Saturday, February 01, 2014

How to Find Content to Aggregate for Your Social Media Business Pages

To be of value to your social media audience you need to offer them something other than messaging and ads about you. It’s that simple.

Very often you simply can’t produce all the (decent) content you’d need yourself, so you’re gonna to need to find it somewhere else. There’s a lot of different ways of doing this, but one common tactic is to add other peoples content into your mix. Often, the creative content produced by your competition (and invariably branded with their logo or on their website) isn’t suitable, so this narrows down your options.

I have no excuse for using this image.

Daunting? Well, a little, but here’s a few tricks and tools I use to make the information come to me instead of us having to go looking for it every morning.

Feedly is a serious god send. I used to use Google Reader to collate content from RSS feeds, but when Google scrapped the service I had to find an alternative. I did a lot of research and Feedly was the best of the bunch. Set-up an account and give it a try. You can build lists, by topic, and search via hashtag to gather other feeds into your stream. Also, you can export your feeds and import other peoples as OBML files (we share them around the agency as we build collections for different topics and clients – our regional feeds, like Nottingham, often work well on multiple accounts). Youtube, Vimeo, Tumblr, and the likes of Etsy all produce feeds you can pull in by topic. I use it in conjunction with the Google Chrome browser and RSS Subscription Extension, which help me grab feeds if they’re available. If you’re totally lost for topical feeds, AllTop is a good place to start, and once you gather a collection of "neutral" (not competition branded) RSS content it's there for ever and for other projects in the future.

There’s a few other sources that tend to be less niche, but offer good value if you enjoy browsing in a magazine format. These tend to be more suitable for general accounts rather than brands, but there's still some good stuff. I often tweet to my personal account from whatever I’m reading in the bath on the iPad - via
Flipboard, Newsle, and (of course) Reddit. I also rather like, and run my own (somewhat sporadic) page that collates stuff on the Internet marketing business.

Or this one. No excuse what so ever.

When we set-up Google Plus and Facebook company pages for clients we invariably follow other pages of interest, including partner brands. This is great, because it gives us other content to share as well as content to engage with. Also, when you engage with this content your followers see it. It’s often overlooked, and can bring back some great stuff worth checking out - especially as you're already there in the channels anyway. Check out the “What’s Hot” button in Google Plus, which mixes your preferences with the best of the general G+ community.

On top of this there’s the obvious. Give Pinterest a go and search by hashtag, and the same with Facebook and G+, but there’s also “Pulse” in LinkedIn and good old StumbleUpon. Also, get the brand name registered as a Google Alert to pull back any links to ongoing PR content.

That should keep you talking.