As I mentioned in the article, “6 Time Management Tips For Content Creators,” the biggest challenge most bloggers face is thinking of topics to write about. There are days when ideas will come naturally, but there will also be times when you just can’t seem to think of anything good to write about. Inspiration for your next post can come to you in many ways. It can come when you’re out for a walk, reading a favorite book, playing your favorite online games or when you’re relaxing in your favorite coffee shop while waiting for friends. But did you know that you can get a lot of help from social media?
Social media is a great tool to help you with idea generation, although there are two things you need to take into consideration: make sure you are following the right people and train yourself to be observant and an active listener. Sometimes we take conversations for granted and really don’t listen but believe me, the questions asked and the rants posted on certain topics can be a great source of inspiration for your next article.
Conversations happen everyday on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. People talk about everything and anything under the sun. It could be a new app people are having problems with or discussing suggestions for their next vacation. Try asking a question about a particular topic and use the crowd sourced information to start creating your post. Track conversations using hashtags. I love joining Twitter chats on subjects that are fascinating to me. Not only do I get to meet interesting people, I also get a good idea of what people like and what they don’t like about a particular service or product. The possibilities are endless.
Engagement on Facebook has evolved significantly. In year’s past, all you’d see were status updates and photos posted by friends and families, now we’re seeing people sharing posts and information about a variety of topics. Games and contest abound on Facebook too. Do you know a better way to run a contest on Facebook? Why not write about it. Remember there are still a lot of people wondering how things work on Facebook. Tap into that need and offer a solution. Write articles about getting better engagement or your Facebook experience. Another promising source of ideas is the Facebook Graph Search. Although it will allow you to search certain topics that offer personalized results like you’d get from traditional search engines, the results will be far more contextualized and contain much more specific data about your social circle. Trending topics and what is important to people are the key points here.
3. Google Plus
Have you joined a community on Google Plus yet? If you have, you will know it is a great place to collaborate with people who have the similar interests. If you share articles on your feed, pay attention to the comments people leave on a posts you share. Those comments can be a valuable source of topics for your next article. One reason Google Plus is popular the Google Hang Out feature. Google Hang Outs allow you to join video chats with other people on Google Plus. By joining in conversations, you’ll be able to meet more people who may become the inspiration for your next blog post. Participating in Hang Outs can help establish yourself as a leading source of information in your field of expertise. This will help build your thought leadership and bring new audience to your site. Lastly, another feature I love about Google Plus is the analytics they offer. This analytics data will give you a good idea of what topics people are searching for and engaging with.
4. LinkedIn and YouTube
If you are someone who writes about marketing or anything related to your profession then LinkedIn may be a site worth checking out. On the home page you will be given the option to check out and follow experts within your industry. You may also read their blogs, check out what these thought leaders are saying and use it as inspiration for your next blog post.
LinkedIn Groups are another great source to get a feel for what topics are fueling conversations and to see what real-life questions and challenges your audience members are talking about.
You Tube is a great source of material too. If you do not have the time to create your own videos to share on your site, most videos on YouTube are embeddable. There are a host of videos out there that you can use as a thought starter.
No matter what social media platform you use as an idea generation tool, make sure you use them as inspiration and research and not to copy someone’s work. Inject your own spin into your writing and offer a point of view and opinion. The key is finding the pain point and find ways to offer solutions to those pain points. Do you blog and use social media as an inspiration tool? Share with us here. We’d love to hear about your experience.