Small Business Tip Tuesday: Finding Social Content While Saving Time

by Ken Mueller on June 14, 2011 · 5 comments

An Olivetti rotary dial telephone, c.1940s

Image via Wikipedia

A lot of small businesses have jumped into the Facebook pond, and a number of others are starting to understand the power of having a blog. But the question I hear most often from small business owners is “But what do I write about?”

They know they need to blog frequently and need to update their Facebook page even more frequently, but they are at a loss for the type of content they should be posting. The fact of the matter is, they have a great source of content staring them in the face everyday, and yet they rarely tap into it: their telephone.

If you’re a small business owner, you probably get a lot of phone calls (or emails) throughout the day. If you aren’t the person who takes the calls, go to the person who does. Perhaps it’s a receptionist or administrative assistant. Then sit down and ask them about the types of calls they get. I’m willing to bet that they get a lot of questions, and some of those questions they get very frequently.

Sure, some of them might be as simple as, “Where are you located?” or, “What are your hours?”, but beyond that, why are your customers calling you and what sort of information do they want? These are the types of things that businesses often put on their websites as FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

These questions and comments might also come in the form of emails, or might even be asked in person at your front counter.

If you’re a veterinarian, the question might be about how to battle fleas. If you’re a mechanic, customers might want to know about how to get their car ready for Summer. Perhaps they might want to know what sorts of items you carry.

Whatever it is, think about the questions you take on the phone most often, and turn those questions into Facebook updates or blog posts. Obviously people want to know the answers, and by answering them publicly for everyone, it might even save you time by taking the burden off the person who answers the phone. Fewer phone calls means more time to take care of other tasks.

So talk to whomever answers the phone, responds to the email, or works at the front desk, and you might find a source of great content for your Social Media endeavors. Anything they ask might be fodder for new and relevant content.

Where do you get your inspiration for content, or do you find it a constant struggle?

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Ken, this is a GREAT idea and post! I'm trying to train myself to remember these questions (mostly I get them via email or Twitter), and then use them for posts. I have to do better about it, though. Specifically with a more "tangible" business such as the examples you gave, I imagine there could be a lot of ideas coming out of these questions, and this is a great way to not just answer them once and for all (it can get tiring saying the same thing over and over again!), but also increase social content.

KenMueller moderator

@Shonali Thanks for stopping by, Shonali, and for your kind comment. I just see this as a win-win. If you're a service, trade, or even retailer, you know you get a lot of questions. I have one client that is a veterinarian, and this is perfect for them. They get a lot of the same calls over and over and over again.


  1. […] Small Business Tip Tuesday: Finding Social Content While Saving Time – Looking for relevant content for your blog, FB page, etc? There’s one place you might have forgotten – your phone (you could also use your inbox) […]

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  3. […] your organization who answers the phone, opens the mail, receives the general email, and ask them what kinds of questions people are asking. Other than hours of operation and location, the questions that are being asked most often are […]

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