How’d you like to learn some of the most effective tactics for growing a social media following using content curation?
Well, today is your lucky day.
Because I’m going to share some of the best content curation tactics that have been tried and tested by some the best in the world.
There are so many different ways to build a following on social media.
But one of the most effective approaches to building a large following on social media is establishing a reputation as someone who consistently shares quality content. This tactic is what marketing professionals call Content Curation.
What Is Content Curation?
For those who may not be familiar with the term, content curation is the act of finding information and resources that your audience would find value in and sharing it through appropriate marketing channels.
The value of content curation has soared over the last few years due to the explosion of content. The demand for quality content curators has increased because of a concept called Zuckerberg’s Law.
In 2008, Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed that every year the amount of content shared would be double what was shared the year before. Meaning, there would continue to be more content created year after year than ever before. It was an idea coined Zuckerbergs Law, to rival Moore’s Law:
Y = C *2^X — Where X is time, Y is what you will be sharing and C is a constant.
In this world of notifications, newsletters, tweets, Facebook posts, ebooks, blogs, infographics, newsfeeds and presentations – our attention is constantly being pulled in different directions.
We live in a world where content is all around us and impossible to avoid. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of content being created and the desire to stay on top of it all. This world of content is resulting in thousands of people being glued to their Twitter and Facebook feeds with a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out).
Quality content curators help us find the content that matters.
The best content curators understand their audience and strive to only share high-value content that is aligned with their interests.
Content Curation is a term that originated from the job title, curator which was typically someone employed by a cultural institution (ie. Museum or art gallery) and were responsible for sourcing and managing the institutions collections. In the world of online content, the role is similar but you’re seeking out the best articles or infographics to share with your followers, readers or subscribers instead of art pieces for those who walk through the doors.
Why Should You Curate Content?
Amanda DiSilvestro of Seach Engine Journal highlights a handful of reasons why content curation can help. Some of these reasons included ideas like:
- You have the ability improve your relationship with other sites. I recommend that you let people know when you mention them in your curation efforts. Whether it’s a blog round up or newsletter.
- You can establish yourself as an industry leader by association. The key is to ensure you’re consistent in curating great content.
- You open up new sharing opportunities. The more content you’re sharing, the more chances that others will share it as well.
- You can grow your brand by giving more yourself more opportunities to be seen.
Where & How Can You Curate Content?
Content curation can be done by an individual or by a tool. It’s likely that you’ve come across content curation on a network like Facebook, Twitter or a newsletter you’ve subscribed to. It can also be found in individual blog posts or even in a users entire Twitter stream.
Some people have built their following using social curation tools like Pinterest or Scoop.it. These channels allow you to source a handful of pieces of content from around the web into categories.
For example, on Pinterest, I have a created a ‘board’ for inspirational quotes:
A Pinterest board is where the collection takes place and users can subscribe to these boards to stay in the loop on what’s being added. Someone who creates a board on wedding dresses would add a handful of pictures of wedding dresses and someone who creates a board name inspiration would gather content that inspires others.
This is the art of curation through Pinterest.
But that’s just one of the ways you can curate content and establish a voice.
Facebook Content Curation
Worldwide, there are over 1.4 billion monthly active Facebook users (MAUs) which has been increasing by 13 percent year over year. Nearly one billion of those users are estimated to sign in each and every day via mobile, desktop or tablet. To suggest that Facebook is no longer a relevant channel in the world of social media is simply a stupid statement.
If you’re looking to tell your story online, Facebook still presents itself as a great channel to do exactly that. It’s the most popular network and it’s a channel that has resonated with all walks of life. And it only takes a little bit of digging to see this in action.
On Facebook, there are two different types of primary accounts that you can create. You can develop a Facebook profile or you can develop a Facebook page. While it is possible to become a content curator using your profile, the most successful content curation accounts use Facebook as a page.
One of my favorite accounts on Facebook is called Interesting Engineering. The Facebook page has more than 5.3 million likes and is typically generating more than 25,000 likes per post with 30,000 shares.
How do they do it?
Every day, this page shares stories surrounding science, tech and futurology. It shares everything from photos like these:
To videos like this.
And that’s it.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
It curates the best content on the topic of technology for those interested in it. But they’re not the only one leveraging the power of content curation.
