Social for Business? Curating and Managing Content is Critical!
Creating, finding, aggregating and sharing relevant content is essential to a creating a manageable and effective social media presence. This can be overwhelming if there isn’t a structure to manage and source your relevant content.
But there are so many ways this can be done…what’s a small business to do that doesn’t have a group dedicated to managing this?
In this post, I include a couple of content pieces I found valuable for “framing” that process, and identify several ways I have done it. Certainly not the only way, but these methods are straight-forward, very inexpensive and worth being aware of!
The Idea of a “Content Bank”
12 Steps to Social Media Success
The infographic below “12 Steps to Social Media Success” provides a nice structure on how to manage your organization’s social media activity.
Steps 7 & 8 are the parts I am focused on — how do you find, aggregate and post content…easily!
- Create a content bank — a central repository where your team can go to search for content relevant to their audience and share it, and
- Post relevant content — have an awareness of key topics and share it.
A “Content Bank” would consist of your curated content, as well as content you produce yourself (blogs, videos, etc.)
B2B Social Selling
The Harvard Business Review post “How B2B Sales Can Benefit from Social Selling” provided a useful example of one approach to a content bank via a portal — it’s a nice overview of how the concept can work.
“With social selling, salespeople use social media platforms to research, prospect, and network by sharing educational content and answering questions.”
That statement is critical. “Research, prospect and network by sharing…” requires a consistent approach — which can only be effectively done with planning and aggregating content.
“ One way to improve communication between sales and marketing is by creating a portal. BMC Software, a B2B IT solutions company, took this approach when they created BMC BeSocial, a secure portal where salespeople can find content created by marketing and other employees to share by posting immediately or scheduling for later.”
Methods to Create a Content Bank
If you are small organization, you likely don’t have resources to create a “secure” portal for aggregating content for sharing. Fortunately, it can be done quickly and cheaply, with existing tools you have today…
Here are several examples of approaches I have used.
A Twitter “List” is simply a selection of Twitter accounts one can set up in a group — it makes it easy to see just content related to a specific topic. Here is a sample, my “Trend Tracking” Twitter list.
Check out “How To Use Twitter Lists for Business” for an useful overview.
Twitter lists NARROW what you see, but to be more effective, you realistically want to aggregate or capture what you see that is relevant to what you want, which the other options below start to accomplish.
Content Aggregation Tools / Approaches
There are numerous aggregation methods. What will work for you? Really, it is a matter of preference — each approach has advantages, but differing levels of effort to create and maintain! The easier and more flexible at the end — typically means a little more difficult on the front end.
Here are several approaches that I have used:
1 — Flipboard (News “Magazine”)
An excellent for discovering content, along with the ability to create custom magazines where you can aggregate content that is important to you or your organization.
2— InstaPaper (or Pocket)
These are “Read-Later” services, where you can save content you want to keep for later. This “repository” can then be shared with others in your organization.
3 — Twitter “Scraping” on Selected Accounts (or #Hashtags)
Twitter “scraping” just refers to pulling selected data from Twitter that fits a criteria that you are interested in. I am not familiar with the nuances of all this, but I use a basic approach using IFTTT (“If This, Then That”), Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.
HIGH level, here’s what happens (it looks intimidating — it’s not):
Here is an example of an MS Excel file based on a compilation of Twitter #FuturesThoughts. This is a hashtag used for a Committee that I serve on, so it is a live use case (everything the Committee thinks is relevant to our goal is shared via Twitter with the hashtag #FuturesThoughts). This is what the final Excel dashboard looks like — easy to search, filter and click through to any content the user wants.
4 — Create a Slack Team
The Slack collaboration tool can be an excellent resource as well. And it serves as an introduction to Slack for team members that aren’t aware of it. It’s also free to get started!
Slack works by setting up a Team. Members join the “Team” and within that there can be a variety of Channels to arrange content. However, the search functionality is so good, you rarely have to target a specific channel to find something specific to your interests.
Here is a view of a “Content Curation” Slack Team that a client created.
5 — Excel based “data-repository”
For the last six years, I have been accumulating content that I find informative and may want to access down the road.
One practice I have adopted is to never search twice. If I see something I may potentially want, I save it. Ultimately, it ends up in my data library, which is an automated, interactive, Excel dashboard.
One of my other posts — “Microsoft Excel — PowerQuery to Flexible Content Dashboard” — explores the mechanics of how this is done.
Here are two screenshots:
I hope you got a few basic ideas on different methods to create your own Content Bank. Regardless of the approach you choose, just start the process — it will quickly become an invaluable resource to you and your team.
“On a mission to challenge the status quo to a more productive and effective end…”
Don Tomoff is a “recovering CPA”, who is passionate about helping professionals and organizations keep up and adapt to the changing business world that we operate in.
One lesson learned over the years is that all of us, regardless of organization type or size, struggle with similar issues — primarily information management, organization, presentation, and effective use of our time. Let’s change that…one person at a time!