Are you marketing your business on the internet? Then chances are you know how important social media marketing is. But do you know how important content curation is?

When it comes to social media marketing, the problem is that you’re running a business, so you’re usually juggling a million things at once. And if you’re a parent, you can multiply those million things by another million. Naturally, that makes it hard to keep your social media game on point.

Because who has the time to write posts, share, reply to comments, comment on other people’s articles, engage with them, and do follow-ups?

That’s not even including crafting quality blog content, creating social posts for those, and sharing them too.

I see business owners—women, in particular—spending tons of money on social media swipe files (I’m guilty of it too), calendars, and the newest automation apps, in a bid to help save precious time.

And that time is precious! Think about all the extra (really integral) things you can do with that time to help build your business.

There are a lot of problems with relying on other people’s content for your own social.

The main one I see is the wrong (or just plain bad) brand voice.

image of a desk with a "girl boss" plaque

Particularly when it comes to marketing to women, there’s a familiar brand voice I like to call “the bada$$ girl boss” vibe.

You’ve seen it. It’s the one that reads something like “Pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s chat about that feeling you get every time you try to kick that insecurity to the curb” or “Ladies! I knew I found my tribe when…”

There’s a reason it’s so popular, of course—it works. But will it work for you?

Maybe not. It probably won’t work for me because it’s not my brand.

Don’t be fooled by the lure of time-saving text.

There’s a better way to leverage other people’s content for your social (and no, it’s not stealing it).

What’s the trick?

One simple word—sharing.

Sharing online is such a phenomenon that we even came up with a term for it, remember? Going viral.

There’s so much content out there online that great stuff often gets lost in the crowd. So why not use the opportunity to your benefit?

In the digital marketing world, sharing other people’s content is called “content curation”.

There are a lot of great reasons to start content curation. For instance:

  • It’s free content
    Honestly, who doesn’t love something free?
  • Saves you time
    If there’s something else (not your blog) drawing your business in really well, why spend a ton of time writing 500-2000 word blogs that aren’t working?
  • Amplifying voices
    Sharing other people’s content gives them credit, which is excellent for amplifying the voices of minorities in spaces like the tech industry.
  • Builds relationships
    Being online is all about building relationships. Sharing content is a fantastic way to build connections with both your audience and with other authorities in your industry. I’ve experienced it myself! Recently, I shared an old post by Copywrite Matters on Facebook. In the post, I tagged their Facebook page, and they commented on my post. It’s an easy way to build industry relationships.
  • Gives you authority
    Sharing up-to-date information on your industry shows your followers that you’re taking notice of what’s going on around you, how it affects your business, and how it impacts them.

The key here is sharing—not copying.

Copying may be copy-pasting someone’s entire blog post to your blog and putting your brand on it. It could also be heavily referencing someone else’s blog without crediting them, or even using someone’s infographic in your new blog. Do not do this! It’s immoral, and it’s illegal (and if that’s not enough, Google will punish you).

What should you share?

You don’t want to inundate your followers with information that’s not relevant to them, outdated, or flat-out wrong.

Most business owners are always hoping to learn new things, whether it’s about their industry, competitors, running a business, communication, productivity… A lot of this stuff you naturally come across online.

If you find something that’s valuable information that will also interest or inform your target audience, that’s something you should share.

For example, a florist might share:

  • A review of a local market that they also sell at
  • A blog about trending wedding flowers
  • A news article about a flower competition
  • A blog about what’s new in the floristry industry

Knowing what you should share will come easily, particularly if you’re really passionate about the space that you work in.

How do you start curating content?

Now that you know sharing can be a valid social media strategy, you’re probably already thinking about all the things you’ve read today that your audience will love.

But, if you’re like most people, you didn’t spend a lot of time reading.

Instead, you might’ve put that energy into your regular online marketing efforts. An excellent way to start is to identify which effort is not working for you and replacing some of that time with reading more industry-related content.

Luckily there are some super easy ways to find more relevant content.

Some popular apps for sourcing content are…

RSS Readers

These apps and websites allow you to make a list of blogs that you visit regularly. The site will then create a “feed” of new updates from these sites.

It’s basically a personalised newspaper!

