Great social media campaigns provide quality and engaging experiences for audiences on an ongoing basis. This is different from just shoving out (whatever) messages to as many people as possible.
Providing these ongoing and engaging experiences requires creativity. My last post was about social media being more of an inner game. Creativity is certainly a part of it.
Creativity can seem like a daunting, unattainable, fleeting quality to some. Others might feel strange or intimidated if they have never thought of themselves as being creative. I’ve seen people get pretty competitive and egotistical over it, as in, “who’s the most creative of all?” Creativity is not a source of power that puts you ahead of everyone else. As kids all of us had easy access to it. It’s the conditioned adult mind that covers it up.
For now, let’s just focus on your campaign. If you are interested in coming up with fresh, ever evolving material practice these tips.
Brainstorming is a great way to access ideas that normally don’t occur during the course of your regular day. There is no right or wrong way to do it. This is why I am noting the points below in bullets as opposed to numbers.
I personally like to use blank sheets of plain paper. But if you’d like, you can use a journal instead.
- Clear your mind of any thoughts and feelings centered on obligations (e.g. I have to come up with the greatest ideas and insights in order to be successful at this, or I am just going to get this over with)
- Write your question or focus at the top. Don’t pressure yourself to come up with great ideas. Simply jot down whatever comes to mind, no matter how unconventional or strange it may seem. Many times little epiphanies don’t even have words attached to them. They occur as little blips of insights that you need to translate into words. These are often more valuable than actual statements that come to mind.
- Pay attention to how these ideas feel to you in your gut. Do they feel like something that has been rehashed from another source? Do you experience a strong sense of conviction about them? It’s important to really be genuine and honest about how these ideas genuinely feel to you.
- Put away your paper or journal and let the ideas marinate in your subconscious. Revisit the ideas again the following day and again, see how these ideas and insights feel. You may come up with a flurry of other enhancements and new possibilities. It’s really important to refrain from judging yourself or feeling fearful and constrained by other people’s opinions (i.e. “what will they think).
- Practice jotting down ideas and revisiting them as many times as you can. The more you do this, the easier the process will become. It’s really important to go back to what you have written down so that you can see it with fresh eyes and make any refinements and adjustments as needed.
- Enjoy the process. Try to put yourself in the exploratory frame of mind of being a kid as opposed to an adult trying to get to the next level. The more you can put yourself in this flow, the better the results will be.
Ideas for Tweets, Blogs and Other Content
Use the tips in the above to create new material for your campaign. As you’ll notice, my second bullet was about clarifying and writing down your focus. For your social media objectives, ask yourself what your audience would genuinely be interested in hearing or knowing about. New media is a two way dialogue, as opposed to just pushing sales driven messages.
Go ahead and practice the brainstorming tips above. See what ideas come about.
Another angle you can take is to go through your saved bookmarks and links. Write down, or note what qualities you liked about these materials. Are they humorous? Unique? Daringly honest? Ask yourself how you can incorporate these qualities within your own content strategies.
Maybe even start a compilation of links and sites you don’t like. Practice what you preach and use these insights in your own campaign.
Alternatively, you can also note all the links you chose to share with your friends or associates. What was it about this material that compelled you to do this? Does your existing content reflect these qualities?
Practice, Practice Practice!
If this all seems new to you, you might feel a great deal of resistance to these suggestions. The practice of brainstorming may frustrate the heck out of you. If this is the case, just put away whatever you’ve written. The important part happens each time you revisit your ideas and continue to refine them and align yourself with your gut instincts.
Don’t just keep these ideas in the back burner. Incorporate them into your work process. Turn them into tweets, blogs, videos, podcasts, or whatever outlet you feel is important. You might find it necessary to schedule out your ideas. And once they are out, brainstorm some more!