Are you having a tough time tackling your social media content curation strategy?
Finding resourceful, relevant content to share with your audience day-after-day can be an uphill battle.
Not only is the task time consuming, but it’s also a lot of work for not much credit.
You can essentially spend hours digging through the top-quality content on the Internet and share it on your social media platform with mediocre results.
Even if your audience responds well to your curated content, there’s no guarantee that the original publisher will notice your efforts.
Ultimately, the original document becomes the hot pepper while your brand simply passes the text around to the next party of interest.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
When it comes to growing your brand online, social media content curation is a big piece of the puzzle.
The reality is that most brands don’t have enough unique content to fill up their entire social media calendar. Even if you do, that doesn’t mean that your primary focus should be on your own content.
In fact, Curata recommends that 25% of your shared content should consist of curated content.
This is certainly a lot of effort for brands that are just getting their feet wet in the world of content curation, and it can be tough to determine what links to share that will get you the best results for your efforts.
While the truth is that you won’t always get recognition for sharing links to the best content on the web, you can certainly help yourself get credit.
Until recently, brands simply shared curated content on their social media accounts in hopes of getting recognized by industry leaders.
Weeks, months, or even years could pass by with re-tweeting and sharing your favourite pieces without any acknowledgement (or traffic) for passing on the world.
But now, brands have the chance to make their mark in front of their targeted audience by simply sharing curated content.
But before we get into detail as to how you can generate traffic to your website and build authority by sharing links, you’ll need to understand exactly what curated content is.
A content curator goes beyond simply sharing a link that looks cool or interesting.
When you’re effectively doing it, it is focused on a strategy and sharing the very best content on the web with your audience.
If you don’t have a plan or strategy before you begin the process, you’re planning to fail.
It can be quite difficult to generate traffic to your own website by simply curating content, let alone attempting the process with a plan.
Let’s discuss the building blocks of social media content curation and how you can use it to ignite your social media marketing strategy.
What Is Social Media Content Curation?
Social media content curation is the process of organizing and sharing top-quality content from around the web on your social media platforms.
This typically consists of content that is produced by thought leaders of your industry and stands above the rest in terms of quality and usefulness.
In order to cut through the noise and gain traction for your brand on social media, you’ll need to consistently be producing quality content—whether that content is yours or from someone else.
Do you have enough standout content to share in order to rise above the competition?
If these numbers overwhelm you, we ask that you take a moment and catch your breath.
The good news is that not all of this content needs to be produced by your own brand, but as we mentioned earlier, at least 25% of it should be sourced from someone else.
Content curation actually doesn’t involve any original content produced by your brand at all.
It is simply a process of discovering, compiling, and organizing content with your existing social media follower base.
If you don’t have any social media followers, it can actually help grow your credibility and following online—but that’s another topic that we’ll touch on later.
As we referenced from Buffer and Adweek, each social platform needs to be updated within a specified time frame in order to maximize your brand’s exposure online.
Even if you use a sophisticated content planning calendar such as CoSchedule, filling in the gaps can seem nearly impossible—but grabbing stellar content from industry leaders and other credible sources can keep your social media strategy active and streamlined.
If your social media strategy is falling behind or you aren’t sure how to execute a proper plan, a sensible place to start is with social media content curation.
What Are the Benefits of Social Media Content Curation?
If you’re new to the world of social media content curation, you might be wondering why sharing content from another source would be beneficial to your brand. After all, the only thing it will achieve is the act of funnelling traffic (from your social media followers) to another website, leaving your fans to never again read content from your own brand.
The truth is that this situation couldn’t be further from the case.
While sharing social media pieces from third-party sources might seem counterproductive, it’s actually a strategy that helps grow your social media following along with many other benefits.
First, content curation puts you in the position of a thought leader.
Thought leaders are not afraid to publish content from another source and even add their own two cents on the topic.
It shows that you understand your industry and are willing to go the extra mile to help your audience learn about your niche, even if it means sending your followers to a website other than your own.
Social Media Content Curation Enhances SEO
Another angle is that social media content curation actually has SEO benefits.
It’s no secret that Google emphasizes the importance of relevant, helpful, and fresh content.
The downside is that creating quality content all of the time takes valuable resources, and you may not have the capacity in order to truly enhance your brand’s SEO.
Luckily, you can ultimately give your website or social media profiles a boost in the search engines by simply sharing curated content with your followers.
Keep in mind that results won’t happen overnight, but the process will certainly put you on the path of higher search engine rankings down the road.
Social Media Content Curation Establishes Thought Leadership
Sharing content from other sources can help establish your brand as an authority in your niche.
While promoting your own content time after time certainly helps increase brand awareness with your followers.
Mixing in curated content puts your brand in a position of higher authority.
It’s not exactly easy to become a thought leader in an industry, but social media content curation can help you pave the pathway to thought leadership.
First, you’ll want to focus on curating content that is relevant to your niche. For example, you wouldn’t expect Home Depot to share blog posts about upcoming fashion trends in the fall.
Believe it or not, roughly 15% of users will unfollow social media accounts if the content is irrelevant to the theme or brand.
Staying on topic is one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle for building authority in your industry.
Another point to consider is the quality of your curated content, not just the relevance.
Sharing articles that rehash the same old information over and over again won’t do your brand any favours.
If you’re going to share content, it needs to be outstanding and provide unique insightfulness that you’ve never heard about before.
At the very least, the content should be thoroughly researched and include data to back up statements.
Charts and graphs are also helpful in terms of increasing the quality and relevance of the content.
The content that you curate should also be very shareable.
This means that your customers should be happy and willing to pass on your curated content, and they’ll generally be encouraged to do so when your content is relevant and helpful.
