When it comes to social content – and the need for content curation – there is one point to always keep in mind: people now have a vast (and growing) amount of options vying for their attention.

The industry doesn’t matter. From healthcare and environmental concerns to sports and online gaming, the number of outlets trying to capture the audience in your space is likely growing. Competition is fierce, which is why providing good content curation is paramount for those wishing to succeed.

Good content curation makes your social media and website a “must read” for people interested in your product or industry. That includes social media content curation – which may be the most important of all.

So where to start developing a plan? This first task is understanding what content curation actually involves.

What is Content Curation?

Content curation is not about creating new content. Rather, it involves sifting through content available online on a certain topic and then presenting that content in a concise, clear manner to readers.

In the case of social media, this means going through Facebook updates, Twitter posts and also articles to find the best information, and then present that information repackaged on your site.

Methods of delivery are as varied as technology allows. Typically, you can push out your curated content through social media or blog posts of your own. The timing of these posts is up to you – some areas require daily news, others weekly. The important thing is consistency.

A weekly or monthly email is another method of reaching your audience, although this works best if you have a list of blog or website subscribers. Pushing content to people rather than having them come to you can increase readership.

Specific Tips for Social Media Content Curation

All of the tips below are important for all types of content curation, including social media. But there some things to keep in mind with social media specifically.

Typically, businesses use social media for customer support, offering special deals or sharing the latest news about products, but it can also be a great place to add a social content curation element that focuses on news about your industry or area of interest.

Some of the best advice comes from Hootsuite, a social media management tool that allows you to manage posts for a variety of sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many others. They advise to split curated content into three areas, equally divided. They call it the “Social Media Rule of Thirds.”

Those areas are: content that promotes your business and generates profits; content that shares stories and ideas from thought leaders in your industry; and content about personal interactions with customers.

By curating content, you provide your audience with other points of view, a better understanding of your industry and also connect yourself with thought leaders in your industry.

Social Content Curation: Know What Your Audience Wants

To figure out what your audience wants, you need to look no further than yourself. Think about what you are looking for when you look at social media in areas of interest to you or areas where you are trying to learn something.

It typically comes down to a handful of issues:

  • Content that is current. Nothing is more off-putting than content that is dated and no longer applicable to what is happening in the industry.
  • Content that is clear. By curating content, you are cutting out all the noise and providing the content that is clear about the topic.
  • Content with commentary. Good content curators know to add a line or two – or more, if they are really clever – to whatever content they are finding. Whether a reader agrees with you or not, adding some commentary or opinion adds value.
  • Content that is concise. Who has time these days to go through dozens of articles looking for the best nuggets of information? Well, a good content curator does just that – and saves the reader having to do the same thing. That’s an enormous value.

How to Build Trust with Your Audience

It’s simple: consistency, accuracy and clarity.

If you want people to return to your site regularly, then you must post your content consistently. Decide this from the outset. Do not promise to publish daily if every other day is all you can manage, nor should you promise to post every other day if really there is only enough material for once a week.

The first time someone checks to see the latest post and it is not there, you run a high chance of losing them.

Accuracy speaks for itself – the moment you publish something that is wrong, people will lose faith in your ability to deliver news to them they can count on. That said, everyone makes mistakes – just keep it to a minimum, correct it immediately and make every attempt not to get the big facts wrong.

Clarity typically walks hand-in-hand with being concise. Deliver the information and then stop, do not pad blog entries or social media posts with unnecessary prose.

Keeping this tips in mind can help you successfully provide your customers curated social media content – an important step in building a loyal audience.