Do you struggle with keeping your social media accounts updated with new posts for your audience? If so, then content curation is the solution. Instead of creating fresh content on your own, you rely on great content created by others to fuel your profiles and pages. Here’s why content curation works and how social media marketers can take advantage of it engage their audience.
Why Content Curation Works on Social Media
If you’re not sure whether you should add content curation to your social media strategy, here are a few benefits to help sway your decision.
- It is a fast way to keep your social media profiles and pages up to date, giving you more time to focus on engaging with your audience through the comments.
- It shows your audience that you want to be a valuable source of information for them, even if it means sharing something that was not created by you.
- It will help you get noticed by the blogs and online publications from which you share articles. This can open the door to building relationships with websites to which you want to contribute content.
- It will also help you get noticed by the authors of the content you share. This can open the door to possibly being mentioned by those authors in future content, especially if you offer products or services relevant to the content those authors create.
- You can better determine what your audience likes the most. This can go a long way in helping you figure out your own content creation strategy.
In short, content curation is great for your business and great for your audience. It’s a win-win situation.
What Type of Content to Share
The next question about content curation you may ask is about the type of content to share with your audience. The content you share should:
- Reinforce the value of the products or services your business has to offer. If you sell coffee, share articles about the health benefits, not risks, of coffee.
- Be valuable and interesting to your audience. Will it help your audience accomplish or learn something new? Will it encourage or motivate your audience? Will it entertain your audience?
- Come from reputable online publications and blogs within your industry. You don’t want to send your audience to sites that are not trustworthy or otherwise misleading.
- Not be from your competitors. You don’t want to inadvertently direct your customers to their products or services.
- Compliment content that you create. If you’ve just published a blog post about the benefits of search engine marketing, you don’t want to share a blog post about how search engine marketing is dead and contradict yourself.
- Not offend the majority of your audience. Depending on the nature of your business, this means you should steer clear of anything that is above a PG rating level or anything that has to do with religion, healthcare and politics.
Keep in mind that these are not rules set in stone, but more guidelines that should be adapted to your industry, your business and your audience.
How to Find and Share Great Content
The next step is to find content that fits the above guidelines for your industry, business and audience. There are a plethora of tools that allow you to search for the best content to curate on social media.
One of the best ones to start with is Alltop. This website brings the top blogs on hundreds of topics from A to Z (literally) together in one place.
Each topic’s page will show you the latest five posts from the top online publications and blogs about that topic.
Another way to discover and organize great content to curate is through Feedly. You can use Feedly to subscribe to online publications and blogs using its RSS feeds. This will allow you to get all of the latest news from the sources you choose for your content curation in one place.
You can even use Feedly’s search box to find new content, online publications and blogs.
Sprout Social users can quickly curate content from their Feedly subscriptions by adding Feedly to their list of profiles. Posts can be shared immediately or added to your queue to be shared at a later time.
Using Feedly and Sprout Social, you can have a one-stop shop for getting the latest news in your industry and curating the best of that news for your audience on your social media profiles and pages.
Content Curation & Limited Time
For those with little time to devote to manually curating content, as outlined above, the other option is automated content curation. This involves getting RSS feeds from trusted sources and having them autopost to your social profiles and pages when new stories are added.
There are two key considerations when taking this approach. First of all, you want to choose RSS feeds from news sources whose content you trust 100% of the time. After all, you will be publishing each new item from those feeds without reviewing them first.
Second, you want to choose RSS feeds that do not publish a lot of content per day. Sprout Social lets you limit the number of postings from a feed to once an hour, every four hours, every twelve hours or every 24 hours.
If you set up six RSS feeds and have them check for new posts each hour, you could end up with six posts per hour if you are curating content from a news site or sites like Business Insider that post around 10 new articles per hour. So keep this in mind when choosing news sources and how often to check them for new posts.
Also keep in mind that some news sources allow you to get RSS feeds based on topic. Sites like Search Engine Watch have an RSS feed link at the top of each of their main category pages, allowing you to only curate posts from that topic.
Look for these options when choosing news sources with multiple categories and dozens of posts per hour or day to ensure that what you are curating is specific and not overwhelming to your audience.
As you can see, content curation is not only beneficial for you and your audience, but it is also easy to do. Whether you choose to manually curate content or automate the process, remember that the goal is to find more time to genuinely engage with your audience. Be sure to monitor the feedback (comments, replies, likes and shares) for the content you curate to ensure that what you share is well-received by your audience, and tweak your content curation strategy accordingly based on that feedback.