Curated Content Builds Social Followership on Social Media
In addition to building authority in your niche, building a solid social followership can also take a considerable amount of time.
One of the ways to help build your social media following is by sharing quality, relevant content on a regular basis.
In this infographic from CoSchedule, you can see how often you should post on social media.
Curating content can help fill the gaps of your content calendar while simultaneously increasing your social media following.
As your existing audience likes, comments, and shares your content, it will trickle down and expand the reach to potential new customers.
Once customers come in contact with the content that you’ve curated and shared, new potential customers may follow your brand to see what you post next.
The Drawbacks of Social Media Content Curation
Just like anything else in the world of digital marketing, there are drawbacks that cause both marketers and business owners to shy away from the process. Content curation is no exception, and there are several problems with the concept that can make it feel as if it’s not worth the effort.
These drawbacks include:
Content Curation Is Time Consuming
The reality is that curating content takes a good amount of time. You can literally spend hours sifting through mountains of articles and barely scratch the surface.
There is only so much time in a day that you can dedicate to finding top-quality content to share with your audience, and it isn’t realistic to devote endless hours on the project.
Jumping from source to source to find content might work for a while, but it isn’t feasible as a long-term strategy.
Not Enough Automation
The next roadblock with content curation is its lack of automation. Manually finding the content on your own is part of the problem—then there is the issue of blasting the content out on social media. Once you spend hours finding the content, then you have to worry about scheduling social media posts to share the content before moving on with your day.
No Credit for Traffic or Sharing
Perhaps one of the biggest downfalls of content curation is receiving essentially no credit for the traffic that you generate.
You take the time out of your busy day to discover and promote a great blog post, but you stand the chance of your audience straying to the original source and forgetting about your brand altogether.
What’s worse is that the original source reaps the benefits of receiving qualified traffic, and you don’t get a single piece of the pie for yourself. This can be disheartening, especially if content curation is a big portion of your content marketing strategy.
- Ramping up Your Own Content Creation Efforts
Since you’re getting little to no traffic at all for sharing curated content, this can force you to ramp up your own content creation efforts. You’ll spend more time creating your own content, so you can be sure that you’re getting proper credit along with qualified traffic.
Unique content creation takes a lot of time, which takes the time away that you could be spending curating content in the first place.
- Poor Quality Curated Content Leaves a Bad Impression
If you’re strapped for time, you might scrape the bottom of the barrel just to find some good content to share. Your readers will begin to notice if you’re sharing poor quality curated content, which will cause them to lose trust in your brand.
Sharing poor quality content puts your brand in a negative light. Eventually, your followers will stop trusting your brand as a source for trending content.
The Right Way to Curate Content for Social Media
Just like anything else in the world of digital marketing, effective content curation comes down to strategy.
Using a haphazard content curation method does nothing for your results or your ROI.
When you’re looking to do content curation for social media the right way, this is the process that you need to follow:
The first step to doing content curation the right way is to discover the content itself.
The good news is that you don’t have to do this manually.
There are multiple tools available on the market that can help you expedite the process.
One of those tools is Buzzsumo.
Buzzsumo is extremely effective in finding the best content on the web in nearly any industry.
You simply enter your keyword and a list of content comes up that is listed by popularity according to social shares.
You can browse through this list to find the most popular (and often highest quality) content, and take your pick of what you want to share.
Sharing from here is easy. All you have to do is click on the link and copy/paste it into your social media platform.
Even though Buzzsumo is helpful for finding great content to share, this is where you still run into the problem of not receiving traffic credit for your share—which is where Start A Fire takes your content curation up a notch (or three).
Another popular content curation tool is Scoop.it. By signing up for an account, you can find great content that is ‘scooped’ by others. You re-share the content by scooping it on your profile, which is syndicated throughout the Scoop.it dashboard.
Content Distribution and Sharing
Once you have your content curated and ready to go, the next step is to share and distribute that content on social media.
You’ll need to decide how often you want to distribute that content and the best times of the day to do so.
The next step for effective content curation is content optimization.
This is the process of targeting your audience, the best social networks to use to boost your ROI, and the time of day that you publish content.
Keep in mind that posting to every social media platform on the planet won’t do you any favours.
This is why strategy is so important when it comes to discovery, optimization, and also distribution.
Automate, Rinse and Repeat
The last step you’ll need to take for effective content curation is automation.
This is essentially putting the content curation process on autopilot and letting the curation work for you.
As you get into a routine and automate the process, the results of your content curation will eventually follow.
The Best Practices of Content Curation
Now that you know how social content curation works and how to execute the process, it’s time for an overview of best practices.
These best practices are:
Targeting a Specific Niche
While it’s great to want to cover all of your bases with curated content, it’s important to target a specific niche—and that’s your niche.
Make sure that the content that you share with your audience is relevant to your industry, or you risk losing followers.
Distribution and Automation
It’s important to automate your distribution, or else you will end up spending hours per week connecting curated content with your audience.
Luckily, there are some great tools on the market to help enhance your distribution and make the process as quick and painless as possible.
These apps can take your curation calendar and schedule to the next level and make your content curation efforts much more efficient.
Keep in mind that content curation isn’t necessarily about following the crowd and simply sharing what’s popular.
Adding your own insight to your curated content will amplify your own voice and establish new possible connections with your audience base.
Share Often and Give Credit
Successful content curation involves sharing more than once.
Keep yourself on a consistent content curation schedule with the help of automated posting, and always give credit to the original author.
Publish to Omni Channels and Measure Your Results
When it comes to social media content curation, you don’t want to stop at social media platforms. You’ll want to link to curated content on your blog, email blasts, newsletters, and content hubs.