Over the last two years, I’ve had the amazing fortune to work with more than 20 different organizations in helping them either develop their social media strategy, help them get smarter about online marketing or assisting them in developing social content.
That last one’s the tough one. As I’ve discovered, it’s not so easy to come up with content that piques customers’ discerning interests day after day. You can theorize all you want–when you’re on the hook to get it done, it’s hard. Anyone who says otherwise is flat out lying to your face.
But, there is somewhat of a method to this “madness”, as it were. At least when it comes to brainstorming and identifying those topics and issues that your customers care about.
So, today I wanted to share a list of approaches I’ve taken to brainstorming and generating social content with my clients and partners. Take a look at the list below and let me know what you think.
* Scan hash tags and search terms within your industry regularly on Twitter. See what issues are bubbling to the top and write about those.
* Scan Twitter lists within your industry. Find out what these key influencers and folks are talking about and consider weighing in with your two cents on those topics–and don’t forget to feature their tweets prominently in your post.
* Develop a list of 10-20 key blogs in your industry, put them in a blog reader and sift through them once a week. Find out what these people are discussing and take a contrarian viewpoint. Again, make sure you link back to the original post for which you’re taking a contrarian viewpoint.
* Scan LinkedIn Answers for common questions that are popping up on the platform. Better yet, take one of those questions that’s generating a decent amount of responses and build a blog post around it using the question and answers in your post (with links back to anyone who might have a blog)
* Search Quora for key questions that are emerging in your industry. Take a look at the answers to see if you agree. If not, build a post around what your answer might be.
* Aggregate and curate. Go back and review the blogs you follow. Find 5-10 posts around one key topic and create your own post with links back to those original articles.
* Review session topics at upcoming industry events and conferences. Or, monitor Twitter and other social networks for people who are talking about these sessions after the event. That will give you a pretty good indication which topics are hotter than others.
* Read articles in industry publications and news sites. See if there’s any bigger picture issues you could comment on in a blog post or video post. You’re just looking for a topic you feel strongly about–something you can opine about.
Others to add?
Note: Photo courtesy of matth2418 via FlickR Creative Commons.