Consistently creating new content is both challenging and time-consuming - but in order to compete in today’s competitive digital marketing landscape, it’s a virtual necessity in your process.
From self-employed freelancers to multinational corporations, everyone's looking to maintain a constant stream of clever, engaging social media content to keep their audience interested. That, of course, also means that there's now more content being created - for example, did you know that Facebook now facilitates over 100 million hours of video watch time every single day?
The challenge is then two-fold - you need to keep creating, but you also need to stand out, and maximize connection in among the various elements vying for your audience's attention. Creating content that does this is even more difficult, which is why content curation should also be part of your content mix
Content curation can be a great way to showcase your expertise, and build brand relevance, while also lessening your effort. But despite it being an easier way to maintain content flow, many people and businesses still do it wrong.
In this post, we'll go over some key steps to help improve your content curation efforts.
1. Choose the Correct Content to Share
How, from all that freely available content, do you actually pick what to share?
A good rule of thumb to follow is: did you actually find it useful?
You should also ask yourself "why do people follow you in the first place?"
People follow you because of who you are and what you do. They follow you because the things you say, and the information they receive from following your feeds, is worthwhile to them, and adds value to their lives.
So if you don’t find something useful, the likelihood is that they won’t either.
At the end of the day, what this means is that you’re actually going to have to read the articles and watch the videos that you may potentially be sharing with your followers.
Here are a few tips on how to find the right types of content to share:
- Ask Google - Once you have a topic in mind, a simple Google search will turn up relevant accounts in mere seconds. Try Googling 'Best Facebook (Instagram, Twitter) accounts for X,' and start reading some of the content. The algorithms are smarter than us, so you should quickly find exactly what you're looking for, both in terms of quality content and outreach.
- Leverage Your Existing Network - Your existing network should be a constant source of quality content - provided that you’ve built it out the right way from the start.
- Twitter - Check the trending hashtags to see if anything is relevant to you. Also consider searching for actively trending news headlines, as well as what’s being said. And don’t forget to regularly check your existing Twitter feed.
- Follow Major News Outlets - The big names in news know what's likely to have impact, and what isn't. Using current headlines as a marker of trends can be an excellent way to stay ahead of the curve.
- Buzzsumo - Buzzsumo analyzes trending content so that you can see what's relevant and trending based on certain keywords. It provides a simple way to assess whether you're sharing the right types of content.
TIP: Only share the best content you find. A bad piece of content can easily hurt your brand, and your image. For example, Levi's Jeans recently launched an ad campaign that some deemed insensitive to people's weight, which caused quite an uproar on social media. If you had shared that content, you may have received similar backlash.
2. Always Add Your Own Thoughts
When you're debating whether to share something or not, also consider whether it’s content that you could add your own perspective to.
For example, is it something that you:
- Can summarize - We live in an age of content overload. Summarizing a long article is not only helpful, but can help to establish you as an expert. If you don’t have time to write an entire summary, a few sentences that highlight the key takeaways will do.
- Ask a question about - If you’re super strapped for time, sharing a post and then asking is a great way to drive engagement. For example, an embedded video with an attention-grabbing headline and a smart question can attract as much as 10x the engagement in comparison to a regular tweet.
- Can pull a quote from - Is there something that you find super compelling in a piece of content you’re thinking about sharing? If so, use it along with the share. This is also a great way to drive engagement.
3. Be Social
Social media is supposed to be social, so… be social.
At the very minimum, when sharing content, you should tag the original creator in your post so that they know that you’re sharing their content. Better yet, carve a little extra time out of your day to send a personalized note letting them know.
While you don’t need to get permission to share someone else’s content, reaching out is a great way to get yourself noticed, which can then pave the way for a variety of different opportunities in the future, like editorial collaborations and co-branded content. Plus, it's a win-win for both parties, since you're both tapping into new audiences.
Most people skip both of these steps, so be willing to go the extra mile. The results will definitely pay off in the long run.
4. Publish Your Content at the Right Time
If half of the battle is curating content, the other half is publishing it at times when it’s more likely to be seen. This often seems like an impossible feat, especially when you consider that the average half-life of a tweet can be as little as 24 minutes.
Here are the specific things to keep in mind on the main 3 platforms:
- Facebook - When posting on Facebook, the best times to post are when people are unfocused and away from their work desks. People generally browse Facebook during the day when they have nothing else to do, and follow a rapid-fire pattern, so keep things catchy and high impact, and make sure to use attractive visual media.
- Twitter - Twitter's demographics run more educated and professional, and more and more people are using it as a source of news, and a way to connect to a tightly curated personal audience. Leisure time like this is the perfect opportunity to give people something longer and more meaningful to sink their teeth into. Since Twitter is short-form, and the half-life of individual tweets is finite, your strategy for Twitter should involve a higher volume of content than you'd use elsewhere.
- Instagram - Almost two-thirds of Instagram's users are aged between 18 and 30, with over 71% of people in this age group saying that they actively use Instagram. Instagram use runs much later than other social media apps, with the peak times being after 9pm, so keep this in mind when considering what and when to post. Also remember that Instagram is primarily a visual app that's heavily aspirational.
Putting It All Together
Sharing other people’s content on social media can be a great way to drive engagement with your fans and followers, while also fostering goodwill with industry contemporaries. The true key to success lies in what you share, how you share, and when you share it. Once you fine-tune these three prongs, however, you can expect your brand awareness to improve, engagement to increase and people to start sharing your own content much more frequently.
The end result? You’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.