8 Tips for Finding and Sharing Business Content
You’ve just set up your Twitter account. You’ve written your bio to include lots of keywords relevant to your company, industry and job function, you’ve uploaded a work appropriate profile picture (i.e. no chugging pints or posing in your swimsuit) and you’ve added your location and a link back to your company’s website or blog. You’ve completed your LinkedIn profile being sure to use the same picture as you did on Twitter (branding is all about consistency after all), adding your current job role and company and joining a few industry specific groups. (If you haven’t come this far yet, go back and read this.) Now what?
Now you have to overcome your fear of the blinking cursor on a blank screen and you actually have to say something. One of the biggest roadblocks new users to social media face is that they don’t know what to write. When using it for business that challenge becomes even more pronounced as they have the added concern of tone, company policy and reputation management.
On a recent B2B social media training day, organised by Birddog on behalf of a client, I was asked to come up with our top “cheats” for finding and sharing business relevant content. These “cheats” are not only geared to help you overcome the dreaded blank screen, they are also a really efficient way of maintaining an active social media presence without investing too much time because, as we learned in my last blog, your personal social presence could be the key to success in your company’s social strategy.
8 Tips for Finding and Sharing Business Content
1. The Simple Retweet
Somebody else tweeted something interesting? Simply press the retweet button. That tweet has now been shared with all of your followers. Congratulations, you no longer have an empty Twitter feed. (Tip: if you want to gain and retain followers don’t overuse the Retweet function. You’re going to stop getting invited to the party if you have no thoughts of your own.)
2. Quote and Comment
A handy way of overcoming a potential 'retweet dependency' is to quote a tweet and add a comment of your own. If somebody tweeted something interesting, simply highlight, copy and paste the complete tweet into a new compose tweet box. Precede the copied tweet with the letters ‘RT’ followed by the original tweeters username and then precede that with your comment. For example, if I wanted to comment on something my MD, Scot McKee, tweeted I would structure my tweet like this:
3. Search and Share
Using twitter’s search field, you can search for tweets about industry specific topics. Find an interesting tweet or link and share it. Be sure to connect with the person who sent it as well.
4. LinkedIn Groups
Join topic relevant LinkedIn Groups. Pick groups with more than 5,000 members as those tend to have a steady stream of discussion and content being shared, although I would have a good look at the quality of discussion to be sure. You’ll obviously get more out of the groups if you join in on discussions, but taking more of a content consumer role is fine if that’s what you’re there for. Find interesting content to share on LinkedIn and on Twitter.
5. Twitter Lists
This is my favourite twitter feature for business and personal use. The more people you follow, the busier your Twitter news feed is going to be. Make sense out of the noise by creating Twitter lists. Use Twitter’s own search function to find people tweeting about related topics and add them to lists. Once you have everyone organised in topic specific lists, you no longer have to wade through the steady stream of tweets in your news feed. If you want to find something to share about let’s say Big Data, simply go to your Big Data list. Simples.
6. Your Company’s Content
This handy tip works better for some people, it depends on how good your company is at creating content. Assuming your company has, at minimum, a website and, fingers crossed, maybe even a blog, share that. Find an interesting page on the website and tweet it out. Share the latest blog post with your LinkedIn connections. Be a brand ambassador!
7. Schedule Tweets
If you don’t have time to login and tweet something new and interesting every day, then don’t. Spend on hour at the beginning of every week and schedule your tweets for the week. There are several tools to use but we like Hootsuite (go Canada!). Use the content tips above to find the content you want to share and then schedule it to go out at various times throughout the week. Job done.
8. Your Social Tone
Your tone on twitter should be similar to a post-work drink in the pub with your boss. More casual than in the office, but you still wouldn’t say anything to get you fired. Remember, everything you do on social media is public. Never say anything that would hinder your or your company’s reputation.
There you have it, your very quick guide to finding and sharing content on social media. When you’re sitting in front of your screen at the beginning of the week trying to find things to share, just refer back to this list and you’ll be fine. Social media for business is all about creating and sharing enough content every day to be relevant, to be found by your target audience and then to engage that audience. Now, with the whole world watching, what are you going to say?
Social Media Manager