Pinterest and the art of content curation

It’s no surprise that I love Pinterest.

Pinterest LogoPinterest 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?


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19 comments to Pinterest and the art of content curation

  • Great perspective and tips here, Amanda.

    I am a sharer by nature (or it could just my know-it-all-ness, ahem), so I like to share interesting articles I come across on my blog’s Facebook page (which gets posted to Twitter). I also love pinning recipes, beautiful household finds, quotes and fashion on Pinterest.

    I do think there is such a thing as over-sharing though – that of very personal information, especially on Twitter. I’ve seen streams where people are talking about cheating husbands, etc and it’s just disturbing. Or is it just me?
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..To My Son

  • I think this is a great post. I have been blogging for a while now and always stick to my topic – parenthood, marriage, mothering. But there are some things that really interest me – design, fashion that I appreciate reading on other blogs but rarely venture into on mine.
    Kim recently posted..The hard part of parenting

  • You are doing a great job at setting yourself up as an expert in all things celebrity related.

    I share content I like reading and I want others to read.
    Jessica recently posted..Everybody’s a Winner

  • I really like this! There are some great tips in here for new & old bloggers alike! I’m not an expert in anything so I’ll just stick to what I’m doing now!

    Oh.. love Pinterest too! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love it! Seriously…. how could you not?
    Jackie recently posted..Monday Menu ~ Simple Pumpkin Cake

  • These are such great tips! And I like your suggestion about targeting a group of people with a similar interest. That isn’t something I hear of being done very often.

    It’s all about the convo, baby! :)
    liz recently posted..Things that Confuse me in Social Media

  • Great tips, girl! I am naturally just a curious person, so it has been really hard for me to find my own areas of expertise, but I’m slowly finding my way. What I think does work is just being yourself. You’re right about sharing what you find interesting. Don’t just share to share! People relate to people and not robotic posts.
    Mrs. Weber recently posted..Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • I love all of this. I was lured into a Tribrr group and did not realize it was hundreds of giveaway bloggers. I only knew the person that sent me the invite and I quickly removed myself from that group. I also have a small group as well and I am fine with that group.

    I really need to find my own area of expertise. I have been working on that whole embrace your body movement but I am lacking inspiration for it lately. I need to start putting my heart into it more and make something of it. I admire your celebrity posts. You are becoming my go-to celebrity expert!

    And you know my thoughts on Pinterest. By the way, your pins showing on the right hand side are LOLcatz and I think it is hilarious!
    Jayme (RandomBlogette) recently posted..#FYL – Meet Kir From The Kir Corner

  • I love Pinterest for all the same reasons you do.

    As for sharing, I share what I like. It’s that simple. :)
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..She Eats: The Pinterest Edition

  • Pinterest is great! LOVE IT!

    As far as what I share on twitter, it is usually what makes me laugh or think.
    Hopes@Staying Afloat! recently posted..It’s a Monday Mess-Fest!

  • Jamee

    Oh pinterwt how I love thee! This is a great post!! You’ve made excellent points! Being a chronic illness blogger sometimes I struggle with content as I want to be sure that not all of my posts a about the negative sides or chronic illness. Of course I want to bring awareness about the reality and struggles of chronic illness but I don’t want it all to be “doom and gloom” so I try to make sure I try to point out the positives and how to make the most of any situation!

  • I share posts that really move me. I don’t share often enough though b/c I don’t usually get to posts until much later in the day. Although I’m sure that shouldn’t matter.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..My Blog Spark & Gold Medal Flour Winner

  • Really intelligent post, thank you! I know that I keep more readers by (thanks to you) allowing people to enter their e-mail addresses and communicating with them that way versus quick thoughts on Twitter. On some level, cultivating personal relationships has to go one step beyond social media.

    I’m still scared of Pinterest.
    StephanieinSuburbia recently posted..Rocky Road, Indeed

  • These are such great tips! And yes, shows how pure pinterest still is.

    I love your shout out for authenticity! That is, after all, where its at!
    Galit Breen recently posted..A New Start

  • I love sharing posts that interest me and I think others would like as well.

    I love how simple Pinterest is and the fact there there is no ‘score’ attached to it. Now I need to spend more time there!
    Kimberly recently posted..A Rapper’s Elevator Pitch

  • kallay

    You already know I’m a Pinterest addict. I can’t help myself.It’s free therapy.

    As for Twitter and my blog, I write stuff that, like you, makes me think, laugh, or cry. I also have posts where I share fun stuff I want or have found. I also write articles about coffee and share those, too. I’m not a blogger who blogs for someone else. I write because I like to write, and have found blogging to be a place to find friends who enjoy a lot of the same things I do. And isn’t that the point anyway?

    I think the older we get the less we share. When I was single, sharing my life affected me. Now, it’s my family, so I’m a little more mindful of what I put out there.

  • I love love love Pinterest. (Um, did you know that?!) :)

    But on the flip side, I am not a fan (at all) of Triberr. I won’t click on the links because I can’t count on the material really being recommended (been burned on this with junk a few too many times now) even if it is people I know/trust. I need to know WHY I should be reading the article – what is special about it. Plus? Because so many people are joining groups together w/ same followers (rather than trying to “extend the reach” which is what Triberr is for) – I see the same link over and over and it is getting to be very spammy. #SteppingOffSoapBox

    Anyway – I love sharing things – and totally agree that everyone should know what they are endorsing and paying attention to! :)
    Julie @DutchBeingMe recently posted..#Mamavation: Setbacks…

  • I agree with you Pinterest. Every other site I’m on I feel like it’s a give and take.

  • [...] Five tips for sharing great content | content curation | It’s … [...]

  • Shannon from mynewfavoriteday

    Thanks so much for the tips they are very helpful. I definitely find Pinterest to be amazing because of the freedom it gives….to just be without pressure of timing and relevance. So happy you were the featured blogger today!
    Shannon from mynewfavoriteday recently posted..I may not see air travel the same way again, but I will see the bigger picture.

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