This blog post is here to help.
Before we dive in, let’s start with the basics:
A mix of created and curated content works best on social media
Examples of content include blog posts, case studies, status updates with videography or photography, survey or study results in infographic form, testimonials, white papers, interactive quizzes, graphics, etc. (really anything found online that’s share-worthy)
Created content: content that lives on your website (or associated social channel) created by you and your team
Curated content: content created by other industry leaders that aligns with your social strategy and resonates well with your audiences
Focusing on the curated side of the operation, here are six practices to avoid while you curate content for social media:
1. Posting without a plan
It’s tempting to dive right in, but venturing into content curation without a defined social strategy is ill advised. It’s important to create a social media strategy for your business that establishes both the channels where you’ll focus your attention and the audiences you want to reach. Identifying main topics/themes for content distribution is important too.
When this strategy is firm, it’s time to build your social media content calendar.
A calendar allows you to both visualize your strategy and help keep created and curated content balanced. At Calypso we use HubSpot, but you can also use a simple spreadsheet or a tool like Hootsuite.
2. Trying to monitor all the posts
This is simply impossible. Social streams are constantly updating, and trying to find that perfect tweet to share could take hours or days. Get to the good stuff fast by harnessing the power of social lists, monitoring tools, searches, and hashtags. Facebook Lists filter content published by a select group to create a unique stream. Twitter Lists can be tweaked to perfection using hashtag searches or groups of specific users. We love using TweetDeck for organizing Twitter lists, especially for clients in niche industries.
3. Setting specific times for content collection
Great content can sneak up on you when you least expect it, so be ready to catch it. Sure, you can set aside time each Monday morning to research and curate content, but also be prepared to save a link here and there throughout the week. While searching Facebook for that video everyone is talking about, you may stumble upon something that could resonate well with your audience. Simply use Facebook’s Save feature, or Pocket it for later. It only takes a moment, but will make for a simpler curation process come Monday morning. Keep your mind open to possibilities, even when you’re focused on other social ventures.
4. Thinking you can go it alone
Joining up with online communities is key to cultivating awesome content. Let your industry peers sift through the rubble for the gems that you can share on your channels (but also do your part in tagging awesome content). We check out relevant LinkedIn groups, Inbound.org, and Medium. We also leverage tools like Feedly, Smartbrief, and Google Alerts to allow coveted content to find its way to us.
5. Forgetting to ask the right questions before publishing.
Before a piece of curated content makes it onto your calendar and into the publishing queue, qualify the potential post by asking a few simple questions. Is it clear and concise? Does it add to the conversation? Say something new? Motivate a viewer to do something? Is it in line with your tone/voice? Does it appeal to an appropriate emotion? Create your own set of questions for content, but don’t let it off the hook too easily.
6. Ignoring analytics.
Keep an eye on analytics and schedule time to review the performance of published posts. Continue with tactics that prove successful, and adjust areas that need improvement. Analytics also help to highlight the ratio of curated and created content that works best for you. It might take time to define this proportion, but it will help identify what content combination resonates best with your audiences, leading them to convert into leads for your business.