I’ve already written about the anatomy of a good content curator, but what does a good content curator use on the job to make life easier? There are many tools designed to help social media managers. I don’t think there is one cure-all tool, however, with the right combination of programs and apps, social curation can become a streamlined process that can be as routine as getting ready every morning for work.
It might help to experiment with different tools until you find the right combination that works for you. Not every social media manager works in the same sphere or has the same demands from their target audience.
Here’s what I use to get my hands on as much of the web as possible for social sharing:
Feedly is a news aggregation app, which takes in information from all over the web and displays it in an easy-to-navigate, easy-to-digest, easy-to-share format. Feedly syncs with your Google Reader account, allowing you to add whichever websites and blogs you are following to it. It also makes discovery simple, allowing you to search by keyword, providing a list of relevant blogs and sites with follower counts to help you choose reputable and influential sources.
Flipping through Feedly is a breeze. You can view content by “Today” or “Latest,” allowing you to find the most newsworthy posts, as time is of essence when it comes to content curation. You can also search by topics. Some of mine are: B2B, marketing, advertising, design, inspiration, health, social media, and SEO. I can control what is in each category, making it easy for me to keep content organized in a way that makes it most efficient for me to find what I need.
The interface of Feedly is crisp and clean, swift and organized. This is ideal for someone who is blazing through hundreds of pieces of content at a time. They even have an option to view posts in a de-cluttered format, without images so it’s easiest to read quickly. Feedly also works on your mobile device and on desktop computers.
It’s super easy to share content on Feedly, with built-in email, Twitter, Facebook, G+, and Buffer shortcuts, including the options to save article or copy the link. This is part of what makes Feedly such a powerhouse for finding and sharing. Discovering content with Feedly is quick, and then sharing it to Buffer is a cinch. By connecting Feedly to Buffer, Feedly can set up a tweet for Buffer with the title of the article and the shortened link. All you have to do is add hashtags or your insight and send it off.
Similar to Feedly:
Buffer is an awesome app for simplifying your social sharing and scheduling messages. Buffer can be linked to your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. It also boasts a simple and clean interface that lends to easy navigation and streamlined work processes.
Buffer allows you to pick a predetermined schedule for tweets, taking the thinking out of scheduled tweets. Once you have set a schedule, you only need to load tweets into Buffer, and they are automatically sent at scheduled times. Loading tweets is simple, whether through Feedly, or using the Buffer interface. Buffer automatically shortens links, so there are no extra link-shortening steps.
Buffer then keeps analytics of how many clicks, favorites, retweets, replies, and the size of the audience. This gives you a quick overview of the impact your tweets are having, allowing you to see what content is or isn’t popular.
Hootsuite satisfies a different need of mine-finding content shared by people I follow in a specific niche. I don’t like using Hootsuite as much for scheduled posts because it is more laborious than the easy connection between content and sharing that Feedly and Buffer provide. However, it is valuable for identifying influencers within specific niches and building relationships with other people who are focused on your topics of interest.
It allows you to identify engaged community members, so you can go beyond pushing content to creating meaningful relationships. I keep a stream open of all of the most important hashtags I follow, and this helps me find newsworthy information that I may not have found using Feedly, in addition to allowing me to keep up with industry players.
Once I find something relevant, I can retweet it and even edit the post and schedule it for later using the autoschedule feature. This makes it easy to share others content and put it in my queue.
Hootsuite is a good tool for looking at all of your streams at once and then zeroing in on specific topics using streams.
Similar to Buffer and Hootsuite:
Google Alerts is the last part of the strategy, and it is mainly used as a "safety net" to catch anything I may have missed. Using Google Alerts enables me to pick up on content with keyword specific alerts. There are many other ways to use Google Alerts, but for content curation purposes, it's a way of ensuring that nothing gets by you.
Similar to Google Alerts:
You may find that certain platforms work better for you then others. I think that it’s a matter of finding something that fits your content curation style and can keep up with your pace. By using tools such as Feedly, Buffer and Hootsuite, I am able to greatly expand my reach of the web. I am not dependent on receiving blog posts by email (although I still subscribe to my favorites), and most importantly I can blaze through legions of the web and share what I find just as efficiently.
What tools do you use to aid your social curation efforts?