Social Media: Sharing the Content of Others

One of the basic premises of social media is that “Content is King!”  

This is what I want to spend some time discussing with this post.

Content is one of the 3 C’s of social media.  The other two being community and collaboration.

Content is either something original we create or something created by someone else.  I’m going to address the latter here.

Step 5 in my Eight Step Approach to Developing a Social Media Program is content creation.  Here I show how tools like Feedly, Google Alerts, and Google Keyword Planner can be used to set up a program to identify relevant content that can be shared.  But, there’s more to this than just simply firing out links and forgetting about them.  Like everything else in life, quality counts over quantity.  (Although, there’s nothing wrong with having both.)

What’s your goal in sharing content?

Assuming you’re not doing this for purely altruistic reasons (nothing wrong with that.) then you’re doing this because you want to become the “go to” subject matter expert (SME) and influencer in whatever your particular discipline is.  You want to become the one who retweeted and shared herself.  The one whom people seek out to see what they think and, even better, engage in business with.

Content should have the following characteristics to be shared:

  • Relevancy, your target audience should feel that the topic is about their situation.
  • Adds value, whatever you share should be new, clarify an issue. or reaffirm a position.
  • Stick to your niche as defined by your keywords.

The following types of content should be avoided:

  • “Me too” types of content, if it’s already been covered to death and you have nothing new to add then don’t.
  • Avoid like the plague (unless somehow they’re your stock in trade) pictures of cats, Dilbert cartoons, inspirational quotes of the day, and anything else that has nothing to do with you as a SME.
  • Don’t wander off topic no matter how tempting it may be if it’s not directly related to your niche as defined by your keywords.

Several other recommendations that can help when sharing content:

  • Plan ahead, when reading or researching think how the materials could be used by you and enter them into your editorial calendar.
  • Look for connections across potential content, look for what may not appear to be obvious.
  • Keep tweets to 120 characters or less to facilitate their retweeting by others.

To use myself as an example, I try to share content (including my original work) relating to social media, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogging.  I’ll sometimes add material relating to third party apps (i.e., Evernote) when I feel it’s relevant to the former topics.  I also try to avoid sharing content from sources that my followers already belong to themselves.  For example, LinkedIn’s Pulse has some great content but I don’t share it to my connections because they’ve probably already seen it.  Now, if I can something of value to the topic or disagree in some way that’s another matter.

A few pointers that will help have people read and share your content themselves:

  • Follow the folks whose content you’re sharing.
  • Let people know that you’re sharing their content.
  • Any particularly good comments on the shared content should be sent along to its creators.

Some final observations about sharing content:

  • Stay current on your topic, try to be the first to reshare good topics.
  • Look back for content to share but only for topics that have been overlooked.
  • Reshare your earlier content especially after a while and at different times than when originally posted, this permits recent followers and others who may have missed it the first time to see it.   

Remember to use your keywords with a tool like Feedly to identify good sources for content to share.  Be on the look out for new sources which haven’t been discovered yet.  Reaching out and connecting with the creators of the content isn’t a bad idea either.  A buzz phrase going around is “content wells.”  Those deep sources of content that you can go back to regularly and always find good material.  Tools like Evernote and Hootsuite are excellent for storing material for later use and scheduling its posting.  This link will also show you additional, useful, online tools for discovering new content to share.

That’s it for now!

In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!

I look forward to any and all comments that you may have.  I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.


I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me.  Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.

I can also be reached at

My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.

Stay well!


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