Sep 122011


Ok, after reading about it, listening to it, and putting it into action myself, I’ve come to the revelation that content isn’t just king.

Successful small business social media requires more than just that, and it’s now pretty much a mini royal flush that combines content, traffic and relationships (or engagement, whatever you want to call it) which is the key to your social media strategy.

Put simply, if you have great content with no traffic or people to engage with, you have nothing.  If you have the traffic, great content, but no engagement, you’ll eventually lose those contacts.  Finally, if you have lousy content, you’ll eventually lose the traffic and your ability to engage.  Content, Traffic and Relationships, the mini royal flush.

With that in mind, let’s get into the first of a series of posts about content sources.  I can’t tell you exactly how many posts there will be as content creation is dynamic and ideas on how to get content appear almost daily.

How you use this content is entirely up to you.  It can be the basis of basic blog content, be the guts of your first e-book, maybe a solid baseline for a weekly podcast, or the grounding for an informational video training series.

Just as important as the content itself is the effective conveying of it.  This is an entire blog post on its own, but simply, if you have the content source, but fail to engage the reader time and time again, it’ll all be in vain.  It’s entirely possible to turn the most boring of subjects into an entertaining read, listen or watch.

So for now, let’s focus on the easiest source where you can get some juicy content from, that you, as a small business owner, operator, or employee can tap into, to at least get the content part of the royal flush jumping.

Internal sources.

If you’re at home and hungry, what’s first thing you do?  You go to the fridge, or raid the pantry to see if there’s anything there to appease your stomach.

You should do the same if you’re hungry for content (no, not the fridge).  But see what’s around your first before looking elsewhere.

Start looking at number one as a base.  If you’re the owner, tell the story of your business, its history, its achievements, its milestones.  The more personal you get the better.  It can also give you an authority boost if “years and years in the industry” is something that you possess or if the company is new, change the focus to something like exceptional customer service or out-right knowledge.  Giving information about your previous jobs can also bring about information that again, can help your authority.

Employees are also a great of source of content.  They can write about their roles in the company, their progression through the ranks, or even a day in their work life.  Personal details about them can help establish stronger connections and their hobbies and interests can strengthen those relationships even more if common ground is found.  Specific departments in your company can also contribute, giving potential clients better knowledge of your products or services, helping them make the right decision.

Customers and clients are an endless source of content.  Depending on your business type, you can get your clients to tell you their story on how your product or service has helped them or has improved their lives.  Encourage feedback whenever possible and accept that negative comments will be far more useful than positive.  You should find that not only will clients be happy to help you improve your business, but they’ll feel a greater sense of satisfaction and in some cases added respect if a particular issue is addressed based on their comments.

A terrific example of using internal sources for content could be your local gym.  The personal trainers could write their bios, list exercises that focus on specific development (abs, arms, etc), outline training schedules for events such as marathons or triathlons, advise of a suitable diet program for a goal weight, or they can include personal sporting achievements to better match them with a gym member looking for a trainer.

Gym members can also provide excellent content by telling of their great weight loss stories, their personal sporting or strength achievements gained through hard training, or detail an additional training method that may be orthodox to the trainers, but equally as effective.  They can also provide valuable feedback in all areas from the types of equipment they’d like to see, additional classes they want run, or certain events they would like to see organised through the gym.  If nothing else, trainers can stick a camera in front of their face during a pump class or directly after a spin session to get some raw testimonials and video footage for YouTube

Finally the owner of the gym can write of how she started her business.  She could tell of the previous businesses she has run or owned and why she started the gym in the first place.  She could write about the goals she has for the gym, and could even write about her previous business failures which in some cases, leads to a stronger relationship with not only employees but clients as well.  Lessons learnt then taught from failures are gold.

So there you have it, one of many endless sources of content.  As mentioned at the start of this article, the conveying of the content and how it’s presented is entirely up to you, but’s its critical to keeping the whole social media train moving.

So next time you decide you need content from your small business, look around at what you have first.  Where you work, who you work with, and why you work.

Why eat out, when sometimes it’s better, easier  and cheaper to eat in?

dEx         -              gossip media

“I would love to write something witty about content sources here, but I got nuthin!”

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