This guest post is by Douglas Lim of The 10 Habits of Highly Effective Social Media Marketing People.
Finding articles and ideas for blog posts is an important skill for bloggers to master—and one that can now be leveraged through the power of social media.
High-quality content is tweeted, liked, bookmarked, and shared around. That’s why social media is fantastic for sourcing great content: we know even before we look at it that it’s probably of high quality, since people are sharing it with their friends and followers.
Spend just five minutes setting up your networks of choice to send you great content, and you’ll have no trouble translating and leveraging that inspiration to create your own blog post ideas.
One of the nice features of Twitter is that it gives us the ability to create Lists of Twitter accounts.
For example, you can create a List, call it whatever you want, and then add to it all the Twitter accounts that tweet about a particular topic. It could be thought leaders in your field, or it may list brands that regularly write about your topic.
When you load that List in Twitter, you’ll only see tweets from thosepeople—it’s a perfectly curated suite of informationon your topic. Even better, Twitter allows you to subscribe to other people’s Lists. So you can get the benefits of someone else’s work—look especially to the Lists of thought leaders in your field, who know other people who provide great information.
To create a List, simply go to your Twitter homepage and click on the head-shot icon as in the image below. To complete your List, follow the prompts as directed.
Facebook is another fantastic social network for sourcing great content. Similar to Twitter, you can create an Interest list and include Fan pages in it. Then, you can view that list and only see page updates from Fan pages you’ve included.
Many brands are now on Facebook, so you can source some great information. To create an Interest list, go to your Facebook home page, and on the bottom-left side click on Add interests, as in the screenshot below.
Next, click on Create List and follow the steps to create your curated list.
Google+ also allows you to curate social content through its Circles. On Google+ you can create a Circle (of friends, colleagues, thought leaders, etc.), adding Google+ profiles and brand pages to that circle. Then, when you need inspiration for a post, go to the Google+ home screen, and choose only to view a certain Circle by selecting that Circle’s tab.
This is one of my favourite places to hang out and access great content. If you navigate to your LinkedIn home page, you can click on “See all Top Headlines for You” as in the screen shot below.
Here, you can customize your news according to what you want to read. You can follow industries such as Accounting or Entertainment, or sources such as CNN. LinkedIn will also send you email containing content from these various sources.
The great thing about these top news stories is that they are also tailored to you on the basis of what your connections, industry peers, and the wider professional audience are reading and sharing on LinkedIn. I have found that, with LinkedIn, you get a different spin on the content that’s shared, because most of your connections on LinkedIn will be professionals. This means you can find some real gems that you would not normally have found through Twitter and Facebook, which tend to have broader market appeal. I highly recommend LinkedIn.
At the time of writing, Pinterest doesn’t offer filtering of boards. But what you can do is set up a separate account, search for your blog’s topic, and subscribe to their boards through that account. Then you can view all their pins in a focused way.
This is a really fun way of tying all of the networks we’ve just talked about together. Paper.li is great for pulling in content from Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, as well as YouTube and your RSS feeds. Paper.li displays all your selected content in a newspaper-style format; you can also find other people’s papers and subscribe to them.
There’s lots of great content that’s constantly being shared on each of the different social media channels. This information will hopefully assist you with sourcing and organising this information so you can curate and share the most relevant content with your followers—and get great inspiration for posts on your blog. Best of all, it’ll only take you a few minutes to set up!
If you have any suggestions or other great curating tips and ideas, do share them below in the comments section.
Douglas Lim is a social media marketing and search engine optimization evangelist. He is also passionate about business and owns his own web design company servicing thousands of clients. Douglas regularly writes about these topics on his blog at The 10 Habits of Highly Effective Social Media Marketing People. Alternatively you can find him living on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or Facebook.