What is Social Media Content Curation?

A version of this post was first published on the Bureau, NewsCred's content industry news portal.

As a digital marketer, you've spent the last few years building up your follower base on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Now that you've got thousands (or even millions!) of fans, how do you keep them engaged with your brand?

Sure, you could talk about your own products all day long. Your company is amazing, right? The problem is that every company thinks that they're great, too. And this leads to a lot of noise, which in turn causes your potential customers to tune out.

To maintain and grow your social media base, brand marketers need to think beyond white papers, promotional gimmicks and product hype. And the only way to keep your fans hooked in the long run is to provide relevant, quality news content that your customers actually want to read and share. That's where social media content curation comes into play.

So what is Social Media Content Curation?

Social media content curation is simply filtering through all the interesting content across the web and sharing the best news, articles, videos and infographics on your social channels.

Why should my brand curate content on social?

Many brands are already taking advantage of curated news content on their owned and operated websites, and curation on social media is a natural extension of those efforts. Fresh journalism will make your brand relevant in your followers' social streams. Curated content also allows you to scale your campaigns with the pace of the web, without exhausting all of your resources on original content.

For B2B brands, the goal is typically to become a recognized thought leader on channels like LinkedIn. Posting high-quality news content demonstrates that your brand is on top of all major industry trends.

B2C brands can use curated content to show their personality on Tumblr or Pinterest, while attracting new followers with viral-worthy posts. Savvy marketers will share links that send quality traffic back to the sites they manage, rather than sending users away to another site (you'll need to license content if you want to publish full articles from third-parties on your site).

Regardless of your marketing objectives, you need compelling, timely content to join the conversation. And if you earn a reputation as a top content curator, you can start hosting the conversation on your pages - just as a publisher would.

How do I find the best content for my brand?

Brand managers could just dive in and see what types of content resonates on their social channels. But most brands will want to develop a content strategy first so that there is a plan and basic guidelines for everyone on the team. Social media is a two-way conversation that no one can control and having a content strategy helps minimize risks to the brand's overall equity.

When we develop content strategies for our Fortune 500 clients at NewsCred, we start with an audit of existing owned content assets (articles produced in-house, product guides, videos etc.), and then analyze the brand's target audiences. We also look at other thought leaders in the brand's sector for inspiration and note which news articles get the most shares and likes. This informs our game plan to hit the marketer's objectives and engage the brand's audience over the course of the campaign. The content strategies we develop will also inform the proper ratio of original vs. curated content for each social media channel. The end result is an editorial guide that includes a curation playbook for social media managers.

After your brand has developed its content strategy, you'll likely seek out a marketing technology solution that suggests the perfect news articles for social. Platforms like NewsCred use powerful algorithms to identify the best articles based on a variety of factors like the quality of the sources and the significance of trending topics. Once you combine curation technology with quality content, you're brand will be ready to take its social campaigns to the next level.