I believe that with business blogging, you want to align your strategy with Google’s.
Google wants to provide the best answers to the questions their users are asking.
As a blogger, you want to provide those answers. You have topics that you’re knowledgeable on. You have topics that you can research pretty well. And over time you’ll gain all kinds of experience in a variety of areas.
But one kicker is figuring out what questions people are asking.
The good news is there are lots of sources of questions:
- In person
- Blog comments
- Keyword data
- Suggested search data
- And many more…
And in the last 10-15 years another huge sources of ideas has developed…social media.
Here are a few tips for finding blog idea inspiration from social media…
Tip #1. Follow Your Target Audience
Social media is great for following people that fit your target audience. This takes some effort because you want to see what they’re sharing, what they’re posting, etc. In total, this can lead to an overall view of your target customer. A better understanding of what makes them tick.
And on occasion, they will share information and ask questions that you can directly answer with blogs posts. Sometimes it may not be a strict question, but an expression of a frustration or issue. One that might be something you can write about in a blog post.
Let’s say you’re an auto mechanic. You follow 100 people in your area. One day you notice that one of them posted about a weird sound their car was making on startup. That’s a potential blog post.
Not sure where to find your audience on social media? Start with your current and past customers. That usually provides a good base number of people to follow on social media.
Tip #2. Follow Your Target Audience Influencers (Sources of Preferred Information)
Once you identify some people to follow, you can usually dig a little deeper and see who they are following. These are the people that influence your audience. Or in other words, these are preferred sources of information.
We all have these preferred sources. Once you identify the sources for your target audience, you can follow them and see what they are sharing and glean the kind of insight into what your audience is looking for.
You don’t need to copy what the sources are creating. But you can definitely use the information to see trends and topics and find gaps in those areas where you can fill in with new and valuable information.
Tip #3. Saved Searches & Hashtags
Most social media sites have some form of search. It’s not their main form of information. That’s usually the main feed for each user when they login or open the app. The accounts they follow along with suggested material.
But search is usually there. It’s usually pretty good. And it can provide some great material for blogging.
You can identify hashtags that fit with your industry or target audience. You can also search for keywords or keyword phrases that help you find new questions people are asking that you can use for new blog posts.
That auto mechanic could follow terms like “car trouble” or “truck issues” and check weekly or every so often to see what people been posting about in those areas.
Tip #4. Trends
One of the big things on most social media feeds are “trending topics” or simply “trends”. These are the things people care most about right at the moment. They usually don’t last very long. But for a short period of time you can see what people are really interested in.
Sometimes this short-term trend chasing can work for blogging. But another better opportunity is to track what has been trending over the longer term. Things that consistently popup on the trends are likely themes that will be popular for at least a few months or even years.
These are things that can make for great blog material.
Tip #5. Comments & Replies
Some social sites have longer threads and comment sections. These are great for finding blog ideas. I actually like reading through blog comment sections. Especially popular blogs. These comments usually reveal gaps in the information that people are looking for. The post can be great, but even if it’s amazing there are still usually gaps.
Those gaps can lead to inspiration for new posts that you can write.
Social media is wonderful for a lot of things. For business blogging, social sites and apps are some of the best sources of inspiration for new blog posts. Finding consistent sources of blog ideas is critical for maintaining consistent blogging, which you need for content marketing success.
So if you’re struggling with business blogging, consider adjusting your social media strategy.