The conundrums of making curated content work on social media

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The conundrums of making curated content work on social media - Why I made RefR

Thing with curated content - You gotta love it so freaking much as if its your own and it'll start working for you!**

Everyone is sharing content to brand awareness and enable thought leadership with the hyper-connected followers. A unique still prevalent scenario confronts every digital marketer where one becomes ambivalent between the needs of content which can either be unique or curated. Marketers often tend to incline towards curation, as creation demands greater time, effort, subject-expertise. 86% of marketers curate content but less than half agree that the content they curate is getting them the results they want. Why?

dependency on aggregation
time-poor entrepreneurs
curation knowledge gap
curation ROI
resources

Content curation itself is not easy. Even if the curation topic is known, filtering from a funnel of thousands of identical pieces and identifying the ones with high pertinence & quality score is strenuous.

Most of the startups/small businesses make it a perfunctory schedule for curated content to be posted on their social media. What we found during our beta test, was that 80% of our 144 users were more focused on keeping their accounts active, rather than worrying about its real ROI, its effectiveness and what its really doing.

Nevertheless, it adds to the calendars of time-poor entrepreneurs when their own time is best spent on building the core product and the business. Far too many of them hire a graduate/beginner to manage their social media, who haven’t quite aced their ability to pinpoint effective content. This embarks dependency on aggregated platforms and an inexperienced path to content curation.

Unknowingly, they end up spending $20k a year (at least, collectively on salary, tools and time), without carrying enough information about its real return. This is often overlooked as the good-looking vanity metrics define the success of a curated content posted on social media and we become gullible to the hearts, the thumbs-ups. Now, they do imply our brand index and popularity, but the majority of us have adopted the façade of brand awareness behind achieving the vanity metrics, while silently/inescapably ignore the defeat to attain the imperative knowledge of ROI behind their effort and whether the curated content really adds value.

Is there a lack of tools available for making the curated content work? No. It's the approach.

Back to love**

Ask yourself as a marketer or a curator - do you give enough love to the content you curate or rather share it for the sake of sharing? Would you have shared your own content the same way as you are sharing the curated one? Because sharing some content has to better than sharing no content at all, right? Well… 

Why can we not make curated content work better? All we need to do is love it - give it a lot more attention before we share it. Think about why would a follower retweet a tweet. Usually, because it is interesting, relevant and exciting. A social media post with the right combination of Relevance, Readability, and Thrill tends to score more. Really good content checks all three boxes. And sharing really good content requires more than algorithms.

How we are combating this with RefR to make the curated content productive (raised to the power two)?

Relevance - 

We choose relevance over quantification because quantifying doesn't work in everything. How we comprehend relevance?

Remember David Brin's inquisitive ferrets filtering the interests from spam, created a chamber of echo in the end.

Why? They didn't know whose interests they were catering to. While we as human beings have the power of building and understanding personas. We begin with personas. 

Understanding the target market is paramount to curating the relevant content. It is essential for the curator to put oneself in the shoes of the prospective readers to realise their interests, pain points, what will make them tick the three boxes and what might make them interact with the curated content. 

Following personification, we create rico cluster keeping the business in hand in the middle of canvas and focusing on it's personas' interests. Depending on the number of personas, we sometimes have to make use of more than one canvas. Let me share a 'pretty' sample with you -

‍Rico Clustering for identifying relevant Curation Topics

I meant it when I said 'pretty'. Normally we'd use a magnetic chart and a marker. Note - this is just for two personas but in this case we had 12 different personas including the overlaps and we made 7 extended clusters. Clustering is fun and easy as compared to what it looks.

Now, we have a laundry list of relevant topics/interests aligning with the business activity and their target market. Time for some badass curation! As we identify the relevant content, we read and once convinced, store them in our in-house repository. This might be one of the most time-consuming exercise as we read every piece of content we intend to share for our users. This is essentially the Tinder-ing stage for matching the curated content with the business activity in hand. We ourselves use a combination of tools/alerts and subject-matter freelance curators to help us tick the pertinency.

