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Get a content plan

Content, or what information you choose to share from around the web or your own work, is what will make your efforts succeed: no-one wants to read uninteresting articles. Brainstorm with your colleagues and anyone else you wish to get involved, and make a list of the useful websites that always great content on your chosen topic. You can add those sites to your content plan template later. Those sites may not even be local to you but on the other side of the world – that doesn’t matter. If you have a bridal business and your chosen resource sites are in New York, who cares? You are adding value back to your followers, fans and connections with your expertise and knowledge about what is happening on a larger scale, or, in the case of fashion, what trends are developing.

When you have found the best resource sites, subscribe to their databases so that the best and most interesting articles come straight so that the best and most interesting articles come straight to your inbox for you to read and action. That way you don’t need to revisit their sites each day to see if there is anything new.

Keep a list of the resources you are going to be using so that regardless of who is looking after your social media, anyone in the team can update it should the need arise. It also means you just don’t have too much to think about each day, as you know where your content is coming from.

Don’t make it all links back to other people’s sites; you want to balance it out with great information from your own team including photos, video clips and stories.

Set up content themes

Depending on what your business is, you might want to theme your content to match your overall marketing plan. This is easy if you are, for example, a florist or gift shop: make a list of all of the events that happen throughout the year and theme your content accordingly.

On Valentine’s Day, the florist could have not only matching flowers, but also short articles on the history of St Valentine’s as well as images. A great discussion topic for LinkedIn could be ‘What are you doing for your partner this Valentine’s’ – a question designed to get others networking and nothing else.

For a health professional, it may be a ‘spine awareness week’, so focus on that. Ask questions on LinkedIn about posture and how people deal with back pain.

If you are a mechanic, you might want to talk about the importance of good brakes during the winter months on your Facebook page and Twitter.

There are other areas that are on the content plan such as:

  • off-topic questions
  • useful videos
  • article ideas.

Quick ideas for your content

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking in the right direction; they are covered in more detail later in this book.

  • Facebook
    • News topics could include:
      • what has been happening in your industry
      • team announcements
      • funny stories
      • your company blog
    • You could also upload videos of your products or services, and some photos.
  • LinkedIn
    • LinkedIn has a more business feel to it, so your content should mirror this.
      • Use some of those great links you have found as a discussion point in the groups you are a member of.
      • Write articles for your own website on a weekly or monthly basis and refer to those.
  • Twitter
    • The conversation here is a mixture of formal and informal, a bit like an office party.
      • Tweet your own articles and blog posts.
      • Tweet content from the LinkedIn groups if those groups allow it.
      • Pass on or retweet other people’s interesting articles.
  • YouTube
    • Upload videos that:
      • showcase your product
      • introduce the team
      • show your TV commercial.

Ref: Marketing with Social Media: 10 Easy Steps to Success for Business, Linda Coles (2015)

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