Once you have your social profiles set up on the social media platforms that are best for your business then you need to post to them. Frequently. Most companies will want to start with the major platforms so Facebook Page (not your personal profile), Linkedin Company Page, Twitter and Google+. There are others and other ways of using those listed here but this will start you off and make you realise that it doesn’t need to be time consuming. It is also a great way for you to keep up with what’s going on in your industry, service area or interest.
Why curate content?
Curating content is sharing other people’s stuff. Why would you want to do this? Well you need to show your audience that you are in tune with what’s going on in the world around your business specialism but more importantly you will share things that are helpful to your audience. Your audience is your potential customers or current customers and clients, not you. You must choose what you want to share with them always in mind, this way they will come back for more. You must understand why first before going on to the how or you will not be committed to the routine of sharing content published by others.
How much should I share?
How many post per day you put on your Facebook Page or how many Tweets you send is always under debate amongst social media marketers. Below I have listed figures and best posting times just to start with. These are not hard and fast rules and as anything in marketing, should be tested. Don’t get hung up on these kind of details but do remain sensitive to your audience. Test and review based on good reviews of the analytics.
- Facebook Page – 1 post per day (evening)
- Twitter – 3-6 Tweets per day (spread evenly)
- Linkedin – 1 post per day (mornings)
- Google+ – 2 times per day (morning and evening)
A much more detailed article appeared on the Fast Company blog which goes into great detail on this if you are interested in seeing stats from other companies. It’s not necessary to to into this depth just to get started. The article mentions Buffer App which I will be covering in the “How” section below.
Feedly – Something to share
First you are going to need to find articles to share. You could bookmark a list of blogs and websites and visit them frequently, look for the share buttons at the top or bottom (or sometimes side) of the post and work through sharing each one individually to you social media accounts. This is quickly going to get tedious and time consuming. Much better to automatically pull in articles of interest as they are published into one place. How’s this done? Buy a technology that all blogs have built in called RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication. There use seems to have fallen out of favour in the last few years. I can’t understand why as they are an immensely versatile tool particularly as they are the way podcasts are regularly delivered to listeners.
You don’t need to understand the technical details just that Feedly will produce a regularly updated list in chronological order of the latest articles from your chosen blogs. This will give you a never ending stream of interesting articles to skim through to find the most valuable for your audience and share them to your social media accounts in a few clicks or taps.
- Head over to Feedly and sign up for a free account.
- Chose some blogs to add to Feedly. They will give you some choice of blogs and you can search for interests within Feedly but it’s better to find blogs of interest in Google or go to those you already know to get started.
- Add the blog RSS feed. When you find a blog you can be clever and look for the RSS icon then copy the url it leads to. (Right click “copy link location” or similar.) Many blogs don’t have these so just copy the website url from the browser address bar and paste it into the Feedly search box. Feedly will then find the blog feed (RSS feed) if it has one.
- Categorise your finds. Feedly will suggest categories to put the feed into or you can add your own. It’s best to get organised from the start as you can end up with a lot of feeds. Also it makes scanning articles on particular topics easier.
- Get the App. I find it easier to sign up and organise feeds on a desktop or laptop but sharing is easier on a tablet/phone so get the app for Feedly and sign in with your account details. You will be amazed how quick you can scan through dozens of articles quickly until an interesting headline catches your eye. (Make a note of this for when you’re creating your own content!)
You can share to your social media accounts from feedly one by one but they get published immediately. From a time management point of view you need to restrict your selecting and sharing of content to certain periods or it can become too distracting. What if that time is early in the morning or late at night? Your audience may miss what you post. That’s where Buffer comes in. Read on…
Buffer – schedule you posts
Buffer lets you send text and links to the article you have chosen in Feedly to your social media profiles, but it holds the posts and sends them out a pre set scheduled times. Very clever.
- Sign up for a Buffer (free) account.
- Connect your social media accounts.
- Set the schedules for posting you require.
- Get the app on your phone/tablet and sign in.
Sharing from your tablet
Now when you open Feedly and scan through recent posts from your chosen blogs click on one you want to share. This will open in its own window and may have the full text or an except. In order to read the full post click the link and the original article will open. However, we are concerned here with sharing whilst still in Feedly. So, you’re looking at the article in Feedly and decide to share to your social media accounts set up in Buffer. Click the share icon, which on my Android tablet is three vertical dots. There will be several share options and Buffer will not necessarily be one of them. If it’s not then click on the further share icon, three connected dots or similar, then share options specific to your tablet will open up. Add to Buffer should be one of them. Tap on this and the article title and link to the original will open in the Buffer app. You can then select which social media profiles you want to share the article to. You can also add your own comments to the post which is best practice of course but you may have to share separately to Twitter to allow for the character limit.
Choose Share now or Buffer. Obviously the idea is to Buffer your posts so select that. Your chosen articles will then build up in buffer and get sent out according to your set schedule.
Using the above method it becomes a quick and painless task to read through and select items of interest to your audience and share four or five per day. Getting in the habit of reading up to date articles on your business specialism will also keep you topped up with ideas for producing your own content which of course should be interspersed with curated articles from other authorities in your business niche.
More on Curating Content
Do you have other ways of curating contact or use other apps? Share your techniques with us in the comments below.
Also published on Medium.