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Developing Creative Social Media Content for “News Challenged” Organizations
By Doug Wright, Senior Account Director
Social media has come into its own as a widely accepted and sought-after PR tool. It’s hard to imagine that any business today that would go without LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as a baseline for promoting themselves and their products and services.
Once you set up your social media platforms of choice, what are you going to say? This may seem particularly challenging for organizations that offer highly technical or niche products or services. So, what do you post when your company hasn’t generated much news recently? 
With a little creativity, you’ll find there are many opportunities to take the conversation in relevant directions that will connect with your audiences. Here are several opportunities to widen your perspective to new ideas that will keep your company’s or client’s social media content fresh and interesting.
Promote or look back on event: Is your company sponsoring or attending any upcoming events, such as training sessions, presentations, company off-sites or simply visiting customers? Social media provides a great way to drive traffic to these events. Posting about events after they happen, preferably with photos, also makes for engaging content.
Share executive expertise: Who at your company is an industry expert? Have they been recoganized by a professional organization? Or have they written an article or report that would be of interest to the companys followers? Even a simple shout-out to an employee who has accomplished somthing helps put a human face on your organization. 
Leverage case histories: Here's the opportunity to share a third-party endorsement of your company's products or services. Where has your product or service been used to solve a problem in the markets you serve? Posting the story of how your offerings improved performance, efficiency and productivity can forge a powerful sales message.
Post industry-relevant media coverage: Obviously, positive news stories about your organization and company should be a mainstay of your social media messaging. But as contributors and consumers of media, you should also post stories that are relevant to your industry and product areas. Be sure to vet these stories carefully as you do not want to introduce any unnecessary controversy or share news that promotes a competitor. Reporters also appreciate when you showcase their work and may tend to watch your feed for story ideas.
Celebrate special occasions: Is there an upcoming national holiday or a certain awareness day, week or month that is relevant to your market? Holidays and national celebrations provide excellent opportunities to wish your followers well and show a little more personality, perhaps with a GIF or photo.
Get a little silly: While giving your company a means to wisecrack may not be the reason you set up your corporate social media platforms, everyone can appreciate a good joke or meme—particularly if it is good natured and positive. You’ll get extra points for keeping the gags relevant to your industry, products and services. Steer away from controversial subject matter, such as religion, politics, inappropriate language and themes.
Contribute to conversation: All too often social media platform administrators are focused on posting their own content, but not reacting to their followers’ content. Social media is a conversation rather than a soap box for broadcasting your company’s messages. By liking, sharing or commenting on others’ posts, you are engaging with others. Also, by doing this you will undoubtedly find additional topics that are of interest to your audiences in real time.
As you hone your profiles and posts, a distinct voice will develop that your followers will be able to identify – smart, arrogant, funny, mean, happy or cynical. These tips will help you veer away from coming off as dull, repetitive and insular. Making your company’s platforms varied, interesting and attractive to your key audiences is well worth the effort and will help to keep your audiences engaged with your company brand for the long term.

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