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Give More Than You Get: Curating Content in the Digital Space

In a previous blog, I discussed the importance of maintaining dynamic content on your site. While sharing this type of original content on social media is a great way to get brand recognition and followers, it’s not enough to build a cohesive social media strategy.

The next step in building your brand online is to curate valuable content from other reliable sources. However, even businesses who are aware of this basic rule for social media may still be unconvinced of its effect because they:

  • Don’t feel guilty for only sharing their own content
  • Are unaware of the many positive effects of curating content
  • Fear falling behind their competition by putting them in the spotlight
  • Don’t have the time to find and share valuable content from other sources

These obstacles—whether real or imagined—can be hard to overcome. Luckily, with some discipline and determination, you will soon reap the many benefits of curating content.

Creating & Overcoming the Greed-Guilt of Content Sharing

Some people are unconcerned with what other companies in their industry have to say. You may even believe you say it better. The thought of sharing curated content on your business’s social media page may seem obsolete, but that is far from the case.

The Consequences of Being Greedy: A Christmas Story

If you’re like me or so many other Santa-worshiping Americans, Black Friday is a holiday in and of itself. Despite what the media said about falling sales the day after Thanksgiving this year, I put quite a dent in my wallet by buying everything from a Target magazine rack to an inner tire rod for my car.

Once the fog cleared from my shopping craze, I took a look at my plunder and got a strange sinking feeling. Even though my most splurgy items were important expenses, I had used the Black Friday deals to buy things for only me. I suddenly felt like one of the frenzied Who’s in Whoville from the creepy Ron Howard adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I call this feeling “Greed-Guilt,” or that guilty feeling your conscience gives you for being greedy. Greed-guilt is a pretty devastating emotion, but it does get us to act when it hits. These actions usually yield positive results like the happiness of others, the good feelings that follow charitable acts, and the hopes that karma will be on your side the next time you need it. Unfortunately when greed-guilt doesn’t hit, we’re often left to be as greedy as we please. No guilt means no action. And no action means no positive results.

Pack Your Bags, We’re Going On a Guilt Trip

So why don’t we feel greed-guilt when we act selfishly online? Talking about ourselves and no one else is expected, especially on our personal accounts. However, an essential part of managing your business’s social media is to not treat it like your personal account. Doing so will make the public think your business is not only greedy, but that it is not staying relevant in its own industry. In this way, you’re not only letting yourself and your company down, you’re letting your customers down. Putting your company above everyone else’s is a great way to turn the face of your business into Ebenezer Scrooge.

Feeling guilty, yet? Let’s discuss the best way to alleviate it.

Practicing the Golden Rule for the Information Age

“Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.” The Golden Rule is tacked up on just about every third grade classroom wall. In our daily lives, we may hold the door open for a grocery-carrying neighbor because we would like them to do the same for us. Still, we often fail to apply the golden rule to all aspects of our life.

In the digital space, there’s a simple formula you can follow called “The 80/20 Rule.” This rule dictates that for every 20% of content you share about your company, 80% should be about others. “Others” can be your customers and their interests or other businesses in your industry. If you follow this formula, sharing original content that focuses on your company will feel genuine and organic rather than distanced or greedy.

Fighting Your Fear of Competition

Now you know how and why you should curate content, but you may still have some apprehensions over putting your competitors in the spotlight. Today, the internet has made your competitors a much more clear and present danger than back when you could be the only tailor in town. However, fear of this risk can be counterbalanced by the number one benefit of taking that risk: becoming an industry expert.

When your customers view you as an expert, they will value your brand’s opinion over their competitors. By curating content on social media, you become an industry expert by:

  • Filling the gaps in your competitors’ knowledge
  • Consistently giving yourself good publicity
  • Building a fan base for your brand’s opinions
Learning Your Competitions’ Weaknesses

This may sound harsh, but by actively seeking out your competition’s content to share, you see where they fall short. Perhaps they neglected to explain an industry term to the general public or missed an important perspective on a serious issue.

These gaps are great opportunities for generating ideas for your own original content and for contributing to the industry conversation. As a result, you’ll be viewed as a company who takes an interest in their industry and their customers’ needs.

Remember: don’t rub your competitions’ shortcomings in their face. Instead, contribute to the conversation like you would with a friend by adding your own opinion or take on the subject.

Building Brand Awareness

All publicity is good publicity, even if it means highlighting someone else. Tagging other companies or citing their content will show your name to the customers just as much as theirs. Curating content is a great way to make your brand recognizable on-the-spot.

Becoming a Go-To Critic

When you curate valuable content and shine light on your own opinion, people will value your company as a go-to source in your industry. These practices build trust, loyalty, and enthusiasm in your customer following.

Finding the Time to Curate Content

Finding valuable content to share can be a time-consuming initiative. Priorities for your company’s content marketing strategy (if you’ve even made time for that) may place sharing your original content over curation. It’s in our nature to think of ourselves first, even during holidays built around giving to others. But it’s time to flip those priorities to support your number one goal: being a successful business. By putting more resources into your social media strategy and content curation, the community you’ve built will start giving back to your company.

Don’t Have Time for a Social Media Strategy?

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