Content curation is the term du jour in social media circles these days. While different definitions are bandied about, we define it quite simply here as the monitoring of your Twitter account/ RSS feeds/Delicious bookmarks—or wherever and however you monitor the topics you care about—and then sharing that data through your own social media channels. Done right, content curation can help you serve as a valuable resource to your audiences and even make you look pretty smart on occasion. It also delivers potent SEO juice. But here’s the thing: content curation is NOT content creation. And most importantly, content curation alone is not a winning marketing strategy.
All too often, companies approach us with a need to be on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Google+/[insert favorite social channel here]. We certainly get it—you need to reach your audiences where they are online. Audiences across nearly every demographic are using social in droves. Social channels offer an opportunity for you to share who you are, your point of view, your own thoughts on issues, your company messages and expertise. But simply posting 140 character message and retweeting and reposting others’ content alone on your own social channels is not getting you anywhere fast. Thinking has not been entirely reduced to 140 characters—for businesses, a tweet is merely a starting point for showing how and what you think.
If you want social media to support your public relations mission of engaging your audience and raising brand awareness, companies need their own content hub first. Most frequently that hub is a blog with original content (although it could also be an editorial website, a YouTube or Flickr channel with original content). From there, each social media channel is a spoke—carrying that content to your audience through their preferred channel and offering a meaningful opportunity for engagement and conversation.
Think of it this way: would you launch an email campaign without a website to link back to? Of course not. Similarly, think of Twitter/Facebook, Google+ as your opportunity to draw your audiences in. Whet their appetite with those 140 characters and bring them back to your hub for the full perspective. Only then can businesses meet their marketing objectives of attracting target audiences by showing first how they think, and then drawing them in to learn a whole lot more.