When you’re putting together a social media calendar for your clients, finding reputable sources to share content from can often be the trickiest task.
Think about it: if you’ve got a client in the automotive world (and you’re not a huge car fan yourself), how do you know which websites are trustworthy enough to plaster all over your client’s Twitter feed?
Spoiler alert: the answer doesn’t always mean asking your car-mad friend.
You already know that social media is a powerful tool to show your client’s authority, but that’s a tricky task to conquer if you share less-than-perfect content in their feeds.
When curating content for social media, you’ll need to follow best practices and appear knowledgeable to your clients while also making sure they’re happy with the content you’re pushing to share.
Let’s face it: there’s not much point in managing their feeds if the content you’re sharing is off-brand and fails to sit well with their existing audience, right?
In this guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know about content curation, along with the six different ways you can find trustworthy sources:
- What is social media content curation
- 6 ways to find trustworthy sources to share on your client’s social media
- How do I know if the source fits my client or industry
What is social media content curation
Simply put, content curation is the process of finding relevant content to share on your client’s social media platforms.
For example: if my agency were to manage a Facebook Page for a fast-food company, finding content to publish to their page would be classed as content curation.
What’s not so simple is the actual task of finding great content. In the modern age - where consumers are becoming increasingly picky about how they interact with brands on social media - you’ll need to strike the perfect balance when performing content curation for your clients.
Just take a look at these findings. According to data from HubSpot, 45% of consumers said they’d unfollow a brand on social media if the content being shared was too self-promotional.
I know what you’re saying: “Elise, I already know that social media is important… But why do I need to make sure that my sources are reputable and trustworthy? Do I really need to do a full background check of each website I’m planning to share? ”.
The answer is simple: if you want to be in with any chance of generating results (including sales) from your client’s social media feeds, your target audience will need to trust their brand. One way you can do that is by sharing trustworthy curated content and proving your client’s knowledge in their field.
A recent study by HBR concluded that “when trust is high, people are much more likely to take risks and engage in trade.”
Plus, consumers are 67% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media rather than one they don’t:
6 ways to find trustworthy sources to share on your client’s social media
If you really want to prove the ROI of your social media management services to your client, you’ll need to add trustworthy sources into your content curation mix:
- Find online communities
- Use Buzzsumo
- Make the most out of user-generated content (UGC)
- Create (and follow) Twitter lists
- Check Scoop.it
- Use your social media management tool's RSS feed
1. Find online communities
People with shared interests congregate in online communities and help each other by sharing content their fellow members might be interested in.
Chances are, you’re involved in one of these communities without even realizing it.
Take a look at your personal Facebook News Feed. How many posts on there are notifications of somebody publishing external content to a Facebook group?
Whether you’re part of a local neighbourhood watch or enjoy browsing marketing news, there’s a high chance you’re involved in an online community.
Guess what? Your client’s audiences are, too.
To find the communities your client’s target audience is lurking in, you could:
- Send customer surveys, asking previous purchasers where they hang out online.
- Using community-cultivating websites - like Reddit and Quora - to find people based on their interests.
- Googling “INDUSTRY + forum”:
You're likely wrong if you think your client’s industry is too boring or unique to have an online community of raving fans. Heck, there’s a subreddit of over 2,700 people who want to share photos of old toasters. Remember: the Internet has no limit!
But how do you use these online communities to find trustworthy sources for your client’s content curation?
It’s simple: sieve through the content these people are sharing. You might spot a link to a blog post that is gaining the most traction in the online community, which means it’s proven to be popular and authoritative by people who know the ins and outs of the topic.
2. Use Buzzsumo
Fancy investing a bit more cash into your client’s content curation process?
Buzzsumo is a fantastic tool to help with this, as it helps to identify the most popular content in any industry.
Type your client’s niche into the search bar and find an organized list of content with the highest number of social shares:
Using my example, we can see that The Orange County Register’s blog post has the highest volume of engagements for articles on the topic of “fishing tips”.
Not only does this nifty trick help find content that’s already proven popular with your client’s target audience, but it also quickly sieves out the sources that could be untrustworthy and ruin your client’s social presence.
That’s because an article with 5,400+ social shares is much more likely to be trustworthy than one with six, right?
You can get more bang for your Buzzsumo buck by using the data you collect to find other content. Instead of settling on the first handful of results, click on the article and route around the blog it’s published on.
Can you find any other blog posts that might be less shared than the article you originally found? (Plug the new URL into Buzzsumo to find how many shares it has.)
If so, it could be a fantastic addition to your content curation queue. You can also subscribe to their blog or add the RSS feed to your social media publishing tool. But we'll talk about this in the last step.
Since you’re not sharing over-promoted content that your client’s audience may have seen before, you’re proving your client as an industry leader and offering value their audience might not find elsewhere.
3. Make the most out of user-generated content (UGC)
I’ll bet my bottom dollar that your client’s customers are creating relevant content you could add to your curated content library.
That could be anything from:
- Tweets that mention how much they love their new product.
- Testimonials on their Google My Business listing.
- Photos from their customers on Instagram.
- Product reviews on their blog.
Why wouldn't you use this in your client’s social media calendar?
Content created by your client’s audience is called User-Generated Content - or UGC, for short.
You can, and should be, using UGC when curating content for your clients. That’s simply because your client’s audience is more likely to trust a brand when it’s been recommended by their friends.
In fact, customers spend 31% more time with businesses that have excellent reviews. If you could show your client’s testimonials on their social feeds, your content curation efforts would be a great investment of time.
Plus, if you’re managing a B2B feed, consider this: 97% of B2B buyers said that UGC is more credible than other types of content.
