Your social media strategy can be a huge boon for your brand. You’ve got a huge audience at your disposal across a variety of different channels, ripe for the picking. But how do you keep them locked into your brand?
The answer is simple: social content curation.
Social content curation delivers value directly to your target audience. It lets you provide a diverse array of content — blogs, videos, photos, etc — that is interesting, useful, and relevant to your audience.
If you want to get your social content curation on-point, there’s a lot to learn from those that do it right. Read on to discover how to perfect your content curation strategy in 2019.
What is social content curation?
Social content curation is the process of collating and cascading content — articles, videos, infographics, news, and so on — across your social media channels.
As long as the content is useful, interesting, entertaining, or conveys value to your target audience, then it’s worth curating. It’s content marketing via social media, getting your brand noticed through great content cascaded across social.
Why should I curate content on social?
Content curation is practiced by almost all of the top brands on their websites, and across their social channels too. Doing so helps these brands achieve the following:
- Provide value to their audience by sharing useful or interesting content.
- Strengthen brand relevance by referencing pertinent industry-content from non-competing publishers.
- Enhancing their branding by sharing content that showcases brand personality.
- Populate their social editorial calendars with third-party content, giving their team breathing space to focus on other tasks.
Social content curation is virtually free (unless you use content curation tools such as Social Animal or Scoop.it — more on these later), easy to do, and keeps your brand part of the conversation. It portrays you as more than just a business — it positions you as an industry hub that your customers can return to time and again for all the best content.
What social content curation tools should I use?
While it’s perfectly possible to manually find content to curate across your social channels, it’s easier and more efficient to lean on one or more of the many dedicated content curation tools at your disposal.
Price: $49 — $499 per month
Free trial?: 14 days
Social Animal is a versatile curation tool that lets you identify and monitor content in a variety of ways. You can track keywords, publishers, and relevant domains in a single dashboard, receiving automatic email updates every time something worthwhile comes through.
Image Social Animal
The tool offers a range of pricing plans tailored to different types of user. Whether you’re a blogger, an agency, or a full enterprise, Social Animal has the perfect plan for you. Some might be put off by the relatively expensive prices, so experiment with the two-week free trial before committing.
Price: Free — $67 per month
Free trial?: n/a
Scoop.it is something of a heavy-hitter in the world of content curation. It’s comprehensive and intuitive, and users can search for and categorize content with its easy-to-use interface. Scoop.it even plugs into your social platforms, so you can quickly and easily curate content in minutes.
One of the tool’s major appeals is its free plan. This is ideal for individual use, and it gives you the space to sample Scoop.it before committing financially. Although its most expensive set plan in $67, enterprise businesses can negotiate a bespoke agreement by reaching out to Scoop.it directly.
Price: $79 — $499 per month
Free trial?: 7 days
Perhaps the most popular content curation tool out there, BuzzSumo’s primary focus is on content discovery (rather than content publishing). It’s easy-to-use and powerful, letting users scour every corner of the web for content based on a keyword or phrase.
What really sets BuzzSumo apart is the accompanying data each result has. BuzzSumo indicates how popular each piece of content is across social platforms, helping you find only the best and most useful pieces for your channels.
This feature makes BuzzSumo well-worth its paid plans, with each scaling according to your business needs. As ever, it’s worth trying the free version before committing. As well as content curation, BuzzSumo can help you spot influencers and provide inspiration for original content, so it’s well worth investing for more than just content curation.
Brands doing social content curation right
If you want to get your social content curation on-point, it pays to look to the experts. Here are just a few of the best social content curators from around the world that you can use as inspiration for your own content curation strategy.
Calvin Klein: lean on your customers for UGC curation
Calvin Klein is perhaps one of the most iconic brands in the world. The luxury fashion brand is renowned for its high-end garments and effortlessly-cool style. Wearers of Calvin Klein are proud to be part of such an elite club — and CK knows it.
That’s why the brand uses the #MyCalvins hashtag for its social content curation, bringing together its proud customers on Instagram and Twitter to show off their own Calvin Klein products.
This is social content curation with a twist: rather than leaning on known industry publishers, Calvin Klein looks to its own customers to provide content for its social feed. It capitalizes on this wealth of UGC and takes the best #MyCalvins snaps to share on its own social feeds and website. Calvin Klein also tags these images with the product in question, driving sales even further as a result.