Then we start filtering to rule out the weak and contradictory sources. We also keep an eye on the recency factor but then some articles are evergreen. If it adds value, its good.

This is the stage of 'falling in love' with the curated content.

Readability -

People share curated content for sake of sharing.

If you're really in love with the content you curated, you'll have a thing or two from it to highlight before you share it on social media. If you just gather together a set of links and share them - you're indifferent to the content you curated. You are sharing for sake of sharing. Audiences grow and become loyal when they’re exposed to content that shares knowledge. Content that is insightful, useful and thought-provoking. No thought and no one will be provoked.

How we do? 

1. This is where our twofold curation happen as we pull an interesting insight from each piece of content and highlight it as we share. If the content already has an intriguing title or snippet, we’ll leave it as is. 
2. PLUS we tap into the opportunities/trends to amplify the curated content and where relevant, @mention the source and include an appropriate hashtag. The human touch is vital here as algos might miss here. Why? Sometimes we want to mention the source, not the author, and sometimes the author, not the source, and then there are times when we want to mention the focal point of the content
3. Then there are times when we want to express, convey, and augment but the 140-character inflexible container doesn't permit. EMOJI to the rescue. Emoji is the new era of marketing language, and we speak it fiercely by pairing them within an isight we share for the curated content. Emoji add a visual touch and sometimes  express what we’re feeling better than text can. Emily has put it right -
‍‍‍Content by Emily, gif by RefR

We’re completely on board with her marketing Dos and Don’ts for using emojis.

Talking about visual communication gets us to 'thrill' and third stage of love - 'Combining Forces To Change The World'.

Thrill - 

~10,000 tweets are sent every second.

What will make someone take a breather on your tweet while scrolling the feed of thousands? Get visual.

Visual perception plays a hand here to catch the attention and we, humans can interpret and connect when we "see" things, much faster than text. To enable thrill and intrigue, we design minimal images to go with the curated content. We take into account the harmonies of the pleasant and the chaos of the contrast, the elements that dominate and the ones that suppress, and finally, the typography which creates the mood and works the cognitive self.

Sometimes, images make better text and they get you 84% more click-throughs, 53% more likes, 104% more comments. And to maximize the reach of the tweets, we use Buffer to make sure your posts go out when the followers are most active.

Example images -

How does this curated content generate leads?

Until now, it is all about increasing the efficiency and solving the conundrums of loving the curated content. Couple that with a luring exposure of those extra 30 seconds with our LeadBox will increase your contact time with your audience. Wait, what is LeadBox? 

It's branding the curated content we share on social media.

When a follower interacts with a piece of curated content you’ve shared on social media, they will be redirected to the content, which will be framed by your LeadBox. Every piece of curated content can have it's own unique LeadBox link back to your site.  Click the button below to try it for yourself 'how it works?'. 

For the reader, they get content that meets their interest. From the prospect of a business it gives you presence on a site that could otherwise be impossible, especially for small businesses/startups and for the host site, extra traffic. It’s an absolutely win-win. We’ve been testing it with more than 144 beta users and it’s combination with our content curation is poised “to be a champion”.

Final thoughts -

You got to like the niche, the topic, the industry you are curating content for and same is with us. We sometimes have to say no (with due respect) if a particular niche doesn't interest us as the last thing we'd want is a vinyl record news making to the wall of a analytics firm.

In an event where the ratio of curated/created content is 80/20 and considering the average of $300 - $600 being spent on content curation monthly, it ought to make an impact.

We want to make Hay while the Sun Shines with this formula to make the curated content work on social media. I am certain you can relate to my pointers and that they help you in your content curation process. If you do decide to give RefR a spin, a quick note - we value the time and money that you’d be putting in us, and, for the same here's a little gift - "BROREFR" for 25% off first six months.

Need I say more, think it'll be proper if I let RefR do the talking for us and eventually for 'You' eh!

Just in case you have a suggestion or two for us to improve the anything or the overall experience, or you would want to report a bug, or you simply want to check whether we are going to reply to your messages, ping us at and you’ll know.

PS: Have mercy on RefR and play your part as even awesome curation will never work alone. It needs to be backed by creation, participation, promotion, etc. That said I’m optimistic and delighted to make the curated content on social media, a lot more productive.

