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How To Source Shareable Content

Sharable content fuels social media. I think the best way to understand how it works is to compare it to family.

I’m really close with my family. We’re the kind of people who get the party started – there’s always laughing, joking, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see my mom do the robot or play spoons on her legs.

True story. (I’d share the video but she’d ground me).

Shareable content, like my fam, is fun, vivacious, and entertaining. People want to share it, be around it, and consume it.

But, like any family, we have a few family members who aren’t into entertaining the crowd.

How To Source Shareable Content

Rule #1: It’s Not About YOU

There’s this one guy — we’ll call him Sir Talks-A-Lot — who is always cornering family members and talking incessantly about himself.

Sharing only brand-specific content is a lot like Sir Talks-A-Lot, you’re putting yourself in a corner while the party rages on without you.

Sure, it’s okay to share your behind-the-scenes happenings, your webinar, your latest product launch, your anniversary, etc..

However, many times you’ll find that’s ALL certain brands are talking about … themselves.

Check out your last 10 Facebook posts, tweets, G+ updates, or whichever platform you’re most active on and count how many of those 10 posts where about you (be honest!).

Here’s a quick glance guide on how you’re doing when it comes to being self absorbed:

shareable content test results

 

Some people follow the 80/20 Rule: 80% other people’s content (OPC), and 20% branded content.

Some peeps abide by the 70/20/10 Rule: 70% OPC, 20% edutainment (entertainment + education = edutainment), 10% sales/brand-specific content.

No matter which rule you follow, you can see that sharing over 30% of ME, ME, ME content is a real NO, NO, NO.

Don’t be avoided at the party. Be the LIFE of the party.

Rule #2: Don’t Be Boring

While it’s fun to talk about the “hot topics” it can get old after a while. You can only talk about the way cousin Denise shows off her “assets” so many times before it gets redundant.

The same goes with sharing hot topics online.

How often do you see someone sharing the “latest news” a week later? Not only does it make them look irrelevant, it makes you think twice about their credibility.

The same goes with shareable content.

Make sure you have several topics to share with your audience. For instance, even though we’re a business built around online marketing, we mix up our content so it can appeal to several people.

Our list looks something like this:

  • Digital/online marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing & business tools
  • Automation
  • Startups
  • Tech

While we don’t want to get off topic and stray too far from what we do, we make sure we aren’t only sharing about one or two of the same topics.

Boring ≠ shareable.

Brainstorm a list of what topics your brand can talk about without getting off brand or off topic. Then be sure to sprinkle those topics evenly throughout your content calendar for the best results.

Rule #3: Mix It Up

When you’re at a family gathering or a party, you don’t want to be the wallflower who sticks to one person all night. To maximize your fun, you want to talk to lots of peeps, hear lots of stories, and tell lots of jokes.

Similarly, don’t get caught up in sharing just one source of information if you’re striving for shareable content.

I’m talking to YOU, twerp. Yes you. The one who only retweets Mashable, Techcrunch and Social Media Examiner.

Those are wonderful and credible sources. However, everyone else out there is reading and sharing them, too.

Don’t be afraid to share content that’s more:

  • Niche specific
  • Original
  • Thought provoking
  • High-level (not for beginners)
  • From lesser-known sources

I especially like to find the lesser-known sources who write incredible content and share their stuff.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and many times they bring a fresh perspective that helps YOU become fresh by sharing something that hasn’t already been shared 20,000 times.

6 Ways To Source Shareable Content

Here are 6 ways to source shareable content:

  1. Set up a Google Alert
  2. Follow industry blogs, but then search the comments for lesser-known writers who may have shareable content (sites with CommentLuv are perfect because this plugin will link to the last piece of content the commenter/author wrote)
  3. Scour Twitter Lists in your industry for new and exciting peeps to follow
  4. Scour G+ Circles in your industry for new and exciting peeps to follow
  5. Conduct a content audit or click audit to see what your audience(s) is clicking on the most – this will help you curate or create more of that type of content
  6. Have CONVERSATIONS online. You’d be amazed at what using social media to be SOCIAL can do for you!

There you have it. By following the above three rules you’re on the path to sourcing shareable content and getting away from being Sir Talks-A-Lot.

ENJOY the party!

And if you feel like telling us your fab story, be sure to leave the unique ways in which you source shareable content in the comments below. 🙂

See you in the social sphere!

 

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Category: Content, Content Curation, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing
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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Excellent post, Brooke! Coming up with ways to source great content to consume and share is more important than ever. LinkedIn is also becoming a good source for original content with how they’re using their publishing platform. Their Pulse app is great for tracking your favorite blogs as well. Thanks and keep the good content coming…
    Steve Sonn recently posted…What Works in Content Marketing?My Profile

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Steve! It is VERY important – especially in when the noise is getting louder and louder. I LOVE using LinkedIn to find good content. I’ve subscribed to several of their channels and often source superb content to share.

      Thank you for sharing your insights and commenting! 🙂

      Reply
  • Great guidelines Brooke! I’m still trying to wind my way through the social media side of my business.

    The dos, the don’ts and exactly how to tackle the beast called social media. It is crazy at how huge this subject is when first starting out.

    Glad I found your blog as I’ll pick up nuggets of wisdom to help me on this journey. Do you have any recommendations on what else I should be reading to tackle starting out with social media?

    Great Blog!

    LeslieZ
    LeslieZ recently posted…The BIG Blogging Problems – SOLVED!My Profile

    Reply
  • Great post, Brooke! Thank you for the teachings! It’s so easy to get stuck-in-that-corner sharing only our latest projects. I will take a hard look and make these adjustments.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Janeen! I can’t believe I wrote this two years ago! Time flies. 🙂

      Sharing your own stuff is necessary, but we like to mix it up. I’ve even gotten “Softer” about entertainment content (memes and videos). There’s just so much content out there, you have to keep the attention of your audience!

      Reply

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