Creating content for social networks


Help! I’ve got nothing to talk about on social media!

A guest post by Sue Keogh This post originally appeared in Sweet Retweets

What to say on social mediaOne of the most common issues that comes up during our workshops on writing for social media is knowing what to say.

You’ve got your shiny new Twitter and Facebook accounts but what are you actually going to say on them?

If you’re a news organisation or a major retailer you have a constant source of content to share, from breaking news to the latest offers.

But each business is different, and maybe you don’t have a lot of new products to shout about, or you’re nervous about accidentally putting confidential information out there.

The good news is that there are loads of sources for social media content which will help make your feed varied and interesting. Here are some tips to get you started.

Don’t be all ‘me, me, me’
We always compare social media to a human relationship. If you meet someone the first time and all they have to talk about is themselves it’s pretty boring isn’t it? So when you realise that you don’t have to talk about your own product 24/7 it takes the pressure off.

So what do you talk about? Try these three suggestions:

  • Comment on the latest developments in the industry.
  • Share blog posts, videos, interviews and other content from leading thinkers in your sector. Don’t forget to make sure they know you’re bigging them up – they might help you later in return.
  • Live tweet from major events and conferences, using the right hashtag. A great way of sharing useful information with people who can’t make it. For some sectors, live tweeting during TV shows can also work – for example if you’re a restaurant, you could offer witty insights throughout the final of Masterchef and pick up dozens of new followers along the way!

Google Reader is your friend
OK, so now you know you can talk about what’s going on outside your company, where are you going to get the content from? Sitting round getting no work done looking at Twitter all day, desperately trying to find something to retweet? No.

Get on Google Reader and start subscribing to the news feeds of anyone of interest in your industry, from leading bloggers to broadsheet newspapers. Each morning when you get in you’ll be presented with a wealth of content to share. Get handy with scheduling in, say, Hootsuite and you can set up a whole series of posts before you’ve even had your coffee. Then check back as regularly as you need.

Communicate with your colleagues
They might have ideas. One of them might even be an untapped genius at writing and could help you out with the blog. One client of ours has a weekly 10-minute meeting each Monday to quickly run through the big topics they’ll be talking about on Facebook and Twitter to make sure everyone is ‘on-message’ and nothing is missed.

Get on top of your blog schedule
There’s nothing like a good blog featuring fresh, interesting content to give you something to share on social media and attract people to your website. Need inspiration? Take a look at our post on coming up with ideas for your blog.

Try a different platform
If your business is very visual, try Instagram and Pinterest. If one of you is a great verbal communicator, try doing short pieces to camera and posting them on YouTube. You can then post these pieces of original content on your existing platforms.

Sue Keogh runs workshops and helps organisations produce great content through her business Sookio
Find her on Twitter @sookio

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