Social Media was once seen as a trend, a must have tool to interact with friends, but today, it has become a way of life. Made up of a multitude of varying virtual communities and networks, social media has become the preferred medium of millions of users worldwide to create, share and exchange information and ideas. The magnitude of users is becoming increasingly selective about what they view or read, it has become important to engage followers or fans with quality content that is both relevant and meaningful.
What is content?
Content on social media may be in many forms, it be anything; an infographic, a video, an image or sharing a blog post. Even what you write as the most basic tweet can be classified as content. The aim of content is to be engaging enough to be shared by a target audience, with the objective of driving beneficial consumer action.
When it is content, choose quality over quantity?
Social Marketers who hold content at the heart of social media realize the value of quality over the quantity of the content available. Spending time devising engaging, meaningful content would be much more effective as compared to pumping out ?masses of substandard promotional rhetoric? to followers and fans.
It is important to remember that on social platforms, brands and businesses are disturbing people?s lives and competing with their friends & family. If the content offered is not meaningful or engaging, which is all too often, it can have the undesirable effect of having no engagement and instead drives fans or followers away. Likewise, if people are bombarded with dizzying quantities of content it can prove to be tiresome, frustrating and can push your audience elsewhere. Thus, it is imperative that content is valuable and comes in digestible amounts.
Quality content drives engagement
Producing quality social media content simplifies the process of finding fans that will organically promote or advocate on your behalf through engagement. Since engagement, whether it be a share, a re-tweet, a like, is the lifeblood of social media, it is crucial that your content is the beating heart that pumps it. Brands and businesses need to focus on understanding their audience and producing content that will cause more people to advocate their brand and drive engagement to reach a wider audience.
Acquiring Quality Content
It?s time for you to post on Facebook or send out a Tweet on Twitter?but you don?t have anything cool to share with your content-hungry followers? That would put you into a fix wouldn?t it? One of the reasons consumers visit social networks with such frequency today is that they crave the constant stream of content that emanates from these networks. For marketers, the job of sharing content is a never-ending task that requires a daily output of fresh information for their fans and followers to consume. The challenge comes in finding sufficient amounts of high-quality material to meet consumer demand.
Where does one find quality content? On the internet? The Internet is a big place. Really big. With over a billion existing pages and thousands more being created each day, there?s a lot of great sites with a lot of fantastic content out there. But with such a massive torrent of media being produced each day, it can sometimes be hard to keep up with all your favorite sites. So how do we alleviate this problem? The answer is simple ? really simple in fact. Here?s a really simple explanation of Really Simple Syndication (RSS).
What is RSS?
RSS is a notification system that alerts you when updates are made to your favorite sites. It allows content to be sent to your computer without you having to seek it out and visit an actual website. Essentially, the Internet is like TV, but with a million different channels to choose from, so rather than channel surfing for hours on end, you can use an RSS aggregator to organize all your favorite content in an easily accessible format.
How does RSS work?
You can start using RSS for free ? all you need is an Internet connection and a program called an RSS aggregator. An RSS aggregator, also known as feed reader, is a program that runs in the background and constantly waits for your favorite sites to post new content. When something new pops up on a site you?re subscribed to, it gets sent to your feed reader instantaneously. Typically,?aggregators come in two varieties; they can be Web-based or desktop-based. There are also a number of programs and add-ons that give RSS functionality to e-mail clients and browsers. Once you?ve installed a feed reader, you can get started.
How do I use RSS?
There are hundreds of aggregators out there, with all kinds of different interfaces and useful features, so finding one you like is just a matter of experimentation. In the same way that you need a radio receiver to be able to hear radio stations, you need an aggregator to get the feed content. There are Web-based readers like Google Reader, Bloglines and My Yahoo. Once you have an aggregator installed, you can start subscribing to your favorite sites. Generally, you?ll know if a site supports RSS subscriptions if it has an orange icon that looks something like this.
These days, it is highly unlikely that you find a site that doesn?t support RSS. Most sites have buttons that you can click to receive updates on Twitter or Facebook, and the RSS button is often located right next to these.
To summarize, RSS is a fantastic way to organize and consume the Web with increased efficiency and ease. If you do most of your reading on the web, a sturdy RSS reader is a must-have.
Using RSS Feeds in Social Media Management Tools
Brands and businesses have multiple assets on various social media platforms. Managing these social media accounts and delivering content onto them in an organized fashion can prove to be a herculean task for marketers. Thankfully, today there are plenty of tools that can easily sync with all of our social media accounts so that we can update and monitor all of accounts in a convenient location. Therefore, social media marketers today use tools like FloTape and Hootsuite to easily manage their social media activities.
FloTape is a social media management tool where one can not only manage all the social accounts under a single dashboard, but also plan and measure the social activities. Along with a plethora of amazing features like the content management system, automated scheduler, a planning engine, team management and analytics, it also has the added feature of integrating RSS feeds into the dashboard.
Using FloTape, one can integrate various RSS feeds that provide relevant and high quality content and view them on its convenient multi-stream user interface. This interface ensures that the user is able to browse through multiple feeds with great ease, read or view the articles and then screen out content that might interest one?s followers and target audience.
The feeds can also be organized into various tabs according to chronological order, verticals, relevance, or any other category that may take the user?s fancy. Organizing the feeds also goes a great way in helping the user pick out content that would ensure engagement.
Once the screening process is taken care of, the user can share the content from the streams by clicking on the share option and then choosing the platforms onto which the content is to be shared.
This will guide the user to the Content Management System (CMS) where one can choose to share the content in its original form or one may edit the message or change the image to be displayed along with the post. You may also edit the link if you like.
The next step is the review and approval of the content. Once approved, the content can be scheduled to be posted immediately or on another date or time. The automatic scheduler will do your bidding and the content will be posted at the time of your choosing over the various chosen platforms.
Using FloTape greatly reduces the time and effort required for the execution of a great content flow. One does not have to log on to multiple platforms, as with most feed readers, and the need of editing the content multiple times is also eliminated. This will prove a great boon for social marketers who believe in a campaign based on regular and quality content delivery that will interest and engage readers and subsequently ensuring their loyalty and advocacy.