This kind of user-generated content curation is virtually free to source, often high-quality, and it shows some love to CK customers — no small thing when it comes to building a customer community.
Takeaway tip: look beyond the usual publishers whose content you curate and use your customers’ content instead (with their permission, of course). This provides you with a wealth of original, authentic content that strengthens your customer relationship and gives you a social proof boost that will grow your brand.
Gymshark: curated content that is fresh and diverse
Gymshark is an ecommerce success story to inspire you. Launched with Shopify in the UK by a 19-year-old college student, the brand has shot to international success by offering affordable, high-quality gym wear that actually looked good.
But Gymshark’s success was partly built on its strong customer community. Its pop-up stores regularly have hundreds of attendees, style-savvy fitness aficionados coming together under the Gymshark brand.
That community is bolstered by Gymshark’s customer-centric social content curation. Its social channels are replete with a variety of different content that appeals to its customer community. Take the examples below:
Instructional videos, questions, inspirational quotes — Gymshark’s social content is diverse and far-reaching, hitting a variety of aims. It educates with actionable fitness tips, entertains with humorous memes, invites discussion with questions, and more.
This strategy nurtures Gymshark’s customer community. It strengthens relationships through diverse content that appeals to its audience as humans, engaging different emotions in different ways.
Takeaway tip: curating the same kind of content over and over again will ultimately bore your audience. When your customers browse social, they seek a diverse range of content: how-to videos, memes, interesting short-form blogs, and so on. A diverse curated content strategy keeps your audience engaged by keeping it fresh, so strive to provide a variety of types and formats in yours.
Wirecutter: content curation that puts the audience first
If you’re a gadget addict, you’ve probably already heard of Wirecutter. The tech review website is renowned for its high-quality analyses of all the latest gadgets, and it’s a hub of useful knowledge and advice for anyone thinking of investing in a new smartphone.
And that content doesn’t just sit static on its website. Wirecutter regularly shares its comprehensive guides on its social channels too:
From the best turntable or salad spinner to home security advice and updates on the 5G rollout, Wirecutter curates a wealth of useful (and actionable) content that its audience loves. And it varies too: in-depth reviews, interviews with industry professionals, original research, instructional videos, and more.
The work that goes into this content is immense. Wirecutter’s writers spends anywhere from a few hours to several months creating content, testing products and conducting research to provide content that meets its target audience’s demands. And ultimately, the proof is in the pudding.
Takeaway tip: the success of Wirecutter’s curated content lies partly in its high-quality, and partly because it appeals to their target audience. Curate a diverse array of content that hits your audience’s pain points and provide them with value that they can take away and use.
What does a good social content curation strategy look like?
The brands listed above are all fine examples of social content curation done right. But what should yours look like? Here are some key features that you need to know:
- Set defined, measurable goals
- Target particular audience
- Only provide high-quality curated content
- Reinforce your branding through curated content
- Find the curated content sweet spot
Let’s walk through each component.
1. Set defined, measurable goals
Your content curation strategy should align with the goals of your business. Brand awareness, conversions, engagement, followers — whatever your goal, it should be quantifiable, so you can measure your success as you go.
2. Target particular audiences
Strong content curation relies on giving the right audience the right content. Just as your original content should be created with specific buyer personas in mind, so too should your curated content be targeted at specific consumer sets.
3. Only provide high-quality curated content
This is especially true if you’re curating content from third-parties. Whatever you share will reflect back on you, so avoid generic filler content and go for high-quality pieces that your audience wants to see and actually provides value. Remember: less is more.
4. Reinforce your branding through curated content
The content you curate should, in most cases at least, ultimately serve your brand. It should, in some way, highlight the value your business provides to consumers. For example, if you sell noise-canceling headphones, you could share content that highlights the importance of looking after your ears.
5. Find the curated content sweet spot
Content curation is best in moderation. Too little, and it’ll jar with the rest of your content. Too much, and it’ll look like you don’t produce anything original. Create an editorial calendar for your curated content and stick to it — three pieces a week is a good starting point.
Content curation helps brands keep their social followers engaged by giving them what they want. Whether it’s a useful instructional guide or an entertaining video that the viewer will share with their friends, curating a diverse array of content on your social feeds will keep your audience engaged with your brand.
Follow the tips above, learn from the best, and start curating social content that your audience will love today.