Social media marketing is admittedly something of a moving target, and for a while, it seemed like content curation was the answer. Faced with an exhaustive creation schedule, it’s no surprise why the practice of building a solid base of interesting content out of other creator’s works was so attractive to big brands. They got the “meat” they needed to keep their social media feed current and interesting, and the original content creators were exposed to a new audience: win-win, right? Well, it turns out that content creation might not be the cure-all it was once thought to be – it’s still a worthwhile tool, but it’s more important than ever to use it responsibly.

Curation Implies an Ongoing Relationship

If you plan on introducing some element of curation into your social media plan, it will feel more natural if an interval is introduced. Perhaps once or twice a week, make a point of sharing an influencer’s take on a subject that involves your products and services, and call out that interval. You might call them “Mindset Mondays” or “Wisdom Wednesdays,” including content such as a critique of a manufacturing style you don’t use, or a “top 10” style list article aimed at the audience you’d like to attract. This regular feature gives your audience something to anticipate, and might even spur contributors to vie for that limited spotlight.

The Same Content Rules Apply

By now, most businesses know what Google’s looking for in order to hand out those coveted front-page results: fresh, current content that gives value to the reader. While curation does lean on content that’s already published elsewhere, using pieces that were published 5 years ago, rather than five weeks ago, will cause a measurable negative impact. Likewise with content that’s riddled with errors, bad formatting, or poor presentation: your content plan will rise to the level of its company, so choose your curation targets wisely. While it can be tempting to sneak in an older article that’s a great fit for your brand concepts, stick to news from the last month or earlier for the best results.

Make it a Two-Way Street

Sharing isn’t just a technique reserved for “paying back” influencers: anyone that produces content that makes it into your curation needs to be called out, ideally in a link. When you respect the sources you’re borrowing from for your curation, your readers will view you in a more positive light – you’re researching, rather than trying to claim someone else’s ideas as your own. Additionally, one link on your site might lead to another on their’s, which ultimately benefits both sides of this important content equation. Besides, if your social media marketing is nothing but endless ads for yourself, your customers are going to get bored and start unfollowing your accounts.

Mimic What Works

Don’t be shy about following high-powered, ultra-successful accounts on your social media platforms. Keep an eye on which accounts are gaining engagement – likes, follows, shares, and so on – and determine if there’s anything they have in common. If there is, start researching how to incorporate it into your business. Trial and error can be very costly in marketing, so learn from the lessons that other companies have learned the hard way. A quick look at a successful competitor’s posts and tweets will tell you all you need to know about tone, frequency, and other facets of their posting schedule.

Content curation isn’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s a tactic you should abandon just yet. Smart, clever curation can still revitalize your feeds, provided it’s mixed with enough original content to turn Google’s notoriously stubborn head in your direction.

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