Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on February 24th, 2015

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6 ways using social media can provide a treasure trove of content material for your business.

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Breaking news, trending topics, hashtags. All of these topics can be used via social media. Individuals and companies alike can interact via social media in a multitude of ways. They can share information, discuss products or customer service issues and news agencies can report breaking stories.

Social media can also help you generate content for your company. Trending news and current events can offer a treasure trove of topics to assist you in developing new, relevant content. Many bloggers and journalists alike develop content based off of current events. And, no, I am not talking about plagiarism. Many times a current event or topic can affect someone's industry or spark an idea. Below are 6 key ways you can use social media to fuel your blog topic list.

1. Connections. Whether you are active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and more, whom you interact with and why can provide an abundance of information.  Some people follow back anyone who follows them. Others are more selective, they may follow by similar interest, potential business, clients, brands, etc. However you choose who to interact with one thing is for certain, they probably share information that interests you.

2. Trending. Trending topics via Twitter can show you what people in your network or around the world are discussing. You can get news alerts and up to the minute information on varying topics that changes sometimes from minute to minute. It has been reported that 46 percent of social network users have shared or discussed something via social media.

3. Lists. You can create lists of who you follow and why. You can group individuals and companies by like interest, industry, job title or whatever you choose. For example, I might have a list of "tech news" people. And it can be my go to for tech news that might spark a blog idea or give us information that will assist a client in the future.

4. Breaking news. Live tweeting events and breaking news can provide a wealth of topics and knowledge. You can find new people to follow and connect with simply by following a current hashtag. Take for instance last night in Chicago sports, two championship contending teams had injuries to key players. Twitter was abuzz last night and today with discussions about injuries and the remainder of the season. Fans in Chicago and around the world shared news reports, video footage and mourned the injury of a favorite player together. Perhaps many gained new followers as a result. And, some of these new connections could go onto interact on other topics other than sports and find a common business connection that could lead to new business down the road.

5. Competitor and prospective client news. It's generally a good idea to keep tabs on your competitors success and failures. It's not unheard of for companies to follow their competitors as well as companies they would like to do business with. Following competitors or prospects via social media can lead to the potential for interaction that can help get your foot in the door. It can also give you a good idea of what your prospective clients may be looking for in business associates. This knowledge can help you streamline your content and spur you to add relevant content to your website, blog or marketing materials that would provide key information about your products or services.

6. Sharing and analytics. Social media. The key being "social". It is a place to share information and gather information. You can share your company blog via LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. You can retweet clients news or share news with prospective clients. Increase your blog traffic and increase your readers by sharing your blog with others. But, don't be braggadocious and selfish. If you want people to share your content and interact with you and your company, then you should do the same. You can then utilize the analytics provided by the social network, or Google (if you have it set-up correctly), to see how the content you are developing and sharing is working. You can see which posts had more traction than others which could lead to more posts on that specific topic. Likewise, you can see which topics fell flat and avoid them going forward or find a way to fine tune them.

How do you or your company utilize social media? Do you simply use it as a channel to push information out about your firm or do you interact with clients, customers, potential clients or individuals with common interests?  Have you created lists to assist you with content development or perhaps it is an outlet to learn more about topics that interest you or your clients. I would love to hear how you use social media to enhance your relationships, build content and share information.