8 Ways to Discover Content Ideas From Your Readers

social media how toAre you looking for creative ways to discover what your readers’ interests are?

Imagine your online community is a group of hungry people who walk up to a table where you have a spread of finger foods and appetizers. That’s your online content.

By watching which items disappear quickly, you learn what your audience truly wants. That’s the content that satisfies their hunger. And that’s what you need to give them.

In this article I’ll show you 8 ways to discover what topics satisfy the hunger in your online community.

#1: Ask your community

Most businesses assume that they know what their online community wants to hear from them. There’s nothing like doing a reality check by asking your community directly. What you learn might surprise you.

Start by creating a list of 10 topics you believe your audience wants to hear. Use your list to create a survey and collect their opinions using one of these strategies:

  • Ask them to say “yes” or “no” for each topic.
  • Ask them to rank the topics in order of interest.
  • Ask them to pick their 3 favorite topics.

Always include an option for “other” so they can fill in any topics that you didn’t include in your list. Pay careful attention to these topics. If someone goes to the trouble to write in a topic, it’s very important to him or her.

There are several popular services that allow you to create a free survey including SurveyMonkey, Free Online Surveys, Zoomerang and Bzoink.

survey monkey

You can easily create smart professional surveys.

You can add your survey to your website, highlight it in your email newsletter and promote it on Twitter and Facebook.

#2: Check your blog comments

Which blog posts get the most comments?

Most bloggers will tell you that their most popular blog posts often surprise them. It’s usually not the post that they like the best.

When you write a post that gets many comments, you know you have struck gold. Review the comments to see what about this post inspires your community.

  • Are people interested in this topic? Write more blog posts about it. You might even create a new category for these posts to make them more visible to your visitors.
  • Did people like the post format? Did you make a list? Did you review an article or a tool? If the format was a hit, then consider starting a series of similar posts. You can even make this a recurring feature on your blog.

Tip: If most of the comments on a blog post are questions, it means that your audience is looking for more information on this topic. You can become their go-to source by providing detailed answers to their questions.

#3: Check your retweets

You post things on Twitter that you believe are useful and interesting. However, value is always in the eyes of the reader. When your Twitter community loves the information in your tweet, they retweet it to their communities. Check for your most-loved tweets and turn them into important conversation topics.

The new Twitter makes it easy to find your retweeted items and how many people retweeted each one.

  1. Open Twitter.com and log in (if necessary).
  2. Click Home in the top menu (if necessary).
  3. Click the Retweets tab (in the left pane). Twitter displays the retweets menu.

    twitter retweets menu

    The Twitter Retweets menu options.

  4. Select Your Tweets, retweeted. Twitter displays a list of your tweets that other people have retweeted in chronological order.
  5. Hover the pointer over the first tweet, and click the flyout button to see the retweet details.
    twitter retweets flyout

    Click the flyout button to see the details about this tweet in the right pane.

    Twitter displays the retweet details in the flyout (right pane).

  6. Locate the retweeter list for this tweet.

    twitter retweet list

    Twitter tells you how many people retweeted this tweet and displays their profile pictures.

To analyze your retweets:

  1. Write down the number of retweets for each individual tweet in a month.
  2. Group together tweets into topics or categories.
  3. Add the individual retweet numbers to get a topic or category retweet total.
  4. List the 3 most popular topics based on retweets. Plan to talk more about these topics in the next month.

#4: Check your URL click-throughs

When you share a link on Twitter, you probably use a web address (URL) shortener to save space. Most of these services provide statistics about each shortened link. You can use these numbers to see which links people clicked most often. These are the topics that captured their interest.

The popular URL shortener services include Bit.ly, Goo.gl, Tiny URL, Cli.gs and Is.gd:

bitly

You can collect, organize, shorten and share links.

HootSuite, the popular Twitter client (software that lets you use Twitter with additional features), provides two URL shorteners with statistics and detailed reports.

hootsuite

Users can now choose between two flavors of links—one with a social bar and one without.

