By Jeremy Goldman (Founder and CEO, Firebrand Group) for Inc.com
Any links and content that you share across your social platforms need satisfy two core objectives:
1. Does this portray me in the way I’d like to be seen?
2. Does this add value for my followers?
You’ve got to remember that building your brand is not all about you. It’s not just about what you want to share–it’s about what other people want to read and what they want to pass along to their audiences.
There are great tools that will allow you to automate some of your link sharing. Having access to free and easy to use tools like this, however, means that millions of others have access to those same tools.
The people who succeed at social media are those who don’t just put all of their social media on autopilot; those who win use automation tools like this properly. When you use automation responsibly, your engagement can become very efficient, and you can spend more time building relationships with your audience using the time that you have saved. If you use marketing automations tools in the wrong ways, you can both annoy people and detract from your brand.
Buffer is a fantastic content management platform for your social media engagement. Whenever you find some good content but you don’t want to share it right now, you just send it to your Buffer account. You can create a schedule so that every single day, a certain number of times per day, your social media content that you’ve saved before will go out through buffer, and that way you can build your audience by curating great content, either from others, or, when you have good news about your own business, share through buffer on an ongoing basis.
There are a number of ways to find great content to share. One of the best tools to use to find relevant links is Feedly, an RSS aggregator that lets you subscribe to many different sites at the same time. Don’t worry; you don’t need to know anything about RSS in order to use Feedly. The system lets you quickly rifle through article headlines and excerpts to figure out what you should be reading and considering sharing.
You create a number of different topics that you’re interested in, go to different websites, grab their feeds, and then plug them into Feedly. You can also use Feedly’s search tool to look for certain publications, such as Mashable or Women’s Wear Daily, and then plug their feeds into Feedly so that you can quickly see all the different headlines from that publication and figure out which ones you want to read or possibly share with your social networks. Obviously, this is a great way to build your audience by creating a relationship and establishing yourself as somebody who’s credible with in the beauty industry.
You can create content categories and organize all of the different websites that you subscribe to. Before you choose to share an article yourself, Feedly even lets you see how many shares each article has already received, giving you a sense of “social proof” that others have found an article useful. With Feedly, it’s easy to import new sites to keep on your radar; simply hit the “Add Content” button and pick a website or topic you are interested in.
When you find an article in Feedly that you’re interested in reading, click on it to get a preview of the article and some of the related image. But what I like best about Feedly is that there are so many different options in terms of what you can do with the content afterwards. You can email it to yourself or to othes, send it to Instapaper or Evernote , or send it directly to Twitter or Facebook or Buffer.
Find quotes that are relevant to you, that really speak to you and kind of reinforce your own personal brand. One website we really like to find quotes like this is called BrainyQuote. But there are definitely plenty of other sites where you can find this type of content. Now, when repurposing the content of others, make sure to use proper attribution. In fact, you should do this with anything you use on your social channels or website.
Once you find a quote – or anything else that your imagination comes up with – you can use an easy-to-learn tool like Canva to create a graphic featuring the quote and lightly branded with your own colors it and then actually put that out in social media. So if you’re going to do that, we definitely recommend getting the timing right. In 2013, when a power outage halted the Super Bowl for 34 minutes, Oreo jumped in with a timely tweet during the hiatus: “Power out? No problem.” The message, coupled with an image captioned, “You can still dunk in the dark,” was re-tweeted over 10,000 times in an hour. The message, which had to have been put together, on the fly, might just have grabbed more attention than Oreo’s official million-dollar Super Bowl Ad. That’s how important it is to be topical. And- that was 2013. Imagine how the bar has risen since then.