If you’re truly interested in standing out from the rest of the static, your social media campaign should consist of a healthy balance of original content and curated content.
If you’re not directly selling something, think about how you add value for your audience. You can either create content for your audience, or share content created by others. We will refer to the latter as “content curation,” since you are selecting, reviewing and promoting the work of others on a particular topic.
Often, the question comes up of which is better. Should I create more content or curate more content? Before answering that question, let’s look at the benefits of each choice.
Creating content allows you to show that you are well-informed on whatever your chosen subject may be. This can help you position yourself as an expert on the subject, while boosting your organic search engine ranking through some strategic keyword placement.
On the other hand, curating the work of others is a great way to show that it’s not all about you, your brand and your message. A key value that drives all types of social media interactions is the ability to share what others are saying and doing.
The act of sharing the work of others will almost always benefit your brand in the long run, because it shows that you’re more interested in delivering value to your audience, regardless of who will get the site traffic.
However, I often run across big brands that refuse to share content with their audience that they did not create. They want every link on their Facebook, Twitter and Google+ feeds to point back to their own sites, as if they are the only authority in the world blogging about whatever it is they blog about.
Really though, no matter how authoritative you might be in your little niche, I guarantee there are other folks writing fantastic articles that will be of interest to your audience. Are you afraid that if you share those articles, you’ll lose your followers forever? That idea cannot be farther from the truth.
What will probably happen is that your followers will appreciate the fact that you’re delivering value from all different sources. Maybe they would have never found the article you linked to if you had not tweeted about it. Often, the content creators will thank you as well, for spotlighting their work. Sometimes, they’ll even reciprocate by sharing your content with their followers.
This is kinda like the circle of life in the social media world. You can earn a loyal fan base by consistently delivering authentic content, regardless of whether or not you’re the author of that content.
To sum it up, I think we all need to assess our social media messages from time to time. We need to make sure every post has something to add to the conversation. Most importantly, we need to ensure that we’re not just trying to get people to click on links that point back to our website.
Share what interests you and what you think will interest your followers as well. Don’t treat every update as if it were part of a sales pitch. If people like the type of content you’re sharing, they’ll keep coming back. That’s the magic of social media. Just be authentic.