What do you talk about when there's nothing to say?
That is definitely one of the great challenges about social media. So, if you are having trouble with content generation, get this book now – Content Rules by Ann Handley of Marketing Profs and C.C. Chapman of Digital Dads.
This book is busting with great content generation ideas. I loved their list of 25 ways to create relevant content. Here are my favorite seven:
1. Chat with customers. Trying asking a single question to unify their answers and string them together for compelling video or posts. You can ask what your biggest marketing challenge? Name one business goal for 2011. Etc. Sometimes simpler is better.
2. Ask customer service. The front line is the best source for content so ask: what are our customers contacting us about? What problems do they have? How might we help them resolve their issues?
3. Trawl industry news. Share an opinion about a recent news story affecting your market or audience. Whenever possible, be timely, and get the extra boost of being the first one to comment on the issue.
4. Get inspired by your own passion. The authors suggest considering these recent blog posts: “What World of Warcraft’s Patchwerk Can Teach You About Morale.” (Christopher S. Penn) or Brian Clark's "Ernest Hemingway’s Top Five Tips For Writing Well.” Sounds goofy, but these curious titles draw in more readers.
5. Go behind the scenes. Show things your readers or followers don't usually get to see. These can even be teasers for future content.
6. Offer your two pesos. That's exactly what I'm doing you here. Read a book or another post and then offer your thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Ann and C.C.
7. Channel your inner surly teenage. This is easy. Take the opposing or contrarian view on an issue that's on your mind, in the news or being talked about in your industry.
There are even more smart ideas in their list of 25 and throughout the book. Let me know what you think about Content Rules, and ways that you generate compelling content.