How’s your weekly blog doing? Has it become a fortnightly blog, monthly blog, quarterly blog, sad empty space? And how’s your social media presence? When last did you post something really meaty, with good pictures and great SEO (search engine optimisation) hooks? What about thought leadership articles and strong opinion pieces? Have you written any lately?

It’s been a while, has it? Don’t feel bad. It happens to everyone. Most companies we know start off with great intentions of creating and publishing regular content, only for their public presence to dwindle down to very little – and often nothing – very quickly.

The real problem with blogging and maintaining a worthwhile social media presence is coming up with good ideas. This is the content question. It takes vigilance and, in our post-truth, post-modern world, that most elusive of qualities: original thinking.

Remember original thinking?

Everything you look at on Facebook informs everything that will be streamed into your newsfeed. In other words, the more articles you read on, say, Donald Trump, the more articles you will be fed on Donald Trump. You’re subject to what is known as confirmation bias and living in an echo chamber where everything you think comes back at you… and that’s where you’ll find the cemetery of original thinking.

This view is supported by a study co-authored by Alessandro Bessi, a postdoctoral researcher with the Information Science Institute at the University of Southern California, which shows that Facebook can actually make us more narrow-minded. As he says in an article on the CNN web site: “If we see something that confirms our ideas, we are prone to like and share it”, and so the echo chamber echoes on.

And if you think Facebook doesn’t matter, think again. According to new research by Limelight Consulting, in South Africa 59% of people aged 24–34 visit Facebook daily; 50% of the 35+ age group do. These people are your friends, your family, your suppliers, your customers and, of course, your potential customers.

What an opportunity to deliver original thinking to them.

So how do you come up with fresh content?

We’re not talking about off-the-wall stuff. Original content doesn’t have to be eccentric.

It starts with reading, listening, watching and engaging widely. It needs active monitoring of industry and sector trends and keeping up with what customers, suppliers and competitors are doing. It needs a global view and perspectives that differ from your own. It’s about vigilance. And then it needs active and creative thinking.

Seriously, when last did you sit quietly and just think – with intent – about what’s going on in your company, in your industry, in parallel industries, in other parts of the world? We make a habit of doing this which is what makes us great bloggers, social media posters and article writers.

How much is enough?

To create and maintain momentum it’s not enough to blog once a week. You need to do so at least twice a week if you really want to establish yourself as an expert in your field and someone who has their finger on the pulse of their industry. As for social media, you need to post at least once a day. And if you want to establish yourself as a thought leader or holder of valuable opinions, well, you have to be seen to be doing so at least once a month.

And here’s a little tip we’ll give you for nothing: sometimes it’s not about newness of actual content, but rather about stating the obvious in an original way, especially if no one else in your industry is doing so.

Our guarantee

If you’re struggling to come up with good content, contact us. We guarantee that we can create worthwhile content for you.