86% of marketers curate content but less than half agree to it working. Why?

Everyone is sharing content to brand awareness and enable though leadership with the hyper-connected followers. A unique still prevalent scenario confronts every digital marketer where one becomes ambivalent between the needs of content which can either be unique or curated. Marketers often tend to incline towards curation, as creation demands greater time, effort, subject-expertise. 

Dependency on aggregation
Time-poor entrepreneurs
Curation knowledge gap
Curation ROI
Resources

Content curation itself is not easy. Even if the curation topic is known, filtering from a funnel of thousands of identical pieces and identifying the ones with high pertinence & quality score is strenuous.

Most of the startups/small businesses make it a perfunctory schedule for curated content to be posted on their social media. It adds to the bang-packed calendars of time-poor entrepreneurs and far too many of them hire a graduate/beginner to manage their social media marketing, as their own time is best spent on building the core product. This embarks dependency on aggregated platforms and an inexperienced path to content curation.

Unknowingly, they'll end up spending $20k a year (at least, metaphorically), without caring enough information about its real ROI. Why? Because, often the good looking vanity metrics define the success of a curated content posted on social media and we become gullible to the hearts, the thumbs-ups. Now, they do imply our brand index and popularity, but the majority of us have adopted the façade of brand awareness behind achieving the vanity metrics and they silently/inescapably ignore the failure to attain the imperative knowledge of ROI behind their effort and whether the curated content really adds value.

Is there a lack of tools available for making the curated content work? No. It's the approach.

Back to love**

Ask yourself as a marketer or a curator - do you give enough love to the content you curate or rather share it for the sake of sharing? Would you have shared your own content the same way as you are sharing the curated one?

How can we make curated content work for our social media. We need to love, give a lot of attention to the content we curate before we share it. A social media post with the right combination of Relevance, Readability, and Thrill tends to score more.

How we are combating this with RefR to make the curated content productive (raised to the power two)?

Relevance - 

We choose relevance over quantification because quantifying doesn't work in everything. How we comprehend relevance?

Remember David Brin's inquisitive ferrets filtering the interests from spam, created a chamber of echo in the end.

Why? They didn't know whose interests they were catering to. While we as human beings have the power of building and understanding personas. We begin with personas. 

Understanding the target market is paramount to curating the relevant content. It is essential for the curator to put oneself in the shoes of readers to realise their interests, pain points, what will make them tick and what might make them interact with the curated content. 

Following personification, we create rico cluster satellites keeping the business in hand in the middle of canvas and focusing on it's personas. Depending on the number of personas, we sometimes have to make use of more than one canvas. Let me share a 'pretty' sample with you -

Rico Clustering for identifying relevant Curation Topics

I meant it when I said 'pretty'. Normally we'd use a magnetic chart and a marker. Note - this is just for two personas but in this case we had 12 different personas including the overlaps and we made 7 extended clusters. Clustering is fun and easy as compared to what it looks.

Now, we have a laundry list of relevant topics/interests aligning with the business activity and their target market. Time for some badass curation! As we identify the relevant content, we read and once convinced, store them in our in-house repository. This might be one of the most time-consuming exercise as we read every piece of content we intend to share. This is essentially the tindering stage for matching the curated content with the business activity in hand. We ourselves use a combination of tools/alerts and subject-matter freelance curators to help us tick the pertinency.

Then we start filtering to rule out the weak or contradictory sources. We also keep an eye on the recency factor but then some articles are evergreen. If it adds value, its good.

This is the stage of 'falling in love' with the curated content.

Readability -

People share curated content for sake of sharing.

If you're really in love with the content you curated, you'll have a thing or two from it to highlight before you share it on social media. If you just gather together a set of links and share them - you're indifferent to the content you curated. You are sharing for sake of sharing.

Often we forget that the whole idea is sharing knowledge - insightful, useful and thought-provoking. No thought, no provoking. 

How we do? 