The statistics on these services show you the number of times someone clicked through each link. Use this information to determine the most popular links. Group your links into topics or categories and get a total number of click-throughs by topic.

bitly url statistics

An example of Bit.ly statistics for a blog post about Cherry Street Coffee House.

Tip: Twitter.com uses its own shortening service, http://t.co, which doesn’t provide any statistics. You can use another service to shorten URLs before you paste them into Twitter if you want to get click statistics.

#5: Check your Facebook engagement

Facebook Insights provides details for page administrators about how users interact with their business page. It’s easy to see which status updates received the most feedback and interaction.

To display the interaction details for the previous month:

  1. Display your Facebook business page.
  2. Click View Insights (right column).

    facebook insights view

    Click View Insights to display the page administrator's statistics.

  3. Locate the Interactions graph in the bottom half of the page.
  4. Click See Details.

    facebook insights interactions

    Click See Details to get information about individual status updates.

Facebook displays the interaction details for the previous month.

facebook insights interactions details

The chart provides detailed information about your status updates and how your community interacted with each one.

Use the detailed information to find the popularity of each status update.

  • The top graph provides the total count of likes and comments for each day of the month.
  • The middle chart provides details about individual posts. Click on the column headings to sort the data by column.

Group your status updates into topics or categories. Talk more about the topics that get the most likes and comments.

#6: Ask Facebook questions

The Facebook Questions feature makes it easy for you to ask questions to anyone in your online community.

Before you start, write out your question with multiple-choice answers. Each community member must choose one answer to your question.

  1. Display your Facebook business page.
  2. Click Question.

    facebook question start

    Click Question to start creating your Facebook Question post.

  3. Facebook displays a blank question form.

    facebook question blank

    The Facebook Question form before you type any information.

  4. Type your question.
  5. Click Add Poll Options.
    facebook question add poll options

    The Facebook Question form before you add the poll options.

    Facebook adds blank poll options to the question form.

  6. Type each multiple-choice option to answer your question. Facebook automatically adds blank options as you type.
    facebook question typed option

    Complete the question options and click Ask Question.

    Tip: Leave the check for “Allow anyone to add options” so your community can add options you did not consider.

  7. Click Ask Question. Facebook posts your question on your wall and distributes it to the news feed of people who like your page.

    facebook question posted

    An example Facebook question on a business page wall.

#7: Check Twitter favorites

Twitter’s Favorites feature lets you mark a tweet in your timeline that you like or want to be able to find again.

You can use Favstar to find which of your tweets people have marked as favorites. This gives you insight into which topics resonate with the people who follow you.

To review your tweets marked as favorites by other people:

  1. Display Favstar.fm.
  2. Click Sign In With Twitter.
    favstar

    The Favstar front page before you sign in.

    Favstar displays the Twitter sign-in page.

  3. Click Sign in Now.
    favstar twitter signin

    Twitter requires you to sign in and authorize Favstar before Favstar can find your tweets marked as favorites.

    Favstar takes you to Twitter.com.

  4. Click Authorize app.
    favstar authorize

    Twitter explains what Favstar can and cannot do after you authorize it for your account.

    Twitter authorizes Favstar to look for people who marked your tweets as favorites and displays your customized Favstar page.

  5. Click My Tweets.
    favstar customized

    Click on the My Tweets button here.

    favstar recent favorites

    Favstar displays your tweets marked as favorites with the most recent on top.

Scroll through your most recent tweets. Group them into topics or categories. Calculate a total favorite count for each category. Talk more about the topics that get the most favorites.

#8: Check your email newsletter click-throughs

If your business has an email newsletter, it’s another great resource for tapping into what people really want to hear from you.

There are many useful email services such as AWeber, Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. While they offer slightly different services, they all let you track the clicks from your newsletter to your website or blog.

aweber email clickthroughs

An example report from AWeber showing the links clicked in an email newsletter.

 

Reviewing the most clicked-through links gives you insight into what people found the most interesting in your newsletter. Talk more about the topics represented by your most popular links.

