Do you ever realize you’ve been doing a thing for a while, but you’re not entirely certain as to why you’re doing it? I was talking to one of my classes the other day about content curation vs content creation, and realized that it’s something I do on a daily basis, yet I’ve never written a blog post about it.
Any serious social media strategy must include both curation and creation. But what are they? How do they work, and why??
Let me attempt to answer… but first, let’s define Content Curation vs Content Creation.
Content Creation is anything that you post to your social media that comes out of your brain. It’s content you own. For many people, their biggest form of content creation is a blog. But tools like e-newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and especially Instagram are also content creation tools. Creating your own content has a ton of benefits: it drives traffic to your site (in this case, that could mean whatever venue you are creating content on–blog, website, FB, Instagram, etc), and it helps to grow your personal brand and establish you as an expert in your field. Additionally, it rocks for SEO.
Content Curation is anything you post that someone else wrote, but that you have vetted. Every day, I go through many, many feeds in my RSS reader. I subscribe to social media blogs, like Mashable, Social Media Examiner, and Problogger. As I go through those feeds, I see probably a hundred posts every day. Out of those, I pull the ones I think my audience (you) will find most valuable and be most interested in, and then I turn them into blog posts, FB posts, or Tweets. You could also do an e-newsletter, like the daily You’ve Cott Mail (for the theatre/arts community).
You’re probably thinking, “Wait! Why would I promote other people’s content?? Don’t I want to drive business back to myself?” The answer is “yes, of course, but…”
Curating content has a bunch of advantages. First off, you (if you are just one person, not a multi-author blog like VanCity Buzz), can’t possibly create enough content to keep your feeds full. For me, that means 2x posts per day to my FB page, and 5+ tweets per day. I only write 2-3 blog posts a week for this blog. I need something to fill in the gaps. Secondly, have you ever been on a date with someone, and all they did was talk about themselves the whole time?? How did that go? I’m guessing you’re not married or currently dating that person. It’s boring! You need to talk about other people, because it makes you part of the team, part of the community. As a bonus, the person whose content you are promoting will likely love you and return the favour.
The tricky part of content curation is making sure that the content you are sharing is linked to your own personal brand. I share content about social media, marketing, SEO and blogging through mine. You have to figure out what your personal brand is, and then stick to curating that kind of content.
The most difficult thing about content curation is creating a system to make it streamlined, so you’re not spending your entire day searching for and reading blog posts. You need to make the content come to you. I use Hootsuite’s RSS syndicator, which allows me to schedule tweets. Buffer is also a great tool, and I also totally dig Swayy.
And, oh, look! I made you an infographic!
I enjoy the challenges that content curation poses as I develop my site, Twitter accounts (I split my focus across two accounts) and related Facebook page. I’m always thinking about how information I share is related to my site’s theme but I also like to stretch the focus as far as I can with content that is both local and international. In particular, I like to share content that is created by people I know in the community. This enhances the hyper-local relevance that you are looking for when you establish a presence on social media.
Great post, Rebecca! It’s an important topic.
There are 2 formulas I’ve seen around for awhile as it relates to content creation vs. content curation. The 411 formula and the 80/20 version. As a solopreneur, I find the 80/20 version fits my time and resource routine a little better. As for linking back to your content, I find using Scoop.it and Snip.ly combo to work rather nicely.
Thanks for this, Neil! Always good to have more social media arsenal!