Remember how we mentioned that trust was crucial if you’re looking to improve your client’s social media ROI?
Turning customer feedback into amazing social media posts will save you time, while boosting engagement and trust.
4. Create (and follow) Twitter (X) lists
Another simple way to easily curate content for your clients is to use Twitter (X) lists.
Acting as a mini directory of X profiles that you’ve grouped together, it’s a fantastic way to sieve through quality content in your client’s industry - and find sources that could be added to the client’s social media calendar.
To do this, begin to create lists of influencers in their niche. You can do this by signing into their account, hitting the dropdown menu and pressing “Lists”:
You’ll then find a page which looks like this:
Hit “Create a New List” and add the details of the list you’re looking to create:
I’d recommend segmenting your list based on interest. So, if my client sold marketing services, I might group these accounts in each list:
- SEO: @Randfish, @RustyBrick, and @MattCutts.
- Content Marketing: @JoePulizzi, @GarrettMoon, and @HeidiCohen.
- Paid Social: @Sendible, @LarryKim, and @GinnyMarvin.
Once you’ve got your list of influencers, use the Lists feature to view a streamlined Feed of what they’re sharing.
Take a browse through this feed. Are any shared pieces of content gaining the most traction? What are the influencers in this space currently sharing?
Here’s an example of a piece shared by Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, Rory Sutherland to over 110k of his followers:
If you can find something well-loved by these influencers, there’s a high chance of it being from a reputable source.
Think about it: influencer marketing is about building influence by increasing trust with the target audience. If an influencer is sharing rubbish pieces of content with their millions of followers, it will not help anyone.
5. Check Scoop.it
Another awesome content curation tool is Scoop.it - a piece of software that helps to discover content suggestions based on industry quickly.
It’s fantastic if you’re juggling multiple clients, too, as you can create topic pages (focused around a specific industry) from which you can source content.
Plus, it’s super easy to use and set up - as shown by their demo:
But does Scoop.it really hit the mark when it comes to finding reputable sources?
The short answer is: yes.
Because the tool allows you to create topic pages, you can click through and find pieces of content for your client’s industry.
And, since the content compiled in these feeds is collected by so-called “active content curators”, you know it’s not a computer-led machine that’s using dodgy technology to recommend snippets of content.
The content you see on your topic pages has been vetted, approved and suggested by real people with a genuine interest in the topic.
Isn’t that fantastic?
6. Use your social media management tool's RSS feed
Following your trusted RSS feeds or setting up Google Alerts to automatically post meaningful updates to your profiles directly from your social media management tool will save you a great amount of time.
RSS feeds are a great way to find quality content based on specific topics, a particular company or similar. You'll also be able to set up an RSS auto-poster if you wish so that the RSS feed's content is automatically pushed out.
While quickly finding relevant articles to share with Sendible's RSS feed tool is an amazing tactic, it shouldn't become your entire strategy as you don't wish to appear bot-like to social media platforms.
How do I know if the source fits my client or industry
So, you can use our content curation tools to find sources. Although they’re likely to be already proven reputable, you might still be asking yourself one thing: “Does this source really fit my client’s feed?”.
Here’s how you can double-check:
Run the site through Moz’s Link Explorer
When you’re checking whether the source you’ve found is a good fit, you can first run the site through Moz’s Link Explorer tool. This will tell you the site’s key metrics, including:
- Domain Authority (DA): Indicates how likely a website is to rank in Google. Aim for sources with a DA of 30+; they’re more trusted by search engines.
- Page Authority (PA): Similar to DA, but indicates the likeliness of the single page ranking in Google. Again, aim for pages with a score of 30+.
- Linking Domains: Indicating how many backlinks the page has. A high number equals lots of people loving the piece!
Let’s use an example and pretend that my client works in the travel niche. I found this article through an X list, and plugged the URL into Moz’s tool:
The site has a DA of 32 - great!
What’s not-so-great is that the piece has 0 inbound links and fails to rank for any keywords organically.
That could be a warning sign; Google (and other site owners) aren’t picking-up great signals from the page, so it might be wise to drop this off your client’s social media calendar.
However, one thing might be affecting this data: New, fresh content may have minimal backlinks because it is, as the name suggests, new - and might take some time to be found.
That said, it’s a good indication of evergreen content that’s been around for a while - especially research pieces.
You could also plug your source’s URL into SEMrush to see what it currently ranks for in Google.
Here’s what that looks like for Moz’s blog post on 10x content:
We can see that Moz’s blog post ranks for various keywords (even if some aren’t relevant to the piece itself).
If so, it means the page is trusted by Google - indicating it’s a reputable source to use in your client’s content curation feed.
Look at Majestic’s topical trust flow category
Finally, run your source through Majestic and check its topical trust flow category.
Categorizing a website based on its SEO activity, you’ll want to double-check that the category shown by the tool is relevant to your client’s industry.
For example, if my client worked in the celebrity sector, they might want to use Forbes’ piece on the highest-paid celebrities of 2017.
However, despite this source talking about celebrities, search engines associate the entire website with the Arts industry:
...meaning it might not be the best fit.
This step helps to confirm you’re not sharing a one-off piece of relevant content from a totally unrelated website. You’ll need to make sure the content you’re sharing is from a reputable website, and not just a reputable page, remember!
Now you’ve got the lowdown on content curation for your clients, and it’s time to put it to use!
Start by following these steps to find reputable sources, and always double-check that the website you’re pulling the content from is related to your client’s industry.
Then, measure your results. Determine which type of content performs well and gains the most customer engagement, and incorporate this into your social media marketing strategy as one of the content pillars.
You’ll see results in no time. We’re sure of it!