It’s Your Turn

What do you think? What strategies does your business use to get inside the head of your community members? Has your research provided you with surprising results? Share your experience in the comments box below.

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About the Author, Charlene Kingston

Charlene Kingston teaches small businesses how to build a strong online presence with a thriving community through her blog, free webinars, courses, ebooks and personal consultations at the Social Media DIY Workshop. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    A simple ask can go a long way..just ask people what are the things they are looking for? Once you get a core of answers..then write about them.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://www.abrandedyou.com Nick Gilham

    I use the keywords from Google Analytics to develop new content.  While the searches that people are doing to find my site are closely related to what I have written, they frequently have a different take or are asking questions that I didn’t originally consider.  The keywords are a great opportunity to get insight to what your readers are thinking about.

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  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Nick – That is a good one.  I also like News.google.com – Mike

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    I agree 100% :)

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Google Analytics is a rich resource for getting into people’s minds. That’s a great suggestion, Nick. Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Great point. It’s always good to be asking questions any time you run into customers or potential customers.

  • LeoWid

    Charlene, fantastic read and definitely a great list of different sources we should all put to work for us! Especially your clear explanation of blog comments makes a lot of sense to me. It is something we can overlook so easily, yet the content there is often very powerful. 

    Thanks, will go ahead and check our blog for comments carefully now! 

    Buffered that post for sure! :)  

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    I’m glad the post was helpful, Leo.

  • http://www.igotgordon.com Pam Jones

    Thank you so much for the information!  Sometimes it is a struggle to find the content that our readers are truly interested in & want to engage in.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    It does take a little detective work, Pam. But the effort is worth the payoff. Glad I could help you out.

  • http://twitter.com/yoskke YosiFischer

    Charlene, thank you for the great article 8 Ways to Discover Content Ideas From Your Readers, may I put it on my blog?

  • http://www.thespeedticket.com Mark Evans

    Thank you Charlene. Very informative post. I needed that.

  • http://www.contentstrategyhub.com Eugene Farber

    That’s a great technique! I actually used analytics on one of my niche sites to create a free report as a subscriber magnet. Shot sign-up rates through the roof.

  • http://www.facebook.com/slgehman Stephanie Fisher Gehman

    Great piece, Charlene.  Thanks for sharing!  It’s always good to have a refresher on where to find good content!

  • http://twitter.com/OllinMorales Ollin Morales

    Wow, awesome post! Thanks so much. I needed this!

    Personally, I like to go to my readers blog and actually read their content. I’m a writing blog, and many times, my readers will tell me what bothers them and it gives me an idea of what to write about. But these days, my blog has been skyrocketing and I have less and less time to do this. So what you suggest is so much better for me.

    But for those with smaller blogs and more time on their hands, I highly suggest reading your readers blogs.

  • http://www.Zoomerang.com Jason Miller

    Hi Charlene, thanks for the mention of Zoomerang. I agree with you completely that if you want to know what your community is thinking, just ask them. Our Zoomerang basic account is free to use and can launch  surveys and polls directly into email, Facebook and Twitter. (We also have a Facebook app)

    I would also suggest using social mention to find conversations then cut and paste those into a word cloud app such as Wordle. This can offer up some surprising keywords that you may have not initially associated with your company/brand/product.

    And again, really fantastic article. 
    Thanks
    Jason Miller
    http://www.Zoomerang.com

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    I’m glad the information is helpful. Let these ideas inspire you to find other ways to get inside the heads of your community members.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Thanks, Stephanie. It’s easy to get into a rut of doing the same things and forget there are many other options.

  • http://www.gplusgoodies.com GPlus Goodies

    Charlene,

    Thanks for all of these tips. You are right, it’s better to ask questions and be sure what your readers want rather than just assume and hope for the best.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    You make a great point. In the early days, with a small community, you do have more time to engage and research. There comes a time when you can’t reply to every comment, or answer every @reply, etc. I love your suggestion.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    I hadn’t thought about pasting into a word cloud app. That’s brilliant. 

