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.
Content 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:
- Provide relevant, selfless value to your community
- Build thought leadership on topics important to your strategy
- To stay top of mind with your audience
- To spark conversations
- 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.