Online, people are forever in search of something new. Today’s big news is already tomorrow’s second-page Google return.  (Which, thanks to Google Instant, makes yesterday’s news nearly invisible.)  And this means your social media channels need to stay fresh or risk becoming irrelevant.

Unfortunately, creating new content is one of the most time-consuming aspects of social media.  The prospect of creating a new video or blog post every week — much less every day — can scare away any business that’s already low on time or cash.

The good news is, you don’t need to start from scratch every time you create a new piece of online content.  In fact, you already have a storehouse of material at your fingertips, waiting to be used (and reused) in your marketing efforts.  Here’s how you can maximize (and multiply) what you already know — and save time in the process.

1.  Write What You (and Your Employees) Know

We help our client Bigelow Tea create the content for their blog.  After 65 years in business, there’s no shortage of information, advice and anecdotes that they can draw on to produce new blog posts.  Why scramble to constantly find new topics and trends to discuss when their own employees have experiences and stories that no one outside the company has ever heard?

Turn to your employees — and your customers — for a never-ending source of inspiration.

2.  Create an Ongoing Series of Tips

Earlier this year, we began curating a #DailyTeaTip for Bigelow Tea’s Twitter channel — a process some other tea lovers have begun to adopt.  Bigelow’s tips are usually links to existing Bigelow Tea blog posts or FAQs, which provide answers to questions that people might not have thought to ask — from “Who is Early Grey tea named after?” to understanding the difference between green, black and oolong teas.  We keep a dated list of the tips Bigelow has posted, and we repeat popular tips when appropriate — because if someone hasn’t seen a tip before, it’s still new to them.

Think of ways you could create a content series on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn…

3.  A Picture Is Worth a 1000 Word Blog Post (Give or Take)

Promotional photos.  Product shots.  Print ads.  Office parties.  No matter how old or how small your company is, you’ve probably created hundreds — maybe thousands — of photos and images over the years.  Odds are, your customers and fans would love to see all of those images in one place — and that means you have a nearly endless supply of easy content updates.

Plus, one photo of a snow-covered Charleston Tea Plantation can enrich a blog post about this unlikely weather event in a way that mere text could never convey.

4.  Keep It Brief

One of the most-retweeted accounts on Twitter is Mashable, the go-to news site for all things social media.  Why?  For one thing, their tweets are notoriously short — usually around 100 characters.  This means they can be easily retweeted and commented upon within a tweet by their readers.

Yes, you have a lot to say.  But you’re as pressed for time as your readers and viewers are.  Brevity helps both sides win.

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