    Thanks for laying out the Zoomerang features for everyone here. You offer a lot of options.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Many times, our assumptions are good. But it’s the things we don’t know that can really help us hit the bullseye each time.

  • Martine Oglethorpe

    Love this, thanks. Particularly like the idea of poles,surveys and direct questions via facebook. And you are so right about the most popular posts often surprising you. My most recent post I nearly didn’t publish thinking it didn’t fit my blog but it has ended up being my most popular by far…..so that has been a good lesson in looking outside the square and taking risks.

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com/ Ricardo Bueno

    Hi Charlene, 

    Great list of ways to find topic/post ideas from your audience! 

    Personally, I’ve used Kiss Insights to poll readers and ask: “What do you want us to write about next?” This form has received several submissions which makes it easy to come up with post ideas. The other tactic is to include a question in my newsletter’s auto-responder. That question reads: “what’s your single BIGGEST marketing challenge right now?” I generally get some pretty good responses to that one which gives me some solid insight into what problems my readers are facing. 

    Anyway, the last step is creating an idea bank for easy reference (for me that’s my moleskine notebook – yep, a little old school I suppose, but it works like a charm). 

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Those surprises are delights, Martine. They really do help you to grow personally and professionally, and help you to deeply engage your community. I love when that happens. I wish it would happen more for my business! I’m very happy for you.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Great suggestions, Ricardo. I also see bloggers crowdsource topics by asking on Twitter what they should write about next. It’s great that you have tools in place to keep collecting reader/community feedback. Very smart.

    Nothing wrong with a Moleskin, or with being old school. I’m a paper tablet girl myself. There are at least 7 of them on the desk before me, each with a different topic written in Sharpie at the top binding. 

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  • http://www.socialmarketingdynamics.com/ Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    Social media has made it easy for us to identify which kind of blog posts works and what doesn’t and for that I’m forever grateful.hee. But though, a part of me feels a little bit worried that we are just writing mostly for their reaction, but then again, I guess that’s the stark difference between social media and personal prose writing.

  • Chris Picanzo

    Thanks for the great insites on keeping our community active! I’m fairly new to all of this and write similar posts on my marketing blog http://www.flipit4u.com recently I have incorporated a Facebook tip of the week. I figure just about everyone on the planet is marketing via Facebook as well as myself, so when I find something that works I will share that as my tip of the week. I’ve had great response for someone of my reach and think that it will help someone that hasn’t thought of that just yet. A great one was my first tip last week about thanking the new folks that like your page. It’s amazing how much they respond.
    Thanks again and keep up the good work!
    Chris@flipit4u.com

  • http://www.icheapmarketing.com Waseem Ahmed

    Charlene, i think only having focus on just URL shortner and only observing the Twitter favourite and clicks don’t have any worth as you may know Twitter is full of junk and you need to choose the right community (followers). But, example as you’ve given in the first line i’m 100% agreed because Content is everything.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    You raise an interesting point, Sydney. Their reaction is an indication that we have engaged them. That’s an important thing to observe. Every business should be driven by their own business goals, and use their community feedback to fine-tune their strategy (and tactics) for community interaction. 

    To me, the important issue is what you do with what you learn from their reactions. For example, I could have a career on Twitter writing funny comments all day long and live for the reactions from people. I could feel great about myself every hour of every day. But if my business isn’t being a comedian, or if I don’t sell anything related to making people laugh, then I’ve just wasted my time chasing a reaction instead of working on my business goals. I’ve been chasing the wrong community. I’ve lost my business voice and focus.

    So, I’d sum it up like this: Reactions are only valuable to a business in pursuit of business goals during business conversations where you learn more details about how to make your business more accessible to your customers. Thanks for helping me make that point.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    That’s a smart strategy, Chris, to share what you learn with your community. It’s a big world out there, and none of us has the whole picture. And I think a lot of social media is about good, old-fashioned manners applied to these new technology tools. 

