It’s no surprise that I love Pinterest.
Pinterest is the only form of social media requiring no thought from me. I don’t have to worry about updating frequently to keep myself relevant or popping on to keep up with conversations. There are no scores, there are no metrics — just beautiful pictures and great ideas. Pinterest is a brain cleanse of the greatest kind.
Participating in Pinterest got me thinking about content curation and how we (as bloggers and social media addicts) curate content. By definition, content curation is finding, organizing and sharing the best and most relevant content. We do it all the time without thinking. Tweeters re-tweet well written posts. Bloggers who focus on a certain topic often keep a running list of great sites relevant to their topic. News junkies share articles with their friends. BlogHer, at it’s core, is a big site of content curation, where the best content is carefully vetted and shared.
What makes you share?
As a social media manager, I’m fascinated by what makes others share certain types of content, and what factors make them share. In my professional life, I have two goals: bring in patients to our health system directly (I.e. sharing an event, new doctor announcement, or service line additions) and share content that sets us up as the go-to source for trusted health information (even if it doesn’t come from us originally.) Personally, my goal is to educate my readers and share tips, products or stories I’ve found to be useful. I also love to share things that make me think, cry or laugh.
Pinterest users curate content in the most visceral of ways: if it looks pretty, you share it. Most of the things I pin are based on the picture and my gut reaction to it. Only the best pictures rise to the top — if it looks nice, you’ll repin. I mean, there has to be an image to pin before a link can head to Pinterest, right?
The thing I love most about Pinterest is that it hasn’t gotten “promotional” yet. Twitter is full of people sharing their own content self-promotionally. I’m guilty, too. I’m not complaining, because a lot of what’s out there is great, and I don’t follow people who take it overboard, but you don’t see this on Pinterest at all. It’s not so much about benefiting the individual as it is sharing collective ideas with each other. People share because they want to, not because they feel like they should.
How to become a stellar share-er
A key factor in content curation is trust, and its not a given. Having a Twitter account doesn’t make you an expert — if that was the case, you’d be clicking on the link that “egg avi” user sent you. Sharing good content builds trust.
Here are a few tips for great content curation:
- Think very carefully about using automated sharing programs like Tribrr. I’m part of a Tribrr group, but it’s a carefully chosen, small group of bloggers whose posts I would already share. Sharing irrelevant or low-quality posts will harm your credibility, so any positive aspects of the “tribe” mentality will be cancelled out.
- Don’t use content sharing as your only means of building relationships. Starting a conversation with fellow bloggers can go much further than sharing every post they write.
- Share what YOU like, not what everyone else likes. Trust your instincts. Just because a post has been retweeted by everyone on your list doesn’t mean you have to share it, too!
- Set yourself up as an expert. If you like to save money, share articles about clipping coupons. If you love fashion, share your favorite outfits or new collections. Sharing topical, relevant content consistency will help you build your expertise.
- Seek out great content. Set up news alerts about your chosen topic or a Twitter list with your favorite authors/publications. Share what’s interesting to you and add your own commentary.
How do you choose what kind of content you share? Do you have a philosophy on content curation?