Social Media Marketing

Content Curation for Agencies: How to Find Trustworthy Sources to Share

5 April, 2021
8 min read
Elise Dopson

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’re sharing less-than-perfect content in their feeds.

When curating content for social media, you’ll need to follow best practices; 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 five different ways you can find trustworthy sources:


What is content curation?

What is content curation?

Simply put, content curation is the process of finding 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.

Simple, right?

What’s not-so-simple is the actual task of finding 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 collected by 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 audience will need to trust their brand. One way you can do that is by sharing trustworthy 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:

Twitter user and purchase statistics

How to find trustworthy sources to share on your client’s social media

If you’re really wanting 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:

  1. Find online communities
  2. Use Buzzsumo
  3. Make the most out of user-generated content (UGC)
  4. Create (and follow) Twitter lists
  5. Check

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.

Take a look at your personal Facebook News Feed. How many posts on there are notifications of somebody publishing a piece of content to a Facebook group?

Whether you’re part of a local neighborhood 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 to tell you where they hang-out online.
  • Using community-cultivating websites -- like Reddit and Quora -- to find people based on their interests.
  • Googling “INDUSTRY + forum”:
    Fishing + forum search on Google

If you think your client’s industry is too boring or unique to have an online community of raving fans, you’re likely wrong. 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 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.

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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.

Simply type your client’s niche into the search bar and find an organized list of content with the highest number of social shares:

Buzzsumo demo for fishing tips

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 to find content that’s already proven to be popular with your client’s ideal audience, but it 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 onto 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 subscribe to their blog or add the RSS feed directly into your social media publishing tool, too.

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 content you could use in your content curation process.

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 can’t you use this in your client’s social media calendar? (The answer: you can.)

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 will 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? 

4. Create (and follow) Twitter lists

Another simple way to make client’s content curation easier is to use Twitter lists.

Acting as a mini directory of Twitter profiles that you’ve grouped together, it’s a fantastic way to sieve through the 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”:

Access Lists in Twitter from your profile

You’ll then find a page which looks like this:

Twitter lists page

….Hit “Create a New List” and add the details of the list you’re looking to create:

Create a new list option in Twitter

I’d recommend segmenting your list based off interest. So, if my client sold marketing services, I might group these accounts in each list:

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 founder of MobileMonkey, @LarryKim, to his 789K Twitter followers:

If you can find something that’s well-loved by these influencers, there’s a high chance of it being from a reputable sources.

Think about it: influencers want to build their influence by increasing trust with their audience. If they’re sharing rubbish pieces of content with their millions of followers, it’s not going to help anyone, right?

5. Check

Another awesome content curation tool is; a piece of software that helps to quickly discover content suggestions based on industry.

It’s fantastic if you’re juggling multiple clients too, as you’ve got the option to create topic pages (focused around a specific industry) that you can source content from.

Plus, it’s super easy to use and set-up -- as shown by their demo:

...But does 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’re able to click-through and find pieces of content for your client’s industry.

And, since the content compiled in these feeds are 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 in your topic pages has been vetted, approved and suggested by real people with a genuine interest in the topic.

Isn’t that fantastic? 

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 already be 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, the first thing you can do is 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 a Twitter list, and plugged the URL into Moz’s tool:

Moz Link Explorer tool demo

The site has a DA of 32 -- great.

What’s not-so-great is the fact 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, there’s one thing that 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 being said, it’s a good indication for evergreen content that’s been around for a while -- especially research pieces.

Check SEMrush

You could also plug your source’s URL into SEMrush to see what it is currently ranking for in Google.

Here’s what that looks like for Moz’s blog post on 10x content:

Semrush demo

We can see that Moz’s blog post is ranking for various keywords (even if some of them 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 it’s topical trust flow category.

Categorizing a website based on their 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:

Majestic Topical Flow demo

...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!

Final thoughts

Now you’ve got the lowdown on content curation for your clients, 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 engagement from your customers, and incorporate this into your social media marketing strategy going forward.

You’ll see results in no time, we’re sure of it!

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