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How Social Media Has Evolved Content Curation from the Boardroom to the Pin Board

Written on
Dec 5, 2012 
Author
Pete Sheinbaum  |

As the holidays approach, many of us this season will turn to social media channels to curate the prefect gift list for our friends and family. In fact, a recent survey found that as many as 93.3 percent of social media-savvy women have purchased something because a blogger recommended it. With millions of people now pinning, liking, sharing, and tweeting their every opinion and desire, much of the guess work is already being done for us.  This accessibility to data is beneficial not only to last-minute shoppers, but should also be seen as a gift to publishers and brands alike. Now more than ever, companies can tap into feedback from their target audience in real-time. While the reasons behind why individuals choose to participate with social media may vary, there’s no denying that the way companies curate content is evolving to take advantage of this new trend.

Historically, content curation was an exercise for teams of writers and editorial departments. These teams took the time to cull through ideas and select what their target audience would be most interested in. Today however, content curation is not confined to the office of a journalist, it is open and practiced daily by the millions of individuals that log onto the internet. With the high availability of these modern content curators, the goals and measurements for how brands and publishers use information has shifted to embrace and optimize for this constant flow of feedback and inspiration. Publishers are now encouraging engagement and inviting readers and social media users to share their opinions about products and their experience real-time. Publishers and companies can also easily identify their high value inventory based on what content or product is being shared, tweeted, or posted about the most.

So how can businesses take full advantage of their social media insights? Companies must first track the trends that are being shared and start analyzing the content. By doing this, brands are able to better align their content and products with the interests of their target audience. Companies are then also able to measure their own ROI in terms of the mentions and viral pick up that they are receiving on the curated content.

Business Model Bottom-line

As the content curation landscape evolves, the business models that are used to promote content are also shifting. The collective power of social media alongside the availability of the content can give an extra boost to a publisher’s revenue. Advertisers are now able to take into consideration the type of content their users are following and interacting with, allowing for a different way to target users. While this is not as promising of an approach as real-time intent targeting, it nonetheless is still a step in the right direction from the traditional behavioral cookie tracking technique. By moving beyond stagnant page browsing history, brands can now engage with a consumer based on what they have specifically liked, followed, or tweeted.

Looking forward, the drivers of content are going to be the masses of passionate consumers of media that crowd around communities of interest.  For companies to see the most ROI from the public, they will need to focus on the following steps:

  • Be a real person. Give the users something to be hooked on; your voice and personality. Nothing turns off a user more than an automated, computer sent response. The greatest feeling is having a real person on the other end of content or a conversation. Don’t get stuck in the turning wheel of an automated curator; by adding meaning behind a post or content it creates a more powerful and influential hook than just adding content because it looks relevant.
  • Provide fresh content. Fresh content is the key to everything. When looking on a search engine, users will usually lean towards the most updated information. If a publisher isn’t keeping their content up to date then many readers may scroll right past them. Give your followers something new to engage with and share as this will not only help with your curation but also your search visibility.
  • Find your social media focus groups. In the always-connected era that we live, focus groups can be found by simply looking at who is using the same hashtag or what information is being pinned across multiple boards. Track those trendsetters that are dialed into your brand and take advantage of what they have to say. Don’t just watch the trends, jump on the topic before someone else does.




Pete Sheinbaum is the Founder and CEO of LinkSmart, a company that provides text-linking optimization solutions for web publishers. Follow Pete Sheinbaum (@sheinbaum) and LinkSmart (@linksmart) on Twitter.

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