Sure, I am guilty.
I find great content. Share it on Twitter. Then sometimes I copy it to LinkedIn and Google Plus.
It is called content curation. While Heidi Cohen shares 19 possible definitions, basically:
“Content curation is the process of finding, organizing, selecting, and sharing the content of others on a topic relevant to a targeted social community.”
Awkwardly, I and many others in social media are lazy content curators.
Socially speaking, some are worse than others.
Are you guilty of any of these bugaboos of social sharing?
1. You share content without identifying the source [it would be oh so helpful to include the name of the blog or a via Twitter ID].
2. You post the same content to multiple social media platforms using the same shortened link and the same hashtags, all without variation or comment [hashtags on LinkedIn posts and RTs on Facebook posts are marks of the lazy content curator].
3. You share your newer original content and curated content mixed with an overwhelming amount of older original content [sure I love evergreen content as much as the next person but it would be wonderful if you could identify your new original content; try New versus ICYMI].
4. You comment on influencers’ blogs to be seen rather than heard [add to the conversation and I and others may want to connect with you, too].
5. You auto post anything and everything with minimal consideration for curating the best content that is relevant to a particular social platform and its audience [and you probably do not read what you social share].
6. And, unrepentantly you try to fool your audience by rearranging the timing so the same social share hits different platforms at different times [yes, the Buffer App and the HootSuite Hootlet are easily abused by the lazy content curators among us].
“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” ~ Albert Einstein Click to Tweet
There is a Better Way
I have always suggested to my social media marketing students that when the social media platform provides the space, they should add commentary or annotation to their social share. A recent read about annotation adds much insight and justification to this discussion.
“A social share annotation is the process of adding comment, summary, perspective, insight, or question to the curated content of others.”
In a recent interview blog post by Search Engine Watch, Guy Kawasaki said that, “eventually, content curators will be as important as the creation itself.” No doubt, content curation is finding its strategic place in brand building, personal branding, and social media marketing.
“Good content curation is as much about how you share as with what you share.”
With Twitter’s space limitations, the proper use of one or two hashtags allows the curator the opportunity for limited though purposeful and searchable annotation.
With LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus, and your favorite blogs, there is plenty of space for adding comment to others’ content that could contribute to your social recognition, authority and influence.
If you think about it, it is not that difficult to add some value to a curated social share. Even the lazy can do it.
If you read an excellent and insightful post from your favored blog, then prior to social sharing leave a meaningful comment to encourage or engage the blog post author.
If the curated content provides “ten ways to grow your small business,” then and there explain which way is your favorite.
If the curated content is an infographic filled with interesting statistics, then and there explain which statistic surprises you.
If the curated content provides two opposing positions, then and there explain with which side you agree or disagree and invite others to voice their side, too.
If the curated content is the best content on the subject you have read this week, then and there say so and why.
In other words:
“Sell the click through. Give others a reason to read or view the curated content that you have social shared.”
Too Soon We Forget
As recently lamented by Mark Schaeffer, social media is over run by those whom no longer desire to act social. When we use content curation to post it and forget it, or auto-post it and forget it, or cross-post it and forget it, or vary-the-time-to-post it and forget it, we are missing the great opportunities and benefits that social media provides us.
“It is not called advertising media. It is called social media. So join the conversation, add social value to content curation, and jump start the engagement process with social share annotation.”
A funny thing happens on the way to content curation with social share annotation:
1. Your current and potential connections begin to see the authority and added value to your social shares.
2. They see that you are actually reading, thinking about, and learning from the selective content you social share.
3. They see that you are a true content curator of epic content and a potential influencer.
4. Some will view this as a reason to respond and engage with you, your brand, and your social shared content.
5. This engagement may motivate and inspire you to create or continue your own original content through blogging.
6. Then those whom liked your content curation with social share annotation are more likely to have interest in following you and your blog content, too.
How could these potential results not help and better position your personal brand in the minds of important self-marketing and job search/career stakeholders?
Image credit: from DonkeyHotey on Flickr.