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Guide to Content Curation on Google Plus
Posted on August 12th 2013
Content curation is a useful part of any content marketing strategy though it should not be used as a cheap or quick alternative to creating original content. Content curation takes time. You need to read carefully and decide if resources are relevant, if they are unique and if they are of value to your audience. In doing this you will use your own expertise, judgement and your own insights. Rather than simply sharing you may provide a summary, add context or add your personal perspective. In this way you really begin to add value and authority as a content curator.
Content curation complements the development of your own content and can be very useful for your audience as it saves time and adds value in a world of content overload. In this article we explore how you can use Google+ for your content curation.
Why use Google+ for content curation?
There are many content curation tools and platforms on the web but Google+ is increasingly a great tool for curating content. Some of the features which make Google+ ideally suited include:
- It is very easy to create a new page for your content and you can assign multiple people to manage this page if you wish.
- The layout of Google+ also allows you to create an attractive page and use images and rich media.
- Users can comment and receive notifications of new content.
- You can easily share content you find within Google+ to your page.
- You can also search Google+ and communities to explore and find useful content.
- The Google+ eco-system means that content gets indexed, gains page rank and authority which will help it perform well in search results.
1. Create your Google+ page
In Google+ you can go to your pages and choose to create a new a page where you will curate content. You can name this page as you wish and obviously make it as relevant as you can to your audience. Thus it doesn't need to be your brand name and can be very specific to the topic you are curating.
You can connect this new page to your website, so your website will gain from shares, plus ones and comments. The posts on your page can gain page rank and add social signals to improve the authority of your website.
2. Discover content
There is no shortage of great content on Google+ you can use your circles, communities and search the wider community.
You can also use other tools and networks to find relevant content outside Google+. This content can be easily shared by using tools such as Hootsuite, this is made easier if you install Hootsuite in your browser. You just click the Hootsuite icon and share. You can also schedule when you share if you don't want to share a lot of resources immediately.
There is increasingly a wide range of curation tools to help you find content such as Scoop.it, Curata and Bagtheweb. You will also find useful content from your other social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
I personally find a lot of useful resources from more traditional newspapers and magazines, as these have specialist journalists actively curating content in their own right.
3. Analyse and select content
To me this the most important part of content curation. It is not just a case of sharing links you come across, we are talking about content curation rather than aggregation
Really ask yourself if the resource is relevant to your audience. Is it unique, is it well written and does it add value to your audience. Use your own experience, judgement and insights. To me what is very important is finding content that is original, otherwise I risk wasting the time of my audience with material they are already familiar with.
By being able to assemble and provide resources which add value to your audience, they will begin to trust your judgement and it will develop your authority.
4. Add context and value
Google+ allows to you to place content into categories, add text, images, links, hashtags and rich media to the content you share. Thus it provides a range of ways in which you can add value as a content curator.
In my experience you can add value by:
- introducing the content and providing some context about why you have shared it
- providing a summary of the key points, so that your audience can decide if that is all they need or if they want to delve deeper
- providing links to related articles
- giving a personal perspective such as why you may disagree with the points made or agree with them. Your commentary provides a personal viewpoint, and makes what you share unique and original
- you can also share images in Google+. One way to make this more valuable is to edit an image so that it can clearly be seen within the context of your page and not force the audience to click the image to enlarge it
Google+ provides a very visual platform to aid content curation. The Financial Times Google+ page has over a million followers and their Community Manager, Rebecca Heptinstall says “Google+ is a hugely visual platform for the FT. Whether it is a video, image or infographic, the interface of Google+ just works well.” See the Financial Times Google+ case study for more on their use of the Google+ platform.
Another option in your curation is provide a round up post of various articles with multiple links.
You should always attribute and mention authors to give credit to original sources. Within Google+ you can use their plus names so that they will also be notified.
You can also use hashtags within Google + so that the content can be easily found with a search.
5. Share and track interest
You can share your posts to relevant circles and communities.
You should also monitor interest in the items you curate. For example, what content receives plus ones and what gets reshared.
It is also important to interact with your audience by responding to any questions or comments. Try to be as helpful as you can to your audience.
By tracking your content you will get a better feel for the interests of your community and be able to improve your curation.