If you have ever worked in social media, you’ve had this moment: You sit down at Facebook, Twitter or your blog, stare at your screen and…nothing. You have no idea what to talk about that day.
Coming up with interesting and engaging content, every day, can really be a challenge. This can be particularly true for elected officials – after all, the nitty-gritty of what we do can get straight up boring to most people. How, then, do you generate new ideas for content? Here are some thoughts:
1) Look at your colleagues pages: There is no shame in copying ideas from the pages of other elected officials (provided, of course, that you aren’t blatantly plagiarizing). Look at the pages of other government officials and see what they are talking about. Is there anything interesting in there that you can post about? Any inspiration that you can draw?
2) Local media: Post a local story and offer your thoughts. Unless it’s an incredibly slow news day, there will be something in the paper that you can discuss.
3) Buzzsumo: As I wrote about last week, Buzzsumo can be an outstanding tool to determine what kind of content people are interested in learning about on social media. Use local keywords (like the name of your municipality or region) to see what content is useful, and make a determination about how you can contribute to that conversation.
4) What’s stumping you? Before making a post, ask yourself this question: What’s stumping you? What is on your mind? Is there anything you have been thinking about that you need an answer to? Use that question as an inspiration for a post – more often then not, someone will have an answer or want to discuss the issue further.
5) Open Thread: If all else fails, post an open thread in which you mention a couple of topics (Education, the new park opening, whatever) and ask for people’s feedback. Be warned, when you do something like this, you have to actively monitor the comments to respond to questions or concerns, and you must make sure that any debate which erupts doesn’t get too out of hand.
Any other suggestions to add? Let me know in the comments!