How to Curate Content on Twitter in 10 Minutes a Day

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Twitter 10 minutes a day

Do you have trouble finding great stuff to share on Twitter? Are you scrolling so far down your timeline that your fingers start to cramp up? There’s a better way to curate content on Twitter – and it only requires 10 minutes a day.

Our previous “10 minutes” post about doing Twitter marketing in under 10 minutes a day offered advice for maintaining an active Twitter account without spending all day at the computer. This article will give you a map of how to find great content on Twitter that you can share – on Twitter or on other social networks – in just 10 minutes a day.

Minute 1. Log in to your Twitter dashboard of choice (I prefer HootSuite). Open the tab that contains your lists, saved searches and hashtags. You should have no more than 6 total streams (more is fine if you choose to only look at up to 6 each day).

Minutes 2-6. Spend no more than 30 seconds looking at each stream. Click on 1-3 articles and thought leadership pieces from each stream that appear relevant, or that have a significant number of engagements. Skim the content to make sure it fits with your content strategy, and return to your dashboard to schedule either retweets or original tweets containing that content.

Minute 7. Visit BuzzSumo or Topsy. Search for one keyword phrase most relevant to the content you want to curate. Sort search results by the past day/24 hours to see the most recent, most shared content.

Minutes 8-9. Choose up to three pieces of content from either BuzzSumo or Topsy. Open each in a new tab and skim to ensure that the content is relevant to your strategy.

Minute 10. Add the content discovered through BuzzSumo or Topsy to your Twitter schedule in your dashboard.

After all is said and done, this method will give you 10 or more great pieces of timely, relevant content every single day.

However, in order to work, this template requires a bit of set up that is not included in the above daily 10 minutes of activity.

You will need:

  • An account with HootSuite, or your social media dashboard of choice
  • A tab within this dashboard containing approximately 6 streams of saved searches, keywords and hashtags
  • A firm grasp of the topic or niche you are curating
  • A content strategy defining how and when you will share curated content

Also, it will be nearly impossible to actually read every article you curate using this method. If possible, I recommend adding an additional 20 to 30 minutes to the end of this process to read each article before they are scheduled to be sent. This will help keep the quality of what you curate high, and it will also add to your own personal knowledge.

It may take some time to set up this system, but once it is in place, you can spend just 10 minutes a day discovering the very best content in your niche, industry or area of interest.

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Five Skills You Need to Curate Standout Content

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Some 27 million pieces of content are shared each day, according to a study by Nielson and AOL. And that was in 2011!

All this content flying around demonstrates the (true) clichés that content is king and distribution is queen. However, in the attention economy, actually getting your content noticed is what makes you belle of the ball.

At a time when marketers are challenged to furnish steady streams of engaging ideas and content, curating other people’s content is an effective content marketing tool. Nevertheless, curation merely shifts the challenge to “How do I identify and curate valuable content?”

I recently read Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas and Predict the Future, by Rohit Bhargava. In it, the author presents a framework for identifying nonobvious trends. Within that framework, he homes in on five critical skills that he says are also valuable for marketing professionals. He says…

  1. Be curious.
  2. Be observant.
  3. Be fickle.
  4. Be thoughtful.
  5. Be elegant.

Here, I take a closer look at how to apply those skills to the process of content curation so your curation rises above the din of the content waterfall.

1. Be curious: Learn something new about your personas

To break out of our ruts and see beyond our tunnel vision, we need greater curiosity, Rohit says.

Specific application: Update your personas. Have they stagnated? Are you focusing on the same pain points and needs? Consulting the same sources?

Re-examine your personas to identify their common interests, values, and beliefs beyond those directly related to your interest in them, so that you might expand the scope of content topics and sources that will attract your customers’ attention.

For example, a company offering high-end fashion may want to curate content on other topics that touch their personas’ interests and values—travel, say, or the psychology of extroverts.

Particular value: Brand awareness stage. Curating a topic that’s fascinating to your market, but not directly related to your product or service, increases your odds of getting noticed by the right sort of people.

Content discovery tools, such as Swayy and Prismatic, mine the people you follow by using keywords, so you can see exactly what’s capturing their interest.

2. Be observant: ‘See what others miss’

Being observant, as Rohit explains it, is to “see what others miss; notice the small details that others don’t find significant.” Cultivating the skill of being observant helps you uncover underserved areas where your curation can distinguish your company from its competitors.

Specific application: Get more granular in your persona’s buying journey.

  • Where are the knowledge gaps?
  • What are some unacknowledged challenges?
  • In the B2B space, what questions do prospects need to be able to answer internally to justify a purchase?

Particular value: During the evaluation and decision-making stages.

Talk with sales reps, customer service reps, and current customers to ferret out these undiscovered details. Listen to what end-users, not just the decision-makers, have to say.

Mastering the skill of being observant is your greatest opportunity for curating original themes and topics.

3. Be fickle: Respect the slow burn as well as the spark

Spotting a trend is a myth, Rohit says in his book. As if trends line up along the Las Vegas strip and blink their neon lights at us. We need patience to find the nonobvious—which is where the skill of being fickle comes in.

Rohit defines being fickle as “capturing ideas without needing to fully understand or analyze them in that same moment.”

Specific application:

  • Don’t dismiss the outlier ideas and feedback you uncover while being observant. Outliers may be the tip of a larger issue not yet addressed but worth exploring. They might offer a meaningful entry point for differentiating your curation from overworked curation themes.
  • Follow new sites and blogs that your personas like, identified while being curious, even if you don’t see something valuable to share right away. If everyone in your space is sharing and curating from the same blogs, your curation can’t stand out.

Continually clip and note articles or reports that strike you as interesting, even if you can’t yet clarify why. Evernote and Trello are popular tools; I’m a fan of Zotero.

Set aside a regular time to review your clippings and notes. Are any connections sparking? Even if you don’t see one immediately, listen to your gut if it’s still urging you to keep that piece around.

4. Be thoughtful: It’s the special sauce that sets curation apart

“[The] curator is the imparter of value,” according to Rohit. Indeed, where curation and aggregation separate is with the addition of your singular insights and expertise.

Being thoughtful is how you establish authority and the trust you’re trying to build with your audience. Being thoughtful means adding genuine value, not generic commentary:

  • Provide additional context with new statistics or anecdotes from your direct experience.
  • Develop or support a point or theme that increases the piece’s relevance for your specific audience.
  • Share action tips how your audience can use the new information.

Specific application: Everywhere. You’re not curating if you’re not being thoughtful.

5. Be elegant: Style supports substance

Being elegant is about “developing your ability to describe a concept in a beautiful and simple way for easy understanding,” Rohit writes.

Such elegance enhances your ability to communicate your insights and analysis through your content. It applies regardless of your brand identity and voice, whether you’re a global telecomm or a local micro-brewery.

Specific application:

  • Clean writing
  • Images that attract attention and reinforce or amplify your message
  • Presentation formats that keep people engaged

New curation tools let you move beyond a post or report. If you want to package and deliver multiple pieces of content together, Roojoom (a client of mine) is a great option, helping you craft the content journey you want visitors to take by overlaying your insights, expertise, and CTA at each step.

Stand out in today’s content storm

Your curation is only as valuable as your sources and insights. Use these five skills to discover others’ creativity that you can curate in your own, original way.

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