I attended the Self-Publishing Book Expo in NYC recently, and one of the questions that came up on a social media panel was: how do I find enough stuff to talk about? I’m not that interesting!
We all had a good laugh, but when the panelists were asked this specifically, they really didn’t answer beyond ‘be yourself,’ or ‘share some visuals’ — both good tips, by the way. But I didn’t really feel they addressed the question.
CONTENT CURATION VS. CONTENT CREATION
Being the bossy girl I am, I approached the panelists after (and one of the attendees who asked the question) and suggested that they ‘curate content’ in addition to ‘content creation’ (not in opposition to — we need to do both). What does that mean exactly?
‘Content Curation is the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds specific subject matter. Though it is still considered a “buzz word” by many in the content world, content curation is now becoming a marketing staple for a successful online presence.
Content curation does not include generating content, but instead, amassing content from a variety of sources, and delivering it in an organized fashion.’ (Source: eContent, 2011)
Panelist response: ‘well, I’m not going to steal content and call it my own.’ And I so agree! That is not content curation at all — that’s stealing. The point of curating content is that you find great stuff to share (pictures, vines, stories, tips, quotes) and, if they fit your keywords or topics of interest, share them — always with attribution.
One of the original ways to share content on Twitter was the RT (retweet). You read something you liked, you shared it. Easy. Same with the Facebook share, Google+, or Pinterest.
We are not endless fonts of cool, interesting stuff — we are humans, with lives and work and families. The Internet is ablaze daily with superior information, news stories, how-to’s, pictures, graphics, infographics, and more. Curating simply means sharing! Surely you can do that, right?
WHAT TO SHARE?
This goes back to branding. What are your interests, keywords, genre? That’s a great place to start. We are intuitively drawn to subjects that interest us, and so are others — sharing content that’s ‘other-centric’ creates a bond between you and the reader — one people who only spam links and don’t interact will never have.
Does this mean that you should never share you ‘own’ stuff? Not at all. I often share quotes, blog posts, and even a link to my books (though to be honest, I prefer to direct people to my bio if they want to click on it and learn about my book, they can). The point is making it a good mix.
HOW DO I FIND CONTENT?
I recommend using Google Chrome and/or Hootsuite — they have an extension, called a Hootlet (works for any browser), which allows you to share content from anywhere with your various social media sites.
For example, say I find a great article about social media on Mashable. I don’t have to copy/paste the URL (like in the olden days), I just click on the extension in my toolbar and schedule a share. Couldn’t be easier! And the attribution is embedded.
HOW TO SHARE
I use Pluggio and Hootsuite to find content that fits into my keywords. Both have free options, so you can use them also. You can live tweet/post or schedule. I prefer a combo of both — all scheduled appears bot-like, so don’t get caught up in scheduling everything. Some of the best conversations happen when I’m on Twitter or Facebook live.
If you’re a ‘live-only or die’ person, fine. You can still use the extensions to share live. I personally prefer spreading out tweets and shares to no more than once every few hours, which I why I schedule in tweets and posts. If you only live interact, your timeline is flooded for say, fifteen minutes, and then silent for hours. Consistency is key. If you schedule in three tweets per day, stick to it.
Does this clear it up for you? If not, please ask below!