An RSS reader cuts down your time by aggregating all your fav sites in one place; you won’t have to jump around the web checking everyone’s blogs for the latest update. Some readers also give you suggestions on new sites to follow, helping you build your feed without wasting time on Google.

screenshot of inoreader dash
InoReader Dashboard

Popular RSS readers include:

  • Feedly
    One of the most popular readers. It has a pleasing interface, and a free account lets you subscribe to up to 100 sites. The pro option allows up to 1000 feeds, notes and highlights, a “power search”, a better saving and sharing system, and it’s ad-free.
  • Inoreader
    My personal choice! Inoreader is a fantastic free option with no limit on site subscriptions. They’ve recently updated the interface as well to be more modern and easy to use.
  • The Old Reader
    A simple, good looking reader. You can subscribe to up to 100 sites and follow friends who also use The Old Reader.

Discovery Tools

Discovery tools are a great way to find new, often updated sources to add to your RSS reader. There are a lot of discovery tools out there, but they are all pretty similar.

Some content discovery tools you can try are:

  • BuzzSumo
    Buzzsumo is the gold standard for discovery tools. It’s the program that content marketers use to discover new and trending content online.

    This site lets you search for a keyword and will pull up the highest trending posts around the web for it. These posts are proven to be engaging by their high number of shares, so when chosen correctly, should appeal to your audience.

    There are numerous ways to use Buzzsumo, including finding popular posts, trending topics, and influences for you to follow or emulate.
Image of a Buzzsumo search result
Buzzsumo search result for “content curation”.
  • Right Relevance
    Right Relevance is similar in that it helps you find new, popular content. On the free plan, you can sign up to follow topics. Then you’ll get emails with links to what’s trending in that topic. Right Relevance also allows you to follow authors and influencers and keep track of what they’re writing about.
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest is a fantastic, and often underutilized, tool for content curation. You can create a business account that links to your website and create boards for whatever you like. For example, on my Pinterest, I have boards specifically for book reviews, book-related things to buy, prompts, writing tips, and now content marketing. As I fill these boards with pins, I get suggestions on other content I (and my audience) may be interested in.

To make the most of your new content curation method, you should find a few tools that work for you and use them often.

It’s essential to keep a backlog of evergreen content ready to share, which will help you maintain a steady stream of content for social media.

So, how do you share all your curated content?

Now that you have found a bunch of new content to share, it’s time to take a break. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers!

If you have tried a social media strategy before, you have likely used some form of social media scheduling tool. These tools are fantastic. They make things easy, quick, and super-streamlined for you. They also fold perfectly into a content curation strategy.

When you have a robust collection of ready-to-share posts, spend an hour or two on crafting compelling copy (or hire me to help) to accompany each thing you want to share.

Ask yourself why you found someone’s post, article, or blog interesting; consider what you think your audience will get out of the information; ask your audience what they think about what you have shared.

Being mindful in what you read and share are the key differences between curating and sharing content and straight-up stealing it.

You are still sharing your thoughts but in a much shorter, quicker, and more casual form. Would you rather write a short social post about a topic someone’s given you, then brainstorm a 1000 word blog, write it AND market it?

Yeah, I’d pick the social post too.

If you have yet to delve into the wonders of social media scheduling, here are some great tools to get you started:

  • Metricool
    Metricool has a nice user interface with appealing bar graphs to analyse your social. Their free plan gives you enough flexibility to get used to using social scheduling tools for analysing and planning.
  • Buffer
    Buffer is one of the more popular options out there when it comes to social scheduling. Their free plan will get you used to the platform, but you can only schedule up to 10 posts until you move to pro. One of the best features of Buffer is their browser extension, which makes it easy to share and schedule no matter where you are on the web.
  • Publer
    Publer is a newer platform, but it’s consistently being updated with new features. Having tried a few different schedulers, I’m currently sticking with Publer. The free plan is great, but there’s a lot of value with the pro version.

You can definitely do your scheduling manually, but these tools really streamline the process and can save you a lot of time. They also offer you valuable insight into the types of content your audience loves.

What’s the step-by-step guide to successful content curation?

  1. Work out what content inspires, informs, or interests your audience.
  2. Set up an RSS reader and use content discovery tools to find that kind of content.
  3. Use a social media scheduling tool to write posts linking to the content you’ve found.
  4. Engage with your audience! Encourage them to comment on your posts or tell you their reaction to what you’ve shared.

Remember how to boost your social by sharing this content curation infographic.

Infographic of content curation process by error-free me

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