Tag Archives: aggregate

14 Things I’ve Learned About Content Curation In Social Media

We recently published a post called “50 Random Things I Have Learned About Social Media Marketing” that quickly became one of our most viewed posts of all time. It was obvious that many people appreciate a clear and concise post that lists actionable items and truths about effective social media marketing. We decided to apply the same principle to a post about content curation.

14 things I've learned about content curation in social mediaContent curation is something that has been written about quite extensively, however most people still don’t seem to understand what it is and how to be effective with it in social media. In fact many brands even ignore the importance of curation in their streams and instead continually talk about themselves.

Let’s start off by assigning a definition to content curation that is easily understood. Content Curation is the act of discovering, aggregating and posting online content that was produced by others, not yourself. Curation is typically focused on a specific topic or small number of topics that are considered relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. Though it is often misunderstood, to actually curate relevant content is to also add context, editorial comment or attribution to posts that you are sharing, content curation has become synonymous with aggregating and sharing relevant content whether or not context is added to the post.

As the founder and CEO of Bundle Post, an experienced social media marketer and previously a social media agency founder, I have a lot of time and effort invested in understanding and effectively using social content curation. Here are just a few of the things I have learned over the years that I believe you will find eye-opening and helpful.

14 (of the hundreds of things) I’ve learned about curating content in social media:

1) Knowing your audience and what they’re interested in is imperative.

2) Curating content from the same popular sources everyone else is, is not effective.

3) Curating content that is suggested from sites based on what others are already sharing is not effective. (see number 2)

4) Curating unique, recent and relevant content that is targeted toward your audience’s interest, will initiate engagement by your audience.

5) Retweeting on Twitter and Sharing posts on Facebook is not curating with a strategy, it’s executing someone else’s strategy. You need to RT and share other people’s posts, but not as your entire posting strategy.

6) Hashtagging curated posts with a strategy will grow your target audience if you do it properly.

7) Important reasons you must curate quality content posts:

  1. Provide relevant, selfless value to your community
  2. Build thought leadership on topics important to your strategy
  3. To stay top of mind with your audience
  4. To spark conversations
  5. To earn the right to share and promote your stuff

8) Developing a specific curation strategy is an important part of an overall social media strategy.

9) People are not logged in watching their streams all day, every day. Having enough relevant posts all day long is important.

10) Being consistent with your curation posting makes a huge difference in your results.

11) Proper content curation sparks conversations with your audience and that leads to relationships and ROI.

12) When a curated post receives a lot shares, likes and engagement, it is resonating with your audience. Schedule it several more times over the next week to maximize the effectiveness of that single post.

13) There is no choice between quantity and quality with content curation. It’s always BOTH.

14) Curated social media posts that often get the most shares and engagement are the ones that are by relatively unknown sources!

As you can see, effective social media curation is anything but mindless sharing. It is conscious and active and based on a deep understanding of your audience. There is a substantial difference between the end results of sharing content suggested by some algorithm, a tribe you belong to or content that is really popular as opposed to curation of unique, recent and relevant content your audience finds interesting and valuable. The thoughtful execution of a well thought out strategy is what makes content curation massively effective in the long run.

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Filed under Brand, Content, content creation, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Retweet, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Tools, Twitter

Use Content Curation To Create Brand Advocates That Sing Your Song

Brand advocates develop within social media marketing, regardless of the size of your business, when multiple components converge to fill the needs of your target market. These needs differ related to the products and Brand Advocateservices you offer, the value they provide and the problems they solve for your customers. However, outside of your product offering, social connections begin to turn into brand advocates as you consistently and effectively deliver selfless value to them before, during and after the sale.

How do you recognize a brand advocate?

The Most Common Traits of a Brand Advocate:

1) They read and share the content you create frequently.

2) They share and comment on the content you curate regularly.

3) They often become customers of your company. (but not always)

4) They tell others about your product/service/content openly and often.

That value you deliver to your audience initially comes in the form of the content you share in your streams, through content aggregation, content curation and content creation. Let’s start by defining the difference between these three, as aggregation and curation are often incorrectly considered as the same.

Aggregation: Finding and collecting content to share

Curation: Editorializing and commenting on aggregated content when you post/schedule it.

Creation: Developing your own articles, graphics, videos and other content, specifically for the online and social media marketing benefits.

When you effectively aggregate, curate and create the content that your audience finds valuable, they will like, share and comment more and more frequently. The difference between making your social media marketing successful and a community full of brand advocates is what you do, or don’t do next. This is where most big brands fail miserably.

When your social media posts have intent and strategy behind them which resonate with your audience the shares, likes and comments roll in. Acknowledging these and moving them into conversations and ultimately real relationships is where everything we have discussed thus far becomes meaningful. There are very few brands that garner brand advocacy on the substance of their products and services alone. Brand advocacy comes from the relationships forged before, during and after the sale that takes a customer from someone who is just a customer to one that advocates for your brand on and offline. Do you see the difference?

Some Of The Benefits of Brand Advocates:

1) They expand your reach on and offline to their friends, customers and communities.

2) By expanding your reach to their communities and advocating your brand, they help you grow your community.

