Finding content to share on social media
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is finding content for social media.
We all want to reach and engage as many people as possible, but posting less frequently means that than your posts may not even get served up to people who follow you.
First you need to contend with the fact that people aren’t on social media all of the time and then on some platforms, your followers may not even be fed your content if they haven’t engaged with your posts for some time.
So in short you need to post regularly and reasonably frequently.
But who has time to continually create their own original content for social media?
I’m betting you, like most small business owners don’t.
The best solution is finding existing content to share on social media, so you can post more frequently.
Easier said than done right?
The great news is that it can be easy.
Here are our 5 simple social media content ideas for small business.
1. Follow social media accounts that your customers like
The content you share doesn’t have to be original or always even relate to your industry or business. It just needs to be interesting to your ideal customer and audience.
Take the time to look at the pages or accounts your ideal customers like and follow those as well.
Find a follower of your’s who represents your ideal customer and click on their profile to see what they follow. Click on another ideal customer and look for patterns or common pages they all like.
Depending on the social media platform, you may receive suggestions on similar accounts to follow.
On Facebook, you can go up to the search bar and type in ‘pages liked by [insert name of person who likes your page]’ or ‘pages liked by people who like [page name].
This same method can be used for creating target audiences for Facebook advertising.
The results will give you most popular posts and pages. You can click through on popular posts and share them immediately, as well as see what page shared them and follow them if you like their content.
On Instagram you go to a user’s profile who you like and click on the drop down list next to ‘Follow’ and see ‘Suggestions for you’ of similar user accounts to follow.
If you click on the ‘See All’ option from this screen, you will get a list of them all, with previews of their last few posts, so you can selectively follow the ones you like in a matter of moments.
You can also search users and posts by a hasthtag (#) for keywords used by your audience or industry.
Remember not to use spaces in your keywords when using hashtags.
Searching on Instagram will give you the most popular posts or business names. You can click through on posts to see the user and follow them if you like their content.
You can also search by location by clicking on the ‘Places’ tab.
Type in a location or choose ‘Near Current Location’.
This will show you posts from users who who have posted near you.
You can click then click through on posts to see the user and follow them if you like their content.
On Twitter you can also search users and posts by a hasthtag (#) for keywords used by your audience or industry, and you will also receive automated suggestions on ‘Who to Follow’.
You can apply similar techniques on other social media accounts.
By doing this you get lots of social media content coming in on your feeds, all ready to share just by a click of the button – AND you know the content is relevant to your ideal customers because you’ve based it on accounts and keywords they already use.
TIP: When you want to like another business page in Facebook, don’t like it from your personal profile, do it from YOUR business page.
Go to the business’s Facebook page and click on the ‘more button’ or three dots found at the bottom of the cover photo and choose ‘like as your page’ and then select your business page.
THEN when you wish to see content from the pages you like, you go to your business page and click on ‘See Pages Feed’ in the right hand column.
2. Use Pinterest to find great images and quotes
Pinterest is a social media platform for sharing images.
It is a great source of high quality pictures, quotes and infographics.
You can save images from the platform and than post to social media, even if you don’t want to be an active Pinterest user yourself.
Simply go to Pinterest and type in keywords or phrases of interest (if prompted you may need to create a free account).
Click ‘once’ on any images you like and ‘Right click’ on your mouse so you can ‘Save as’. Save the image to you desktop or anywhere you can access them later and then upload and post to you relevant social media account.
Don’t click on the big red ‘save’ pin on the top right of the image as this will save it to your Pinterest account – that is, unless you do want to actively use Pinterest as one of your social media platforms.
3. Subscribe to RSS feeds
RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a way of delivering web content to a ‘subscriber’ every time a particular webpage is updated. Many news-related sites, blogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.
So if you know there is a website that consistently creates news and content that is relevant to your industry or audience, you should subscribe to their RSS feed.
Once subscribed to the RSS feed you will get automatic updates, and you can share links to the new content as a social media post.
One of the simplest ways to set-up and manage RSS feeds is to use a free tool like Feedly.
First you set up a free account and then you simply add the links to website you want to subscribe to and Feedly will collate all of the updates for you as they come in.
You then simply click through on an item of interest, copy the link (or url from your web browser) and share it on social media as a new post or make use of any social media share buttons available on the content piece.
Don’t forget to add your own comment or intro as well before sharing the post, this makes it a little more personal.
4. Subscribe to e-newsletters
Similarly to above if there is a business that consistently creates news and content that is relevant to your industry or audience, you should subscribe to their mailing list.
Most businesses have a ‘subscribe’ option on their websites, which enables you to receive e-newsletters delivered to your inbox.
When you receive your e-newsletter, simply click through on an item of interest, copy the link and share it on social media as a new post or make use of any social media share buttons available on the content piece.
5. Share popular content
Another great way of finding social media content for small business, is to find the most ‘shared’ or popular content doing the rounds.
Buzzsumo is a great tool for this and free options are available to use it.
You simply go to Buzzsumo and type in a keyword of interest.
It will show you the most popular content items.
You can filter the results by time and other criteria and once you find an item you like, you simply click the ‘Share’ button and share to your social media network of choice.
So there it is, 5 simple ways to find content for social media.
***As a final tip, when you are sharing other people’s content, especially images, you should credit where they came from by including a credit line: Image courtesy of… Generally speaking businesses are happy for you to share links back to their content, as it helps them reach new people, but it’s always a good idea to credit them (eg. thanks username for these great tips) or tag the user with ‘@username’. Never assume that just because an image is available on the internet that it’s okay to use. It’s your responsibility to understand your legal obligations, the risks and respect other people’s copyright.***