5 Curation Tools To Create Your Own Online Magazine

Publish your own online magazine or newspaperYou have probably heard the phrase  content curation a lot; and the concept of sharing interesting, relevant articles and posts is one of the core activities in good social media marketing.  By sharing good content from a range of sources, you can show expertise in your field and present your customers, prospects, business partners and colleagues with a single stream of relevant, accurate and informed material.

“CURATION means to discover, gather and present digital content about a specific topic or subject; amassing content from a variety of sources and delivering it in an organised fashion. It’s now becoming a marketing staple for companies who want a successful online presence”

Source: EContentMagazine

Of course, many people make extensive use of Twitter and Facebook to share blogs, news and websites and Pinterest is great for building a visual pin-board of ideas.  But how about collating and presenting all these articles visually as your own magazine or newspaper?

There are a variety of tools that serve this very purpose.  They can be fun to use and give your community a one-stop-shop for finding useful resources and news.

Not only do they allow you to share content you have found, they actually help you find new content to publish to your own pages.  Most include a “bookmarklet” to make it easy to share articles.  A bookmarklet is the tiny icon that sits in your browser’s toolbar.  It allows you to grab content or feeds from any web page and add them to your paper in 1 click.

Here are five well-known online curation tools we like:

  • Storify

    Storify gathers social media postings such as tweets, photos and videos to tell a story on a particular subject.  The interface lets you search multiple networks and resources to build your story.  You can also add your own headlines and comments, pulling all the elements together and giving your own opinions.

  • Paper.li

    Paper.li has many automated features that help you promote your pages and find new, relevant content from across the web.  It allows users to subscribe to your paper and also gives you access to scheduled posts and usage stats.  It comes as a free basic version and also a paid-for ‘Pro’ edition with more features and customisation options.

  • Scoop.it

    Scoop.it is another tool with a great magazine-style layout at the front-end.  Its smart searches and community help you discover new content and, of course, it also gives you a bookmarklet to add your own content.  You can add your own thoughts and perspective and easily share your magazine across social networks and blogs.

  • RebelMouse.com

    RebelMouse.com, with its ‘Rebel Roar’ product, is a relatively new arrival offering a sophisticated, professional publishing platform which is already being used by some very big companies.  It includes many of the same features as other tools;  it allows you to bring together and share content from social networks and websites.  It has a strong focus on automated tools such as generating newsletters, Twitter Cards, polls and petitions.

  • Pearltrees

    Pearltrees is a much more visual platform, ideal for photos, graphics and video.  This makes it similar in many ways to Pinterest although the interface has the feel of an online slideshow.

If you use any of these tools why not link your magazine below and we will share. Or if we’ve missed your favourite content curation tool let us know!

What Can You Learn from the New York Times about Twitter

Whilst thinking about ways to save time on Twitter, I came across this article written by Michael Roston (@MichealRoston) of The New York Times’ social media desk. And I figured that if you’re going to get tips on using social media, you might as well get them from the best!

NYT-blog-imageThe NY Times (@nytimes) has obviously done some extensive analysis (in part using SocialFlow) on what works well and what is less successful on Twitter. The article contains some very useful and interesting information, that anyone using Twitter for promotion, can take onboard.

Re-tweet Trusted Sources

One of the main findings of the article is that by re-tweeting updates from trusted sources they can maintain a strong following that is literally hanging on their every word. They are taking on the role of curator and moderator for their own followers, presenting them with a single stream of accurate and informed material.

Of course, we are not all in the position of needing to report on current events every minute of the day; however, by selectively retweeting posts from other experts and commentators we can give our own followers the benefits of knowledge from multiple sources, relevant to them because the filtering and assessment has already been done.

Automation Caution

Another important finding was how problems had occurred with automated tweets that would not have happened at times when the stream was being monitored. The errors were mainly to do with badly worded or inaccurate content.

When looking for ways to save time on social media, it’s easy to think that automation is the answer to everything. However, the lesson here is to make sure that what you have scheduled is accurate and will still be accurate by the time the tweet is actually sent. Of course, double-checking spelling and links goes without saying. The crime of sending out dead links, in particular, could cost you followers especially if you’re not around to make the correction.

Clarity Beats All

Being writers and journalists, the NY Times staff pride themselves on being able to pull a clever headline or two out of the bag. Interestingly, however, their research has shown that on Twitter the clever headlines aren’t always the ones that get the best response. The article indicates that, in fact, it is clear, straight forward writing that gets the most retweets and click-throughs.

Re-sends Work

Another nice point made by the article is that a tweet that received a good response from followers in terms of retweets and clicks is more than capable of re-producing that success when sent again at another time. Their example shows that a tweet sent mid-week can pick up a different but equally significant audience when sent at the weekend.

This must be heartening for anyone trying to save themselves a little time, and confirms that going to the effort of generating good, solid content pays off and can work harder than we at first imagined.

I strongly recommend reading the full article and taking note of their many examples.
Unless you’re working for a large corporation, it’s easy to shy away from comparing your own business to something like the New York Times. However, since they’ve done all the leg-work of analysing a huge amount of their own data, we can take advantage of their findings; cherry-picking the ideas and concepts that apply to our own social media goals and on a scale that we can manage.

Why Social Media?

In a traditional setting, advertising used to be leaflets, cold calling, billboards etc. This is now becoming obselete: So why do people use social media as opposed to traditional marketing?

