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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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Bill Seaver founded MicroExplosion Media in fall 2007 and has been blogging since June 2006. Bill has consulted numerous organizations to help them understand and apply social media into their marketing initiatives. He's led seminars, corporate training sessions, and numerous social media campaigns to include blog strategy and development, Google AdWords, podcasts, online video strategy, widget development, social media marketing campaigns, blogger networks, and social networking campaigns.