How To: Curate Content Easily & Quickly
There is always a danger with brands on Social Media that they can very easily talk about themselves and nothing else. Businesses that post updates solely about their products or services and don’t engage with content or ideas that may sit off their own website are missing a trick. Social Media in its purest form is simply an online community. Very much like reality, if you walk into a bar with your friends and only talk about how amazing you are, it’s likely you won’t be asked back next time round. There is little complexity or technical skill required to get Social Media right, sometimes simply being willing to talk openly is all that is required.
Before ever setting up your Facebook Page, Twitter handle or Instagram account, think about what the purpose of the channel is and what type of content you want to create. Of course, ultimately it’s to sell your product but maybe it’s doing so in an indirect manner. Think about how you want your brand to be perceived and do any of the below objectives fit in with your strategy:
- Informational: Are you doing a public service and providing readers with knowledge and experience based on your own expertise? This might be how-to content or moodboards, anything that makes life easier for the reader to undertake a task
- Entertainment: Perhaps you want to yield a more casual relationship with your audience and want to use content to entertain them. That might be circulation of viral videos, funny blog posts or engaging imagery. Chances are you want to position your brand alongside an emotion
- Practical: There’s nothing wrong with having a less exciting and more pragmatic strategy. Many social media accounts are simply there for customer service, so the content might be things like frequently asked questions, support tutorials or webinars
Whatever objective or theme of content your looking at, your social media should probably accommodate a little of everything. Make sure when you put together a content plan, that it’s not just for your blog or on-site content, but also includes your social media. However, producing that much content on a regular basis will either be time consuming or you will exhaust all content opportunities available. With that point and the fact that no one likes people who talk about themselves, it’s important you look to curate content.
What is curating content?
Content curation is a polite way of saying ‘I found some good content I didn’t produce that I want to distribute to my audience’. It is a crucial part of every social media strategy as it reduces the frequency of self-promoting content and it ensures that the channel is vibrant and broad in the types of content being shared. A brand that is happy to share other peoples content shows self-confidence and openness with the community as well as also cleverly ensuring its readers don’t go elsewhere to consume content. If you don’t bring the content to the audience, they will go elsewhere to get it.
How does content curation work?
What this doesn’t mean is you should go and start sharing your favourite football teams recent championship win on your business page. Instead, it’s trying to find relevant content for your audience that has been executed in a manner that is appropriate and engaging. Try to ask yourself the following questions when looking at a piece of third-party content:
- Is this appropriate for my brand? Does it fit in with our brand guidelines and values? If it doesn’t, then you probably shouldn’t share it?
- Is this going to deliver value to my audience? Will it provide any value to the three pillars of informational, entertainment or practical content? Is it something you’d produce yourself?
- Is this content safe to use? Does it send readers to a competitor site? Does it send users to a site that has been critical of your brand/trade in the past? Will your audience be sensitive to the content?
So why doesn’t everyone do content curation?
Quite simply, curating content involves thinking about the content you want, finding it and then sharing it in an appropriate way that it doesn’t look like you’re just stealing it! This process can be time consuming, especially when you really need to be managing a social media community on a daily basis. That being said, it is worthwhile undertaking as it will extend your organic reach, provide you with free and effortless content and engagement and it will position your brand in good stead.
How do I curate content quickly?
The easiest way to curate content is to use Twitter. Twitter is a goldmine of content and it’s easy to use search facility means you can pretty much find the right item straight away.
- Open up Twitter.com
- Use the search functionality to find competitors, thought leaders, trade publications, influencers, suppliers, high profile customers that you know are relevant to your audience
- Create a Twitter list – you can follow these instructions to do so if you don’t know how
- Add the accounts you found in step 2 to this Twitter list. You know have a dedicated stream of people you can monitor for content
- Open up Hootsuite.com and create an account if you don’t have one already. Hootsuite is a social media management platform for scheduling, managing and reporting on your social media content. It’s free to use and then handy to manage all your social media accounts from one app.
- Add your social media accounts to Hootsuite
- In the “Streams” tab click “+Add Stream” and then Twitter
- Select the “Lists” tab
- Select the appropriate profile and then select the list you created in step 3. This will add a stream of all the content from this list for you that you should monitor on a daily or weekly basis to help find new content. Look for content that has received a good level of engagement already as a barometer of success. But remember, the longer you leave it, the more likely your own audience may have engaged with it already.
- In the same “+Add Stream” tab, click the “Search” tab
- You can now add a number of search queries that you’d like to track for content. Be quite specific as you run the risk of having too many results.
- Click “add stream”
You now should have two columns that will provide you with already set up searches that you can look through on a daily basis. Get used to checking these streams to find new content to curate and start to openly retweet content you liked or save the link and add your commentary. This is a very simple and quick way of digesting a lot of information and finding some great content to curate quickly. Just always make sure to credit the author of the content either through retweeting, sharing or providing a credit note. If you try pass the content as your own, you will only invite negative sentiment towards your social media presence.