Start a Social Media Content Stash and Stop Scrambling

September 2015

Rather than dropping everything several times a day to update your Twitter feed, blog or Facebook page, you would be better served by blocking out a set amount of time each week (perhaps an hour or two) to build a stockpile of social media content, which can be scheduled to post at the most effective times throughout the week.

And while you may agree with this in theory, the actual practice of creating social media content in advance can take some getting used to.

As you build this cache of links, images and announcements, it can be stored in Evernote or as a Google doc so you can access your stash from your phone or other mobile device.

Beating Writer’s Block

Don’t let a lack of inspiration hold you back from regular content posting.

One way to simplify the creation of social media content is to write a number of posts on similar topics, or with a similar tone, all at once.

While responding to the day’s news or developments in the industry is always a useful tactic, there are plenty of other ways to stay relevant that can be planned  weeks in advance. This can mean looking at the calendar to see what holidays, events or seasons are coming up, and how your services, products or expertise might be of value during these specific times of year. National appreciation days, sporting events and pop cultural discussions about TV and movies offer plenty of opportunities to anticipate tying your content to the present moment.

When creating a content stash, keep relevance top of mind. For example, if you own an automotive repair business, craft a variety of social media posts that use holiday travel and upcoming weather events as the basis for pertinent pieces: suggestions about checking tire pressure for rainy conditions, ways to ensure windshield wiper efficiency prior to driving in the rain, and so on.

Accumulating this stock of content doesn’t require you to write it all yourself. While your own tips and best practices are valuable to share, you should also be sure to integrate content from other sources. Industry blogs and the websites of thought leaders in your interest areas offer a wealth of material (which you can often repost on your own blog or social media pages, with permission). Consumer-focused sites like Reddit or Buzzfeed can offer entertaining twists on the topics of the day. If you can find a way to connect it back to your business, even better.

Use Google Alerts with keywords or topics related to your industry to help generate ideas for posts. Feedly allows you to curate different streams of top content on the Internet in a variety of categories. It provides you with easy material to share, repost or use as a jumping-off point for a lengthier blog post or story. Consider using a tool like Buzzsumo to find out what types of posts perform well in your industry or subject area, and tailor posts to appeal to that style.

Organizing Your Content

Content can be organized for posting ahead of time using a service like CoSchedule or HootSuite, which allows you to input the material you have created or gathered and schedule it for posting throughout the week or month, saving you from having to log on to multiple social media accounts throughout the day.

Buffer and Edgar make it easy to repost and repurpose existing content, and to set up scheduled retweets, allowing you to get the most mileage from the material you’ve already created.

Once you plan to devote time to writing and compiling content, it will result in far more—and higher-quality—material than if you tried to squeeze in posting throughout the day.

 

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