Lexie Lu explores ‘How Your Business Can Find Content for Social Media for Free’ – Fill your social media calendar with these tips, tools, ideas and more.
Regularly sharing content on social media keeps your brand name at the forefront of peoples’ minds. They’ll look to you for valuable advice, entertainment and regular input. Therefore, you should set up a social media calendar, so what you post is always fresh and interesting.
Coming up with all of these new content ideas is time-consuming, though.
If you want to keep your sanity, you must learn to share and/or curate content from other people in a way that makes sense and reflects positively on your business.
But finding content, and importantly, relevant content does not have to break the bank or rob you of your precious time. It can actually be quick, and free!
The average millennial spends about two hours and 38 minutes each day on social media. However, nearly everyone in every age group is on at least one platform and spends some time interacting with family, friends and brands.
If you want to stand out from all the content being created and shared every hour of the day, you must look for unique sources and come up with a style guide for your social media strategy.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your followers entertained. In addition to creating articles, videos and infographics of your own, you can track down free content and share it accordingly. Here’s how:
1. Meet User Expectations
Your target audience expects certain types of content from you. An evidence-driven design accounts for what phase the consumer is in. For example, you’ll have visitors just looking to discover more information or narrow their focus. Others will want more details about your products.
Vary the types of content you offer to meet buyer intent and fulfil people’s needs.
If you sell custom soap, your consumers will likely expect articles about the health benefits of soap or advances in soap making. They don’t want you to share a funny cat picture unless it involves the cat using soap.
2. Repurpose Old Blog Posts
If you’re creating your own content — and you should be — you can do more than just reshare a previous post. Instead, create a cornerstone topic and group previous posts into one new article. For example, you might curate your older pieces and put them into an article titled, “Our Top 10 Ideas for Decorating With Soap.”
Take something you’ve used before and present it in a new way, and then share it on your social media channels.
3. Automate Your Social Media Marketing
Another thing you can do to save time and costs on social media management is to use programs that automatically share content to social media pages.
Some social media management software solutions offer content curation tools that allow you to put regular posts on autopilot, be wary of the ones that are just scanning for keywords, they’re not always quality content, and you only want to post the best content to your followers. The program selects content based on your input and shares it on your pages.
4. Enlist the Help of Your Fans
Every business has customers who adore them. Seek out your top fans across each of your social networks and turn them into brand ambassadors. Send them your latest product offerings in exchange for their help in creating high-quality content ideas.
They might write a public review you can share from their private wall or send photographs of them using the item.
Think about creative ways to form a street team. You’ll benefit from the social media content they make as well as their followers seeing their posts.
5. Run a Contest
A contest can be another fun way of getting free, and shareable content for your social media platforms. The prize should relate to what you sell, which will attract your target audience.
If you sell recreational vehicles, you wouldn’t want to give away full-size kitchen appliances. Instead, you’d offer something related to RVing, such as a new awning for your camper or an interior makeover.
For the contest, ask people to share your initial entry invitation post and like it on your page, as well as getting them to use a unique hashtag! The more engagement and shares, the more traction your post gets.
Make sure you follow federal and state laws on running sweepstakes, so you don’t run into legal issues.
6. Find an Influencer
Business Insider reports brands will spend $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. You’re looking for free options, so you should turn more to micro-influencers who are still trying to build a name. You may be able to swap free products for a promotional campaign.
The idea is to bring in fresh ideas. The influencer develops concepts for spreading the word about your product or service. They then post or tweet some valuable content to your wall, which you can reshare.
An established or trending influencer typically gets paid for helping with a campaign such as this.
However, working with students, people trying to break into the industry and folks with smaller audiences still gives you great content without breaking the bank.
7. Follow Related Blogs
Find blogs that are related to your industry but are not your competition. For example, if you sell the soaps mentioned above, you might follow natural health blogs and industry news.
You also might track a few relevant topics, such as bathroom or interior design.
Use services such as Hootsuite or FeedBurner and follow the brands that make sense to you. When you notice something of interest come across your feed, share it with your followers or schedule it for a later post.
8. Make Free Memes
Use Canva or Adobe Spark to create memes for your business. Use stock photos and add your own wording to them. You can create dozens of memes in less than an hour for no cost to you.
Post them on a set schedule, so your followers know when to expect them and share them with their own followers.
9. Visit YouTube
YouTube is an excellent source for videos on anything you can imagine. Spend some time on the site surfing for keywords related to what you do. Make a list of possible videos you’d like to share.
While you might not have the resources or time to create hundreds of videos of your own, you can certainly share other people’s creations as long as they aren’t your competition.
10. Tag Product Pages
Your product pages are already in place and are quite detailed. Don’t be afraid to tag your product pages or even share snippets of them on your social media.
While most of your posts should be entertaining or informational, it’s okay to drop a note about a new product release or special sale. People expect some self-promo from a business account. Just don’t be obnoxious with how often you do it to ensure your fans respond positively.
Be Open to Fresh Ideas
People get tired of seeing the same tweets and posts on every page they visit. Look for unique ways to distribute content and fresh takes on topics related to your type of business. Team up with other business owners and post content to each other’s walls.
With a little creativity, you’ll fill your social media news feeds with free and compelling content.