What is content curation? It is the act of finding content to share throughout social media platforms. Finding relevant, interesting, and informative content to post is important for anyone in social media. There is an art and science to finding the best content and it is well worth your time to be thoughtful and careful in what you share. Give people a reason to follow you and keep following you!
Per Beth Kantor, “Content curation is not about collecting links or being an information pack rat, it is more about putting them into a context with organization, annotation, and presentation. Content curators provide a customized, vetted selection of the best and most relevant resources on a very specific topic or theme.”
The first step is defining what your topic or focus will be for your content. What do you want to be known for? What is your business focus? Pick several keywords for your content and be consistent. These words should also be used throughout your social media profiles so that people will find you when they search for keywords that interest them. This doesn't mean that you have to share only social media (if that was your keyword) but a good percentage so it is clearly your focus. Nurture the niche that you are trying to create for yourself.
Here is Guy Kawasaki's Useful Sources for Good Stuff to Post article which is a chapter from What the Plus! in which Guy shares his tips for content curation. Mari Smith is also a huge fan of proper content curation. Here is a video that Mari created with Social Media Examiner called 8 Ways to Find Great Social Media Content:
As Mari says “Always be curating (ABC) other people's content (OPC).” Mari and Guy both like to use the phrase cherry-picking content from great sources, I am not sure where the phrase originated in social media, but they are both people who excel at content curation from great sources. They each have their own unique style and you need to create one of your own! One aspect of content curation is making it unique.
A few of my favorite sites for finding amazing content:
- Pinterest: You can tweet or post to Facebook right from Pinterest. I would caution against pumping all your pins to Facebook, as with all curation, be thoughtful and considerate when sharing. Your goal is to enchant not turn off your followers.
- StumbleUpon: Set up your interests, search by topic and be ready for great content at your finger tips.
- Alltop: This is my Alltop page which will show you my favorite websites that I curate automatically on Alltop. Super easy!
- Follow great curators and share their material! Make lists on Facebook and Twitter as well as circles on Google+ of people whose content fits your criteria.
Several ways that I efficiently share my curated content:
- Buffer App ~ I adore the team behind Buffer but the practical reason I use this daily is that it is easy and effective. I use the Buffer App for Chrome so when I see content that I want to share, I can work it into my content plan for the week. Everything doesn't need to be shared in one big group when I am reading blogs. This is a much more advantageous and balanced method for sharing. I also like the drag and drop feature for scheduling out your tweets or posts as well as the analytics. This is an example of what you see in the Buffer analytics section.
- More on Twylah here: Take Twitter By the Tail with Twylah
- Do Share ~ Another Chrome extension that I use daily. Do Share allows you to schedule posts on Google+. It works for personal Google+ profiles as well as Google+ pages. Tzafrir Rehan is always around on Google+ so hit him up with a mention if you have questions.
- PostRocket ~ still in BETA but I love the recommendations for types of posts to share on Facebook as well as the analytics.
It is important to be consistent when you are a content curator. Sharing at the times when your followers are online and active is always smart. Tweriod is a tool that tells you when your followers are active on Twitter. You can also share this information directly to Buffer from Tweriod. Brilliant!
A very important thing to remember is that you are curating other's content NOT stealing it. Per Steven Rosenbaum, “Take the time to give attribution, links back, and credit. The sharing economy works because we’re each sharing our audiences, and providing the value of our endorsements. If you pick up someone’s work and put it on your blog, or mention a fact without crediting the source, you’re not building shared credibility. You’re just abusing someone else’s effort.” I would also add that this goes for tweets, posts or any other content. It is actually easier to share on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook than it is so cut, paste and steal someone else's work. Hit retweet or share. Be cool. Don't steal.
I hope you got a few tips from my post and some ideas from the resources that I shared. What are your best content curation tips?
Featured image courtesy of cizauskas via Creative Commons.