8 Ways to Discover Valuable Social Media Content

social media how toDo you struggle to find good content to post on LinkedIn, Twitter or your Facebook page?

Would you like to find reliable sources of content your fans and followers love?

This article contains eight tips to help you quickly find great content.

Why Share Other People’s Content?

It’s all about becoming a valuable resource.  When you can dig up great articles your audience is interested in–regardless of the source–you’ll become more respected and your content will be widely shared.

And when you have some of your own content to share, people will be more likely to help spread the word.

Here’s where to find valuable content:

#1: Watch Large News Sites

Depending on your industry, you may find topical and interesting articles on large news sites such as USA Today, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. If you have a news site or magazine for your niche that provides industry news, make sure you have that bookmarked as part of your content.

The Huffington Post has a lot of different categories to draw your content from.

huffington post

Dive into the different categories and subcategories available on the Huffington Post to watch for content.

#2: Watch News Aggregators

If you want to make content sourcing a little easier, use a news aggregator website or tool. Certain sites do a great job of bringing in the latest news and sorting it by industry or niche all in one place.

Stuff To Tweet has some of the most popular posts on different sites including CNN, YouTube and more. Yes, it does mention tweeting, but these articles are good for Facebook, too.

stuff to tweet

View some of the popular posts on several sites at once.

Popurls is another similar site that has a few more sites listed. You can also customize the results if you sign up for an account.

Alltop is another news aggregator where you can customize your results. The topics are organized by topic alphabetically and by site.

alltop

Find topics listed alphabetically or by site.

Inbound also uses categories to help organize their content. They tend to be more online-related topics.

inbound

Inbound also uses categories.

If you like receiving an email with aggregated news, SmartBrief may be a good fit for you. They include a variety of industries and send you an email with the popular news.

smartbrief

SmartBrief sends the news stories to your email address.

#3: Pay Attention to Popular Posts

You can also see things that are trending and popular on some of the other social media sites and share them to Facebook.

LinkedIn today has some great features such as Trending in Your Network, which is a natural filter if you are connected to a lot of people in your niche.

linkedin today

LinkedIn today has generally trending articles and also Trending in Your Network.

You can also see what’s trending on Twitter even if you don’t have a Twitter account. Just go to any Twitter account (such as www.twitter.com/smexaminer) and look on the left side to see the hot topics.

twitter trends

See the trending topics on Twitter from any Twitter account.

Notice that you can switch the trends by clicking the Change link and selecting a certain region to get more localized results. Are these trending topics always the best things to share on Facebook? Maybe not, but they can be relevant.

You may be better off just using Twitter Search and plug in some of your niche keywords to find some good articles to share on Facebook.

twitter trending narrowed

You can narrow your scope to see what is trending on Twitter in your region.

#4: Have Go-to Sources to Share

Many times you know which other Facebook Pages consistently have good content and valuable posts. They may be in your industry or they may be a complement to your business so your audience will also be interested in their content.

There are a few different ways to watch their Facebook posts. One is to like their Page as your Page and then watch your Page news feed. This makes it easy to share their posts when you see them in your news feed.

Another way to easily monitor other Pages is to create an Interest List of all of the Pages on your personal profile and periodically monitor that feed.

You can make this Interest List public so other people can follow it, or you can make it private so only you know who is on it.

Mari Smith made a public list of Facebook Experts and it’s followed by almost 30,000 people!

interest list

Use an Interest List to generate a separate feed of your go-to sources for content.

When you have the Interest List on your personal profile, sharing it to your Facebook Page is not hard. Just select the Share button and then switch the selection to On your Page. Then make sure the right Page is selected and the post will be shared by your Page.

share content

Easily share content from your Facebook Interest Lists to your Page.

You can find public lists that other people have created by going to Facebook Add List (this is the same URL you use to create your own list). They first show you some of the lists that your friends have created or may be on and then they sort the popular lists by topic.

find facebook interests list

Find other lists to follow or create your own list.

#5: Use Google Reader and Google Alerts

If you have several (or even several hundred) blogs you enjoy reading that provide great content, use Google Reader to access them all from one place. You can easily see the latest posts or just click on the particular blog in the left sidebar to see some of their latest posts.

