Good Morning Everyone!!

Firstly, I hope everyone has had a wonderful EASTER 🙂 It was my birthday yesterday, so I wasn’t around to publish this post (apologies for that, but I took advantage of the Bank Holiday here in the UK, and rewarded myself with 5 days away from the computer screen)

You might also be pleased to know, I managed to abstain from chocolate eggs too!!!

So, I’m back today to share this post with you, I know my colleagues here at Bizzebee have written posts before about content but I decided today that I would offer my thoughts on this matter too 🙂

Content Is King

This week I want to talk to you all about CONTENT. This is the KEY element to building a lasting fan base across your Social Networks.

Content Is King

WHY?

Because you want pages and profiles that are full of life, with a community building online that is active, involved and want to know what you have to say.

In this web 2.0 world we are living in now, CONTENT REALLY IS KING. It drives traffic to your website, your blog and anywhere else you choose to have a presence.

If you are serious about your online brand, then you will need to get involved in creating content, finding content, sharing content with your peers | prospects & customers alike, and I am talking about GOOD RELEVANT Content, things that you will find interesting and believe YOUR network will also find of value.

I am going to specifically focus in on my favourite method of content creation (mainly because I love writing), which is Curation.

Curation is the process of looking through / sorting through vast snippets of information on the web and ‘re-packaging’ it in a different way. Taking what other people have said and putting your own spin on it or rewording it to make it suit your audience.

I spend a LOT of time researching and reading articles online and as a result of that I often find that I have a lot of articles and blog posts that I create based upon existing knowledge I have about a subject combined with information I have read elsewhere.

Curating is not restricted to simply ‘re-packaging’ so to speak, by this I mean that if you read an article that is reviewing a product | service and you have experience with said product, you can also offer your own review on the subject too, putting back links to the other review, almost like a comparison / contrast.

Rohit Bhargava points out clearly in a post that a content curator is always looking to share and make sense of the best most relevant content within a particular area / topic, and more often than not this is a skill that almost becomes second nature in their daily life.

In 1 day in April 2012 250 MILLION photos were uploaded to Facebook, 864,000 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube and 294 BILLION emails were sent.

So where do you go to look for all of this information?

This may seem like a silly question, given the amount of information available at our fingertips – but its not, because you want to look for the best most valuable information out there about your chosen subject / product or service.

In my post “What Is Feedly?” I talk about how you can house all of your favourite websites and blogs, in the one place (a bit like an RSS feed, which is now my favourite way to keep uptodate since Google Reader is no longer around) – This makes life a heck of a lot easier because you aren’t having to jump from website to website to read all the information. In a cool magazine type place, Feedly delivers everything you need, right when you want to see it.

The other great way to find content is to use Google Alerts – you simply set these up by keywords and you can choose to have them delivered at different intervals – as they happen, once a day, once a week etc, they are delivered direct to your email inbox. Personally I think that if you scan each alert within 60 seconds you will know if there is any articles in there that are worth opening. If you spend any longer than that scanning the alert then you should probably just delete it.

The more you spend time looking at content online that you wish to use in order to help create your content the quicker and better you will get at sifting through and identifying the good from the bad.

I have all my Google alerts delivered once a day and they cover a variety of keywords and topics, all of this information is collected and I then set myself some time each day to ‘curate’ the most interesting things and topics into my own language, that appeals to my target audience. Where do I post it? You don’t always need to have a business blog to put this information out.

The fact that Facebook allows you to create ‘notes’ can almost act like a mini blog itself. It’s a fantastic tool and there is no limit on how much you can post. The other really great thing about posting on your Facebook page with notes is that its continually building engagement on the page, which is exactly what you want.

Taking on the role of content curator for your product and helping build this online community engagement is a big task, but not one that is impossible.  The more you do it the easier it gets. And when you post the articles in the various social networks ASK for feedback – engage with the audience reading it, you will soon know if you are getting it right.

There are a few rules in which you need to bear in mind when Curating content, infact it has its very own ‘code’ 

To give you an idea of what to bear in mind for Curation best practice:

  1. If you don’t add context, or opinion, or voice and simply lift content, it’s stealing.
  2.  If you don’t provide attribution, and a link back to the source, it’s stealing.
  3. If you take a large portion of the original content, it’s stealing.
  4. If someone asks you not to curate his or her material, and you don’t respect that request, it’s stealing.
  5. Respect published rights. If images don’t allow creative commons use, reach out to the image creator–don’t just grab it and ask questions later.

So if you are ready to dive in with providing a service to your readers, then fire up that laptop and get stuck in!

Clair 🙂