Over the past few years when I have discussed social media on radio shows or on panels at conferences, the topic of content curating has come up. Many people have no idea what it means and others are fascinated by the idea of designing their social media marketing strategy. Basically, it all boils down to one thing…
We live in a time where we are all involved in media. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… profile, you are regularly engaging social media.
If you are social media, the name of the game is SHARING. You share your own thoughts, you share cool stuff that other people share, you share stuff that other people are sharing about sharing…. and so on.
Sharing makes it social.
Think of yourself as a television channel programmer, except the difference is that you get to choose exactly what your audience is exposed to on multiple channels. Your social media streams are like playlists that are targeted towards your ideal audience.
Do you know exactly who the audience is that you are trying to reach? Are you trying to reach moms? Teachers? Lawyers? Dentists? Dads? How old are they? What kinds of movies do they like? Do they listen to Spotify or Pandora? What level of education do they have?
Are they just like YOU? Or are they like someone you know, a family member or friend?
When curating content on social media, you have to know who you are trying to reach and what your message is. Once you know this, you can create a masterpiece of a digital footprint that will attract exactly the audience you want, so you can sell them products and services or advertise products and services to them (and get paid by advertisers). Ultimately, once you are connected with your audience and they know, like and trust you, guess what they do? Share!
Which leads me back to the idea behind this post…
5 Tips to Curate Social Media Content That Gets Shared:
- Know your brand values and stick to them. You can share all kinds of information (health, sports, fashion, business, etc) on social media as long as it appeals to your core audience. People will pay attention to you and want to share your stuff if they can trust that you will give them useful information and resources on a consistent basis. If you divert from this, it will turn them off or confuse them and they will find someone else who they can count on- to pay attention to. For instance, if your audience consists largely of devout Christians, you probably don’t want to be tweeting a lot about Howard Stern or Marilyn Manson. Know your core values and make sure all of your content is aligned with them.
- Use a variety of content types. Remember in school when there were certain kids who were auditory learners, others who were visual and another group who was kinesthetic… or something like that? Well, people prefer to consume content in different ways as well. So, make sure that you are updating your Facebook fan page with photos, video, blog posts and podcasts. Vary the medium. You also don’t want to make it all about you. Share blog posts, photos, videos and internet radio shows of other content creators who share core values with your audience. Share good content from people who share your stuff too. Remember, you are a television programming executive who gets to program from any channel you want (as long as it aligns with the values of your target demographic).
- Have an intelligent social strategy. All this content curation stuff is super fun and entertaining, but what is your goal? Do you want to sell more stuff? Are you looking to increase your visibility to get more media attention? Do you want more social proof that you are awesome, so people will hire you? Do you want to connect with more high-level influencers, so you get hired to speak more? What is it that you want? Sure, it’s fun to chat with people on social media and get likes, but WHY do you want this attention? What is the goal of your social media marketing? Think about this with every tweet and update you send. Will it bring you closer to a goal? Great, then hit enter and know that you are moving forward.
- Know what makes you unique and embrace that on social media. People want something new and fresh to help them to feel inspired and energized. Everything from your profile pic, to your bio, to how you interact with your followers will help your audience to connect with you. But, make sure there is something about you and your content that is different. Highlight this. Of course it is important to watch what others are doing and make sure you are keeping up with trends (especially with how social media transforms so often). Some artists believe that the best way to learn is to copy other master artists, but isn’t it better to be a first rate version of yourself, than a second rate version of someone else? Whatever that thing is that sets you apart from others in real life- is the same thing that will make you stand out in social media. It’s your secret “sauce”. Share it!
- Relax and have fun on social media. While we just talked about serious things like strategy, core values and content types as a way to plant those sharing seeds, one of the most important things about social media is your personality. Make sure that you are getting out and enjoying life in the real world as much as you are engaging online. Content curation is also about socializing and having conversations. Reach out and tell people how much you appreciate them. Share their content and put the spotlight on them. Smile. Laugh. Be you. If you do this, people will be sharing your stuff more and more every day. It’s true.
Your digital footprint may be permanent, but every moment is new. Every moment is a chance to be a better you and to make the world a better place. Online and off. How you curate your social media content is an adventure in being you. The sharing part is the icing on the cake when it comes to social media, but honestly, how good is cake without the frosting?
Never before have we been able to do participate in media in such a rewarding way. So, what do you think is the most important aspect of how content gets shared? Do you know someone who is doing it extremely well? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! And feel free to share this post with your friends