Using Content Curation to Build Your Business or Personal Brand

By Kathryn Hawkins. Content Strategy
3d rendering of a mobile crane lifting the last letters in place to spell the word BRAND
3d rendering of a mobile crane lifting the last letters in place to spell the word BRAND   Credit:  zentilia via Depositphotos  License: Depositphotos

Check out these strategies for how to source and curate social media content to build your brand.

Whether you’re curating an exhibit for a museum or selecting links for your Twitter feed or Tumblr blog, curating content is an art form. Done well, it can help you build connections, establish your expertise within your industry, and help you gain attention for your business.

Here are a few ideas to help you curate great content in a minimum of time.

Five strategies for cultivating sources for great content:

  1. RSS - Using an RSS reader like Google Reader or Feedly, compile a list of the best blogs and websites in your industry. Each day, take a look at the most recent posts, and bookmark those that you’d like to publicly acknowledge
  2. Twitter lists - In addition to your RSS reader, look at the Twitter profiles of expert in your industry, and see which Twitter Lists are following them. Follow relevant lists there: You’re likely to find more great content that you can easily retweet.
  3. AllTop - Guy Kawasaki’s AllTop aggregation site is the ultimate in ready-to-use curated content, featuring dozens of RSS feeds on hundreds of topics, ranging from parenting to weight loss to Apple computers.
  4. Google custom searches - Set up Google searches for key phrases related to the subjects you’re interested in. You’ll receive regular alerts when new content in your target area appears anywhere on the Internet.
  5. Check out comments - Look at popular blogs in your niche, and your own blog comment section if you have one, to find commenters who are linking back to their own related blogs. Take a look at their sites: You may find some little-known gems among them.

What next?

These strategies will help you find relevant, compelling, timely content to bookmark. But you’re not done yet: Tweet about your favorite posts, link to them on Facebook, and submit them on social sharing sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon. Curating content on a variety of popular platforms will raise your profile on each platform, and make other users more likely to link to your own content in turn.

You can also use these bookmarked links as resources in developing blog posts of your own, whether they consist solely of link round-ups or are focused around responding to a claim made in someone else’s post.

Finally, be sure to bring your own voice to the mix—much like a favorite mix tape, your curated content should say something about who you are, and why we should fall in love with you.

Case studies in content curation

Want to see who’s doing it right? Take a look at these curators.

Guy Kawasaki, of the aforementioned AllTop, features links to all things interesting on his Twitter feed. (He even uses some ghost-tweeters for assistance—not a bad idea if you’re short on time.)

Maria Popova, of the art and culture site Brain Pickings, curates beautiful artwork and design, fascinating quotes, unique films, and other items worthy of fascination on her Twitter feed and her blog.

Megan, the blogger behind the crafts-focused site, posts frequent round-ups of themed links relating to food, crafts, shopping, and other topics of interest, incorporating MetaFilter discussion threads, photos, and links to other blogs.

Kathryn Hawkins

Kathryn Hawkins

Kathryn Hawkins is principal and chief content strategist of Eucalypt Media. She has worked as a freelance journalist for media publications and managed inbound marketing and content strategy for corporate and nonprofit clients for more than 16 years.

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