There’s two reasons why I practically live on the web: 1). it’s an endless resource for knowledge. I honestly use it as my personal playground to learn, experiment and explore and 2). it’s a collaborative place that has so much value because people are constantly sharing.

So what happens when you just can’t be like the big brands (that have staff writers and content editors) and constantly churn out new content?

Answer: you curate it.

Why?

Because it’s super easy when you’re in a time crunch and it’s the next most important characteristic of being a savvy social user.

Aaaaaaand…

When engaging in social media, many folks mistakenly abuse the platforms by using them as a place to incessantly post shameless plugs about their content, products or services.

It’s probably why many doing this aren’t seeing ROI from their social media activities.

Content; Curation; Smartie Pants

But, that’s not the ideal way to build a community of engaged followers who will eventually be converted to customers.

Social media “works” largely because it’s just that…social. And being social doesn’t mean flooding timelines and feeds with your content exclusively. That’s just like going to a party and only talking about yourself. Everyone tunes you out.

Being impactful on social is about sharing and adding value, first. And it’s all about finding a good balance. That’s where content curation comes in. In fact, I’d argue it’s just as important as content creation and promotion.

Not to mention curating and sharing content with your online community makes YOU look like a smartie pants…like a well-read sage.

That said, here are some of my favorite places to always find great content.

1. Flipboard

Flipboard acts as both a content discovery app and a content aggregator (much like one of my favorites, Feedly), making it easy for you to read the news and content you’re most interested in and share it right from the app (compatible with Android, Windows and iOS devices). With over 34,000 topics to follow and a beautiful mazagine-like, intuitive interface, Flipboard has an embarrassment of content riches waiting for you to discover, read and share.

2. Reddit

Reddit is one of my personal favorites, primarily because it’s all user-generated content. Meaning, folks around the world are constantly curating content and sharing it with the rest of the online community.

Speaking of community, Reddit has an insanely robust one, which is why it can deem itself as the “front page of the internet.” The site has 174 million users who constantly add the most interesting, diverse mix of content in countless categories and “subreddits.”

I’ve learned so much from exploring Reddit. Careful, though, or you’ll find yourself spending hours in this content-rich platform (I’ve done it too many times to count)!

3. NPR

One of the most respected names in news, NPR is a constant, go-to source for the latest news in a variety of subject areas in national and world news. Whether through articles or podcasts, you’ll always learn something new about something, without all the partisan bias and media slant that so often accompanies other news sources.

NPR was initially known for its syndication across 900 public radio stations, but in more recent years, the news source has grown its digital platform to become of the leading news providers on the web. And since it’s always great to keep up with the latest goings on in the world, NPR is a solid source to seek great, interesting content.

4. TED

Since video content is becoming increasingly important to integrate into any content strategy, TED is one of the places from which I highly recommend you curate. TED talks offer so much rich, engaging content. TED has an impressive body of video content from topics literally ranging from activism to technology and offer a wonderful balance of depth, breadth and brevity. Each TED talk is no more than 18 minutes and presenters come from all across the globe. With over 1,900 videos, this content certainly contains “ideas worth spreading”…and sharing.

5. Facebook “Trending” sidebar

Love, hate or render yourself indifferent to all of Facebook’s recent changes, I’ve got to admit that for a content marketer and curator, the “Trending” sidebar is really a godsend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been browsing through the Newsfeed, glanced to the right and caught wind of the latest, breaking news.

Another wonderful thing about the “Trending” sidebar is that it’s personalized and trending topics are tailored specifically to my interests (largely based off of my friends, Pages I’ve liked and overall popular posts across Facebook), allowing me to spend less time sifting through them and more time clicking through! Up until the “Trending” sidebar materialized, I used Twitter almost exclusively for my breaking news. Now, I use them both.


 

One other important thing to remember is that social media and online communities are incredibly human; meaning, they are ever evolving and multi-dimensional. Content you share does not always have to center around the product, services or content you offer or create exclusively.

For example, if your content, product and services offerings are about entrepreneurship and building business, don’t forget to share other things that could relate to or add value to another area of your target audience’s lives, like healthy eating tips (which could aid in keeping energy levels up, directly impacting productivity). Keep this in mind when searching for content to share with members of your online community.

Wherever you decide to visit to read and share content, the most important part is to curate! Your online community will thank you for it, and you may even connect with other content producers because of it.

There’s one other added bonus that’s hugely important for earning a following of any kind: you’re going to earn lots of trust.

So, next time you get stuck in a content rut…go to the abovementioned places to find a content goldmine!

I’m curious: where do you find the best content?

 

 

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