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Content Curation on Social Demands More Than a Shared Link

Simply copying and posting links on social media is not an effective content curation strategy.

Here’s the problem. You aren’t actually talking about what and why you’re sharing it.

If you’re curating content on social media because you need something to stay connected with your followers, to raise awareness of your brand, to showcase your thought leadership, there’s a more effective way to do it that will deliver better results.

Give context to your curation

Knowing why your audience connects with your brand on social media will help you identify the most relevant content for it. Knowing why your business uses social media will help you identify the most valuable content for you. Then you can frame the curated content that works for both your audience and your business’s purposes.

Frame your curated content on #social for your audience members – why are you sharing it with them? @cotealexandra11 via @cmicontent. Share on X

Here are a few examples of how to do curation in effective ways.

Take an excerpt and engage

This LinkedIn post from Steve Koontz used findings from a Connect Solutions survey to curate a good post. He wrote a unique intro, posed questions to the community, concluded with his thoughts, and added a call to action – asking members of the community for their opinions.

Attribute properly

After reading an article on HubSpot, Ryan Zadrazil curated this post. He clearly denotes where the information is coming from and mentions in the post that the link to the article is in the comments. It’s imperative to building trust and credibility to identify where the original content came from.

Always note where the curated content originated. It’s imperative to building trust, says @cotealexandra11 via @cmicontent. Share on X

Connect the dots

Theodore Rappaport uses two resources to curate this LinkedIn post, linking to an article he wrote for CNN Business and to a third-party research study. It’s worth noting, the study is from 2006 and Theodore uses it to show how its predictions have materialized today. The average reader likely wasn’t familiar with that content and would never have known about it if not for Theodore publishing it with modern-day context.

Set the stage

This tweet from SEMrush succinctly introduces the curated article with bullet points and emojis:

Disagree if you want

In this tweet, I shared a solid research-based piece and added my conclusion, which is different than the article’s. Ideally, a whole stream of people would respond to my questions and reply with their opinions and experience:

It’s OK to say when you disagree with the #content you’re sharing, says @cotealexandra11 via @cmicontent. Share on X

Where to find content that’s worth talking about

Not all content sources are created equal. Plus, even when you have sources for great content, you can’t share and talk about the same ones all the time.

Here are four tools to help you find curation-worthy content:

1. Feedly

To keep up with the content published by the most helpful websites for you, simply “follow” them via Feedly. But that’s only the beginning. You can pick the keywords, trends, and topics you’re interested in seeing content about from those sites. Then, Feedly’s AI tool Leo prioritizes the content in your stream and explains why each piece of content was prioritized. The more you use it, the better Leo is able to deliver and prioritize relevant content.

2. Zest

My favorite tool since it’s mostly for marketing-related content, Zest helps me keep up with the latest industry changes. You add it as a new tab in the Chrome browser.

Use a tool such as @ZestisApp to curate the best recent #content for your selected tags/topics from its community, says @cotealexandra11 via @cmicontent. Share on X

The Zest AI software culls the best recent content for your selected tags/topics from recommendations from its community of over 100,000 marketers. Zest is selective. It says it curates only about 1% of the suggested content from the community.

I often get to see articles that haven’t gotten that much buzz yet but have many insights worth discussing.

3. Twitter and SparkToro Trending

You can use Twitter’s trends feature to see what’s popular in real time. That often can help you find relevant and valuable content to curate.

If you want to curate content on web marketing, SparkToro Trending can help. It ranks the most-shared articles on Twitter, shows you who is tweeting about it, and points you to other content being shared by those accounts.

Use @SparkToro to #curate #content on web marketing, says @cotealexandra11 via @cmicontent. #tools Share on X

4. BuzzSumo

I mostly use the BuzzSumo Chrome extension to judge content based on its number of shares. Then, I read the most-shared stories to consider which ones will work for my curation. Similarly, you can use this platform to find content that similar audiences to yours already support by sorting the results based on social signals.


Where to next?

You don’t have to curate for social media chaotically. You need to set up a content curation workflow. From knowing where to find relevant articles to talk about, to creating your list of curation possibilities, and to crafting the curated posts in an appropriate context, you need to document how to execute each step. Standardizing the process lets your team operate from the same page and work toward the same goals.

I recommend spending time on a regular basis to schedule your posts in advance. Then you can look at the month ahead to see if you have any repeating ideas or gaps in topics, and you may even spot tiny mistakes.

Back to you now. What are your best tips for standing out when sharing someone else’s content on social media?

Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used). 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute