Do you have trouble coming up with content to share on social networks?
Or, are you stuck going to the same few content sources over and over?
If so, you’re not alone.
One of the biggest challenges for companies is finding good content to share on social networks.
Many companies default to simply sharing their own content. However, you don’t want to turn into a used-car salesman who blasts their audience with non-stop promotion.
You must balance your promotional efforts by sharing other useful, informative and entertaining content.
But, where do you find it?
There are lots of resources and tools available to help you discover and curate content.
Content Curation Tools
But, here are a few new players on the market that make the process of finding and sharing content even easier.
1. Hootsuite Suggested Content
Hootsuite is a popular social media management platform. In fact, we use it and often recommend it to our clients.
A couple of months ago, Hootsuite added a suggested content feature that’s baked right into the platform. Now, Hootsuite is going beyond management of your social media channels to act as a content discovery tool.
Here’s how it works:
Once you’ve logged into your account, simply go to the publisher tab. Once you’re there, you’ll see the suggested content section. Select the account you wish to use and then Hootsuite will suggest three topic areas based on your previous tweets.
However, you can easily change the selections to any three topics you wish.
Then, you select your scheduling preferences to determine when you want the messages to post to your account.
Once you’ve done this, Hootsuite pre-populates a feed of posts for you. You can then schedule posts individually or use the check boxes to schedule messages in bulk. You can also edit the messages before you schedule them.
Here is what my feed looked like based on the topics of marketing, public relations and social media.
The good stuff:
The great thing about this tool is that it’s baked into a tool that many businesses are already using, so it makes it easier for people to find and share content in one place.
It’s also cool that Hootsuite learns your preferences. The more you use it, the better the suggestions get.
Using the tool, I found content that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise and I also found that some of the content I shared using the tool received a good number of clicks.
Most of the messages seem to come from large publications — Huffington Post, Forbes, Mashable and the like. There’s nothing wrong with those publications, but it would be great if there were a little more variety to the content sources.
If you work with multiple accounts, switching back and forth is a little clunky. You have to go back to the settings and reset all of the preferences for a different account. It’s not a deal breaker, but it would be nice if there were an easier way to save your preferences and then easily switch back and forth — especially if you work with a number of accounts.
- It’s available for Hootsuite Pro and Enterprise users only.
- It can be used with all social networks available on Hootsuite — Twitter, Facebook, Linked and Google Plus.
If you’re already using Hootsuite, this could be a great option for augmenting your content curation efforts.
2. Buffer Content Suggestions
Buffer is a fantastic tool that offers easily scheduling of social media messages across multiple platforms. This is another favorite in the Blue Kite Marketing social media toolkit.
Buffer’s content suggestions go an extra step by serving up articles you can share with your audience with one click.
Here’s how it works:
Selecting the Suggestions tab in Buffer will take you to a feed of curated content that you can share. Because Buffer is already set up to share posts at your pre-determined times, all you have to do is click the “Add” button and the post will be added to your queue.
Buffer offers content in a handful of topic areas — marketing, inspiration, business & startups, lifehacking, design and Buffer picks. You can view all of the sections at once or select individual topic areas to fine-tune the recommendations.
A few weeks ago, Buffer also introduced an iOS app called Daily that offers the same functionality. The app allows you to quickly flip through their content recommendations and read the posts you like. You simply swipe right to add an article to your Buffer and swipe left for content you don’t want to use. It’s pretty nifty!
The good stuff:
Buffer hand selects every post they recommend. Because Buffer knows how to seriously rock their social media efforts, the content they choose is high quality.
I also love how they add images to a number of their content suggestions, which makes the content highly shareable.
And, the functionality is dead simple to use. You can’t beat that!
Although there are a variety of topics included in Buffer’s recommendations, they mostly fall into the generic business category. So, the content from this platform won’t work as well if you want to share specific industry news and articles.
Also, it’s a little clunky to customize the message. You can’t edit the update until after you’ve added it to your queue. It’s not terrible, but it’s an extra step.
- Available for all accounts — both free and paid
- It can be used on all social networks available on Buffer — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
Buffer will work great for you if you already use the platform and work in marketing or want some general business posts to share.
3. Klout Content Sharing
A somewhat surprising player in content curation is Klout, the platform most known for influence scoring.
However, earlier this year, Klout rolled out content sharing to help users increase their influence by recommending articles that will resonate with your individual audience.
Here’s how it works:
Once you log into Klout, clicking on the “Create” tab will show you a number of articles that you can review and share with your audience.
Much like Hootsuite, Klout provides you with a unique content stream based on your chosen topics and interests of your audience. You can filter the content by adding or changing the topics in the right-hand column. You can search for your topic of choice or click “Explore” to browse through their topic areas.
Recommended content falls into a few different categories:
- On Target — Content that in a topic area that your audience cares about.
- On the Rise — Content that is being shared more than an average article.
- Hidden Gem — Content that your audience has likely not seen.
- Hot off the Press — New content that has been shared in the past several hours.
Once you find an article you want to share, simply click the “share” button to customize your message, select the designated social network and schedule a time you want to share the message. Klout even recommends the best time to share the post based on your when your audience is most active.
The good stuff:
My favorite aspect of the tool is that Klout gives you insight into why the article has been recommended for you. For instance, when I hovered over this “On Target” article, I see that more than 23% of my Twitter audience would be interested in this post from The Next Web
I also really like the “Hidden Gem” articles, which often come from lesser-known sources. When you hover over the “Hidden Gem”, you’ll find that there’s only a small chance that your audience has already seen the link. This gives you the ability to share content that your audience isn’t getting anywhere else.
Because Klout only allows you to share on Twitter and your personal Facebook profile, your sharing options are a little limited.
Klout does offer measurement, but it’s mostly focused on your Klout score. It doesn’t offer a great way to see how your posts from Klout are performing. You can find that information, but you have to dig through all of your posts to find the ones from Klout. And, once you do, it only shows you your “score impact”, not clicks or views.
Klout offers some keen insight into the content that will resonate most for your audience. But, because it’s measuring and sharing options are limited, this will not be a one-stop solution for you.
Content Curation Best Practices
Whether you use these tools or something else, there are a few things you must keep in mind when curating and sharing content on social media channels:
- Contribute your own content. These tools are great for finding other content to share, but you MUST develop and share original content to help grow your audience and build your influence as a thought leader.
- Add attribution. These recommendation tools don’t always include attribution with their pre-populated messages. It makes sense to go in and edit the content to include proper attribution to the original source. That way, your content isn’t misleading and it creates the opportunity to engage with the author or publisher.
- Analyze, test and tweak. Pay attention to the articles that your audience clicks, shares and responds to the most so you can continue to offer up better content. Also, don’t be afraid to test out new types of content to keep things fresh.
If you keep these few things in mind, these tools can be a great asset in your efforts to find and share content for your audience.
Have you used any of these tools? What do you think about them? Or, do you have other tools you would recommend?