Content is the fuel to the social media engine. However, the challenge can be finding enough of it to share online.
Sure, you need to share your own stuff. But, you need to mix that in with other useful and entertaining pieces of content so you don’t turn into a non-stop promotion machine.
There are a number of free tools and resources available to help you curate content to share on your various social networks. Here are the ones I use and recommend the most:
StrawberryJ.am is one of my secret weapons. It looks at all of the people you follow on Twitter and then sends you a daily email with the articles that were shared most within your network (and who shared it). While popular content isn’t always the best, this is a really good indicator of the trends and articles that people are talking about. It’s a huge time saver and I often find new content this way too.
P.S. I shared this one with my newsletter subscribers last year. If you don’t want to miss tips like this, subscribe here.
I have the StumbleUpon toolbar installed in Chrome (my browser), which lets me easily bookmark content. But, I can also use it to randomly stumble or find other articles that people have recommended. I also get a weekly email with recommended articles within my chosen content areas.
LinkedIn has recently started sending a weekly email with top headlines based on the industries you are following. You can also find LinkedIn Today when you login right under the status bar. There’s always great stuff here.
If you are a member of groups on LinkedIn, you can find all sorts of content based on your interests and industry. If you’re not a member of any groups, I encourage you to find some within your areas of interest.
I subscribe to more than 60 blogs and I regularly turn to Google Reader to check out these feeds. My Reader always has way more articles than time to read them. J
Zite is a great tool for your iPad that includes content from your RSS Reader and uses it to help you discover new content relevant to your interests. You can give their recommendations a thumb up or thumb down to help the tool improve the articles it serves up for you. Pretty nifty.
Flipboard is a visually stunning iPad app that pulls in your RSS and social media feeds so you can view everything all in one place. It’s a great app for discovering content in a visual way.
I subscribe to a number of e-letters to help me keep up with content from a variety of sources. For instance, I get daily emails from the Nashville Business Journal to keep up with my local community and Jay Baer’s new “One Social Thing” email to stay apprised of the latest news on the social media front.
Of course, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ are all great places to find content to read and share.
If you’re looking for some blogs to follow, AllTop is a fantastic resource. It showcases the top blogs on all sorts of different topics. So, no matter your niche, you can find blogs in your area of interest there.
If you have trouble getting over to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you can use NutshellMail to deliver you an email summary of updates from those networks. You can customize your settings to determine what information you receive and how often. Pretty handy.
I’d love to know – what tools and resources are you using to discover content to share online?