In today’s modern society, everybody leads busy lives, nobody wants the intrusion of having a leaflet thrust into their hand as they are walking down the street, or to receive a telephone call in the evening after a long day.

Social media is about identifying your audience, targeting them and engaging in conversation. Once you have gained trust the ‘customer’ will begin to form a relationship with you and when they are looking for a supplier to purchase there product or service from, you are likely to be top of the list.

‘Engaging’ is the key word. The customer needs to give their permission for you to talk to them. Start a conversation, talk to them about their interests and lives. Let them see that you care about them as a person, and you are not all about the hard sell.

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Think 80/20

80% of your time on social media should be engaging and collaborating with your target audience. Only 20% should be you talking about your products.

Remember: Don’t let social media become anti-social!

 

At Bee Social Smart we aim to give practical, no nonsence advice to you, the supplier. We provide bespoke consultancy for your business to show you how to you can increase your performance with the use of social media.

The Secret Of Simple Social Media Strategy

In our last blog we shared some of the most common platforms that you can use for social media; hopefully you have narrowed it down to 2 or 3 that you know will work for your business and that you will have time to maintain.

At this point – make an important decision. Who within your organisation is going to look after your social media. Don’t assume that a younger employee will be better – the average age of a Facebook user is 39 (Twitter 38). It should be owned by someone who really understands the business and has the right personality and approach to be consistent – and has enough time to dedicate to making it effective.

So, now you are ready, here are a few tips for other things to consider:

Woman drawing action plan

Turn Ideas in Social Media Action

Set Some Objectives What do you want to achieve by using social media? The objectives you have for social media will vary depending on the type of business, organistion or charity you are. But it’s always good to have an objective to know why your doing it, maybe it’s:

  • to raise awareness about your business or your industry
  • to drive more website traffic
  • to get more customers into you shop (online or high street)
  • to act as communication hub for a particular issue
  • to become a community discussion group

Know Your AudienceWho are you talking to? You have to know what type of customers, fans, followers you are hoping to attract: knowing enough about them helps you work out where to find them, what to say and how to say it so they will respond to and most importantly it helps you share the type of content they will find interesting and want to share with others.

Think About Content If you haven’t already read our Content is King blog it might be a good place to start. Before you fire off that first post or Tweet you need to know what you are going to share. Having a content calendar always helps; maybe you want to follow a formula every week so Monday is news from your company, Tuesday is share a photo day, Wednesday is write a blog day etc. Do you have some video you can use? Perhaps you want to find relevant information that other people have already created and share. Whatever you decide to do, make a commitment to do it regularly.

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How Do You Know It’s Working?If you set objectives at the beginning it’s much easier to know if your social media efforts are working. There are some great tools you can use (usually free for trial period) like Hootsuite, SproutSocial – which help you schedule your activity and have great reporting features. Facebook has it’s own Insights – which is really valuable data for understanding what has worked in your page. And of course, you can use Google Analytics to analyse web traffic.

We’d love to know if this has helped you simplify your social media strategy – drop us a comment in the speech bubble at the top.

 

 

 

5 Social Media Platforms To Help You Promote Your Business.

With so many social media platforms to choose from – which ones will increase performance for your business? At Bee Social Smart we know that social media is a necessary tool for you to be able to add value to your business.

Below is a brief outline of just 5 (of the many) options available and that can help you increase your sales today.

Twitter

Twitter is an online social media platform that enables you too connect to people or businesses. With approximately 555 million accounts there are plenty of people/businesses to communicate with!

Since there are around 9,000 tweets go out every second your tweet has a very short life cycle span – Twitter Users need to post little and often intermittently throughout the day.

Facebook

Many people use Facebook for pleasure but did you know that you can also create a business page?
Facebook potentially gives you the chance to attract a different type of audience to Twitter, plus you can post a picture which is instantly visible to your audience.
Once your page has received 30 likes, you are then able to access ‘insights’ which are statistics to help you identify which helps you measure your efforts.
Facebook Users need to determine how often they are going to post on their business page and stick to it – By posting regular, reliable content people will learn to visit your page as a trusted source of information.

Linked-In


Linked-in gives you the chance to show off your business skills. It is a powerful tool which enables you to display your CV to the entire world! You are given the opportunity to ‘Connect’ with fellow business, people and build relationships with experts that work in the same field as you as well as potential clients.
Linked-in also gives you the opportunity to build yourself an excellent reputation as passed or present colleagues are able to recommend you to their connections.

 

Pinterest
Pinterest is a virtual online pin board. You are able to create boards about subjects you love. For example, if you own a hair salon you could create the following boards:

  • Styles that you have created in your salon (the before and after picture)
  • Styles which are trending in big cities such as London
  • Fashion

Link to these pins on other social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. Other users will also see your pins and start to follow you. Pinterest is perfect for any business that has a product to sell or a visual representation of their service.

YouTube
You Tube enables you to put videos of yourself  and market your brand, this can help people develop an instant connection with you.
People in life are very busy – so it is recommended that your video be 3 minutes or less in time – as always content is key.

All of the above are powerful tools which can be used to drive traffic to your website.

Would you like to know more about how to use social media platforms to increase performance in your business? We  are running two workshops on 14th November.

Can’t make on the 14th November, or think a workshop is not for you? We also offer a range of social media consultancy, training and social media management services.

We love to help, contact us through any of our social media channels and we would love to chat and see if we can help.