Looking to build your online influence? Become a curator
In today’s world of 24–7 news and an abundance of marketing messages, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out on social media platforms.
Many are trying several tricks to shout over the noise online, but it’s taking crazier stunts and “out there” branding to draw attention, much less keep it.
In order to capture your audience’s attention, you must offer something of value — not just another promotion or sales pitch about your upcoming product or service. However, you don’t have to burn yourself out creating new content at breakneck speeds in order to accomplish this.
What’s the secret? Curation.
The power of being a tastemaker
Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin wrote a blog post about the rise of ebooks and the need for “digital librarians.” In it, he wrote:
Librarians that are arguing and lobbying for clever ebook lending solutions are completely missing the point. They are defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future, which is librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario.
Post-Gutenberg, books are finally abundant, hardly scarce, hardly expensive, hardly worth warehousing. Post-Gutenberg, the scarce resource is knowledge and insight, not access to data.
You don’t have to be in the book industry to take this insight to heart. As the internet becomes more crowded with data, consumers of all types will require greater knowledge and insight from those who can be their concierges — or curators.
Many social media influencers are both producers and curators. They produce blog posts, social media updates, videos and images for their readers and fans to consume and share, but they also gather the best information and data about certain topics for their communities, too.
Curation can come in many ways, be seen on many social media channels and exist on a plethora of topics. Anytime you mindfully share articles and information on Twitter, for example, you’re curating news and information. You become a tastemaker, telling others what is worth their time to read, watch, learn or buy.
Some influencers curate the best shopping deals or items for your home. Others might curate books and other forms of media, and additional curators gather and share information, tips and tricks on social media best practices.
How can you become a curator?
To start, look to author, speaker and social media pro Peg FitzPatrick. Her Pinterest profile is a haven for those looking to get social media, small business and blogging tips — especially best practices for visual social media platforms, including design tips:
Peg’s website, where she houses her blog, portfolio and resources for readers, has a similar visual appeal:
Peg’s brand, along with her curation of beautiful visuals combined with social media best practices, follows through even to her Instagram account:
If you’re a PR, marketing, social media or business pro looking to boost your influence, you can follow Peg’s lead — and consider making a Giphy channel with GIFs you create or a Flickr account that showcases enticing visuals that brand managers can use in their online posts.
You can also curate events on the same topic(s) and highlight conferences, webinars and classes in which other industry pros can take part. This PR, Marketing and Social Media Events calendar can give you an idea of the possibilities:
When it comes to curating, you can also embrace your passions.
Take, for example, Harry Potter. As an ardent fan of the Wizarding World (and the Gryffindor House), I often share with my online followers Harry Potter news, updates and cool things to purchase.
This curation extends to my Flipboard magazine, “Magic for Muggles,” which is full of news stories, updates, articles and GIFs:
I have a similar board on Pinterest that showcases Harry Potter GIFs, DIY projects and more:
My love extended to a blog post about four different types of Harry Potter events you can attend (which is only the beginning — believe me, there’s much more):
I also created a Harry Potter calendar of events, which includes concerts, festivals, book exhibitions and more:
Not only do these examples showcase the various ways you can curate content — they show that you can have fun while doing so, and that you don’t have to break your back creating content. Curation makes it easier to create — and repurpose — what you’ve hand selected for your audience to consume.
Apply these insights to any topic, using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard, your blog, other publications (via guest posting) and now, FollowMyCal. You’ll soon see that you can boost your brand and engagement without reinventing the wheel. Your followers will also thank you.
What curation efforts have you seen that you love? What ideas do you have to become a tastemaker?