Content Curation - How to Use It to Increase Your FollowersJanuary 05, 2018
Boosting your social media followers and keeping them engaged is an effective way to grow your brand or blog. Learn how to use curated social content in your marketing strategy for better results.
If you are looking to gain more social media followers and boost the engagement levels on social platforms, curated social content is the way to go.
Managing social profiles can be overwhelming.
You have to regularly feed your audience – several times a day.
So what to do when you just started your businesses and don't have plenty of original content to share around on social media?
Curated social content is the best asset you can have on your social media marketing calendar, as it gives you content to share, keeps your followers entertained, and has many other benefits of which will discuss a bit later on.
If you are not familiar with content curation you are probably wondering what is social media curation and how you can effectively use it to grow your business.
First, you need to understand what is content curation, then we'll go through its benefits, how to use it, and what are the best social media curation tools.
Content curation is the process of discovering new pieces of content from all over the web and selecting the relevant and quality ones to share. It includes searching through a variety of sources, choosing, sorting, and planning content sharing.
Curated content is not well seen in many marketers eyes as it's considered to be lazy, dishonest, and deceitful. While this can be right in certain cases — it all depends on how you use it.
If you use someone else's content and try to pass it as your own, or you don't give credits to the original author, then it's not content curation anymore — it's stealing.
Content curation means finding great content that others created and sharing it with your audience. Using curated content in your marketing strategy adds value both to your business and to your followers.
There are more ways to use content curation depending on the needs and characteristics of your business. It can be by sharing curated social content on the social media platforms you are active on, curating content to write articles or using it in your e-mail newsletters.
Social media curated content is a must for any brand aiming to gain recognition on social media platforms. And this is even truer if your business is in the beginning.
When you are just starting out things are a little bit trickier. You have to expand your reach to raise your followers' list, keep already followers entertained, keep your social profiles active and on the roll — all of this with the little original content you have this far.
Curated social content gives you countless stuff you can share with your audience when you are out of original content but still need to be active.
From articles, videos, and photos to infographics and quizzes – anything you share that's created by someone else falls into the curated social content category. Think about when you share a music video on Facebook for your friends to see, you are a social media content curator in that moment.
Curated content on social media is the most used way of content curation as it's the easiest and it's fitted for whatever area your business revolves around.
Another way to use content curation is by writing articles with someone else's blog post as a starting point. This means starting your article with a quote from a blog post, highlighting its core message than starting to add your own point of view about the subject. Content curated blog posts are great if you have another take on an article, or other additional points worth sharing. Keep in mind to always cite the original source.
Content curation in blog posts not only gives you topics and ideas to write about, it also earns you greater exposure. If your blog post is great and gives nice insights for readers, the author of the original article will probably share your piece. Your blog post will be shining in the feed of someone authoritative with many followers ready to find out about you. Furthermore, you establish connections with authoritative people which is valuable in the long run.
There are lots of websites online which use curated content as their main content feed. One great content curation example site is Slashdot (read the whole domain out loud – it's genius), a website providing technology-related news. They present snippets of articles along with their own commentaries on why the piece is relevant for users to read.
You can also use content curation in your e-mail marketing strategy through newsletters. You can set up a weekly or monthly newsletter letting your subscribers know which are the best articles around the web posted that week/month.
Take as an example Quartz Daily Brief, a newsletter on global economy targeting business people. Their newsletter is text-based, without large images so it loads quickly on tablets and mobile phones. They send daily newsletters to their subscribers with the most important news of the day regarding the global economy.
Simple and efficient.
Using curated social content in your content marketing strategy forces you to stay up to date with what is going on in your niche. In order to select just the high-quality pieces of content to share, you have to constantly keep track of what pops up.
Being on top of the news gives you a fair advantage before your competitors and places you as an authoritative figure in the field.
In order for your social media marketing efforts to be successful, you have to constantly be active. You can't just post once in a while and expect to see improvements in your engagement levels. Curated content on social media is a valuable resource to keep your profiles active even when you run out of original content to share.
You keep your audience informed, educated and entertained.
Establishing connections with authoritative figures is fundamental in the long run for your business. Sharing curated social content from influential people and mentioning them in the posts may grab their attention. If they take interest in you, they may also share back a piece of your content placing you in front of a crowd full of possible prospects.
Creating content means time — time means money. Through content curation, you can cut back from the time invested in content and use it to further develop your marketing strategy.
You still need to come up with original content of course, but mixing up your own content with curated content gives you enough to regularly feed your audience with fresh stuff and gain new followers.
The process to successfully curate content on social media is made easy if you follow the steps:
- Follow the most influential people in your niche, look where the best resources are
- Stay up to date with news in your niche
- Sort the best content you find
- Organize the content into categories by subjects, themes and such
- Develop a marketing strategy for the curated social content you are about to share
- Add socially curated content to your social calendar
Add your own commentaries when sharing curated content on social media. This adds value to your audience and places you as a more authoritative figure in your niche. Commentaries can be:
- Sharing your own experience related to the subject
- Points that the author may have missed which can add more value to the article
- Illustrate how the article in question can apply to a certain industry
- Give credit to the original author. When sharing, use @ followed by the author's name. This can generate new connections with influential people in your industry.
- Use third-party content to respond your audience's questions.
- Stay relevant. You don't want to curate any type of content just so you have something to share. Know your audience. What do they want? What are their topics of interest? Stay relevant to your followers' needs otherwise you risk to lose them. Users tend to unfollow a brand if it deviates from its core topics.
- Pick only high-quality pieces. Keep in mind that even if the content is not created by yourself, you are the one who shares it on your social network. Every piece you share says something about you and your business, so be sure that it says — insight, quality, and value. Low-quality content will reflect poorly on your brand.
- Use multiple sources. Try to mix up as many sources as you can, don't just focus on one or two. You don't want to become the second channel of a certain brand. Follow many sources and pick up the best content any of them has to offer.
- Add calls-to-action. Like any piece of content you feed to your audience, curated social content should also have calls-to-action closing the deal. Do you want your readers to subscribe to a newsletter? Do you want them to read another article? To download an ebook? Be sure to let your audience know what is the next step to follow.
- Find the right balance between curated and original content. Follow the guides of social media's rule of thirds and you will have a nice start.
Content curation might sound a bit overwhelming and time-consuming at the first glance. The good thing is we have a whole bunch of resources to help out with content marketing, and content curation tools make no exception.
Here are some of the best resources and content curation tools and websites to help you with both finding content to curate and organizing said content. You don't need a bunch of tools, just the right ones.
The handiest way to find curated content is by subscribing to newsletters. Find the best places online with resources in your niche – blog posts, news, insights, anything that can be of interest to your audience. Subscribe to their newsletters and have a source of curated content to share on social media every day in your inbox.
Lots of authoritative websites have a weekly newsletter with an overview of the most important pieces of content that appeared that week. This way, if you follow influential people or brands on social media but you missed some posts, you will have them delivered to your inbox.
This is the best content curation website out there. The majority of content you will curate will be articles so you need an easy to use platform where you can find the best articles available that your audience will devour – Feedly is just that.
Add your keyword to the discover tab search and scroll through the results. Go on by adding the most relevant results to your feed. For starters, collect as many feeds as you can. They won't be all valuable, but you will start refining them after you collected enough resources to work with. You can also search on Google for lists of the best websites in your niche and add them to your Feedly account.
You can categorize your feeds based on the content type, topic, company and so on. This is truly helpful to keep your curated content organized and easy to reach to when in need.
After you gathered enough feed sources, it is time to go through all the content and see which sources give valuable content and let go of the ones that don't. How do you tell bad sources for good ones? Well, you should keep an eye on:
- How often they post – if they didn't post anything in a long time it's a sign they won't be valuable for your content curation so you can let them go.
- What are their engagement levels – you should trust social validation on this, if a piece of content isn't shared, it most likely means it doesn't deserve to be shared.
- What is the quality of the content – take a look at some pieces of content and see if it's good or not. If the content is not qualitative, then the source should be cut off from your feed.
This being said, if you are serious about adding content curation to your content marketing strategy, Feedly is the place where you should mainly focus your energy.
This is a great tool that might come in handy for content curation. Type in a keyword and it will show you the most-shared content referencing that keyword. You can filter the results based on a certain time frame (last 24 hours, past week, past month etc.), by word count, or even content types (articles, infographics, lists, videos and such).
It is an easy and quick way to curate additional pieces of content, although you do not have the features Feedly puts on the table.
One of the most popular social news aggregation with around 8.5 billion monthly page views, full of topics from any area you can think of – it can be a gold mine. The best thing about Reddit is that lots of viral stuff on the internet were born here. If you have the patience and time, you can find valuable gems hidden in the crowd of subreddits.
In order to find valuable content on Reddit, you have to first search for your keywords and subscribe to the subreddits that are most relevant to your business and have a high number of subscribers. Once you've done that, go to your homepage and you can search through the posts from the subreddits. You can take content from the “Hot” page, which is guaranteed to be a success as it's already popular, or you can dig through the “New” page where you will find fresh content to take a risk on.
Both Buzzsumo and Reddit are amazing places to find great content to curate. But most of your time should be given to Feedly as it not only gives you quality curated social content, but it also helps you stay organized and save lots of time.
Pay attention to your audience, see what topics interest them and what type of content they will enjoy most.
Put together your Feedly account, pick up the best articles you can find, and schedule posts with the help of a tool like Buffer.
Now you can lay back and watch how curated content on social media will increase your number of followers in no time.
Don't forget to experiment.
Try different types of content and see which works best for your business.
What is your take on curated social content? If you have additional tips and suggestions, feel free to share them with us!