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Put a Content Curation System to Work for Your Brand

Put a Content Curation System to Work for Your Brand

By Karen Geier

If you’re building your content mix correctly, you won’t always have original content to share every single day. It’s not just OK to post content from other sources, but it actually humanizes your brand, allows you to spark conversations with your fans, and lets fans and followers see that your views as a company are influenced by outside sources.

So, how do you make sure you’re discovering good quality content that will perform well? There are millions of blog posts, Facebook statuses, tweets, Vines, and videos made every day. How can you cut through what’s available to find relevant, resonant posts? You might want to look to curators in your vertical. Curators find the best posts in a given area, and by following them you can narrow your content options to qualified, high-performance posts.

Two Kinds of Curators

There are as many styles of curation as there are people who curate, but the major distinction of curators is whether they are human curators or algorithmic curators.  Algorithmic curators may have a human doing quality control before hitting send, but you can’t be sure that they do. If you use sites or services that automatically find content for you, you will want to review the results before blindly accepting any suggestions.

Content Curation Sites

Your basic starting point for curated content can simply be Google. You can search news stories on a specific topic or search string and sort the results by date to find a source that’s recent and relevant to your point of view.

You can also search trending topics on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to get posts that are recent, but you will have to sift through results to decide whether they are relevant.

There are sites and services that can actually eliminate the hunt-and-sift steps altogether: content curation sites.

You may already be using a content curation service and not know it. If you have Flipboard installed on your device or you check in on your news with Pocket or Google Alerts, you are already using a service that uses algorithmic curation to deliver relevant news to you. There are some great options for content discovery for your brand that you can use today free of charge.

  • Flipboard: Flipboard is one of the oldest of these types of services. You download the app for a tablet or phone, connect your social accounts and add your interests, and Flipboard will begin to show you targeted posts from Facebook, Twitter, and many newspaper, magazine, and blog sources. You can easily post links right from the content to your social media accounts you’ve added to Flipboard. Flipboard is exhaustive, but that comes at a price of having to sift through pages and pages of content hoping to find something you think is relevant.
  • Prismatic: Prismatic is another service that curates many sources, with an emphasis on blogs and less on social media (though the number of shares on social media helps Prismatic score the content in question). Prismatic lets you view your stories on one big screen, separated by interest, and you can compose tweets directly from the interface.
  • ShareGrab: ShareGrab is limited by its sources (Facebook) but has one distinct advantage: it automatically scores content based on how it has performed on Facebook. You add your interests (Facebook pages) to “pods” and in seconds, ShareGrab scores the content from all pages. The score is based on engagement metrics so you can be fairly sure if you see content you like that has a high score on ShareGrab that it will perform well for you.

How to Set Up a Curation System

It’s not as important to have a quantity of links to content as much as it is to have quality, relevant content. Try many services until you consistently see successful content from one, and drop the rest to streamline your system. Check your service at the same time every day. Make sure you’re pulling from a time period of three days or fewer. Recency and relevancy are a team. Something relevant but old is not going to perform as well as something that is both recent and relevant.

Make sure you cull sources from your curation service to hone your content stream. If something fails to deliver in a few weeks, cut it.

Content curation should be part of your content mix, but it can be daunting if you’re not clear on where and how to get targeted content that performs and gets good shares. Curation services can perform an important role of making your human curation take less time, and giving you important insights into what makes high-performing content, which you can then use to help create your own content.

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