If you’ve been following along with this series on Content Curation, you will now have learned what the difference is between Content Creation and Content Curation, and which social media platforms work best for each.

We’ve also learned how to become a content curating machine, by setting up systems and accessing great content.

Today, in our final installment of this series of guest posts, we’re going to look at some best practices for sharing curated content.

1. Give credit

When you’re curating content, all you are doing is sharing other people’s content! While it’s not necessary to send an email to every single writer and ask them if you can share their content (permission to share is implied when bloggers post online — in fact, they want you to share their work!), you do want to credit the original source. Make sure that, while curating content, you don’t make it look like it’s your content.

When curating tweets,include the original writer’s @username. Not only does this give credit to the original tweeter, but it also establishes you in their good graces, and they might return the favor! I often use “via @username” at the end of my tweet, or I’ll use h/t (hat-tip) @username if I discovered a great link through another person (but they did not write it).

With sites like Pinterest, you don’t have to worry, as the pin will always lead back to the original source. Some people try to hijack pins, though, so you may want to double-check that the link works, and goes to the correct site.

When doing curated blog posts or e-newsletters, make sure you link back to the original source, and if you ever quote from the original source, that you indicate it.

2. Establish a schedule

Curated content can fit perfectly in with your email marketing. Adding resources like news articles, blog posts, and videos to your emails can help position your business as a source of valuable information, which will improve engagement from your email audience.

As a good rule of thumb, 80 percent of your email content should be designed to inform and engage your email audience. 20 percent can be focused on promotional efforts.

You should align your email schedule with a social media schedule that works for your business. Here are some considerations for how often to post on some of the top social networks:

  • Facebook: 1-2 posts per day. Check your Facebook Insights to see when the times of day are when most of your followers are online, and schedule your content to go out during those times. I like to post at 1 pm and 8 pm.
  • Twitter: 3-5 times a day. Use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to help you schedule your tweets to go out at various times of the day.
  • Pinterest: pin about 5 things per day.

3. Put content in context

When sharing curated content, it’s important to put the content you’re sharing in the context of the platform that you’re using. For example, you may share the same article on different social networks, but the way you position that piece of content should be different, based on the sites that you’re using.

When it comes to curating content, I always find that timely posts or posts that are topical perform really well on Twitter. Watch for breaking news in your area of expertise. One of my favorite tools, HootSuite, allows you to set up a Twitter feed based on different keywords, which I follow and retweet relevant articles from.

Also, note when you are curating content, it’s good to curate fresh or evergreen content. I find often when I’m looking at things like Infographics, the information degenerates quickly, especially if it references things like statistics or specific data.

I very seldom, if ever, curate content that is more than 1 or 2 years old, as the social space changes so quickly, that information gets out of date really quickly. Look for content that was created recently, or evergreen content that never goes out of date.

Keep an eye out for trends that will allow you to recycle evergreen content. For example, it was recently World Vegan Day. This is the perfect opportunity for food bloggers to go through their archives and schedule up any vegan content they have with the hashtag #WorldVeganDay.

Conclusion

Winning the social media game boils down to a couple really simple actions: content and continuity. Where many people fail at social media is simply showing up and being present on it every single day.

Scheduling and curating content allows you to make sure that you always have content on your feeds, and that that content is good quality, attracting followers, and engagement.

Want to catch up on the previous posts in this content curation series? You can view them here.