Steady, smart content curation can grow your audience on lots of social media outlets. It’s list building, social media-style: You help folks find and filter other people’s good stuff. In exchange, they start paying more attention to your good stuff.
Just the facts, folks: This is a step-by-step look at how I do my daily content curation. Nothing fancy:
I did all of these things once, to get my toolset in order:
- Get a Timely.is account.
- Install the Timely bookmarklet in my favorite browser.
- Sign up for Hootsuite
- Set up Hootsuite to use your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
- Sign up for Bit.ly Pro. You can use the free version, but Pro has slightly better analytics and lets me use a custom URL shortener domain.
- Get set up with Google+
- Set up Bit.ly in both Hootsuite and Timely.
- Set up Google Reader.
- Add my favorite blogs, news feeds and Google Alerts (I have a free ebook on using Reader as a monitoring tool here).
All done. This took all of 45 minutes, by the way. One time. Divided over 2 years, that’s about 3.7 seconds per day. I spend more time burping.
10 minutes, every morning
- Review my Google Reader list.
- If a headline looks interesting, I read the story.
- If I think my audience will find it useful, I open the story in a separate browser window. The reason: You probably first read the post in Google Reader. You need to view the article on the publishing web site for the next step.
- Click the Timely.is bookmarklet. You’ll see something like this:
- Shorten the Tweet as much as you can, and add a comment of your own. You need to add some analysis/opinion/entertainment value:
- Click ‘Add to Queue’.
Repeat this process until you’ve got 10 or so posts lined up for the day. Timely will spread them out through the entire day, sending them out at the best times. You can check your queue at any time on Timely.is:
Total time: 10 minutes, tops.
Side benefit: You stay informed and might even learn something new.
3 minutes every afternoon
Go to bit.ly and review how your tweets have done. If one really stands out—getting a lot of clicks and/or retweets—send it to LinkedIn and Facebook via Hootsuite. And repost them to Google+.
Yo, Google: When will you have an API for Google+? I want my account in Hootsuite!
My thinking on this: Twitter is a place folks seem to expect a fairly steady stream of posts. In my testing, 10-15 tweets per day is very reasonable. On Facebook and LinkedIn, I usually see a steep decline in response after 2-3 posts. So I do most of my work on Twitter and push the stuff that gets a big response to my other accounts.
If you have more than one item suitable for Facebook/LinkedIn, schedule it using Hootsuite’s scheduling tool:
Google+ is tougher – you have to do it by hand right now. Again: Google, API? Soon? Ish?
Total time: 3 minutes.
Side benefit: You learn the ebb and flow of user attention during the day. Then you can say stuff to clients like “Well, my testing shows that we get the best response at 11:15 AM on Tuesdays.” It makes you look very authoritative.
13 minutes a day – that’s all
See? 13 minutes. You can find the time to do this. Spend 15 minutes less on Facebook. Take one less smoke break. The time’s there. Make use of it. It’ll pay off.