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how you post and share content matters

If you listen to me long enough and you’ll know I am more focused on social networking and being engaged than creating content. I’ll keep saying it too….

 

Your content is designed to play a supporting role.

 

People do business with people. They build relationships. They act on those relationships. When they choose to act is when your content matters. It is at that point they will read (or read again). It is at that point they will decide if, aside from having that relationship with you, they trust you are the right person or business to hire.

Content isn’t the most important thing…. what you post and more importantly, HOW you write, post or share content IS critical.

Your content MUST have a purpose

Your content MUST serve a purpose. It must help build relationships, must be authoritative and/or must drive action.Click To Tweet

Not every post needs to do all of it, and the best content will hit multiple points. If your content doesn’t hit on at least one of those points, you’re wasting your time posting it. PERIOD

I adore Rhonda over at Fat Dog Creatives. She’s a fantastic graphic designer and her process is incredible. She’s also a big proponent of me (yes, I have an ego).

She shared one of my Facebook posts about the value of engagement  to her business page. I immediately thanked her (as Tactical Social Media, though I could have as myself.) and as quickly as I did, I scolded her. Love that she shared it, hate that while it was good for me, it did nothing for her!

She already decided to share my content. She gave me something, so why not leverage it to truly nurture the relationship, to establish her own authority, drive some action and share a little bit of herself? She should use it further help herself.

 

Blindly posting or sharing content provides little value to YOU. Make what you post count for you AND your audience.Click To Tweet

How you create your post matters

How the share first appeared…..

How you post and share content matters

Here’s the edited version…..

How you post and share content matters if you want to see results

The difference?

She leveraged my content to help build her authority. She continues to nurture our relationship (more than simply sharing my content, she acknowledges she is learning from me – that ego thing again) and she is making it personal and herself more relatable to her clients.

 

The bonus… Rhonda will get some HUGE additional visibility:

*  She tagged me (with permission – do not ever tag a person in a business post without permission. It is rude and a relationship killer) placing her post on my timeline. Her brand was promoted to my personal network.And since I was tagged personally, I responded personally. That adds further reach.

*  She has real content that could be found later when someone uses Facebook’s search function (and trust me, they do!).

 

While I will continue to preach that content is less important than social engagement, there is no doubt content is vital. It’s not about how much content you post, how often or when.

 

It is about WHAT you post and HOW you post and share content that matters.

The Value Behind Content Curation

Content is king.  Whether for a blog post or social media channel, and regardless of the SEO effect, without regularly updated quality content, you’re providing no value.  Potential customers have no reason to return to your site.  No reason to return means not building a following and little chance of turning your visitors into prospects and leads.   The issue for many is creating a content strategy that delivers the quality material their audience wants without overwhelming themselves.

We recently met with a client struggling with this exact problem.  He was continually trying to create original content for Facebook and his blog.  The time involved was removing him from other areas that needed his attention.  We was frustrated and, quite understandably, burnt out.

We laid out a plan that would reduce the demand for original content, allow him to shift his focus while still retaining a consistent posting schedule.  We created a schedule for posting involving a mix of original material, curated content and leveraged content.   In addition to reduced stress levels, this strategy provides several tactical advantages.

5 Reasons You Need A Content Curation Strategy

#BeTactical: The Content Curation Strategy: Is content curation missing from your strategy? by Robert Nissenbaum, Tactical Social Media (image by Jeremy Karelsen Photography)

The ‘Go To’ Resource

People spend a great deal of time online looking for information.  Over time they gravitate towards sites that provide them the most useful information possible on the topics they’re researching.  It’s smart. Less time finding sources means more time getting answers.  How many sites have you bookmarked for reference because they had plenty of content you needed?  We’ll bet you’re not even aware how much of the information on those sites was original versus curated.

People search to find solutions.  When they have a problem, who provides the answer is more important than whose answer it is.

Why not make your blog, Facebook or Google+ page that site?  Why not provide the best content someone would need to make a buying decision regarding your industry, your product or your service?  Your page becomes the trusted source.  YOUR page becomes the ‘go to’ resource.  Over time this will increase your fan base, reach and ultimately your revenue.

The ‘Expanded Reach’ Factor

Content curation requires acknowledging the source.  Whether it’s a backlink in a blog post, a website link or tagging in a social media post you’re alerting the author.

If you tag us in a post, we’ll make it a point to thank you.  That interaction is an excellent means of increasing exposure and reach.  If the content shared was from an influential source, it can also put you on their radar.

The ‘Credibility’ Factor

Being the expert in your industry doesn’t mean you know everything or you’re the only expert.  It also doesn’t mean you have all of the answers.  Sharing curated content acknowledges that fact.  You become more credible by sharing the work of others (especially that of a competitor).

The ‘Expert’ Factor

This tactical use of content curation, the “leveraged content” we mentioned in our strategy.  Sharing the work of others makes you a great resource, it provides you content when there isn’t time to create your own and it increases your visibility but it’s WHAT you do with that content can and will define you as the expert.  Don’t simply share what you’ve curated.  Add value to it!

Look at the content from another angle.  Build on the work already done.  Add additional points, especially if the content is a list.  Maybe your experience can fill in gaps.  Even the experts see content differently.  We are always learning ourselves.

A great example of this strategy was how we used content curation in sharing a recent Google+ post by Mandy Edwards.

We built upon her original list, adding value to the reader.  The approach allowed us to create ‘original’ content without starting from scratch, provided (targeted) reach and overall exposure.  It added credibility by validating someone we recognize as a true social media expert and provided the opportunity for collaboration on a future article on the topic (see the comments).

