Social media isn’t a megaphone for your organization’s created content. A continuous stream of self-promotional posts will not attract an audience to your social channels. Instead, you should use a mix of original and curated content in your streams.

Curated content is a great way to grow your audience, demonstrate you’re trustworthy and balance out self-promotional created content. A mixture of created and curated content is the key to a successful social media strategy.

It can be tough to find external content for your social streams, especially when aligning outside content with your company’s values. Use these tips to find content for your social channels.

1) GOOGLE ALERTS & TRENDS

Google Alerts are a great way to keep a constant eye on news surrounding relevant keywords, and they are easy to set up. As Google Alerts roll into your email, skim them quickly for headlines that might be good content and store them in a folder for later in-depth review. When it comes time to create a content calendar, review the Google Alerts you’ve cached and use the articles that are a good fit for your social channels.

Google Trends is another free tool to monitor the news and relevant keywords. You can view trending topics to find relevant connections to your organization or search by keyword to see ups and downs in popularity. Google Trends also gives relevant search queries for the keywords you selected, which helps identify additional keywords.

2) FOLLOW COMPETITORS AND INFLUENCERS

This might sound like a no brainer, but is an often overlooked step in content marketing. Make sure you follow similar organizations and individuals to see what they’re sharing. This is a great way to mine for content ideas.

When I find a good idea through similar social accounts, I email a link to myself and store it in the same folder as the Google Alerts, making it a one-stop shop for creating content calendars. Finding great curated content as you naturally peruse social media makes calendar creation much easier.

3) RELEVANT HASHTAGS

Hashtags are a way to organize social media by topic. Therefore, it makes sense to use them as a resource for finding social content. When creating a content calendar, use the search function on the social platforms to see what relevant information pops up when looking at industry-specific hashtags.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to looking for the right hashtags, check out hashtags your audience is using that are relevant to your industry. Instagram allows you to search hashtags and shows the number of times each has been used, which indicates the popularity of each hashtag.

4) REFERENCE YOUR AUDIENCE

When curating content, you’re trying to find content that is relevant to your existing, and hopefully future, online audiences. If you get stuck in the content curation process, look at what your audience is posting. These are the people whose attention you are trying to capture. Another great source of curated content is sharing content created by your customers or online audience. This is a great source of outside content and also a great way to engage with your customers!

5) ADD YOUR UNIQUE VALUE

After you have found the external content you plan to use on your social channels, make sure you write a relevant post that shares your organization’s unique perspective.  Write a captivating caption or post before sharing the link with your audience. This post should be written like a newspaper headline to capture the attention of your reader, while accurately articulating what’s in the article or video.

Are you struggling to pull together a content marketing strategy for social media? Are you looking for professional help when it comes to finding the right mix of created and curated content? Reach out to us—we’re happy to help you achieve your social media goals!

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