When the thought of creating all that content for your social media platforms becomes all too overwhelming it helps to remember this – you don’t have to create it all.
Good social media strategies have a mix of created content (i.e. content that you create yourself) and curated content (i.e. other people’s content that you share with your audience). A good mix of both provides a balanced, interesting and valuable feed for your followers.
But why would I share other people’s content? How does that help my business?
There are a number of reasons to curate content from within your industry.
1. It saves time and resources
By sharing other valuable, relevant content, it takes the pressure off you and your team to create all the content needed for a consistent social media presence.
2. You become a thought leader and go-to source of information
If you take the time to pull together highly valuable, highly relevant information that is relevant to your target audience, you quickly position yourself as a leader in your industry and a central source of information.
3. You save your followers time and effort
If they can get all their relevant information from one source, your followers can save a lot of time. This will make you a valuable part of their social media activity.
4. It stops being all about you
By sharing other people’s content, you’re making sure that your social media presence is not all about you. You are supporting and amplifying the efforts of others which can benefit both your audience and the original creator of the content.
So how do I create an effective curation strategy?
Firstly, it’s important to have a strategy. You should know exactly who your target audience is and the kinds of information that is valuable to them. What information solves their challenges and saves them time and resources? What information would they be grateful to receive?
Then, understand the topics and types of content that will complement your own content creation strategy, so there is a consistency to your social media activity.
Then try these 5 curation tactics to start pulling together the content.
1. Save Great Content For Later
As you’re scrolling through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram (or most other social media platforms), you will often come across content that would be great to share with your target audience. Sometimes you will share it right at that moment.
But other times you might want to save it to share later. Each of the platforms has ways you can do this.
One of the greatest features Facebook ever brought out was the option to Save content for later.
The beauty of Facebook’s Save is you can quickly earmark content to investigate further later, or to share with your audience at your preferred time. And what’s even better is the content is categorised by type, so if you’re looking for links to share, or photos or videos, you can look at just those posts within your Saved items.
Instagram also has the Save feature, which you can find on the right hand side under the image. You can save to Collections within Instagram, so you can sort your content by category.
If you come across an article on LinkedIn that you’d like to save for later, click on the ellipses (…) at the top right of the post, and click Copy link to post.
You can pop this link in an Evernote file or somewhere where you will capture your links to share, and go and revisit later. (One thing to note, if you post the link to Buffer or another scheduling tool to share later, it doesn’t pull the image through well so it’s not as effective as sharing straight from LinkedIn).
There isn’t an option to copy the link on the LinkedIn mobile app.
One of the easiest ways to save a tweet for later is to use the Heart (Like) button. You can then go into Likes (via your profile page) and revisit it later.
2. SCROLL THROUGH YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE’S FEED
On Facebook, you can like someone else’s Business Page as your Business , and then visit the Pages Feed which shows you all the recent posts from those Pages you like. Confused??? It’s a bit tricky to describe in text, so here’s a video:
If you’ve liked influential pages and industry leaders, a quick scroll through your Page’s Feed will no doubt turn up worthwhile content to share.
3. USE CONTENT CURATION TOOLS
There are a number of great curation tools that collect and categorise information from across the internet. The tool I use is feedly.com. You can set up Feeds and then send topics or specific websites into that feed to view in a chronological order. It’s great because I can create a range of topic categories to make sure I cover all of the issues or challenges my followers are facing.
Once your feeds are set up, it’s so easy to pop in for a few minutes and scan for great content that your audience will love.
The Feedly content I want to share can be sent to Buffer for scheduling on LinkedIn or Twitter, or I can share directly to Facebook. (I prefer to copy the link and post directly in Facebook or schedule it for later.
4. USE TWITTER LISTS
One of my favourite parts of Twitter is its Twitter Lists feature. By creating a list of industry influencers and credible content creators, you can go to one place to access all their tweets. From within these tweets you’re bound to find great content to share – both on Twitter and on your other social media platforms.
5. SCAN THE EMAILS YOU SUBSCRIBE TO
It’s easy to ignore them, but the emails you have subscribed to might contain a wealth of useful information. So as you’re flicking through your emails you might come across content that is of value to your audience. Save the links to Evernote or another file and dig them out when you’re ready to schedule the content.
Of all of these methods, the Saving for Later method is my favourite, closely followed by Feedly’s curation tool. Which one do you use, or which one will you put in place?