It’s a Monday morning and you’re getting ready for the busy workday that lies ahead. Before you begin any of your tasks or projects, you feel like educating yourself on the latest trends and news in your industry. You warm up your fingers and start Googling away.
Immediately, you become overwhelmed with the flood of articles relevant to your industry and they are coming from all different awesome sources. You’re probably starting to say to yourself, “wow, look at all these great articles, I really want to share them with my social media audience. I think they’ll find this stuff really helpful.”
But then you remember that you’re swamped with work.
What if there was a way to spend minimal amount of time finding and sharing the latest and greatest content produced by some of the biggest experts in your industry?
This is the process of content curation.
Content curation is the practice of sorting through the massive amounts of content on the web and sharing it with your audience in an organized and meaningful way.
A similar process to that of an art curator. To put it in simple terms, these curators put an art exhibition together. Art curators have to be good multi-taskers because they are responsible for the art gallery’s collection that people are going to see and hopefully be inspired by.
The same concept is relevant to social media marketers. A part of our job besides sharing our own content is to share valuable content from third party sources with our target audience. Content curation is both an art and a science and has many different benefits.
Being part of something bigger than yourself is a very rewarding feeling. When you volunteer somewhere, you get a sense of community and you feel like you are an important part of something.
If you are on social media, you are part of an online community and one benefit of content curation is that it helps you build your social media audience and keeps you active online.
If you aren’t frequently posting content on your social media sites, then people can’t engage and interact with you. The keyword in social media is “social” and if your intentions aren’t to share valuable content and insight with your community then maybe social media isn’t for you.
Content curation also makes it possible for you to build relationships with the authors of the content you’re sharing by tagging them. For example, if you post an article on Twitter written by a thought leader in your industry, it is a good idea to mention them in your tweet. They will get a notification and can choose to respond to you or follow you. Through the process of content curation you are also able to connect with the people that are sharing the same content as you.
When you share insightful and valuable content with your audience, you can become a go-to source of information for them. By displaying thought leadership within your community, people will then consider you an expert and will go to your site to find helpful information to share with their audience. Knowing where to find good information is just as valuable as creating it if you intend to use it to provide value to others.
Now that you know what content curation is and how it can be very helpful to your social media marketing plan, let’s talk about some ways that you can curate content without wasting hours a day trolling around the Internet.
When it’s time for our team to find the best content to share with our audience and our clients’ audience, we go straight to a trusted RSS reader called Feedly.
*For those of you who don’t know what an RSS feed is, it stands for Really Simple Syndication and uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish information that is frequently updated such as blog posts, news headlines, audio, and videos.
Setting up an account with Feedly is simple. Using it to help you with your content curation process will save you time because it organizes all of your favorite sources and keeps them in one place, as oppose to you taking a ton of time out of your busy day to surf the web for the most valuable content. You only need to check your feed for about 15 minutes and you’ll have a ton of great content to share.
Now that you have all this amazing content you want to share with your audience, the process of sharing all it all may seem like it can take hours.
The solution for that is a scheduling tool. There are many of them available to you for free. Our favorite one to use is Hootsuite, which is a social media management tool that has an auto scheduling feature.
You can schedule posts for an entire day and it will post at the best times so that the chance of your audience seeing your content is high. Once you have found the content you wish to share, you can spend a short amount of time adding your favorite articles to your scheduling tool.
Now that you know what the process of content curation looks like, the many different benefits of it, and how you can save an immense amount of time on your content curation, you can execute the process like a pro!
If you follow these guidelines you will increase your social media engagement, form valuable connections with people that can help you down the line, and become a thought leader in your industry who people will look up to.
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