Between JohnHenry and our sister company PRCoUK we manage a wide variety of Twitter accounts across our clients. That’s not to mention our own company channels and the PRCo employee’s personal PRCo Twitter accounts. This means on a daily basis we need to be able to pinpoint interesting, relevant and fresh travel content quickly, easily and around our busy schedules. Sometimes all before our morning tea break.
A demanding task. However, there are certain tools and tricks we call upon to help us when the ideas are running thin:
1. The need for feeds
We couldn’t survive without an RSS feed aggregator. It pulls together the latest stories from your favourite news sites and blogs in one place so you can glance over the headlines in seconds. Here at JohnHenry we use Google Reader but there are plenty of options out there.
A tool like Paper.li (below) takes the RSS feed reader to the next level gathering content from a wide range of sources including social media and arranging it into a newspaper style format.
Tell Google what topics you’re interested in and it will send you regular emails with the latest relevant search results. We love it when Google is helpful like that.
3. What’s trending?
Keeping an eye on the trending hashtags on Twitter can give you instant inspiration. What’s more there are plenty of tools designed to help you find the trending hashtags relevant to your industry.
With Hashtags.org you can browse hashtags across a range of topics or search for a specific one, check out how popular it is, which accounts use it the most and see any hashtags related to it, or try Twubs where Twitter users form groups around popular hashtags. While Trendsmap shows the latest hashtag trends around the world on a map:
4. Twitter lists
For a focused, speedy Twitter experience organise the people you follow into lists, so you can separate ‘social media experts’ and ‘travel gurus’ from ‘people who tweet way too much about their pets’.
Other people’s lists can be just as helpful and you can subscribe to them without having to follow everyone within it. Find the best ones with Listorious which lets you search for the most popular Twitter lists by subject.
Twitter has an advanced search tool where you can set up Twitter searches by keywords, people, location and even sentiment. The best part? You can save searches for whenever you need some inspiration.
6. The perks of feedback
Whether it’s mentions on Twitter, comments on a blog post or people reacting to Facebook posts – keep an eye on feedback. What are people discussing? What questions are they asking? How can you provide a solution?
There are handy tools that can help you keep an eye on your social media engagement, such as the Twitter Notifier Chrome app which will send you a desktop notification when you get a mention or Mention (below) which will register every time your brand/industry/campaign has been mentioned on social media across the web. Don’t miss a conversation.
7. Content hot spots
There are plenty of websites out there whose soul aim is to provide you with great content at the click of a button. Google’s free service What Do You Love or Addictomatic will generate a host of different search formats for any search term. Search on Stumbleupon and you can ‘stumble’ your way through a world of relevant web content. While sites like Reddit, BuzzFeed and Digg are packed with the latest web trends.
If the content wells are running dry then turn to your followers for a fresh outpouring. A simple photo competition will leave you with fresh content to showcase, re-tweet, comment on and write a blog post about.
Instead of flicking between twenty different windows searching for something interesting you can bundle all your social media outlets into one window. There are a myriad of handy tools out there ready to serve. We’ve been using Hootsuite (below) which works by adding different social media ‘streams’ (e.g. a Twitter account, a list you’re following, a key word search, Facebook page) into an online dashboard:
10. The real world
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that a newspaper, magazine or chat with co-workers at lunch can get the content creative juices flowing. Whether your colleagues are wondering about the best restaurants in Geneva or asking how to run a Facebook competition – think how you can adapt the conversation to your content.