Tips and Tricks for Content Creation

One of the keys a fantastic social media presence is, well, content. But if you’re a small business or working in a specialized industry, creating content for social media can be a Herculean effort, especially when companies have so many other, more tangible metrics to manage.

Today I’ll walk you through five strategies for building a perfect content calendar.

Start with the easy stuff.

Do hashtags take you by surprise? Sometimes it seems like everyone else in the world knew about something before you did and were completely ready for it.

Occasionally, hashtags do take off for no discernible reason or because of current events. But if you don’t have time to become a news junkie like us, there are other ways to keep your social media presence relevant.

Two words: Google Calendar.

One of our favorite social media tools, Sprout Social, has a curated calendar of Hashtag Holidays freely available. Simply add this calendar to yours and you’ll never miss another #hashtag opportunity for your brand.

Know your industry.

Be aware of your brand and niche market when running social media accounts for companies or coalitions.

A restaurant probably won’t tweet about the latest Iphone release. And technology companies probably tend to stay away from the latest postmodern re-enactment of Shakespeare. Why? Because their target audience wouldn’t enjoy it.

A joint study from Georgia Tech and MIT found that the number one reason people liked a tweet is because it was informative. People like the content that they care about.

Originality is (occasionally) overrated.

Time is a scarce resource. When you don’t have time to carefully craft and create original content, share links to things your followers will enjoy or find interesting. This can be blog posts, research, or infographics that you’ve found around the web. When you post, include a ‘take’ on what you’re sharing. You don’t have many words to spare on social media, so try to say why exactly someone should be interested in your content.

Where, oh where, do you find it?

I can hear you asking already—you gave me some hashtags to use, but how do I find content to share?

One of the best tools on the web for this is Feedly. Feedly is a content aggregator that is completely free to sign up. With Feedly you can sort and add content to a Facebook-like feed. The feed automatically adds new stories when they are published and highlights trending content. It’s a simple way to stay on top of what is happening in your industry.

If you’ve scanned all through Feedly, stop by StumbleUpon. It’s designed precisely for people who want to ‘stumble upon’ content related to certain subjects.

Last but not least,  sweat the small stuff.

It’s equally important to stay on top of what’s happening in your community. Whether a small business with one location or a corporation with multiple international projects, you still need to know what is going on. Is there a local festival next month that your company can tweet about?

Subscribe to several local newspapers and skim the headlines and events pages each morning. This will keep you informed and aware of the world outside of your work.

If there is something worth sharing, share it!

By focusing in on specific local stories and events, you can create a more personalized experience for your customers. They will be far more likely to respond and interact with your content if they see you as an active and engaged member of the community.