It might sound contradictory to include sharing other people’s content as part of your strategy but it is one of the easiest ways to grow your audience, provide value and engage with other influential people. A study of over 500 leading marketers by Curata found that they were creating 65% of their content, using aggregated content for 10% and curating the rest.
Unlike your website and your PR, your business social media is just that.. social. It’s a way of engaging and connecting with people in places where they’ve already chosen to be to catch up with friends and family or progress their own careers. It’s walking into a party rather than standing on your own shop! There’s the old metaphor that you wouldn’t walk into a party and talk about yourself- social media is not the place to just broadcast your own content.
Including content from others increases trust– research shows that people trust content shared by a third party more than that which is published about themselves. Rand Fishkin from Moz says that ‘The greatest benefit of content curation that I see is to help distill a 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’. It’s the whole basis of Influencer marketing too- we trust recommendations more when they come from other people as we’re not perceiving the same bias as when it’s formal advertising (the ‘well, they would say that!’ element)
It connects you with influential people in your industry and allows you to be seen as a business who are ‘in the know’ about your industry. Want to get on the radar of an influential thought leader- share their content, engage with them, and if you produce something of value to their audience further down the line, they may well return the favour. There’s also massive value in using thought leadership pieces you agree with and which support your brand- you and your team can’t have every new idea yourself.
Curating content adds value– people are not on social media to be sold to- they are there to catch up with friends and family, be educated and be entertained. Unless you have a massive team and invest resources in creating many different content types it’s unlikely that you can cover all of these (you are competing with cat videos, remember!!) Using curated content is a smart way to vary content types. It also allows you to share popular content types that you might not want to produce yourself- if you don’t have the budget for creating your own video, sharing relevant video content can allow you to get noticed on the Facebook feed and again add value to your community.
Sharing content shows that you’re a collaborative kind of business- while you wouldn’t promote your direct competitors, sharing industry news and celebrating success of others again is a differentiator from businesses using social networks to only broadcast what they are doing.
If you’d like to start curating content there are some great resources available from Buffer and Curata on getting started or including more relevant curated content as part of your social media strategy. While these are really comprehensive guides, the easiest way to get started is to think about your target clients, find some content you think they might be interested in and share- then test, measure and review!
This is part of the #backtosocialbasics blog series- looking at the ‘why’ behind the reasons we do things.