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Every business has a unique experience on social media, and so what works for one may not work for another. There are so many factors, like choosing the right community that you mentioned, Waseem. I do believe that companies that work to provide good content and keep listening to their community for feedback will get better and smarter at social media. It just takes a little time, a little experimentation, and some patience.

  • http://www.icheapmarketing.com Waseem Ahmed

    I’m 100% agreed. Basically i’m a freelance social media marketer and everyday i receive many invitation to provide my SMM services for their businesses but they don’t have even their company’s blog and they don’t want to provide content. Mostly jobs like this: $10 for 1000 Facebook Fans they just focus on numbers not on content and in my view even they don’t have sense of using social media.

  • http://theresadelgado.com Theresa Delgado

    Charlene,

    Another super helpful article. You rock!.

    Theresa

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Siv-Rauv/100001199521242 Siv Rauv

    Thanks for the great article. We ask our readers at the end of certain blog posts what they want to see us write about, as well as track the readership numbers, likes, tweets and +1′s of each post to see what topics are popular.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Thanks, Theresa.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Those are all great ideas, Siv. I think the important thing is to have asking and listening built in, like you are doing. 

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Hi Yosi. Visit my site and use the contact form to reach me. We can talk about this privately.  

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Shilpi Roy – Virtual Assistant

    I loved what you have done here. The design is elegant, your stuff classy. Yet, you have got an edginess to what you’re offering here. Ill definitely come back for more if .

    Online Business
    Virtual Assistant

  • http://twitter.com/SuperCareero supercareero.com

    Charlene,

    Thanks for sharing these tips! Listening to your audience is a must for “social engagement” as this is a 2 way communication. It’s not just about feeding your fans/followers with your tweets/updates, it’s really about “listening” to know what they want… 

    By the way, its nice to connect with you on Twitter. :) Have a great week ahead! 

    Supercareero

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    You’ve got it! Good to bump into you again, too.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    You are thinking smart, Waseem, even if the businesses you are meeting are not thinking smart. I hope you start meeting smart businesses who want to learn from your experience soon. 

    In the meantime, keep coming back to Social Media Examiner. Every day there is a new article, and a new opportunity to learn new things. Your efforts will pay off. Don’t get discouraged.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    That’s very smart, Eugene. 

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  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    Thanks for writing in details about using the ideas.

  • http://twitter.com/arikb99 Arik Bernstein

    Thanks Charlene! very detailed and useful; I’m familiar with some of the sources, but learned about some new ones following your tips.
     

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Glad you got something from the article, Henry. 

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    That’s great, Arik. No one has everything figured out, or has tried every tool or strategy. It’s good to share ideas and learn from each other.

  • Morgan

    Great point! I was about to make the same point. The response to asking people what they want to see more of, can be dramatic if you have a group of individuals that truly love what you’re doing. 

  • http://twitter.com/RyoatCision Ryo Yamaguchi

    Charlene, this is such an excellent post! I love how much you cover, and to such practical detail, the metrics and tools you walk us through. Lot’s of stuff here I never knew about! But I, in particular, really like your first suggestion, asking your audience directly. I have been thinking on this idea as my fellow bloggers and I have been discussing the things we should be covering. I rather think you can ask your audience directly and publicly, as you mention with the Facebook poll. This could, in a way, stand as a topic in and of itself–the question alone of what to write about could be a powerful opportunity to engage. Perhaps this is especially true when you are writing about social media, and when your audience members are all active producers of content themselves. It could spark conversations that really help define what is important, what should be getting looked at, etc. And I think it would show a little humility and humanity, that you are truly leaning on your community for support. 

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    I think you have hit on a very important point, Ryo. Some people set themselves up as the expert with all of the answers. I think that a stronger position is to be a leader who is engaged with the community and leads with, as you said, humility and humanity. In my own business, I make a point to say that I’m figuring things out, too, and I’m sharing what I’ve learned. It leaves room for different opinions, even opposing opinions. 

