Curation is the short cut to social media content development. It is also one of the ways to position yourself as an expert in your field.

In simple terms, curation is the selection, aggregation, sorting, fine tuning and publishing of third party content. When you consider just how many tweets, blogs, articles and websites exist, you’ll appreciate the value of the curator.

A Google search for “How to bake a cake” yields over 40 million results while one for “How to knot a tie” yields about 50 million.  Little wonder that the sites that aggregate the best cooking or fashion tips have ardent followers. Instead of sifting through millions of sites, users can go to the ones with the most relevant and qualitative content.

There are 2 levels of curation: Source and secondary level. In source curation, you cast your net wide looking for 3rd party content. You subscribe to news feeds, blogs, Twitter lists, Facebook pages and so on. You set up Google alerts & searches on social media dashboards. You literally read through everything you deem relevant in a bid to identify the content you want to aggregate and share. This takes time. 

In secondary level curation, you depend on specialised aggregators like Curata or Trendhunter. Some social management platforms also offer content curation like SumAll and Klout. You specify a topic or area of interest and the aggregators pull in content you can then customise and publish/schedule. Curation can scarcely thrive without scheduling. Once you’ve gathered relevant content, schedule time sensitive content first as there’s no point sending out stale news.

Curation will help to keep your timeline active while you take out time to create original content. Original content is time and resource intensive. 

Please note three things as you curate content:

a. The quality of information sourced.

b. The value you add by interpreting, streamlining or presenting it in a relevant format.

c. The timeliness of your information. This is especially relevant for bloggers and news hunters. 

In the next episode of The Cs of Social Media, I’ll describe the main building blocks of a social media team. Till then, I wish you success on your social media journey.