How to Leverage Social Sites Like a Content King – Part 1

Michael Purdy


February 11, 2013 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

While there are countless social sites content writers and managers must know about and use infrequently, there are the so-called seven sisters that must be mastered. These ivy league-like social sites require careful attention, skill and a continual time investment in order to be leveraged for social content success.

Without further ado, here are the seven sisters of social success for content gurus and aspiring social media minds. Please bear in mind that your favorite sites, such as Instagram and Flickr, might be on reserve for part two of this series.

1. Facebook

While everyone (including your grandma and third-grade teacher) is on Facebook these days, very few people are using the fabulous resources available publicly and for free. Here are the most intriguing content possibilities on Facebook for content magnates:

Shortcuts: In this article Ann Smarty covers the Facebook commands that could save content managers more than an hour each week with shortcuts.

Curation: Savvy content creators know that there is a marriage of the great and terrible writing of the world on Facebook. However, with a little time and skill, anyone can find the best gems on Facebook in order to create a weekly wrap-up or list of trends for future reference or publication.

Test Market: Content writers will find a pseudonym and a fresh Facebook account invaluable in trying out new writing styles and testing the waters with trend hypotheses. For example, if a writer believes ‘bacon’ is dead and no longer being shared blindly, he or she can create a bacon recipe to test on new, anonymous friends. Study groups get paid hundreds for participation, but Facebook friends are free.

Befriending Talent: Content managers will discover fascinating facts about their writing core by befriending them on Facebook. From unscheduled vacations to family emergencies, content managers can stay apprised in this simple way.

Groups: By creating content covens of managers, editors and writers, content companies can easily broadcast important messages that might otherwise get lost in spam folders. These groups create a stronger sense of reality and teamwork for those who work from home and might never meet. While company-owned message boards are fine, people tend to open up more on Facebook because every person sees it as his or her own home turf.

There are thousands of content possibilities for those who want to implement new learning activities, studies or even promote their own skills. If you have any great ideas, please share them to the public in the comments.

2. Google+

When large herds of hipsters immigrated to Google+ and declared Facebook dead faster than Zarathustra spake, people started taking notice of its trendy new resources and communities. From video conferencing to the forward-thinking layout that manages to be understated, Google+ has a lot to offer savvy content professionals.

G+Me: This Chrome extension allows the content lover to mark comments as read. While that doesn’t seem important to non-writers, it’s a big deal for those who are expected to respond to all comments in a timely fashion.

Commands: This great post by Nancy Messiah from way back when Google+ was in its infancy covers additional apps content experts will enjoy, as well as commands and shortcuts.

Filter: By using the upper right-hand drop down menu ‘More’ in the ‘Notifications’ options you can easily change your filter settings to avoid a jumbled and overwhelming list of notifications. Content savvy professionals will save lots of time by creating a section specifically for content-related affairs.

Thumb-Impressions: Like all first impressions, your article’s thumbnail image strongly influences the CTR of the piece. By using the handy left-right arrows you can choose the most appropriate representation of the piece. This applies to Facebook sharing, too.

Google+ is still in its adolescence, and additional resources are being designed daily. Content creators should be on the lookout for anything that makes a passion for prose easier to sate.

 3. Twitter

An incredibly small court to jest in, Twitter should be handled with care. Reputations earned are often more lasting than accounts. Content professionals must never blindly retweet content that could be shoddy, or worse—malware. Here are a few resources to make Twitter maintenance more seamless.

Curation: Daily Tekk offers more curation resources than a person wants to read in this roundup from 2012.

Hashtag: Joining a relevant hashtag conversation can lead to networking opportunities and new social media contacts. Don’t be afraid to help n00bs or to ask questions of thought leaders.

Search: As Jaime Spector pointed out in this article, Twitter Search is a great way to find out what’s happening before it hits CNN. This is useful for breaking news infographics and timely articles. Sites like this are great for people who want to get in and out of Twitter on a daily basis as quickly as possible. For content mavens who hate reading OH posts, this is a great tool to quickly sieve through information about followers, reciprocity in friendships and shared interests.

The best Twitter resource is a regular tweep. Everyone knows at least one Twitter advocate who can speak in 140-character quips: ask this living resource for additional information to unlock the content potential within.

4. Reddit

Reddit is a goldmine of quirky quips, breaking news, random information and disgusting images (yes, I’m alluding to the WTF sub-reddit). While it’s a total time-suck for visitors, it’s also an incredible content sharing resource resource for prose lovers.

Greasemonkey: With Greasemonkey you can get the Socialmonkey app, which allows redditors to track likes and shares across multiple platforms in one simple stream. Do not confuse this with SocialMonkee.

Moderating: By moderating at least one community (even if it’s a community of one) you gain access to the mod sub-reddit. While there are no top secret security clearances required for the common knowledge shared, it is incredibly insightful for content publishers and promoters. Even content writers and managers gain perspective on how the audience and its leaders respond to spammy pieces as opposed to sponsored or stealth linkbait.