Google Reader gives you a dashboard for all of your best content sources so you can see which ones have new posts rather than checking on each individual site. You can sign up here.

google reader

Use Google Reader as a dashboard for all of your content sources.

Google Alerts are another great way to monitor the web for fresh content. Google Alerts use the latest relevant Google results and send them as an aggregated set of stories to your email address.

You can use keywords related to your niche and have a set of fresh posts brought to your email inbox every day.

You can sign up here for Google Alerts. If you find that your keywords aren’t bringing the right content in, you can always delete the alert by clicking “Manage your alerts” in the lower-left corner.

Having your company name as an alert is also useful to watch for any new mentions of your company on the web.

google alerts

Try adding a few Google Alerts to bring fresh content into your email inbox.

#6: Look for Funny Posts

People are typically on social media to have fun and be social. Even if you’re a more serious brand, don’t forget to lighten up every once in a while with a humorous post. Humor can be difficult and you always run the risk of offending someone, so be careful.

George Takei posts a lot of humor (but not all posts are appropriate for a business Page).

Sometimes you can create your own funny posts using sites like Quickmeme or Someecards.

Or you can find sites that post a lot of funny content such as Know Your Meme or Cheezburger.

Just make sure you know the rules of the sites and understand how you can share their content so you don’t have any problems with copyrights.

#7: Create Your Own Images

Images are still getting a lot of engagement on Facebook. They continue to get a lot of comments, likes and shares even if they don’t have the same reach as a text post.

Images take up more space in the news feed and 0are generally more interesting than a plain text post.

But what if you don’t have many pictures to share? You can find images to illustrate a point at sites like iStockphoto or 123RF (you can’t just find images on Google and upload them to Facebook).

If you would like to find free images, you can use the Creative Commons area on Flickr or stock.xchng (make sure you read the guidelines on giving proper attribution).

You can also use Compfight to help you search for photos that you can use. You can use the Commercial hotlink to see which ones are for business use (again, make sure you read about proper attribution).

compfight

Use Compfight to find images you can use.

If you want to add your own text to the photo to illustrate a point or add some special effects to make the picture more interesting, use an online editing tool like PicMonkey or iPiccy.

Special quotes are popular things to share on Facebook, but you can use these tools to turn the quote into something more visual. Of course if you’re well-versed in something like Photoshop, creating an image to use is a breeze.

You may also have an occasion to take a screenshot and edit it. This technique works really well if you’re teaching something about websites or computers.

At Social Media Examiner, we frequently have “Hot Tip Tuesday” where we share a hot tip from one of the social sites.

hot tip tuesday

Use a screenshot tool to create a picture that helps your audience do something.

Use a screenshot tool such as Jing or Snagit to help you easily create and edit screenshots.

#8: Monitor Your Stats

Finally, make sure you watch what works with your audience.

Dive into your Facebook Insights and sort the posts you have by Engaged Users. The Engaged Users stats include the number of unique users who have clicked on your posts, which can include people clicking on the photo or link, liking the post, commenting or sharing your post.

Notice what types of posts your audience responds to and post more of those.

monitor stats

Sort your posts by Engaged Users to see what interests your audience.

Hopefully this gives you a running start to find more awesome content that your audience will love.

Once you get some of your favorite content creators in place, don’t forget to continue to monitor the web for new sources of great content. And make sure you work in plenty of your own original content!

What about you? Where are you finding your best content to share on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl is co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and also uses her improv comedy skills to blog as Grandma Mary, Social Media Edutainer. Connect with her at www.andreavahl.com. Other posts by »




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  • http://twitter.com/techandlife techandlife

    Another great source of content to share is Reddit. I’m spending more and more time there and once you’ve built up a good set of subreddits to follow, you’ll start finding a lot of great new content. I’m starting to find more in Reddit now than in my Google Reader feeds.

  • http://internetdreams.com/ Samuel

    Thanks for the ways to find great content on social media!

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Cool apps and websites Andrea! This post is really packed with information–from sourcing contents, creating images to monitoring stats-that online marketers like me can use to make our social media marketing easier. Thanks for sharing them with us!

    Keep rockin SME!

