Why should you spend the time and energy to find content that others have produced and share it with your audience that you have spent so much time building and nurturing? This is a question I am often asked during the content planning process. The answer lies within the overall purpose of social media marketing.
Social media marketing is not like traditional advertising where you get immediate response from your advertising spend. However, it’s like renting a hotel room. As long as you pay, you can stay. In social media marketing there’s a lot more going on between you and your potential customers because you’re leading with value and building relationships first. This is not a requirement in the traditional marketing world in which you’re only attracting now buyers. In fact, it’s not even possible to nurture relationships and lead with value.
Social media marketing is different and our tactics must also be different
Social media is about building and nurturing community—not getting right to the sale. Here are 3 elements for success.
You must make a difference. People choose to follow you in social because they expect you to improve their lives in some way. Becoming a resource of useful information is a key component. Content curation allows you to become a valuable resource and trusted adviser.
A one trick pony is boring. If the only content you share in social comes from your company you’ll begin to sound like that worn out rock band from the 70’s that had one hit. Content curation gives you the ability to keep it fresh.
3rd party validation is key. Curated content also helps you validate your key differentiators by sourcing information that drives home your features, advantages, and benefits. For example a Gym owner might share an article about the social benefits of going to a club to work out vs. watching a video in your living room.
Best practices for content curation
- 20% rule. I share a lot of % rules, but I have found that content plans that include 20% curated content work best.
- Use social media listening. Listening will help you find useful content to curate. You listen by typing in key phrases in sites like Twitter, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. See previous posts for more on listening.
- Use Google Alerts. In its current iteration, Google Alerts is a great search engine for current content on a topics as well as a tool for creating email alerts when a topic is published online.
- Use Buffer. Buffer is a great tool for curating content. Not only does it have a nifty extension for your browser that lets you easily publish content you discover, it also makes daily suggestions of content you should share. This is a tremendous time saver!
Don’t want to lose the traffic?
I don’t recommend this for every curated post, but for some really juicy ones like a powerful infographic or YouTube video, there is a way to capture the traffic from a curated post. Simply create a blog post that either summarizes or embeds the content you want to curate. Then you can promote your blog post in social and users will click to your site not the author’s site first.
Remember, to build a fully engaged community in social media is about leading with value and becoming a useful source of relevant information and not getting right to the sale. Curating content is a key part of the process. By including 20% curated content in your social broadcasting you’ll build a strong foundation and be able to enjoy the benefits of your efforts for a long time.