The following is a guest post by Ann Smarty. Her bio is at the end.
It’s interesting to see that we have been creating and consuming so much content that we now have to use tools to collect and organize it.
Curation lets us (re-)organize our resources, and thus get inspired and more informed. For brands, curation means creating additional brand assets that can become useful traffic and community-building sources and brand awareness tools.
Having the proper tools at your disposal makes the process much easier. You can fit curation into your regular marketing schedule without taking time away from other campaigns. By approaching the task from multiple platforms and angles, you will increase your chances of success, and your presence with each tool.
Here are the best curating tools to start with!
Flipboard is an RSS reader with a twist. It appeals to the people who look for the functionality and look of a magazine, but want to be able to control the content inside of it.
Over the years, Flipboard has grown in popularity due to this unique mixture of classic design and modern features. You can create your magazines with your own content there, all curated into a neat little package that looks a lot better than other feeds.
A cool thing about Flipboard is that you can invite contributors.
Flipboard is perfect for promoting ideas and associating your (personal) brand with specific contexts you want to be remembered by.
The service is most impressive when it’s used for:
- Organizing press and social media interactions around a cause
- Creating a magazine on a specific topic you can relate to
For a great example of magazine, check out Amy Vernon’s #Womenlead.
Apparently, Flipboard is also useful for developing a solid traffic source.
Tumblr started out as a unique method of microblogging, but has become so much more. It is a social community with a deeply loyal user base, as well as a site with a recognizable visual style and its own developing Internet language.
Curating content there can be tricky, but very effective. By following the pattern of usage from others on the site, such as their use of images, gifs, and unique language flow, you can gain a huge amount of attention.
The most important thing about Tumblr is its strong community. Even without any external efforts, it can become a powerful alternative source of traffic.
Use Tumblr to:
- Add visual context to your brand by curating images relating to what you do
- Tell your story in a visual format
One of the best examples of brands making a good use of Tumblr is Coca Cola. Notice the impressive color-branding of their Tumblr identity:
In order to succeed with Tumblr, you must make really good use of hashtags. In many cases, a good hashtag is all you need to get well discovered and seeded!
Paper.li is the easiest curation tool you’ll ever come across. Set it up and let it run for a lifetime. My favorite features is the ability to auto-tweet each new edition, set up the frequency of new editions, and tag people that were mentioned in each issue.
Paper.li is the most efficient community-building solution that can actually be automated. You also have the option to subscribe to email updates each time it refreshes.
The papers can also be branded: See our example!
Paper.li is best for:
- Curating brand-relevant hashtags, especially regular Twitter chats
- Consolidating several brand identities into one paper (e.g. your brand Twitter and all your employees’ Twitter identities)
- Promoting your community members by creating a paper using a Twitter list that includes your active community members
A great example of brand using Paper.li is Dell. The company created a paper to consolidate articles and posts from Dell, its employees, and other business units within Dell.
Storify allows you to connect to multiple social and search platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, etc.) to access the beating pulse of the Internet. Search for what is happening in real time, and use it to create headlines, share announcements, and build your authority.
You can also embed any URL into your Storify story.
Use the service to:
- Create Twitter chat summaries
- Feature your event or conference speakers
- Collect and publicize testimonials
Greenpeace is doing a fabulous job with Storify for notable event coverage. By mixing their official tweets with all sorts of media from other participants, they turn stories into well-organized pieces.
There are many more ideas to use curation to build your brand online. Let me list my most actionable tips.
1. I use Cyfe to archive everything under the sun: Twitter and Google+ hashtag results, most essential Twitter lists, etc. These archives are very helpful when I sit down to create a new curated list or content.
Cyfe keeps all the archives inside until I need them, and there are no limits!
2. Embed content to your website or blog to share it with your community. That type of content comes in many forms and makes things much more interactive.
For an example, check out what Sitegeek does with embedded tweets to curate user Twitter reviews (example).
3. Turn your best curated lists into newsletters. I do it monthly with my 10 favorite links. Subscribers always appreciate the fact that I update them on what they may have missed.
If you use segmentation, (GetResponse is the easiest service for that) you’ll also be able to target your curated lists by topics and interests.
4. My favorite tip: Turn your best curated lists into Slideshare presentations. Slideshare allows clickable slides, so if I have time, I’ll collect the best quotes, turn them into visuals using Canva or HaikuDeck and put together a presentation. It is fast, easy, and a great influencer marketing tactic too.
5. Let real people help you with curation! Inviting contributors is also a great idea to find unique angles and save time.
Do you use curation tools to build your brand? Please share your tips and examples in the comment section below.
Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas as well as an active contributor to sites like Entrepreneur and Small Biz Trends. You can follow Ann on Twitter as @seosmarty