on the Create Alert button. Now you have an alert set up.
You can create as many alerts as you like. Based upon the frequency you set, Google will send you links to content they find matching your keyword search. When you create alerts, try to not only think of what you would search for, but what keywords your target customers would use. Now you have content emailed to you so you don’t have to go looking for it.
2. Follow your favorite blogs.
All great content, from songs, to works of art, movies, stories and the like, all take inspiration from other sources. Having top quality social media content is no different.
To get the content from these blogs sent to you, many blogs offer an opt-in box where you can register your email address, or you can subscribe to their RSS feed. Realize that when you select the email opt-in option, you will likely receive sales promotions from the blog’s author, too. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you will receive offers that may have value to you or may inspire how you draft your own offers. You can use Google to help send this info to you as well. Google Reader is a service that notifies you any time a blog you follow posts new content.
3. Participate in social networks.
From groups, friends and fan pages on Facebook, to hash tags on Twitter, and groups and questions on LinkedIn, there are various ways for you to follow what other people within a specific area of interest, niche or industry are posting. Don’t just focus your attention on the content you are broadcasting out to your audience, but what content is being broadcasted within your networks, too.
4. Pay attention to what your audience likes.
Sign into your own Facebook fan page and take a look at your fans. You can click on their name and be taken to their own fan page to see the pages they’ve recently liked as well as their recent activity. This will give you better insight to their interests. You can like some of these same pages, if relevant, to view the content and see if there is something of value for you to share or repurpose.
5. Connect with mobile apps.
With the evolution of smartphones, and the explosion of viewers accessing the web via these devices, there has been a proliferation of mobile apps to create ease of use and access to information. You can sign up for services like Flipboard to send you media rich content to your iPad or smartphone.