Providing value to your audience with a combination of owned and third party content, is no easy task. It takes time to evaluate, curate, create and publish blog posts, videos and photos that resonate and support your brand’s positioning.

This week at #SproutChat, we asked Sprout All Star Mandy Edwards to join us and share her knowledge around best practices for curating content. Mandy is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a social marketing & website design company. She has a thorough marketing background with over fourteen years in sales, event planning, local store marketing, advertising and social media.

RSS Feeds Are Your Friend

To source great content, utilize RSS feeds, Twitter lists and websites like Feedly. Build these resources out by researching industry-related blogs and websites and monitoring what influencers  in your field are posting. Take the time out to thoroughly organize the sources you identify as having consistent, well-written and helpful articles. This will help save you time and allow you to avoid a headache later.

Curate Like a Champ

Sharing third-party content from brands, influencers, bloggers, and journalists helps build relationships and can help put your brand on their radar. Find sources with similar ideals and complementary audiences. Make sure that these sources have content that your audience would find appealing and helpful.

Social media can be a friendly place. Always remember to pay it forward and have patience. If you’re kind and put in the work you’ll see your community grow organically through @mentioning and giving kudos to others.

Read & Then Reread Content Before Sharing

Though it’s time consuming, it’s key to closely examine and consider each piece of content prior to sharing or publishing it. Remember that, when you share or publish on social under your brand’s name, you’re essentially promoting it as a something you condone. Ensure there aren’t any competitor mentions and that the writer’s style is similar to your brand voice.

In today’s content saturated environment, it’s easy to curate posts quickly. It’s a good practice to always ask yourself, “As a standalone piece of content, does this represent my brand?” One blog post or video may be a reader’s first and only encounter with your organization, so make sure it’s a positive one.

Determine a Content Strategy that Works for Your Brand

The #SproutChat community seemed to agree that the standard split of content distribution should fall between roughly 10-30% third party and 70-90% owned content. Still, each social media or community manager should take their resources, company size and industry into consideration when coming up with a content strategy.

If you work for a smaller company without an internal creative team, it might be necessary to rely more heavily on third party content. Monitor how your audience interacts and engages with different forms of content and strategize from there.

Join our Facebook community to stay up-to-date on weekly chat topics and to connect with industry colleagues. See you for the next #SproutChat on Wednesday, April 6 at 2 p.m. CT!