Sharing content quickly

Content curation is the process of filtering out the best information you find on the web and sharing that with your network. By sticking with a set of core topics related to your business, content curation can supplement the original content you’re creating yourself (e.g., blog posts).

Essentially, you want to be able to answer yes to both of these two questions:

  1. Will my network find this interesting, valuable, relevant and/or entertaining?
  2. Will this link reinforce my business’s expertise in one of our core topic areas?

How to share content from social media sites

In a previous article, we discussed how to get started with content curation so that you’re positioned to discover the best and most relevant material for your particular audience and business.

The standard social media etiquette is to give credit to the content creator – otherwise it may appear as though you wrote the piece. When you retweet (RT) someone’s status update on Twitter, or use the Share buttons on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+, it’s obvious that it’s someone else’s content.

If you quote from or modify the tweet (instead of RT, type MT for “modified tweet”), it’s your responsibility to credit the person who created the content (e.g., by @username) and (when applicable) where it appeared or who shared it with you (e.g., by @username via @username2).

Add value with commentary

Let people know why you’re recommending the link, and how the content will help them. You can mention what you enjoyed or learned most from the post, include a brief quote, or share a fact about the author.

How to share content right from the web

Great news! You can share content you’re reading on the web, without having to log into any of your social network sites.

Using the site’s own social sharing buttons will give valuable statistics to the site owner. Using your own sharing tool such as the HootSuite Hootlet or the Buffer extension can help you quickly create a new status update on a variety of social media sites, and also see stats about whether people are clicking on your links.

Example of social sharing buttons on a blog

Check the site’s sidebar and bottom of the post for social sharing buttons.

Before you share your update, be sure the author’s username is included for whichever social media network you’re posting to. This is another good reason to not automatically cross-post the same message to more than one site.

To find the author’s Twitter handle (username), check the blog’s sidebar or Contact Us page for the blog’s social media profiles. Adding the username is a great way to not only credit the source of the content, but to build relationships with new colleagues and add value to the ones you already have. People will appreciate you sharing their content, and if you include their username they’ll be notified that you mentioned them.

Twitter handles are easy to add with the HootSuite Hootlet or with Buffer. To add a username to a LinkedIn update right from the web you’ll need to use the LinkedIn bookmarklet. From the Tools page, look for Sharing Bookmarklet near the top of the screen and follow the instructions to add the icon to your browser.

Install LinkedIn bookmarklet

Now you can add a username for any of your LinkedIn connections (or a company, whether or not you follow their page). Simply start typing the personal or company name. Options will drop down and you can choose the name you want. You’ll know you’ve done it correctly if the name has a shaded background.

LinkedIn bookmarklet with username

Note: For Google+, search for extensions for your particular web browser. You can use sharing tools to post updates to Facebook from the web, but if you want to get someone’s attention by using their company or personal name, you’ll need to go right to Facebook.com.

In an upcoming post to close out this series about content curation, I’ll explain how to create curated content for social media, email and your blog.