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10 Suggestions for Sparking Content Inspiration
By: Christine Geraci
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Consistently creating compelling content (see that alliteration right there?) is hard enough, even for professionals. But when your job is to create compelling content for a company's social media channels, the pressure is all sorts of ON.
Even when the road map is clear — you've surveyed your audiences, analyzed what's worked in the past, and have a stockpile of content at the ready should you get stuck — you might still find yourself falling into a rut. If you feel like you might be there already, it's time to shake things up. Here are some tips to get those creative content juices flowing again. 
Steal from the competition. It's a no-brainer that's worth repeating. As T.S. Eliot (may or may not have) said, "Good poets borrow. Great poets steal." Now, don't get libelous, of course. But DO keep tabs on what the competition is doing and then extrapolate. You just might then come up with an idea that others will try to steal from YOU. 
Talk to your family, friends, and coworkers. As in, really talk to them. We all get so busy and it's often very easy to lose touch with people. But taking time to connect with family and friends can bring you valuable insights about what they find interesting, which could then become future posts. 
Go for a walk outdoors. There's amazing stuff all around you if you take the time to walk slowly and look. Plus getting out of the office is always a great way to recharge your batteries and get a different vantage point. 
Go for a walk indoors. If you happen to work in a larger office building, take a walk around. Visit a floor you might not normally visit. You never know what kinds of interesting office displays or quirky decorations you might happen upon — which might in turn become ways of showing off your company's distinct personality. 
Read. A lot. And I don't mean industry-related stuff. Read fiction. Politics. History. Read about your own personal interests. Pay close attention to the writing and what moves you. Chances are, a similar approach could move others in the form of a social post. 
Take at least one photo per day. It doesn't have to be a photo of a person. It just has to be a photo you'd post to social media with full confidence it won't end up on the news for bad reasons. Setting a goal like this for yourself will force you to look harder for beauty and intrigue in unlikely places. 
Keep track of holidays and observances. People celebrate some crazy stuff. Some of that stuff might apply to the social presence you manage. Checking in with a site like Timeanddate.com might reveal some great future posts. 
Stay in touch with popular culture. Your business (or you for that matter) may not ever give a crap about what Lady Gaga is doing. But your audience might. Always be on the lookout for potential tie-ins to your business and opportunities to play off of what's going on in popular culture at any given moment. 
Write down all of your burning questions. If you're suddenly wondering how to perform a particular task or where you might be able to find a particular item, take note. You could be creating a list of future blog posts (or at least, the inspiration for some). 
Write down all the stuff you think of that you then dismiss as stupid. Because chances are, your ideas aren't as dumb as you think. Being in this business is all about taking some risks. Keep your craziest ideas stockpiled, because you never know when one of them just might make perfectly brilliant sense. 

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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