Things happen fast on Twitter—that’s what makes it such an exciting platform. But it also means you need to post regularly to keep your followers engaged.
If you run a small or medium-sized business (SMB), this can feel like a big task. But what many businesses don’t realize is that you don’t have to limit yourself to Tweeting just original content. Here at Hootsuite, we are big fans of curating content. Here are our top strategies and tips for effectively curating content for your business.
What is content curation and why should you do it?
Content curation is all about sorting through the huge amount of content available online and sharing only the best with your followers in a meaningful and organized way.
5 reasons to add curated content to your Twitter strategy
- Curating content is cost-effective and efficient, much faster and easier than creating original content.
- By curating content, you add variety to your feed.
- Curated content is also a great way to offset promotional content.
- Not only does curated content add variety to your feed, it can also provide real value to your followers.
- Sharing videos, columns, articles, and other content that is relevant to your brand and your industry can help position your business as a thought leader in the industry.
How to curate content on Twitter
The theory behind curating content is simple: find it, evaluate it, then save and share it. The actual practice can be a bit more complicated.
How to find content
There are plenty of ways to find content to share on your brand’s Twitter account. These are a few of our favorites.
Twitter lists allow you to segment your timeline into mini-news feeds so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Try creating lists based on influencers, news, or industry topics. Find out how to create a list on Twitter or using Hootsuite.
RSS feed reader
RSS feed readers let you subscribe to blogs, news sites, and other publications that regularly produce the kind of content you want to share.
BuzzSumo is a great tool for finding out what the most-shared posts are on a given topic.
How to save and share content
Now that you’ve found content and evaluated it, it’s time to save or share it. While you can share content right away, if you’ve found several pieces of content you’d like to share, it’s best to spread them out so you don’t flood your followers’ feeds. Luckily, there are plenty of tools to help you do that. Here are a few of our favorites.
Twitter Dashboard (@dashboardapp) is a free tool offered by Twitter that allows you to schedule Tweets, access Tweet tips, and engage with your audience. It’s a great way to schedule all that curated content you’ve found so that it doesn’t go out in one overwhelming chunk.
Hootsuite is a social media management platform that, among other things, allows you to monitor your social feeds (to find content), perform social actions (such as Retweet and like content), and schedule Tweets to send out at a later time.
Hootlet is a free tool offered by Hootsuite that allows you to quickly and easily share content to Twitter and other social channels from anywhere on the web. It’s a Chrome extension that adds a button to your browser bar. Click that button on any website and Hootlet will auto-populate a shortened URL and a social message with the link’s page title.
Content curation best practices
If you’re planning to add curated content to your business’s Twitter marketing strategy, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Know your audience
Knowing what your audience wants to see is the first step to curating content that resonates. The Audience Insights tab in Twitter Analytics provides demographic data about your followers. Your audience’s interests is a valuable area to focus on and will help tell you what topics will resonate with your followers.
When you’re searching for content to share, be sure to stick to trustworthy sources. You want to make sure that if you’re sharing something, you know that it’s reliable.
Questions to ask yourself when deciding what to share:
- Is the content relevant to my business?
- Is it interesting, entertaining, or useful to my followers?
- Does the content contain what the headline promised?
- Is it from a credible source?
Read (and watch) it all
It’s important to read (or watch, as the case may be) the entire piece of content to ensure it says what you think it does and is a good fit for your business.
This step is critical to ensuring that you provide value to your audience, and is the key to doing content curation well.
It’s important to attribute your content whenever possible. On Twitter, the best way to give credit to the original content source (the publication, writer, etc.) is by using an @mention.
Juice company @EvolutionFresh shares an article on healthy eating hacks and give credit to the journalist.
Don’t just share an image, video, article, or link—add commentary, pull a quote from the piece, or pose a question to your followers to capture their attention and explain why this content is relevant to them.
For example, a design company adds a catchy tagline to a relevant @buzzfeed article.
Now you’re ready to start curating content! By following these tips you’ll add variety and value to your Twitter marketing efforts while saving time.