If you have a social media presence for your business - whatever the platform or platforms that you've centred on - you are no doubt using it for a number of different marketing ends.
I'm guessing that your company social accounts are used as a channel for promoting your own content; a mechanism for ensuring that your audience is aware of your latest blog posts, eBooks, case studies, videos - created to inform and educate them about what you do and why it might be relevant to them, either now or in the future.
Alternatively, you might be monitoring and listening via your social networks. If so, you'll know that social media can offer a great environment for garnering business intelligence: for instance, you might be hearing from your clients, monitoring any mentions of your brand or organisation, listening to views about competitors or others in the field.
And social is also all about engagement: asking questions of your audience, responding to customer feedback, adding your voice to an industry debate, answering queries, etc. The secret is to master the best ways and appropriate occasions to engage and remembering when it's better to abstain.
One area that can be overlooked according to Janah Jackman, writing for the 123 Reg blog, is the value of curating other peoples' content and sharing it via your social channels.
Now, it may seem ill-advised to be sharing content or opinions from others to your social networks - "surely that's free promotion for someone else?" But no.
As Janah's post explains content curation can be a key part of your social strategy, demonstrating awareness, knowledge and confidence to your audience.
As Hootsuite put it in their blog on the subject: "Why is it important to share outsider content by other businesses or thought leaders? It shows your audience that you know the industry well, that you’re collegial and are aware of competition. It shows that you’re collaborative and confident enough in your own brand to share another’s content."
Underlining the value to be gained from curating content, Jackman goes on in her post to highlight a number of curation tools such as BuzzSumo and RightRelevance, that are excellent for helping you to source the right content for your audience and understand who else is sharing it.
So if you're not already, consider how you might best enhance your audience's social experience of you by sharing insightful content from others, to demonstrate knowledge and balance, add value and show leadership by highlighting the best of the rest.
What is content curation? The short answer? It’s searching the web for valuable content and sharing the golden nuggets with your readers. First, you research your target audience. Look out for the things they like, share and comment on the most. Find the content that starts discussions and read the comments they leave – what are the questions that they’re asking? Can you search for material online that answers those questions? Once you have a good idea of the kind of content they engage with the most and the problems you can solve, search through the web until you find the best posts from thought leaders, influencers and other businesses – and then share that with your audience. It may sound like a lot, but luckily there are free and helpful tools to make the whole process easier...