#SMTLive today!

Creating vs. Curating Social Media Content For Your Business


Having a steady flow of engaging and valuable content is a constant challenge for most businesses and brands.

The time and effort required to produce incredible Facebook updates, powerful tweets, stunning pins, captivating videos for YouTube, and longer format blog posts is a challenge that many businesses find overwhelming.

Social media and content marketing require incredibly hard work if you are going to experience the full benefits they have to offer. That’s just a fact.

A result of businesses coming to this realization, I’ve found that many turn to content curation as their primary method of feeding their content pipelines. There’s a ton of great content being published all the time about every imaginable topic, so why not share that with your audience? Right? Well, there are drawbacks to this.

While you might assume that based on what I’ve just written I’ll be going on to preach the virtues of content creation, there are actually pros and cons to exclusively applying one approach over the other to engage your business’ audience.

Before I get to providing a recommendation about creating versus curating your business’ content, I think it’s worth exploring the pros and cons of each.


The benefits of content creation are numerous to say the least.

  • The content you create is exclusively yours.
  • Consumers who enjoy your content will need to come to you as the source, and return for more.
  • The value you offer will be unique to your audience.
  • You will be more likely to build a stronger, more loyal audience.
  • You will be able to directly demonstrate your business’ knowledge, expertise and experience.
  • It is possible to very specifically tailor content to your target demographic.
  • The content you create can be optimized for search to give your business better search engine rankings.
  • The tone, voice and personality of your business can be showcased.
  • Your content can work toward addressing your business’ unique goals and objectives.

… and on.

On the flip side, there are many reasons that keep some businesses from creating their own content on an ongoing and regular basis. And these reasons are completely legitimate. Again, not a comprehensive list, but here are some of the downsides.

  • Content creation can be incredibly time consuming.
  • It adds an extra layer of pressure to sustain regular creation of content.
  • It can take a great deal of time and dedication before your business can experience real measurable success through content marketing.
  • The creation or rich multimedia content such as audio, video or still imagery can be expensive.
  • Depending on the category in which your organization competes, and the nature of the content you create, you can be opening your business up to criticism.
  • You are providing your audience with only a single perspective on the subject of your content.


Finding relevant content to your business, posting it to your social media channels, and engaging with your audience around other organizations’ content can be amazing for your business’ social media channels for reasons of its own.

  • Content is incredibly abundant.
  • It’s less time consuming to curate content than to create it.
  • You can likely post with greater regularity if content is curated.
  • It’s easy to offer your audience numerous perspectives on a given subject.
  • Sharing other peoples’ content is inherently social; always a good thing on social media.
  • There are many tools that are available to make curating content incredibly efficient.

Similar to just about anything in life that is relatively easy to do, curating content as your business’ primary method of engagement on social media has its drawbacks.

  • Curated content will never be demonstrative of your capabilities, expertise or experience.
  • By featuring others’ relevant content, you could inadvertently be promoting your competition.
  • Your content calendar can become a bit of a slave to the content being created by others.
  • Engagement with curated content can be lower than with content you’ve created by virtue of the fact that your audience could be engaging with it elsewhere.
  • It might be more difficult to achieve your business objectives by solely posting curated content.


Creating unique social media content for your business, and curating relevant content for your audience, are both valid approaches to filling your content pipeline. This said, there is no single approach that will yield the best results.

You may want to experiment with the balance of content you publish that is created by your organization versus curated. Factors that influence this ratio are likely to include the time and resources you have to put toward creating unique content, the level of organizational support you have for social media and content marketing, the value that can be gained by developing relationships with other content creators, and your business objectives to list a few.

Providing your audience with a healthy and manageable mix of uniquely created content and curated content will maximize your ability to consistently provide value to them while also demonstrating what your business is all about.

Do you find it is typically your unique content, or curated content, that your audience is most interested in? How do you balance the content you create with the content you curate? What keeps you from either creating your own content, or including curated content as part of your social media strategy?

Join The Conversation

  • May 9 Posted 4 years ago Jonberk218 (not verified)

    As a social media manager, I definitely see creation coming out on top over curation every time! You want to be able to give your business or personal page the edge, and recycling content plays second fiddle to creating new and completely customisable content. You want to be able to massage the content's message into giving your business or personal page a direction. This direction is often muddled up and misguided when curating content.

  • RGBSocial's picture
    Apr 20 Posted 4 years ago RGBSocial

    Hi Peter - Thanks very much. I'm happy that you got something out of this article.


  • RGBSocial's picture
    Apr 18 Posted 4 years ago RGBSocial

    Hey Jessie - Thanks very much for your comment. I whole-heartedly agree with you that content curation, if done properly, can be a great method of sharing your own views. If I alluded to the contrary, it was certainly an oversight, so thank you for your contribution and setting the record straight!

    Thanks again.


  • Apr 18 Posted 4 years ago PeterPod

    Matthew, great article on creation vs. curation. I wrote about curation a few days back as well, but your article offers more complex view, with pros and cons of both methods. http://www.brandclinic.cz/content-curation/

  • jessie's picture
    Apr 18 Posted 4 years ago jessie

    Great article Matthew. I do have one point to dissagree with you slightly on one point. Using content curation - you can certianly provide your own views. The act of curating is done by a human, and if done correctly, involves notes or annotations why the content is relevant to the reading audience. A curator can easily express their views, using the curated content as support or additional evidence. Id' love to share an ebook we published called 5 Simple Steps to Becoming a Content Curation Rockstar which discusses annotation in addition to a few other points. Thanks!

Webinars On Demand

  • May 09, 2017
    With all of the technologies available to marketers today, have we lost that personal touch? Join VP of Content Marketing for ON24, Mark Bornste...
  • April 05, 2017
    In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, operational efficiency, quick turn-around times, testing and adapting to change are crucial to...