Any good community manager will know that content curation is the basis of any good social media strategy. In fact, I would say that curation is just as important – if not more important – than creating original content. Bold statement, I know. But I have my reasons.

MY REASONS

  1. While ultimately original content speaks to your audience on a personal level that can’t be matched by content from other sources, most of us don’t have the resources to be creating enough original content for every post we share on social to be original and fresh. So, content curation allows you to still ensure a steady flow of content while not immediately exhausting your creative resources.
  2. Content curation allows for you to engage more frequently with brands and accounts within your community, thereby increasing your visibility and potential reach among potential community members. It’s important to show support for others in your community sharing their content with your network does just that. Furthermore, there are likely authorities and trusted sources in your industry that are on top of news and developments relevant to your followers, so sharing these sources lends credence and legitimacy to your own brand.
  3. Content curation is important as it forces you to learn more about the wants, needs, personality and overall journey of your community. As you get to know what curated content works for your community and the more you listen and understand your audience you begin to develop a sixth sense about the type of content will speak to them at any given time. This learned skill will be a major plus for your community and this type of uncanny insight begins with expert content creation.

So, with all that in mind, here are my Top 5 Tips to help you curate content better, faster and stronger.

KNOW YOUR INDUSTRY LEADERS

Increasingly, users are turning to social media as their primary news source. With this in mind, one intention of your social network may be to help keep your audience abreast of the news and developments within the wider community in your industry. Before you begin curating content be sure you are following your industry leaders on social media to make sure you are always on top of what they are sharing. Also make a note of what external content they may be sharing as well and add these sources to your Feedly (more on this in point 3) as if it works for their followers it will probably work for your own.

 

LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Social listening is essential to any successful social media presence, and likewise social listening is essential to the success of your content curation strategy. Always be listening to your audience to better understand the type of content that is informing, amusing or inspiring them. Ultimately, by listening to your audience they will tell you exactly what they want or need, so tailoring your content curation strategy to their needs will ultimately result in positive engagement and sentiment from your community.

 

MAKE FEEDLY YOUR BFF

Okay, so now’s the time to pour one out for the good ol’ Google Reader – I am still in mourning after our 2013 loss – but Feedly is a great alternative to help you keep on top of all of your best content sources for your brand. If you’re just getting started, Feedly is a great place to go as it can make some great recommendations of news sources and blogs relevant to topics and industries that are relevant to your brand. Once you have some content in your feed you can then easily scroll through all of your content in one convenient app on desktop or mobile. Feedly can also help you hold on to this content for a later date. I create different folders for each of the accounts I manage and review new articles every morning, saving relevant articles to each folder as I go along. It’s an essential tool for any community manager to get on top (and stay on top) of their content curation curation game. Plus, you will feel very well-read after sifting through new articles every morning with whatever caffienated beverage floats your boat.

 

DIVE INTO THE ARCHIVES

More likely than not, you are also creating content – blogs, videos, podcasts, etc. – that entertain, inform and inspire your followers on a regular basis. But the half-life of original content is much longer than you might think. Of course, certain content is very much time-specific, but when curating content for social always consider your own content archive as fruitful source for your current editorial calendar. Use archived content by making a note of once-successful pieces and re-sharing when it is againt relevant to your followers. Additionally, try re-sharing pieces that fell flat to help them get more traction. You might find that they are more successful at a more relevant time of year or even time of day.

 

CREATE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR

This is probably the most important tip of all. Before rolling out your new strategy, take the time to consider the year in the life of the core audiences you’ve identified, pinpointing any highlights, high holidays, pain points and occasions that may arise. This exercise will help you identify the user journey of your followers and will better help you identify the type of curated content will resonate with your followers at any given time.