Let's say you've finally decided to add social media to your online marketing program. You've dutifully opened a Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account. At first, you find plenty of things to say, but over time, it becomes a growing struggle to think of appropriate and brand-enhancing things to share with your customers. Content curation may be the answer.
What is content curation? Content curation means finding online content that's appropriate, targeted and of interest to your customers, and then sharing it on your social media platforms. Instead of creating everything from scratch, you share useful and relevant content from other websites via your social media channels.
Sounds great, right? But there are a few steps you should take to avoid making an embarrassing misstep. Planning your content is an important step to success.
Your Audience Is Key
The first step in any content curation project is to identify your target audience. You can't be everything to everyone; you must clearly define who it is you're trying to attract to your business through your content curation efforts. Choose one segment of your target audience to focus on.
Understand Customer Needs
Any content that you share should focus on your audience's needs, not your own. A local chiropractor may want to share articles on healthy living and exercise with his or her audience; a local florist, articles on the history and symbolism of flowers. You must understand what your customers are searching for before sharing content.
Read Every Word of the Content (And Look at the Ads!)
Before sharing anything, read the entire article. Scan the website and look at the ads. Make sure there's nothing on the page that would detract from your brand. If there is, skip the content and go on to something else.
Share Only Links
Sharing links is permissible; copying and uploading someone else's work to your website, blog or social media platform without the proper license or permission isn't. Share only links to the appropriate content and mention or give a shout out to the source whenever possible.
Mix Curated Content with Original Content
Don't let content curation become a crutch. Make it a rich, relevant source of information for your target audience by mixing it with your own original, branded creations. A good mix of curated and original content focused on your target audience and their needs hits the sweet spot when it comes to social media marketing.