    ~John Lee Dumas

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  • http://blog.dnevnik.hr/deejay discjockey

    Valuable article on finding good social media content. Bookmarked.

  • http://www.eventchecklist.net/ Arwin Adriano

    Had a lot of good ideas here on how I could find gems to share valuable blog post.

  • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

    Hey Andrea, thanks for the tips. I have never come across inbound.org before. I like it! Ian

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  • Angela Iliopoulos

    Thank you Andrea for always providing great tips and info! I don’t know what I would do without my Google Reader and Alerts! I will defintely check out news aggregators like Alltop and inbound.org since I haven’t looked into them yet!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thank so much Ian! Always glad to share!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Awesome!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Glad to help!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Glad you enjoyed it John!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    That is another great source! Thanks for sharing how you are using it.

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  • Deb Ward, iMedia Buzz, Inc.

    All good stuff, Andrea. I especially like the idea of Interest Lists. I think that’ll be a great resource. Thanks for the info!

  • Dara Khajavi

    Thanks for these great sites. I try to stay on top of trending topics, but it can be quite a tiring and daunting task. These tips will definitely help me stay on top.

  • RivkaK

    Great post Andrea! I also love to use Skitch for screen capture and adding quotes, etc. It is a great alternative to needing to ask my graphic design hubby every time I need something visual. :-)

  • http://www.ftlcollective.com/ Miguel Bravo

    The links under #2 are great. Thanks for the great info Andrea.

  • Janet Aronica

    I love Inbound.org! Always find stuff there that teaches me something. We also have a lot of great content with Shareaholic Channels. For example, here’s the Social Media Marketing Channel – https://shareaholic.com/channels/social_media_marketing

    There are some SME contributor blogs like Mari Smith’s blog on there :)

  • Ellen Manderfeld

    Andrea,thanks for putting together such a complete list. This will be a great reference for the future.

  • Steve

    This is great advice for individuals but corporations would rarely do this, as they manage their brand around original content.

  • http://strategy-keys.com/ David Willden

    Great article! Do you believe google will penalize sites that have a lot of news from other sites (duplicate content)? Is it best to create a “news” section on our website and have a separate domain for that content?

  • H Max

    A+ for AV. Great article and resources, Ms. Vahl.

  • Lana Yotka

    Thank you so much for this helpful and valuable information. I will start using this info right away for content and other media.

  • http://twitter.com/RandyBridges Randy Bridges

    Andrea. How do you guys come up with these article ideas? These are great!!!! Bookmarketed.

  • http://twitter.com/RandyBridges Randy Bridges

    Andrea. I tried to post to my FanPage, http://www.facebook.com/thebridgesgroup, but Facebook made me continue to my profile. I try to keep my business and profile separate. What happened?

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    Great tips Andrea. I hadn’t heard of a few of these resources. I agree Interest Lists on Facebook are one of the best ways to stay up to date in your niche. I wrote a post with 100 Interest Lists recently, it includes the one from Mari you mentioned. http://www.postplanner.com/100-facebook-lists-to-follow-bypass-edgerank/

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Great stuff, Andrea! Thanks for the tips. And it’s good to see my friend Ian Cleary enjoyed it, too!

  • Sara Getz

    Thanks, Andrea. I definitely needed a reminder of some great ways to source content other than my Google reader (and a reminder to keep my reader fresh!). I think you nailed the whole reason behind content curating with this: “It’s all about becoming a valuable resource.”

  • http://www.lucrazon.com/blog Alice Ly | Lucrazon

    This is great, found some new sites :) Thanks! I personally love to use PicMonkey too.

    Also, PhotoPin is another CC image site with link attribution.

  • Robert Peugh

    Watch out there. Using Someecards.com for business use puts your marketing and business in a liable position for copyright infringing. Their terms do not allow for you to use their service for business use. I have called and asked permission, and they are in contract with the Frito Lays company, meaning you would be on the chopping block when it comes to legal matters. Be aware, read the terms folks.

  • Linda

    All seems simple to do ,a lot of advice and I hope I can take advantage of it! Thankyou

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Alice! I hadn’t heard of PhotoPin!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    I didn’t know you and @iancleary:disqus were buddies – glad to be friends with you both!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Randy!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    I definitely rely on one source more than another sometimes too. This post made me get back to my Google Reader and remember why I love it so much :)

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thank you kindly :)

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    I definitely don’t recommend putting the content on your site physically (especially without the author’s permission!). I just like this list as a way to find content to share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RichardNgHS Richard Ng

    Nice tips! One of the news aggregator that I used everyday is Flipboard!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Awesome, I’ve never heard of Skitch – great to know!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Glad to help!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Deb! Glad you liked it :)

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Glad you liked it Ellen!

  • PS

    Great tips for a beginner raring to dive into the digital ocean!!

    PS

  • Durraiya

    Hi Andrea, I must say this article was a fabulous one. We social media marketers are always looking out for content to share is a tough task. Generation each and every day is a tough task for small & mid-sized companies (specially who don’t have a full-time advertising agency working in correlation). This article will definitely will come handy. Thank you!

  • Durraiya

    Thanks for the update Robert!

  • http://www.facebook.com/accurate.cygent Accurate Cygent

    Nice Tips. It is a platform where you can use your creativity endlessly. One thing that is most important that you need to be continuously put the same effort to make your social media campaign successful. I am referring to the last part of the blog.

  • Carolin Geissler

    Andrea, I really love #7 Create Your Own Images. With the image sites you’ve given, anybody can quickly make an image (as long as credit is given, like you mentioned!) to make a post a little prettier. That doesn’t just count for social media posts, but even more so for blog posts, I feel. Many blog posts are just textextextext as far as the eye can see. A small image here or there can lighten that up.

  • http://www.nashville.com/ Nashville

    Excellent share Andrea as always…social media content is what makes you connected with others and easy to share.

  • http://www.facebook.com/darrius.serrant Darrius Serrant

    This is a great list of sources! I definitely look forward to applying them on my own blogs! Thanks again! :)

  • Eilish Rafferty

    I find Social Media Examiner absolutely brilliant for content. Am indebted to your team. Thank you.

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  • Gunjan Jha

    Thanks for the great post and its really very helpful. I wanted to know if i can directly copy the content and post it on my blog. Will i need to take some kind of permissions or will there be any copyright issue.

  • Chick

    Always great to read your insights, Andrea. Thanks!

  • Durraiya

    Hi Gunjan, copying the entire content seems the easiest thing. But let’s not focus on copying but on sharing. Moreover even if you’re borrowing content its always wise to give credit to the original writer. It always adds to your own credentials.
    Well, this is my version , am sure there are others here who will have some other interesting insights to share.

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Exactly Robert – read the terms!!! Thanks!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Glad to help Eilish!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    You are so welcome!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Mitch! :)

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Absolutely! We are becoming so much more visual and a good picture can make your post stand out in all the noise :)

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    It’s almost overwhelming when you think about how creative you can be :)

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Glad to help! I know I struggle with the same thing – what to post, what to post, what to post :)

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Go get em! :)

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Flipboard is another great one! Can’t believe I forgot it! Thanks!

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  • Fabian McCann

    Thank you really helpful!

  • http://www.makesocialmediasell.com/ jeff_molander

    Well done but I disagree with the premise. I spend less and less time echoing or “curating content.”

    It doesn’t serve me nearly as well as creating original material, original tips, original case studies and provocative points of view that mythbust “best practices” (that are popular but not very good at creating success).

    That’s what gets me noticed, trafficked, generates leads, etc. etc.

  • RM

    Thank you for this resources list! My job just got so much easier!

  • H Max

    You’ve set a very high standard for your future articles. I predict you’ll knock it out of the park 9 times out of ten. Oh, and you’re welcome. Well deserved.

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  • Dawn-Renée Rice

    Awesome list! Thanks for sharing this post!

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  • Jeannette Paladino

    Thanks for all these great content sources. As a blogger, I’m always looking for good topics to write about.

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  • Michelle

    Wow, Andrea! How long did it take you to put together that post? Impressive. Thanks for all the valuable content.
    Random Writing Rants
    Michelle

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  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    Another great post…I love the idea of having Go-To Sources.

    I have started pulling quotes from articles and sharing them on Twitter due to the ability to be more creative. This method is becoming repetitive… Headline – Link – Source

    Thank you for this post!

    Patrick

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