Look no further than Tyrese Gibson, yes, the guy from Fast & Furious to find someone who has taken their reputation to the next level by curating content. Tyrese has more than 28 million followers on Facebook and it’s largely in part to his ability to curate memes and inspirational posts on Facebook.
One of his most recent shares was this dog video that generated more than 4M shares, 1.5M likes and a jaw-dropping 147 million views.
That’s the power of content curation on Facebook. If you can spend time to uncover content that people want and share it on the regular, people will begin to take notice. As you dive into Facebook, you will realize that there are a countless number of pages that focus on specific niches and have amassed hundreds of thousands of followers by leveraging content curation.
Curate Content Through Twitter
The act of curating content on Twitter is one of the most popular forms of content curation. It’s one of the most popular approaches to content curation because it’s one of the most effective ways to build and grow a Twitter following. Studies have already showed us that those who tweet a lot of links tend to have more followers.
While working on this blog post, I went through my bookmarks to identify some of my most frequently visited Twitter accounts for insights. As I looked closely at the list, I quickly realized that the people who I follow as a resource for news and information are people who invest in finding great resources. Some are professors, some are professional bloggers, some are journalists and some are researchers.
Four of my favorite Twitter accounts are Nichole DeMeré, Steven Sinofsky, Max Roser and Chris Dixon. These folks are constantly sharing insightful and informative content. As someone who is interested in startups, entrepreneurship and technology – people who can constantly find and share valuable content on these topics are must follows.
It’s safe to say that Nichole, Chris, Max and Steven all spend a lot of time reading and consuming this content. As a result, they’re able to identify stories and articles that are valuable and worth spreading.
Here are some examples of the great content they share:
— Nichole Elizabeth (@NikkiElizDemere) November 17, 2015
— Steven Sinofsky (@stevesi) November 2, 2015
Great stuff right? But what’s even more special is when a content curator helps you discover other great accounts. As an example, a few months back, I saw Chris Dixon retweet a tweet from technologist, Subrahmanyam KVJ (Subu).
From there, I checked out his profile and uncovered a new content curator whom I could rely on for delivering great information.
The best content curators on Twitter achieve this status using two tactics:
- Find great links and share them with your followers
- Find great tweets/content being shared by someone else and retweet
But more than that, they understand what topics are topical, interesting, trending and relevant to both their own and their followers interest. That combination is why Nichole, Chris, Steven and Subu are four Twitter accounts I visit on a regular basis.
Include Images + Text Highlights When Curating Content On Twitter
We’ve known for years that tweets that include images get 18% more clicks, 89% more likes and 150% more retweets. So when you’re curating content, it’s important that you include a visual with your tweets as often as possible.
Another effective content curation tactic is the act of sharing highlighted text when pushing an article to Twitter. Medium.com allows you to do this very easily by simply hovering over a line of text and clicking the twitter button:
This gives your followers a preview of the text before they click the link to read more.
This tactic can be seen in this tweet from Chris Dixon:
— Chris Dixon (@cdixon) November 17, 2015
Because Twitter is limited to 140 characters or less, users have begun hacking the system by screenshotting text and including it in their tweets. Here’s a great example of this in action from another great content curator, Tanay Jaipuria:
Screenshots and highlights of text that go beyond 140 characters is a way to give your followers (1) a key insight or (2) a sneak peek at why they need to read the entire text. Similar to images, it’s an effective and unique way to drive engagement and have more interaction your content.
In an article all about screenshots being awesome, he confirmed this thought:
Screenshots let you circumvent restrictions like file format incompatibilities, service non-interoperability, character limits, etc.
So, if you want to build a quality following on Twitter through content curation, here’s what I would suggest you do:
- Understand your audience & topics of interest
- Read lots of content and follow quality resources
- Share ONLY the best articles
- Include images and highlighted text in your tweets
Curate Content Through A Newsletter
Often times, I’ll miss a couple days worth of tweets from some of my go-to sources for new content like Hiten Shah or Danielle Morrill. Luckily, both of them have a newsletter in which they share links and resources, which is a great way for me to never truly miss out.
Here’s an example of a curated newsletter from Hiten that highlights a handful of links that he found interesting along with one driving back to his own podcast with Steli Efti.
The great part about building a newsletter filled with quality resources is that you can include your own content as well. As long as the content is valuable to your readers, they won’t mind seeing you plug a bit of your own content and resources.
