So you’ve decided to invest more in your social media presence to build your online reputation and grow your audience. That’s great! But what are you going to talk about? And where do you find interesting and relevant things to amplify?
Well, with this blog I’ll try and help. Here are my favorite places and tools to let automation help me find interesting, relevant, fresh content. It’s taken me a little while to weed out the chaff, but these are now the things I watch pretty much every day for good stuff to share.
- Tweetdeck Columns with Hashtags – My first and best place that I watch to find the most interesting and targeted content is using Tweetdeck columns with hashtags. I follow a few hashtags that are really relevant to my business: #SCN is where people are talking about the SAP Community Network and #SAPTechEd is where people talk about the SAP TechEd events both of which my teams are responsible for. There is always a lively discussion happening. Another relevant hashtag I watch is #EnSW for Enterprise Software discussions. Some other interesting topics that I don’t follow daily, but check in on regularly are hashtags like #SAP, #SAPChat, #HANA, #Mobile, #Social, #Socialmedia, #SocBiz, #Analytics, or #BigData.
- Tweetdeck Columns with Lists – It’s a popular pastime for your friends and colleagues to collect lists of related people. You’ll find some great lists out there – and you should watch them! I have two columns set up in my Tweetdeck that I watch all the time. One is a list of around 1,500 SAP employees that has been built and curated by our CMO, Jonathan Becher. The other is a list that Mark Finnern manages following SAP Mentors. It’s a great way to watch what those “tribes” are talking about. If they are lists of people relevant to what you’re interested in, you’ll find some great content there!
- Your Company’s Daily Press Clipping Service – Here’s an interesting one that some people overlook. OurSAP Communications team provides a “press clipping” service called the “SAP Early Bird” that employees can subscribe to where every morning we receive an email with the latest news about SAP, our competitors, interesting posts by bloggers, and financial press. Check to see if your company has the same kind of service. It’s always a wealth of interesting, valuable content for everyone that’s following you and your company.
- Zite Automated Tailored Curated Content – Zite is a downloadable app for iPhone (right), iPad (below) and Android that is truly amazing. It’s not amazing because of the app itself — it’s a lot like Flipbook. It’s amazing because of how well it finds some really interesting timely, great content. After you install the app, you choose some broad categories of story you’re interested in and it gives you a feed of content. But as you start seeing stories, it lets you “thumb up” and “thumb down” each one and it learns what you like and don’t like. I’m at the point now where I am amazed every time I visit my Zite app. Even if I’ve just been watching my twitter feed, Zite shows me stories that are fresh (within hours or minutes), relevant, and interesting. Because it’s so handy on my iPhone, I am usually checking my Zite feed at lunchtime walking down to the SAP café. I’ll send 2-3 tweets from my Zite feed on my way down and back from lunch.
- Paper.li Automated Curated Content with AutoTweets – If you haven’t checked out Paper.li, you should! Paper.li is another automated system where you give it some specific sources (news sites, community sites, etc) and topics (#hashtags) and it creates a daily “newspaper” based on the criteria you’ve specified. It creates the paper every day and at the same time, posts a tweet from your Twitter account with the headline and the @account names of some of the people whose stories it has curated that day, and sends you an email with the top stories shown. It’s a double whammy for you – the paper usually has some interesting stories you may want to post to your feed, but the automatic tweet also alerts others that you’re quoting them and often they will RT your tweet. I have three Paper.li daily papers – the #SCN #Social Daily, the #SAPTechEd Daily, and the #SCN #Gamification Daily. (Notice that by including a hashtag in the title, the daily tweet also gets picked up in that hashtag feed.)
- SCN Front page “Top Liked Content” widgets – The next three ideas are for anyone that follows the SAP Community Network – but they also could be relevant for you if you are active in a community related to your industry as well. Since I’m responsible for the SAP Community Network, I’m watching regularly what’s happening in the community, what’s hot, and what are the new stories getting traction. The first place I go is the SCN homepage that is now chock-full of great content that is curated by the SCN community. The homepage has stories that are the “top liked” stories from across the community (image to right), as well as top liked stories from some of our hot topics like #Business Intelligence, #Mobile, #HANA, #Cloud, and even #BusinessTrends. Right on the homepage I can see what stories the community is giving the most “love” by using SCN likes – and when there’s a story that’s interesting and valuable, I’ll click through and post it to my Twitter, FB, or LinkedIn feeds.
- SCN Activity Feed – friends, followed topics, etc – another great source of content for SCN members is their personalized SCN activity feed. When you are a member you can follow people, topics, spaces, stories, or discussion threads. If the things you are following are things that are interesting to you and your network, you’ll find the most current interesting stuff right there in your activity feed. Click through, read it, and share if you like it.
- SCN Topic Overview pages “Top Liked Content” – Finally, if you’re interested in specific topics in the SCN Community like #ABAP, #Java, #CRM, #CrystalReports, #HCM, etc, you can click right through to those topic overview pages and see a wealth of the latest and greatest information on those topics. There is a “Featured Content” widget showing curated content from our Space Editors, there is a Top Liked widget showing the content receiving the most likes from community members over the last rolling 30 days, unanswered questions, tag clouds, top contributors list, recent content, and other widgets full of great information and new, fresh stories for your network.
- Other social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc – I also occasionally check other social media locations like my Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+ feeds and find interesting content that I don’t see on Twitter that are worth sharing cross-platforms.
- Your Company’s Social Content distribution services – Here’s another source you may have available in your organization that you should check out. At SAP we have several organizations that have started sharing valuable social content about their topics with distribution lists inside the company. As an inside service, they often provide good content with a few varied pre-formatted posts for Twitter or Facebook to make it easy to share. If groups within your company have started doing this on topics interesting to you, it’s worth subscribing. You can quickly scan the email and see if there is anything worth sharing that your network would appreciate.
Now you have all my secrets and I can stop sharing anything on Twitter ever again. Hmm… maybe not. I guess I’ll keep looking for great content and share it whenever I have the time!