3) They help you organically and virally increase your sales and revenue by way of exposure, testimonial and conversation.

Content Curation SongSo where does the song reference come in from the title of this post? This week, the graphic on the right came in from one of our Pro users, @C4Compete. She wrote (or changed) a song based on the 12 Days of Christmas and turned it into the 12 benefits of Bundle Post. Unsolicited and out of the blue…

We have found that delivering value through our social media content strategy of aggregation, curation and creation, coupled with the users of our technology loving the value of the product and how we conduct customer service, results in not just brand advocates, but advocates that create content about us. That’s right. They write blog posts that mention Bundle Post. They create videos and graphics that promote Bundle Post.

When your social community begins to be made up of true brand advocates and customers that spread your message and promote your brand and products, I can assure you that you are delivering selfless value to them that is paying off in sales and revenue.

How does your content curation work together with your social media management to foster brand advocates to sing your brand song?

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Filed under Brand, Content, Curation, Marketing, Relationship, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

How To Determine Topics For Your Social Media Content Strategy

Content is not the king of social media marketing, but it certainly is the starting point that drives conversations, action and results. Having and executing an effective social media content strategy is the difference between your brand being in social media and getting results in social media.

Social Media Content StrategyI have discovered that there are typically three to five main topics of interest that social network users are most attracted to. Those topics are typically different for everyone, so knowing what they are for your specific market is tremendously important.

I have also found that there are three basic steps that can help you determine the topics your social audience is most interested in.  Follow these steps and combine it with an appropriate volume of posted, curated, shared and your created content to get the best results.

Three steps to determine topics for your social media content strategy:

1) Know Your Audience – Knowing your audience is the most important step in the content strategy process. You need to clearly define who you are trying to reach, very specifically. Define them demographically (statistical characteristics), geographically (location or locations) and psychograhically (personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles).

*Don’t forget things like gender, age, income levels, etc.

2) Research – Once you have defined your clear target audience and know a few specifics about who they are, do your research. Here are some things to consider:

  • Current Customers – Ask your current customers this question… When you are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., what content topics interest you the most?
  • Competition – Investigate your competitors pages and social accounts. What topics that they post about get the most comments, likes, shares and conversations. Be sure the followers of those accounts are your target prospects also, or the information you obtain will lead you on a wild goose chase with your own strategy. Many brands social media marketing and content strategies are often focused on their peers, not their prospects. Don’t make the same mistake!
  • Search Engines – Use your favorite search engine to find statistics and information about your target audience. The internet has a ton of information, government and private studies, as well as news reports that will easily point you to topics your audience favors.

3) Test/Measure – After you have narrowed potential topics down to 5-10, start sharing news, blog posts and other content surrounding these topics to your streams. Aggregate content around then topics and post them in your newsfeeds consistently everyday. Measure the engagement, clicks, likes and comment rates around the topics. This will narrow you down to the top three to five that your audience most responds to.

Once you have determined your target markets three to five driving topics, you will want to slowly and steadily increase the volume of posts you are doing across the social networks you are focusing on. If you have properly identified the right topics of content to share, this will rapidly increase the amount of conversations, clicks and relationships you have in your community and more importantly get you on a path to improved results.

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Filed under Community, Followers, Marketing, Monitoring, Relationship, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

Content Doesn’t Matter – 4 Things To Avoid

Let me be clear here. Content that is not targeted to your audience, is not consistent in your feeds and does not spark sharing and conversations, doesn’t matter…

There are four things you need to avoid surrounding content, if you want it to matter at all.

1) Posting content without a clear intent is a great way to get your audience to tune out. You know, constant random stuff that is not at all interesting, relevant or valuable. When your community sees content like this on a frequent basis, they tend to tune out most everything else you do. Hence, Content Doesn’t Matter…

Have a clear strategy designed to consistently posting relevant, valuable content that matters to your audience.

2) Mostly retweeting and/or sharing content posted by others isn’t leading. Sourcing and curating your own content that is relevant to your target audience is imperative. Doing so creates thought leadership with your community and makes you a reliable source that is top of mind whenever they log onto the social graph. You want your audience to be looking for your posts, not passively seeing your constant sharing of others content.

If you are just going to share what other people post, know that you will get much less shares yourself. Hence, Content Doesn’t Matter…

3) Not posting enough content makes you invisible. I have often referred to social media as a Freeway. You must have enough cars (Content/Posts) on the freeway everyday so no matter when your audience steps up to the side of the freeway, one of your cars go by. You need to efficiently aggregate content that is interesting and relevant to your audience and post it consistently across the social graph.

If you are posting content a few times per day on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, you need to understand that nobody is even seeing what you post. Hence, Content Doesn’t Matter…

4) Never creating your own content won’t work. Articles, graphics, blogs and videos are all required content every company must have. Content creation has become a required component for being a thought leader in your industry.

If you are not consistently creating your own content every month, you are not going to see the best results from your social media marketing. Hence, Content Doesn’t Matter…

So again, content doesn’t matter if you are not using it properly. Focus on developing a content strategy that addresses these four areas and you will quickly see improvements in all of the appropriate metrics of your social media marketing.

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Filed under Community, Facebook, Marketing, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter