Since 2010 I’ve published an annual Holiday Wishes post in December. Hundreds of people have participated. Folks have shared heartfelt wishes, humor, and engaging stories. First and foremost it’s a labor of love, but it’s also a way to stay connected with friends and followers.
Reach out to your friends and followers
Every year, when I’m preparing for the holiday wishes I send individual private messages to previous contributors. I remind them of their past wishes and ask them if they’d like to share another wish. I try to use their communication preference.
A group post can be on any topic
I’ve asked friends for content ideas on Facebook What does it mean to be social on social media? And I’ve used a Twitter poll for a post Have you conducted a twitter poll? Group sharing, on nearly any topic, can be an excellent way to promote a blog and add content.
Ask a question
Whether your post is about the holidays or the latest in tech, begin by asking friends and followers their opinion. Here are a few examples.
What advice would you offer to_________?
What’s the best practice for ___________?
How would you define___________?
What tool do you use to __________?
Change it up
Don’t depend on one network or one type of question to crowdsource for post topics. Vary the format; don’t limit yourself to the open-ended questions listed above. For example, I may state I’m looking for ideas to write for a leadership blog or topics to share to B2B’s. I’ve posted calls to action on Facebook and Twitter, sent emails, and texted friends for ideas, which sometimes lead to guest post opportunities.
Run a survey
My friends at Roundpeg have conducted an annual marketing survey since 2010 Survey Says. In 2016, 244 participants completed the survey. Not only does the survey offer insights into the state of marketing particularly among small businesses, but it allows Roundpeg to reach prospects as well as brand their service. As I mentioned, in March of 2016 I ran a Twitter poll to learn about Twitter polls. It wasn’t a resounding success, 27 people completed the poll questions. However, I did learn how to conduct a Twitter poll and was able to write a post about my experience.
Share the love
When I post the holiday wishes blog, I share the published post on social networks with all contributors; some are mentioned in tweets, others on Facebook. Occasionally, I’ll send private messages to let contributors know the post is published.
Don’t overdo it
As valuable of a source as group posts and crowdsourcing are you don’t want to go to that well too often. Followers will soon become jaded with a steady stream of the same ole same ole. I only use group posts a few times a year and crowdsource for ideas at most quarterly.
Make it group effort
Group posts are never going to be a high percentage of your total published content, but they can have a large impact. Group contributed posts keep you connected with your audience, introduce you to new followers, and expand your brand. Have you published a group post? Link it here in comments and tell us about it.