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4 Ways To Create Content With Your Social Media Leftovers

I recently heard about a recycling plant that is considered one of the most efficient organizations in the world. They get paid to accept trash and then once they sort and process the trash they resell almost everything to various industries. It’s brilliant. They make money on both sides of the process. Can our social media efforts work like that? I think so…here’s how:

If we think of everything we create in social media as having a measure of waste then we just need to capture the waste for reuse. Here’s what I mean: Imagine there’s a topic you going to blog about but you want to get a friend’s feedback on the idea before you hit the publish button. You call your friend, talk for about 10 minutes, edit a few things in the post based on the feedback and then hit the publish button. Sure, you have a good post and you went the extra mile to get some perspective before you published it, but there was waste here. The phone call with the friend could have been recorded (with a service like FreeConferenceCall.com) and the entire dialog could have been a blog post all by itself. At the very least, it could be a secondary part to your blog post.

Creating Content While You Create Content
The point here is that we have the ability to capture everything we do and turn that into more content. When Rhett and Link made a commercial for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, they also released a behind-the-scenes video with it. To date, the commercial has 1.7 million views on YouTube but the behind-the-scenes video has almost 700,000 views also. They made content while they were making content. There were no leftovers because they were smart enough to capture the process of making the video.

You Have Leftovers Too
We all have leftovers if we’re willing to look at it. Here are four ways to create content with your social media leftovers:

1. Leftover Links: For everything you choose to write about you probably read a lot of other things that you don’t do anything with. Why don’t you share a list of links to the 10 articles you read that you didn’t want to do anything with but still thought were interesting.

2. Leftover Conversations: Sometimes you can get into interesting conversations on Facebook or Twitter. Why don’t you copy and paste those conversations and turn them into content? Get permission from the other people involved but share a good discussion with all of your blog readers.

3. Leftover Ideas: Most people who blog have a list of “things I might blog about sometime” but they never get around to those topics. Why not do a monthly or quarterly purge and do a post of all the ideas you would like to see blog posts about but know you’re not going to be able to do yourself?

4. Leftover Effort: Just like the Rhett and Link example, you may be able to make content out of the things you’re already doing to create content. Keep a video camera handy or audio recorder. The biggest issue here is thinking ahead of time about creating content with these opportunities.

The bottom line is that it takes some advance planning and perhaps a shift in your thinking, but if you have a hard time coming up with content ideas, you may just need to look around and start turning some of your every day interactions or activities into content. They may be some of the most interesting content you can produce.

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  • billseaver

    Thanks Laurent. I think my biggest job with my clients is helping them to change their mindset. Some people get it sooner than others and in some cases. I’ve seen it take well over a year before the person is really even ready to listen.

  • billseaver

    No, I wasn’t getting paid to wait that long…I did a presentation then came back a year later for another one…and that’s when it took.

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  • laurent

    Here you go. I’m trying to ignite a spark….
    I totally agree with what you said. The truth about the big explosion is that you sunk a lot of money and time in preparing and creating the explosion….and when it’s done it’s done until the next one. It’s designed to impress, it’s entertainment. The little sparks don’t take much time and money, like me commenting here. And if it’s part of one’s DNA to find relevant places where to engage sparkfully, it will lead to powerful relationships with like minded people sharing a common sense of purpose that a wise team of marketers can leverage on an ongoing basis in their interaction with their market.
    End of spark ;-)

  • billseaver

    Great comment Laurent. You certainly did engage sparkfully. I like you phrasing it like that. I’m going to start using it myself. Thanks for the spark!

  • laurent

    Bill, use it as you wish, there’s no trademark on it ;-) .
    In my small start-up we coined the term ‘actionable influence(tm)’ which is the idea behind the ongoing stream of little sparks that result in some real (though virtual) and trusted relationships between a marketer (or a team of) and it’s target market. The techno behind social media enables that. Unfortunately, the mindset isn’t quite there. It’s a big change and everyone knows that the most difficult to change are people.

  • laurent

    wow – 1 yr…..do you get paid waiting? ;-) I have a (very big) customer who’s taken 9 months to start listening. I’m actually ‘training them’ to do it as a group. They’re starting to get it. The tough issues are to find the right step to begin with, taking it slowly to get a feel of the communities they want to engage in, and once they do, keep momentum and have a real impact on their business and customer relationships.

  • Doug

    I just had an interesting spark scenario, I’m helping a friend of mine get her business going she spent loads of money on traditional advertising, even got a write up in a national magazine, which lead to no sales. I helped her get some videos on YouTube and blog going… She actually gets quite a few YouTube views, and then got a comment to BEWARE of these people, because I made a purchase and the CC card was run but no product in a month. Sparks requires caring about others, and I think this spark can be recovered if they do the right thing and send him a few freebies too!

  • Catsitems

    The good resource should be brought in bookmarks