1. This is where our twofold curation happen as we curate an interesting insight from each piece of content and highlight it as we share. Although some titles are irreplaceable by any kind of commentary or insights so we leave them as they are. 
2. PLUS we tap into the opportunities/trends to amplify the curated content and where relevant, @mention the source and include # per the curated content and business activity. This is where human touch becomes inevitable as algos might miss here. Why? Because, sometimes we want to mention the source, not the author and sometimes the author, not the source, and then there are times when we want to mention the focus of the curated content.
3. Then there are times when we want to express, convey, and augment but the 140-character inflexible container doesn't permit. EMOJI to rescue. Emoji is the new era of marketing language, and we speak it fiercely by pairing them within an isight we share for the curated content. Not just Emoji adds a visual touch but sometimes it defines better than text. Emily has put it right -
‍‍Content by Emily, gif by RefR

We completely align with her long-thriving do's and dont's for the right use of Emoji in marketing. 

Talking about visual communication gets us to 'thrill' and third stage of love - 'Combining Forces To Change The World'.

Thrill - 

~10,000 tweets are sent every second.

Even when we put in the hours and the curated content is befitting, rarely do we get the result we hope for. What will make someone take a breather on your tweet while scrolling the feed of thousands? 

Visual perception plays a hand to catch attention and how we interpret when we "see" things. To enable thrill and intrigue, we design minimal images to go with the curated content. We take into account the harmonies of the pleasant and the chaos of the contrast, the elements that dominate and the ones that suppress, and finally, the typography which creates the mood and works the cognitive self.

Sometimes, images make better text and they get you 84% more click-throughs, 53% more likes, 104% more comments. They just work and as humans, we connect with visuals much faster than text.

Not that it will attract each of your follower, after all there is Gregory's Visual Assumption Theory*** and then most of your followers might be sleeping when you tweet. Although we do use Buffer to make sure your posts go out at times when your followers are most active throughout the day.

Example images -

How does this curated content generate leads?

Until now, it is all about increasing the efficiency and solving the conundrums of loving the curated content. Couple that with a luring exposure of those extra 30 seconds with our LeadBox will give another push for businesses to generate leads. Wait, what is LeadBox?

It's branding the curated content we share on social media.

Every piece of curated content can have it's own unique LeadBox-containing link. As and when one clicks on this link, will be redirected to the curated content along with your LeadBox. Click the button below to try it for yourself 'how it works?'. 

LeadBox demo

From the prospect of a reader, it serves people with details, from the prospect of a business it gives you presence on a site that could otherwise be impossible, especially for small businesses/startups and from the prospect of host site, extra traffic. It’s an absolutely win-win. We’ve been testing it with more than 144 beta users and it’s combination with our content curation is poised “to be a champion” if our initial feedback is to be followed.

Smart is the one who is able to convert the right audience and urged by the temptation of increasing the productivity of social media posts, we further introduce a LeadBox, to the combined force of love.

Loved Content Curation

LeadBox

I believe this will be the success formula for making the curated content work on social media. We want to make Hay while the Sun Shines.

Thanks a lot to be here, reading this. I hope you can refer/relate to my pointers and they help you in your content curation process. If you do decide to give RefR a spin, a quick note - we value the time and money that you’d be putting in us, and for what it’s worth, rafflec

Need I say more, think it'll be proper if I let RefR do the talking for us and eventually for 'You' eh!

Just in case you have a suggestion or two for us to improve the anything or the overall experience, or you would want to report a bug, or you simply want to check whether we are going to reply to your messages, ping us at our email and you’ll know.

Final thoughts -

You got to like the niche, the topic, the business industry you are curating content for and same is with us. We sometimes have to say no (with due respect) if a particular niche doesn't interest us as the last thing we'd want is a vinyl record article making to the wall of a business consultant (pun intended).

In an event where the ratio of curated/created content is 80/20 and considering the average of $300 - $600 being spent on content curation monthly, it ought to make an impact.

PS: Have mercy on RefR and play your part as even awesome curation will never work alone. It needs to be backed by creation, participation, promotion, etc. That said I’m optimistic and delighted to make the curated content on social media, a lot more productive.

What do you think?
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Ayush Mittal

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