Content curation is easy…right? To do it well, it actually requires a good deal of discipline.
Luckily, there are great tools that will allow you make your content curation process far more efficient. Here are some of the best:
Buffer is a fantastic content management platform for your social media engagement. Whenever you find some good content but you don’t want to share it at that moment, you just send it to your Buffer account. You can create a schedule so that every single day, a certain number of times per day, your social media content that you’ve previously saved will go out through Buffer, and that way you can build your audience by curating great content, either from others, or, when you have good news about your own business, share through Buffer on an ongoing basis.
Augie Ray, Research Director at Gartner is another Buffer proponent, since it allows him to spread out his posting “and prevents [him] from storming tweets and posts in short periods of time.”
Many experts love Reddit as a source of content curation fodder, as its platform is one of the few community forums that are immune to spam due to a large number of engaged moderators and up/down vote system. Matthew Capala, the founder of data-first search marketing agency Alphmetic, swears by Reddit because topics that are trending hot on the platform are certified to be upvoted by real users, as opposed to bots or spammers. The submissions with the most positive votes appear on the top of each category, such as music or news, which are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”. “The trending subreddit topics should be on a radar of every content curator,” stresses Capala.
Edgar is a favorite of branding expert Dorie Clark recommends Edgar. It allows me to archive a ‘library’ of past tweets and continually reshare evergreen articles I’ve written, or which have been created by others I admire. There’s an endless stream of new material, and it’s easy for good content from the past to get lost. You need a method to remind others that it’s out there.”
There are a number of ways to find great content to share. One of the best tools to use to find relevant links is Feedly, an RSS aggregator that lets you subscribe to many different sites at the same time. Don’t worry; you don’t need to know anything about RSS in order to use Feedly. The system lets you quickly rifle through article headlines and excerpts to figure out what you should be reading and considering sharing.
You create a number of different topics that you’re interested in, go to different websites, grab their feeds, and then plug them into Feedly. You can also use Feedly’s search tool to look for certain publications, such as Mashable or Women’s Wear Daily, and then plug their feeds into Feedly so that you can quickly see all the different headlines from that publication and figure out which ones you want to read or possibly share with your social networks. Obviously, this is a great way to build your audience by creating a relationship and establishing yourself as somebody who’s credible with in the beauty industry.
When you find an article in Feedly that you’re interested in reading, click on it to get a preview of the article and some of the related image. But what I like best about Feedly is that there are so many different options in terms of what you can do with the content afterwards. You can email it to yourself or to others, send it to Instapaper or Evernote , or send it directly to Twitter or Facebook or Buffer.
“Flipboard is another favorite of mine for surfacing content,” says Ray of Gartner. Coming from Ray, an analyst who actively craves information, that’s high praise. The go-to news source for millions of users daily, it’s a single place to keep up on the news, take a deep dive into topics you’re passionate about, and easily organize content you’re looking to curate. Moreover, you can use it to sift through your social media feeds, as opposed to just news sites.
Melanie Deziel, founder of the Overlap League, is one of many content curators who rely pretty heavily on Google Alerts to let her know what’s happening in the industries, companies, and individuals she’s following. “It saves me the trouble of searching and delivers the news right to me,” shares Deziel.
Now, are Google Alerts a super exclusive, secret tool that no one else knows about? Hardly. Is it an incredibly efficient way at getting good at content curation? Absolutely.
Find quotes that are relevant to you, that really speak to you and kind of reinforce your own personal brand. One website we really like to find quotes like this is called BrainyQuote. But there are definitely plenty of other sites where you can find this type of content. Now, when repurposing the content of others, make sure to use proper attribution. In fact, you should do this with anything you use on your social channels or website.
Once you find a quote – or anything else that your imagination comes up with – you can use an easy-to-learn tool like Canva to create a graphic featuring the quote and lightly branded with your own colors it and then actually put that out in social media. So if you’re going to do that, we definitely recommend getting the timing right. In 2013, when a power outage halted the Super Bowl for 34 minutes, Oreo jumped in with a timely tweet during the hiatus: “Power out? No problem.” The message, coupled with an image captioned, “You can still dunk in the dark,” was retweeted over 10,000 times in an hour. The message, which had to have been put together, on the fly, might just have grabbed more attention than Oreo’s official million-dollar Super Bowl Ad. That’s how important it is to be topical. And- that was 2013. Imagine how the bar has risen since then.
Deziel has also created and subscribed to a good number of Twitter lists that allow her to scan relevant headlines in a given vertical. “I use my own ‘Content Marketing Crew’ list, for example, to scan the latest branded content and native ad news,” she shares.
A Final Word
People often ask Gartner’s Ray for his secret to effective content curation, and social media in general. “I think they expect a tool recommendation, but it still comes down to priorities, time commitment and habits,” says Ray. “I usually keep my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds open in browser tabs, and I check them often, whenever I have a minute free. That’s what works for me, but it might not be right for others.”
“People value responsiveness,” says Ray, “so it’s important to answer a question or respond to a criticism in a timely manner, not eight hours later.” Frankly, he’s right. And while there are tools that can help with that type of timeliness, having the right mindset is probably far more important than any one content curation tool.
Having access to free and easy-to-use tools like these means that millions of others have access to those same tools. Using the right tools is a great first step, but don’t let that be a substitute for strategy.