Yes it’s a buzzword, but does it actually matter? First, if you aren’t sure what content curation means, whatis.com defines it as “the gathering, organizing and online presentation of content related to a particular theme or topic.” This means that you find articles or visuals you believe your target audience will find interesting, you post them, link to the original article and tag the creator. So, is content curation that important? Yes… here’s why:
Tweeting and Posting… In Abundance
We all want a large following, for our businesses and our personal accounts. The best way to consistently grow a relevant following is to post lots of valuable information. The problem is that you may not have enough of your own content to Tweet 5 times a day and once a day to LinkedIn & Facebook. Hence the reason content curation is important! Posting content that isn’t your own and instead giving credit or linking the source, enables you to publish more and tap into a larger audience. That said, more random posts and Tweets won’t necessarily mean more followers and potential customers. This is where the “curation” part comes into play.
As a content curator, your job is to carefully select information that is relevant and interesting to the type of audience you want to attract. Clay Shirky, a professor at NYU, sums up content curation perfectly: “it isn’t just about information seeking, it’s also about synchronizing a community.” I couldn’t have said it better. It’s about finding your target audience and posting about what they’re interested in.
Going forward these are some questions you should be asking yourself when approaching content curation regarding posts and Tweets:
- Is this relevant to my company or product?
- Is this content in the same vein as what my current or target audience is posting?
- Would you recommend this content to your business partners or customers?
- Do you personally find it interesting?
This last question is critical. If you yourself can’t read through a whole article you’re about to post to your audience, why bother? Chances are, if you’re not interested enough to finish it, your audience won’t be either. If you’re having difficulty finding your target audience, you can utilize applications like Socedo, which uses keywords, both conversational and bio, to help you discover potential leads. Jim Berkowitz (@jberkowitz) also offers a great article about apps that will make you a content curator extraordinaire.
Getting on the Radar of Influencers and Customers
The people whose content you are curating are most likely the influencers and potential customers in your space. You get on the radar of these folks every time you post their content and tag them as the initial source. This allows you to make an impression on important people in your industry while giving them kudos for sharing good content. It also opens up the door for these folks to learn more about you and your company which could lead to many fruitful relationships over the long run.
Optimizing Your Content and Posting Strategy
Data is crucial when it comes to optimizing your content and social marketing strategies. Understanding what resonates with your audience allows you to publish more on that topic and position yourself as bigger thought leader. By curating content you have more data points to understand what works with your target market and what doesn’t. Another great aspect about figuring out what your followers are paying attention to is that it helps you write blog posts specifically around their interests.
Consider attaching a tracking feature to the links you post. This way you can immediately determine its relevance. Google Analytics and/or Bitly provide you with an easy URL builder to track your posts.
So yes, content curation is key to your social platform success, thusly, important. It’s not just about posting the first article you come across, but about adapting to what your customers are interested in and what your influencers are mentioning. You can learn what is working and what isn’t through your data points and evolve your content to reflect that. All of these points tied together means a bigger customer base, closer connections and, of course, lead generation.