Sites like Curated.co offer their users the ability to curate newsletters using a simple chrome extension. Instead of spending hours formatting a newsletter and manually typing a description for a post – Curated arms you with the ability to collect, curate and publish you’re a list of articles with ease.
You can see an example of newsletter content curation using Curated.co from Baremetrics here.
Use A Blog For Content Curation
One of the best content curators on the web is Maria Popova of BrainPickings.org. Not only is she one of the best content curators, she’s one of the most successful and OC’s (original curators). It all started with a weekly email she was sending to seven of her closest friends highlighting things that interested her. From there, it grew into one of the most popular websites and newsletters in the world.
Popova reads hundreds of pieces of content a day and anywhere between 12-15 books per week. In terms of gathering interesting information to write about, Popova tends to do most of her long-form reading while at the gym. She skims the news while eating and listens to podcasts during her commutes.
Her daily routine includes checking her email, going through aggregator services, skims the RSS feed, pre-schedules ten tweets to be published on Twitter for the mid-afternoon in the morning, then going straight to the gym which she does the elliptical while reading. She then heads back to her apartment and eats breakfast while reading more.
On Twitter, she has 130K followers and the newsletter consists of more than 200,000 people. Now a website, Twitter feed and weekly digest, Brain Pickings covers a wide variety of cultural topics: history, current events, and images and texts from the past.
Maria Popova is a real life example of someone who has made it big with consistent and valuable content curation.
Another great example of content curation is the form of a blog is this post: The Epic List of Content Strategy Resources from Jonathon Colman of Facebook. This is a popular approach to content curation and one that can drive great results.
The tactic is pretty straight forward. The author finds a relevant topic, creates round up or list that highlight some of the best insights, articles or resources surrounding a specific topic and publishes it on their blog. Similar to this:
In the blog post above, Jonathan curated a handful of links to the best content strategy books, events, blog posts, journals, articles and more. The list includes more than 200 different resources and has generated more than 115 comments and 2,000+ shares on social media.
Of course, curating content for a blog can take time which is why I’d recommend using a tool like Pocket to save articles for future reading. If you’re going to create a curated post of this magnitude (200+ links) start planning in advance as it’s going to be very important for you to differentiate between the signal and the noise.
What Some Of The Experts Think…
“The greatest benefit of curation that I see is to help distil signal from noise and become a trusted and authoritative resource in your field. If you’re the source of what’s truly important and useful, you can stand out even in crowded markets and earn a significant audience.” – Rand Fishkin, Moz (Source)
“To produce enough content to meet the information and Youtility needs of your entire audience, it’s almost impossible to do it all yourself, from scratch. Curated content allows you to broaden your content topics and do so in a fast, cost-effective way.” – Convince & Convert, Jay Baer (Source)
“Include an array of content types, such as infographics, images, videos, articles, e-books, guides, and podcasts.” – Matthew Collis
Content Curation Tools Worth Checking Out
Nuzzel – Wonder what content is trending in your network? Nuzzel is a tool that gathers data from those around you to uncover what links they’re sharing and find interesting.
Scoop It – Scoop.it allows users to find relevant content to share on your social media channels using content that has been hand-curated by others.
Topsy – Want to find articles fast? Topsy is like a social media search engine that gathers and recommends articles for you to read or share within seconds. Simply type in what you’re looking for and it will scan the web to deliver results.
Here are a few other content curation tools worth leveraging.
Tools For Sharing Great Content
Hootsuite – Hootsuite is a social media management platform that allows you to manage multiple accounts within your browser. For example, if you manage multiple Facebook accounts (or Instagram, Twitter, etc.) you can do it all within Hootsuite. Using this platform you can schedule content in advance and engage with others all within one place.
Buffer – Buffer is one of my favorite tools for content curation as it allows you to schedule your content based on the likelihood of your articles being clicked. In addition, Buffer offers you the ability to add a content to your queue using a browser extension. Simple and awesome all wrapped into one.
Now Over To You…
It’s time to put these content curation tactics into action.
Now that you have an understanding of all the different options for content curation, it’s time to curate.
Pick a channel that is more likely to be adopted by your audience and start laying the foundation for the beginning of your community. From there, make a commitment to finding quality content on a regular basis and delivering that content in a way that is easy to digest.
To make this process simple and to the point, I’ve created a checklist that you can use: