With increased competition and ever-changing algorithms that reward brands receiving high engagement, the ability to give your audience exciting and relevant social media content is more important than ever.
However, coming up with original content to share on a consistent basis requires creativity, resources and a great deal of time. Even then, there’s no guarantee the content you create will resonate with your audience and leave a good impression.
In order to keep your audience engaged without spending all your resources on creating original photos and videos, it’s extremely helpful to learn how to curate social media content like a pro.
Todd Clark at Hootsuite defines content curation as, “Adding your voice and value to a handpicked collection of content. Gathered from a variety of sources, around a specific topic, that you publish and share with your fans.”
According to Rob Steffens at Bluleadz, nine awesome benefits to curating content are:
Creating content is a required piece of your marketing strategy. However writing blog posts, crafting social media posts or creating a YouTube video takes time, energy and effort to be done correctly. Curating content is much easier than purely relying on creating it all on your own.
If you’re looking to provide your audience with a helpful resource and showcase your brand as a thoughtful expert, content curation can make it easy for your audience to find insight and inspiration—and minimize the amount of time they need to spend on the hunt. Make your social media pages a one-stop shop for all things relevant to your brand!
Now that you know what content curation is, you need to decide exactly how much content you want to curate. Come up with your “golden ratio” of curated and created content. Now, while these ratios vary heavily business to business, Curata found that the top content marketers use these guidelines:
Test out a few different ratios of content types, and see what your audience responds best to.
What you don’t want to do is overload or bore your social media followers with daily articles on the same one subject. Knowing how much of which topics to post about depends on your brand and what you want to share to your viewers. Some companies only publish content strictly related to their brand, whereas others prefer a broader approach.
For example, if you own a small business, say a liquor or barber shop, in a tight knit town, you could not only share an article about the top 10 haircuts or drinks of 2020, but you could also share the top 10 reasons to shop local this year.
It may seem odd for a barber shop to share a “shop local” article, but since a large portion of their customer base likely enjoys supporting their community, there’s a good chance that their audience will enjoy the article and find it useful.
Now that you know what types of content you want to share, you need to figure out where you’re going to find them! It’s important to be conscious about where you are getting your information. The last thing you want to do is spread fake news or share a bad link. Check the date of when the article you’re interested in was posted. Was it within the last year or two? Is there a newer, updated version of this same article you could share instead?
Some companies have other branches or sister companies that they can watch, engage with and reshare content from. For example, if you own an insurance agency, you should follow your brand’s official account so you can easily share their posts.
Follow brands that are similar to yours, and I don’t mean your competitor across the street. If you own a coffee shop, I suggest researching what the top shops are doing on social media. Take notes to inspire creative ideas for your page or find other sources of content they’re curating that you might want to consider following as well.
Think about businesses that complement your brand, too. Follow their Facebook or Instagram pages so you can repost relevant content. Not only does this do a fellow business a favor by pushing their content to a whole new audience (yours), but your followers can see that you support other companies and acknowledge the good that they are doing. Maybe a bakery created a list of the best pastries to compliment different types of coffee; that would be useful for your coffee shop’s followers, too. Get creative in your search for stellar content and think outside the box.
Take note of an upcoming holiday, like Valentine’s Day, so you can share relevant social media posts!
The holidays are the perfect opportunity to share fun content that is relevant to your brand. Let your creativity flow and share exciting timely things. Check out what your local Chamber of Commerce is posting; there could be a local holiday event your audience would be interested in.
An effective strategy to stay relevant in the vast world of social media is to stay with the times. You should know what your audience is interested in! For example, I’m from a small town in Washington, and every August our Chamber organizes the sleeping arrangements for participants of one of the largest bike rides in the United States: The Portland To Seattle Bike Ride. Many small businesses in my town take this opportunity to share updates about the event, knowing that their local followers will appreciate it.
So when you’re mapping out your marketing plan, think about the time of year and what may be going on in your audience’s lives. Acknowledge the holidays, big and small, because you never know what will resonate best.
By sharing something excellent that has already been created, you’re keeping the conversation going. If you believe your followers will be excited about a certain holiday, time of year or trend, talk about it! Great content is great content, whether it came from you personally or not. Just remember to share the original source so you can show them some love and form a relationship, too.
Holiday themed social media curation reminds your followers that there are real people behind your brand; it helps them relate to you!
Hopefully you’re now feeling inspired and ready to curate your social media content! But before you get started, I highly suggest taking advantage of a couple of content curation tools to stay organized and on top of your game.
Google Alerts is a free, easy way to be notified when potential relevant content is published on the internet. With Google Alerts, you can choose keywords and phrases for your account to be aware of. For example, as a Marketing & PR Specialist at Three Girls Media, I have Google Alerts set for phrases like;
For a step by step list on how to set up your Google Alerts, click here.
Now that your Google Alerts are set up, you’re going to have to keep track of all of your new content! What you don’t want to do is share numerous articles about the same topic back to back; even as a social media pro, I can admit this is sometimes easy to do.
Trello is an outstanding tool that allows you to create different boards, with lists full of outside links or pictures. Imagine you take a bulletin board, and section it off with titles of content relevant to your brand. You then check your Google Alerts and pin articles to the correct categories. This way, you can easily stay organized, and keep track of what you have already hared. I highly recommend utilizing Trello!
Now that you understand why and how to curate social media content like a professional, it’s time to get started!