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Publishing and sharing informative, engaging content can make a positive impact on your social media marketing strategy, giving your social media pages more credibility. Moreover, you can stay current with industry trends and increase interaction with your audience.

Having conversations with your audience is probably the easy part. Finding good content to share with your followers, however, can be a difficult and time-consuming task that can also hinder your other business-related efforts.

If that's an experience you can relate to, here are four simple ways to discover and share content that will make a mark on your social media marketing.

1. Social Media Networks

A great way to stay up to date with industry trends is to keep a close eye on your own social media pages: Follow people who belong to your field and pay attention to the type of content they are posting.

Twitter is probably the best source for current information on any topic. You can search keywords or use hashtags to find the top tweets as well as live tweets about a topic. You'll be able to find—and share—relevant, intriguing content based on your keywords along with reactions and industry leaders' opinions. You can also try expanding your search for content resources to Twitter lists.

Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn are also great resources to gain information from people who are in your lists, circles, or network. Your connections are probably on these platforms sharing interesting content that is relevant to your industry. These platforms also have groups where you can meet like-minded people, discover content from others in your industry, and share and start discussions.

2. Content Curation Tools

Content discovery and curation tools are a blessing for anyone who wants their social media pages to be buzzing with activity. Various content curation tools can help you discover and share content.

DrumUp is a content discovery tool that can give you fresh content recommendations based on keywords that you input into the application. You also have the option of sharing directly to your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn pages, or scheduling your posts to be published at a later time. You can sync multiple social media accounts so you don't have to log out and log in to different accounts. (Note that I contribute to the DrumUp Blog.)

If you are on the lookout for breaking news stories, live events, or other campaigns, Storify is the tool for you. It lets you search for stories of interest and edit them to your liking. You can add images and more to the story and then share it on your social media pages. With an enterprise plan, you can also collaborate with your team for real-time content creation.

Pocket is another tool you can use to curate content. This bookmarking tool lets you save links to articles, blog posts, or any other type of content. Most of us find a lot of interesting content when surfing the Web, but we don't always have the time to sit and read or watch the entire thing. With Pocket, you can save links and get back to them later.

3. Newsletters and Blogs

Content curation tools and social media networks are not your only sources for curating content. Of course there is no dearth of online content, and so you will always be able to find informative posts on blogs or newsletters. Look for industry influencers who maintain a regular blog, and try to source some of your content from their blog posts.

You can quote them, or share links to their post... but be sure to include your own commentary to make the post more authentic; otherwise, you are just copying and pasting, which is illegal.

By adding your own take, you gain credibility and ensure that your audience will want to read your shared posts.

Newsletters like DailyDigg and SmartBrief can help you put together really interesting posts.

4. Your Audience

Last, but definitely not the least, your audience is likely the best source for content curation. Your followers on Twitter or friends and on Facebook or connections on LinkedIn will have a treasure trove of information to share. You can take inspiration from their comments or replies on discussions that you might have started on your social media pages.

If you run a blog, keep a day reserved for guest contributions from your readers or others from your industry. From these posts, you can retain content that you think would appeal to your readership and promote it on your website/blog or social media networks.

Also ask your followers to participate in your Twitter chats; you can use their responses to create original content or share their quotes to prove a point. Of course, when you are trying to source content from your audience, you will have to get involved and reply or comment on their posts.

By involving your audience, you can boost engagement and discover good content at the same time.

* * *

All these are great ways to gather informative and interesting content. You can decide which suits you best, or use all of them.

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Jessica Davis is a content strategy specialist with Godot Media, a content marketing firm, where she helps online businesses refine their marketing strategy with the optimum use of content. She also works closely with the Godot copywriting service team.