Reddit Gifts: While you might not want to exchange bizarre socks with strangers or send poor teachers free books, Reddit Gifts has a lot more to offer than the icons and points earned for successful exchanges. Local meet-ups and discussions are held here, which allows savvy trend watchers to mosey-up to real life redditors and ask questions. I personally became the SLC meet-up planner for a year, and made groovy friends, gained access to awesome insights and regularly got a Reddit admin’s personal advice. It’s both worthwhile and an excellent nerd-fest of narwhal-ness.

Like halvah, Reddit is an acquired taste (mostly due to its ugly exterior and jargon). However, content professionals realize the trend-dar that Reddit is, and know that it has to be understood and studied. Writers too learn how to please the most active audiences on the interwebs from this community, and how to craft eccentric titles.

5. YouTube

Unbeknownst to non-marketing web browsers, YouTube is more than a video viewing site: it’s a social microcosm that reaches all other social sites and aggregates, spreading trends, embarrassing moments and leaked footage everyone wants to see. Here are a few tips on utilizing this site.

Comment Search: This feature allows users to quickly distill millions of snarky comments into a relevant paradigm of opinions. It’s great for people who want to know the general attitude or mood concerning any video or idea.

Embed: A great option for writers who are sick of stagnant images, embedded YouTube clips make any article more interesting for readers. Especially if the piece is about commercials, movies or songs, this feature allows writers to make dynamic content. See the instructive image above.

Used in conjunction with the aforementioned feature, this app allows users to link or embed a video to a specific second of the clip. If a writer is referencing a sneeze that occurs on second 32 of a clip, he or she can link to second 31 and spare the audience a boring 30 seconds.

YouTube offers incredible clips and videos that content lovers can borrow to complement great prose. However, writers and content editors should be aware that removed videos lead to dead links: always use a download app to save and host your own videos while crediting the original author in order to maintain live links. Mashable lists many video downloaders in this article.

6. Pinterest

Pinterest is rife with possibilities! Content-obsessed writers and managers can easily create boards to gauge who will follow a specific trend, create sub-communities to get a focus group started or merely take-in all that is currently popular in order to regurgitate it into upcoming posts.

Trending: Create boards that highlight upcoming trends. Monitor the activity in likes and repins in order to understand how quickly and how big a trend is going to hit social networks.

Search: Use the handy search feature to find and follow the most popular pinners in a targeted category. This is especially handy to curate ideas and content for clients with difficult topics. This feature also allows content gurus to dissimilate burgeoning trends from freak occurrences of high pin rates that mean nothing.

Pinterest Meta: This board refers to Pinterest resources that are handy, if chaotic. With more than 5,000 followers, this board lends insight into the minds of Pinterest’s biggest fans. However, Repinly is a more accurate gauge of pinner popularity, and has fun facts such as the most popular topic on Pinterest is Home Décor.

Pinterest Meta: This board refers to Pinterest resources that are handy, if chaotic. With more than 5,000 followers, this board lends insight into the minds of Pinterest’s biggest fans. However, Repinly is a more accurate gauge of pinner popularity, and has fun facts such as the most popular topic on Pinterest is Home Décor.

Pingraphy: This Pinterest CMS of sorts allows users to schedule and bulk-upload pins, in addition to gathering analytics and tracking follower stats. Content creators and marketers love analyzing their successes and opportunities for growth with this tool.

A wonderful place filled with glossy images and minimal text, Pinterest is the ultimate interactive IG. Because of this, all submitted content needs to be instantly intriguing and fresh. Content sharers learn a lot from unforgiving social sites like Pinterest and its fast-paced stream.

7. StumbleUpon

Endless possibilities abound on StumbleUpon, but a few marked ones are listed here.

Interests: By stumbling specific interests a content professional can learn what’s hot, what’s getting great comments and who submitted it originally. Often, the originator is a promoter, which can be telling to others in the business. Additionally, interests are a great way to quickly learn about a new client’s industry or products.

Trending: Stumblers can easily view the trending content from StumbleUpon’s homepage. A veritable Pinterest stream, this page allows users and content mavens to view multiple stumbles on a quick-scrolling screen.

Likes: Useful for content managers and companies alike, this feature allows people to view one another’s consistent likes. Is a potential writer’s number one interest drugs? Does an important client staunchly support the Republican agenda? The Likes page for any user is quite revealing, because unlike Facebook, people have not yet become guarded about their interests on this site.

From randomly finding great content or potential talent to targeting keywords and checking out competitors or clients, StumbleUpon is an invaluable asset for people working with social content.


Social content creators of all walks, from the CEOs of content-generating companies to the copy editors of freelance operations, need to constantly pursue a greater understanding of the current Internet audience. These clickers are the ones indirectly feeding our families and creating a need that allows us to fulfill our passions in content-related professions. Thus, social sites like Facebook and YouTube must be studied, infiltrated and ultimately respected.


Author Image - Michael Purdy
Michael Purdy

CopyPress writer

More from the author:

Read More About Content Creation