The Customer Service Via Social Media Necessity is a good example of how to leverage content for a blog post.

The ‘Collaboration’ Factor

Sharing content from more influential sources (and even competitors) provides a great opportunity for collaboration (especially if you follow the advice in The ‘Expert’ Factor above on how to tactically use Content curation).  When you share another business’s or individual’s content, they will (or should) know.  While they may not actually engage on that particular piece of content, you may just grab their attention.

The primary role for your content is prospecting tool.  It’s designed to find potential clients / customers (the upper level of the marketing funnel).  At the same time, that content serves the role of prospecting for collaboration and partnerships (as it did in our post – see the comment string).   If you can grab the attention of a leading industry expert and if your content resonates with them, you’ve created the prospect for a working relationship.  Those relationships, especially if with another industry influencers, are priceless in terms of exposure, credibility and learning.  The right project could catapult you or your brand to the next level.

One added benefit our client received – the reduced time creating daily content not only meant time to focus on other pressing matters, but allowed him to create more in-depth articles.  His content mix now includes short, original content, shared quality content, value added leveraged content and in-depth articles providing more detailed solutions.

While this customer needed a means of reducing reliance on original content, tactical use of curated and leverage content is a recommended strategy for any business.

Value Add Versus Aggregation

The Museum Correlation

While many feel content curation has little value without your own voice (good article by The Social Masters), it’s not our stance.  Without question content curation should focus on adding value, there is a place (and value) for simply creating a collection of quality content as part of your mix.

Consider any of the Natural History Museums.  They curate pieces from hundreds of sources.   This pieces may be displayed as individual specimens or as a collection of like items such as “Sue” (‘…the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.’)…

The world-famous fossil known as “Sue” is the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, Chicago Field Museum

Image courtesy of the Chicago Field Museum

 

…or be arranged to create a ‘scene’ providing a more detailed look into the past.  In some cases these scenes may involve the combining of pieces from multiple sources.

Display of wildlife survival in the vast area of Africa, Las Vegas Natural History Museum

Image courtesy of the Las Vegas Natural History Museum

The latter is the valued added exhibit.  The former simply a re-posting if you will.  The value in a curated display with no value added in the form of Sue being placed on display?  It’s a ‘high draw’ item.  It’s the content that will bring in visitors who will then likely check out the rest of the exhibits.

Simply curating high quality, timely content on your blog or social sites has the same potential effect.  The key is to not abuse it.

Our advice:  #BeTactical.  Make sure your content curation strategy is balanced.  

Your Turn

Is curated content missing from your strategy?  If it’s included, are you simply sharing or do you add value?

I’d love your hear your thoughts.  You can comment below or you can find this discussion and comment on Google+Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!

If you like what you’ve read, share it and get yourself on our mailing list for more valuable content.

If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place, if you have no idea how to find content or if you have a plan but could use some help to #BeTactical in leveraging it, we need to talk.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.  If you’re in the Greater Seattle  or South Sound Areas, we’d love to buy you a good cup of coffee.

Protecting Your Brand’s Reputation

Before you ReTweet, repin or share that content – READ IT!

We should all aware by now that what we post online, especially public content, will live forever.  What you post can have profound, long-term effects on your brand reputation.  Even a single post, tweet or comment can take on a life of its own.

Where am I going with this?

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]While it’s generally sunk in that we need to be careful WHAT we post, it seems that isn’t necessarily the case with what we REPOST. [/perfectpullquote]

 

TBefore you ReTweet, repin or share that content – READ IT!  We should all aware by now that what we post online, especially public content, will live forever.  What you post can have profound, long term effects on your brand reputation.

I was dumbfounded recently when I read an article that was heavily repinned and RT’d.  The content discussed how to drive more reach for your Facebook Fan Page and ultimately your website or blog.  Catchy headline, catchy image.  The issue was the actual content.  The author was advocating click baiting – something in itself I find unethical – but more importantly, something Facebook discussed in August: ‘Facebook is announcing the pursuit and war against attempts to entice clicks through headlines that are misleading.’


I couldn’t believe so many people were sharing content that would actually HURT others in their social media efforts and was exactly what Facebook was working to stop!  Regardless of why the content was shared, it was obvious it wasn’t read first (though I will concede that some share may have been from those that did read it and agreed with the Black Hat practice).

 

Since our brand reputation is affected by what we post, both our own and curated content, it’s imperative that we read everything we intend to put our name and stamp of approval on, even if that takes time, regardless of the source.

 

When discussing this topic with a colleague it was mentioned that content from a trusted source may need less scrutiny and maybe none.  It may be true that the source may will be far less likely to share or post such content, even the experts make mistakes.

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]It’s not just about whether the content is true, the link legit or the image authentic, it’s as much about what is said.[/perfectpullquote]

 

Sharing great content (even from a trusted source) doesn’t mean your brand reputation won’t come under fire.  Sharing content counter to your beliefs, what you advocate, what your followers / fan base expect can be just as damaging.  I have generally have no desire to share the content of even the best known / trusted social media or marketing experts (or experts in any field) if I do not agree with their position.  Would you give someone who’s views are counter to yours access to your audience?  Unless you’re looking for a debate, no.  Yet sharing their content on your social media profiles is doing just that.

 

Four Simple Takeaways:

 

  • Read first, then share, regardless of the source (& do it every time).

 

  • Don’t Share, re-post or ReTweet without following all links.

 

  • Don’t repin without tracing the image back to its source.

 

  • If you’re unsure of the content or it’s source – DON’T SHARE IT!

 

It may take longer, but a few minutes now can save your brand reputation (and the time to repair it later).