Why GOOD content curation is a three-way win for you on social media

Some people might think that content curation may be a bit of an old granny in contemporary content marketing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since we last spoke about content curation here on HWTB – in a brilliant article by the intrepid social media expert Cendrine Marrouat – things have moved on a bit.

I belong to a particularly sparky group of female business owners here in the UK and the other day we were having an excellent discussion about visibility, and in this instance about what to post on social media to support our own brands and credibility.

Why GOOD content creation is a great way to promote your business

Don’t slap hashtags all over your preamble. They may attract search engines, but to humans, too many look tacky.

The topic of content curation came up and met with mixed views. How do you make it work for you, when it has been written and promoted by somebody else?

First, choose the right way to curate content – not the wrong way

Actually it’s very simple. Needless to say you don’t take credit for other people’s articles and blog posts. But you can  use such material to share with your readers and followers.

And there are no prizes for guessing that rather than merely share content, you need to take ownership of it.

That’s where so many people go wrong: they see content curation as an easy “cop-out” that you can automate with the various content automation facilities available now … set to run over a period of days, weeks or whatever. You can even hire “social media consultants” to do this for you.

But be warned. Sharing curated content by machine … or something very similar … will only achieve one thing for you, particularly if yours is a small, local business.

Don’t be lazy, because that will b*gger up your credibility

Why? Because as soon as people see your social media post (possibly accompanied by a stream of hashtags to suit Twitter, Instagram, etc.) with no preamble to tell them what’s in it for them to read it … they’ll know that it’s just another self-promotional piece of bullsh*t that you have been too busy and selfish to think about.

Sorry to rant, but it’s true.

And such dishonesty takes a lot of recovering from.

So how can you make curated content work properly for your social media posts, and gain credibility for yourself and your business?

1.Choose the content you share carefully. This may seem a no-brainer, but some of the content-sharing platforms you can tune into often suggest stuff that’s either irrelevant or useless. My own source of content largely comes from Google Alerts which are free, and if you select your keywords properly they can point you towards some very good articles.

2.If you can, avoid automated content curation resources. Why? They usually make you seem automated, too. Do your own homework. People react to people, not automatons, and don’t ever forget that (until, at least, we all have microchips implanted into our brains so we no longer have to think or react for ourselves.)

3.Don’t just take Google Alerts or other resources at their word for it. Much as the articles and posts you’ll read about as a result of your Google Alerts are OK, some are bound to be crap. Take the trouble to read the material to make sure it’s valid. If you share crap, it’s your brand and reputation that suffers.

4.Don’t just share curated articles without an abstract of your own. This is where so many people lose out on social media: they think because an article is useful for their readership, they can just share it on with no comment. That loses a huge opportunity. See #5 below.

5.Use the abstract (or preamble on a social media post) to stamp your own view on it and why you  believe readers will appreciate it. This is where you demonstrate your own know-how and recommend that your readers read the article in question, and what they will get out of reading it.

6.Don’t slap hashtags all over your preamble. Yes, I know they work for attracting information hunters and search engine bloodhounds, but to most humans they look tacky. Really. If you must indulge, just use one.

7.If the content you share doesn’t have an image – or you don’t pick up an image when you hit the share icon – put one in. And make sure it’s relevant – not just some clichéd wavy arrow pointing up a column chart with $$$ or £££ signs all over it.

Correct  content curation is a three-way win on social media

Provided that you put your own spin on the content you curate and share, your credibility can only benefit from this. After all, social media / social networking / and all its other derivatives are about sharing, and that’s exactly what content curation is.

In fact, content curation can be seen as an all-around win-win.

Once you’ve shared your own views on why, in your expert opinion, your own readers will gain something from it, you are benefiting yourself, your readers, and of course whoever wrote the original material.

And the fact that you do it mainly manually, with personalised notes for readers, shows that you respect them and their time – unlike these automated services that everyone knows can be pre-programmed and left to run themselves.

So curate away!

And please share your content curation experiences with us here.

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