    I think it’s smart to have conversations both with my peers and my community. There’s much to learn in both places.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Dramatic and satisfying! Thanks for chiming in, Morgan.

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  • http://www.alliumresearch.com Joy Levin

    These are all great ideas!  I would also suggest, when asking your community for feedback, to find out the purpose of their visit.  Not only does this help to generate an understanding of what your community is looking for, but you can also cross-tabulate these results with other responses to improve content and website usability depending upon purpose of visit.  I would also caution people to carefully evaluate survey tools as many of those that are “free” don’t have some important features (e.g., downloading responses to a spreadsheet to analyze data).  In that case it may be worth it to look at other tools, or upgrade to a paid version.  Thanks!!

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    All good points, Joy. There’s a whole blog post (or more) someone could write about how to choose a survey tool for your business. 

  • http://www.aaroneden.com/ Aaron Eden

    Another fantastic post, Charlene. I feel like an alien from outer space for taking a whole 3 days to read this masterpiece!

    I particularly love your tip about grouping and categorizing retweets, Facebook likes and link click-throughs. Very intelligent and effective technique, indeed.

    I also love Facebook questions and, as you advised, I always like to use the poll option and allow people to add more answers. Unlike traditional polls that give you “anonymous” total percentage, the beauty of Facebook questions that you can see the names of users who gave a specific answer by clicking the “…” after each option. This way, you will know “who is interested in what” and will be able to communicate more effectively with each of them.

    In addition, I love to use Q&A to collect information and also to discover “What’s Cookin” for Garious target market. I love answering “deserted” questions that have few answers on a topic I am well-versed at and provide a “teaser” answer with a link to our blog.

    Also, Q&A sites inspire great blog topics. In fact, I once made a blog post out of Garious answers to misc. questions from Q&A sites.

    In addition, we dedicated an entire blog post detailing how to use Q&A sites to inspire blog topics and maximize traffic. I invite you to check it out here and help me out with of your great insights :) http://goo.gl/ih8Po

    I love reading everything you write, Charlene because you always inspire me in great ways and for that, I can’t thank you enough. Keep up the good work :) .

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Hello again and thanks for the kind comments. Thanks for sharing your experience here, I’m sure others will benefit from it. I love the tip about how to break out who said what on the Facebook questions.

    Isn’t it great to be in business at a time when there are so many options for talking with people? 

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  • http://www.aaroneden.com/ Aaron Eden

    Sure, I couldn’t agree more. Having options is always great thought it could seem overwhelming sometimes! That’s the only downside I could think of to having so many options, especially that you need to stay on the look for new trends/technologies all the time. That’s a daunting task if you ask me. To me, web 2.0 is a mixed blessing that offers great opportunities but can be very stressful as well.
    You know, if you have some social media time management tips that work well for you, I wouldn’t ask you to share them here but it would a great idea for a future post. If you ever decided to tackle this important issue, please keep me posted :) .

  • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie Miller

    Awesome post, thank you! Have you experienced a lot of actual “ROI” from Facebook questions? The ones that pop up in my feed don’t appear to have a lot of activity.

  • http://www.socialbites.nl Jeroen van der Schenk

    Related to #3 “Check your retweets”: Crowdbooster.com is a great tool to analyse the reach of tweets in relation to the ammount of @replies & retweets. Wrote a short howto about Crowdboster (in Dutch, but with images…) : http://bit.ly/pYm2KV      

  • http://www.kimberlygauthier.com/blog Kimberly

    I get most of my ideas from my followers.  They questions they ask, the comments they leave, and the images they submit to me for feedback.  I write a photography blog and spend a lot of time in forums and on Flickr – another great source of post inspiration.

    I also use a editorial calender, so important to keep things straight and organized :)

  • http://www.kimberlygauthier.com/blog Kimberly

    I get most of my ideas from my followers.  They questions they ask, the comments they leave, and the images they submit to me for feedback.  I write a photography blog and spend a lot of time in forums and on Flickr – another great source of post inspiration.

