An effective social media content strategy usually have multiple kinds of content, combining together to tell a rich brand story. This often balances high-quality pre-planned content and content from other websites, like breaking news or opinions. Creating pre-planned content is usually based on reflecting a brand’s values in specific content pillars, or creating content to assist an audience down a customer journey.
But how do you find content from other websites which is relevant for your brand, especially if you’ve got a niche business? It can take a long time to find the right content for your social channels. In this post we break down the processes to help you work more effectively.
Let’s jump into a few of the DIY tactics you can use to find great content for your social channels without using expensive software.
How to Find Breaking News and Content for Your Social Channels
Google Your Industry
If you’re a brand new business, you might be totally starting from scratch. If you’re in that boat, start by Googling your industry/ I’d also consider searching in the way your customer would to solve the main problem that your business is solving. Rather than type ‘Interior design’, consider ‘lounge room design ideas’, as your audience would.
Once you’ve got a list of competitors or industry news sources that your audience is likely to find, you can subscribe to their blogs or social channels using the methods we’ll outline below. Either way, having these as a reference point is essential to help you find more content, because you’ll use those as a launchpad to find others.
When you head to the Facebook Pages of your competitors or industry, you may spot the recommendations section auto-generated by Facebook. It will say something like “You May Also Like…” and list similar pages.
Open those babies in a new tab. Then, do the same thing to find the pages related to that page. You’ll find Facebook Pages of other industry bodies or competitors. From there, check out what content they are posting. Are there any awesome sources you could be subscribing to?
Using Twitter search, you can use keywords from your industry to find competitors or industry bodies or conferences who are talking about the key topics in your industry.
From the search function, finding ‘top posts’ is a great way to define which posts are most effective. Create a Twitter list to follow just your industry peers or industry bodies in order to find the most relevant content faster.
Know Your Hashtags
Knowing your industry hashtags means you can pinpoint your industry discussions faster. If you’ve googled some competitors or industry bodies, you should quickly see some hashtags being used by them. If you click on those hashtags, you’ll see the related hashtags people in your industry use.
Pro Tip: You might want to set up a social media listening station using a tool like Hootsuite to monitor this all from one place.
Piggyback off your competitors
What content are your industry bodies retweeting? Are your competitors tweeting articles from quality blogs you didn’t know about? Use them as a source to learn about new news sources. Dig a level deeper, and look and those sources, and see who they follow or retweet to cast an even wider net. We’re going all the way in.
Subscribe To Blogs
An RSS reader is a simple piece of software or a website that subscribes to a website and pulls in the latest blogs posts. Subscribe to all your industry news or competitors and one visit to your RSS reader and you can see what the latest news is.
My little life hack is to sort these publications into categories which are most likely to have relevant news. It might take a few weeks of assessing which websites yield the best content for your audience, but once you’ve assessed the best sources, if you’re short on time, having a shortlist of the five websites which likely have the most relevant stories is a lifesaver, compared to trying to wade through a hundred.
Of course, having the other sites are helpful, too, because a variety of sources is great (but let’s be honest – we don’t always have time to review that many blogs each week!)
Google Alerts are a handy tool to scan the latest news, so if mainstream publications outside of your niche talk about a topic, you’ll also be alerted to it.
Keep an eye on these alerts because you might come across a great publication that doesn’t update as regularly as others which can be added to your RSS reader or Twitter list.
You can Follow the posts from peers on LinkedIn, so you can be kept across their latest stories as they publish them on LinkedIn Pulse. When you read their posts on Pulse, just hit the ‘follow’ button at the bottom of the psot.
Does your business or niche have a subreddit? It often feels like content hits reddit before a lot of other platforms, so if there is a subreddit for your industry, subscribe to it and see the latest ‘hot’ content each day. If you’re in a consumer-friendly industry (let’s say, interior design) you will have no problem finding a community on reddit. If you’re a consultant in a niche industry? Perhaps not.
Having a variety of systems that work for you can be a lifesaver when trying to quickly find the right content for your brand. Which system are you looking to set up?
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About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.