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Feeding the Content Monster: What to Share on Social Media - 4/23/2013 -

Aside from the usual press releases and reports, your website offers evergreen content that your social media audience craves.

By Victoria Goff

Hungry for social media ideas? Your Web content has a longer shelf life than you think.

Beyond the usual sources — press releases, articles, publications, events and reports — association websites offer evergreen content that can be re-purposed for social media, says E-WRITE owner Leslie O’Flahavan, who presented the March 19, 2013 AM&P Lunch & Learn workshop, "Feeding the Content Monster.” 

She suggests tapping these four types:

1. "We've said it before, but today it's in The New York Times.”

A media outlet reports on a topic that’s already been covered by your organization. Even if you've been talking about it for years, the new attention brings a fresh angle that's worthy of being shared in social media, according to O'Flahavan.

She cites a recent example from the National Cancer Institute, which uses a Medscape Medical News story as the news hook for a Facebook post about its aspirin and cancer research: "In The News: It's not an entirely new concept, but can aspirin prevent cancer? http://bit.ly/XzZhrB To learn more visit NCI's page about aspirin and cancer prevention at http://1.usa.gov/XzZjzz.”

2. "Hey kids, want to see the Parent Handbook?”

Your Web content may be relevant to people other than its original target audience. O’Flahavan says that while it's risky to re-purpose it for a new audience on social media, it can be successful if done carefully.

For example, a U.S. Energy Information Administration tool to calculate household energy usage is a resource for teachers, but it can also be shared with students, parents, and consumers, O’Flahavan says. When using Twitter, she advises including a hashtag that would be used by the new audience so they'll see the post.

3. "Good stuff, good stuff. You might want to take a look at this.”

Static, unsexy content on your website deserves attention too. You can remind your social media audience of these types of valuable resources, such as statistical reports or reviews, glossaries and policies — which they may not even know exist, O’Flahavan says.

4. "We know it's old content, but it's still interesting.”

Your website may have some old content that can be dusted off and polished for social media.

O'Flahavan points to a publishing company, Berghahn Books, which writes "On this day in history” Facebook posts to promote its books. A recent one about Mikhail Gorbachev becoming the leader of the Soviet Union linked to Berghahn’s book about the Cold War, which was published a year ago.

However, not all types of Web content is suited for social media. O’Flahavan says to avoid:

  • Organization-focused content, such as mission statements.
  • Obligatory content, such as bylaws, which is needed on a website for legal or regulatory reasons.
  • "Tiresome” website content.
  • Mechanically archived content.

Victoria Goff is online editor for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Association Media & Publishing thanks her for covering this event for our members who were unable to attend.


 

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