    I also use a editorial calender, so important to keep things straight and organized :)

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    That’s a great question, Debbie. In my observation, businesses are getting Facebook question engagement about the same as they get engagement on their status updates. That makes sense to me.  

    It’s a challenge for small businesses to build up enough of a following that they get good engagement, and develop a strategy for posting content for higher engagement. Factor into that the challenges of creating posts that earn high EdgeRank scores (which means improved visibility), and Facebook can be a tough place when starting out.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    That’s a great question, Debbie. In my observation, businesses are getting Facebook question engagement about the same as they get engagement on their status updates. That makes sense to me.  

    It’s a challenge for small businesses to build up enough of a following that they get good engagement, and develop a strategy for posting content for higher engagement. Factor into that the challenges of creating posts that earn high EdgeRank scores (which means improved visibility), and Facebook can be a tough place when starting out.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Thanks for that recommendation, Jeroen. 

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    Thanks for that recommendation, Jeroen. 

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    It sounds like you have figured out how to engage your community, Kimberly. So many small business people think their business is about putting out their information for their community to consume, and miss the importance (and value) of community interaction, of listening, and following the community lead. And I love that you have an editorial calendar! 

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    It sounds like you have figured out how to engage your community, Kimberly. So many small business people think their business is about putting out their information for their community to consume, and miss the importance (and value) of community interaction, of listening, and following the community lead. And I love that you have an editorial calendar! 

  • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie Miller

    Thanks, Charlene! You’re right — that does make sense.

  • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie Miller

    Thanks, Charlene! You’re right — that does make sense.

  • http://www.phil-duncan.com/ Phil Duncan

    Hi Charlene, I would just add that if you have a site search, like the one on social media examiner here, it can give great insight into what content your audience is looking for. If you’re not tracking it, it’s so simple to set up in google analytics or other analytics tools.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    That is an excellent tip, Phil. Thanks for sharing it.

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  • http://www.wordspicturesweb.com/ Buddy Scalera

    Excellent post. I appreciate the screenshots. It helps when you are following along on some of these suggestions.

    I’ve got a few of these going, but there are a few that I hadn’t even thought of.

    Buddy Scalera
    http://www.wordspicturesweb.com

  • http://www.wordspicturesweb.com/ Buddy Scalera

    Excellent post. I appreciate the screenshots. It helps when you are following along on some of these suggestions.

    I’ve got a few of these going, but there are a few that I hadn’t even thought of.

    Buddy Scalera
    http://www.wordspicturesweb.com

  • http://twitter.com/HotSpotPromo Darlene Hull

    This is brilliant stuff.  Thanks for sharing.  I’m going to start at the top and work through it all!  Well done.

  • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

    This is great stuff!

    Just wondering … my Facebook Insight status does not shown any activity at all. However, I get impressions to the posts I update to my FB page. Any ideas why this is happening? Do I have to activate the statistics somehow in Facebook page (I thought they were enabled automatically)?Anyway, one addition to your list is to enable Google Analytics Site Search to see what your readers are searching for (if you have a search functionality on you blog).

    In fact, I read about this on Yaro’s site: http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/7237/clever-google-analytics-hack/

    Still haven’t got any statistics to view, but it seems to be one way of knowing what your audience wants.

    Cheers,
    Timo

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    You are off to a great start, Buddy. You don’t have to use every suggestion. Find the ones that work best for you and your audience. It helps to have a few other ideas in your pocket to shake things up from time to time.

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    I’m glad you feel inspired, Darlene! 

  • http://socialmediadiyworkshop.com/ Charlene (@SocialMediaDIY)

    That’s strange that your Insights are not showing activity, Timo. It should be working automatically. You might try searching for that to see if other people have had the same problem and have a solution. There also is a known bugs area in Facebook’s help center that might provide some insight. Very strange.

    You make a great point about Google Analytics. I use my site stats all the time to understand more about my visitors and their information needs. Thanks for sharing that link to help others get started.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1043308934 William Coupe

    This would be better as ’8 ways to discover continents’

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