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!

6 Point Checklist – Making Your Content King!

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Content is King’. But you may be sitting there afraid to ask what this actually means, or simply worrying just how to make your content regal…this checklist could help!

What do we mean by content? Our personal favourite definition (courtesy of www.TheWordFactory.com).

“Content is the presentation of information for a purpose to an audience through a channel in a form.”

For social media, ‘content’ is the post, tweet, image, blog and video you share on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn (and other social media platforms). If you’re aiming for ‘Royal Status” ask yourself these few things.

Content Is King

Making Content King

Is my content………………

Interesting, useful or helpful? Make your content work hard: tell a story, share some facts, surprise your readers, reveal some secrets, give a new spin on existing knowledge, make the reader laugh or cry. Give your fans and followers something to act on or teach them something new, they may well do some of your marketing for you – by sharing, liking and retweeting.

Diverse? Make your content varied and interesting. Re-purpose content you already own such as white papers, research data, editorial articles – it can all be used online. Offer tips and information to educate. Remember to add links to your own website and other sources of information you value. Don’t forget to ask questions, provide promotions and offers. Occasional humour or levity is good as well. Don’t be afraid to share other people’s content it shows you are impartial and value other points of view.

Relevant to my target audience? Identify who you need to talk to and use appropriate phrases, keywords and identify suitable #hashtags. Join existing conversations among your target audience, enjoy the ‘chat’ and avoid the hard sell.

Well written? There’s nothing worse than a post or tweet full of errors and broken links so make sure it’s….

  • Punchy
  • Concise
  • Polite
  • Helpful
  • Trustworthy
  • Entertaining
  • In English (not text speak)
  • Check the spelling
  • Check grammar
  • Check links

Remember all content refers back to your business and your brand.

Helping to drive my business forward? Linking your content to business goals gives your social media efforts a purpose.  Maybe you want to find new business partnerships, or research a new region for business development, identify potential customers and learn more about them, converse with experts in your industry or simply entertain your followers and fans. Write content that helps to meet these goals.

Planned? Content works best when it’s planned and co-ordinated. Use a content calendar to schedule content based on business objectives, monthly targets, seasonality, industry trends and events. Be timely with your content link it to trends and news.

At BeeSocialSmart we follow Chris Brogan and in a recent blog and we found his statement that “Content Marketing is sales-minded storytelling”. It embodies the essence of good practice. Avoid the hard sell but know what you want to say – link your content to your quarterly sales objectives and build a story that helps achieve those targets.

 

6 Reasons Your Social Media Efforts Are Failing

So you’re on every social media site you can imagine. You’re posting, Tweeting, telling everyone about your business but “IT’S JUST NOT WORKING”. Ever wondered why?

Maybe it’s time to review exactly what you’re doing; make good use of the time you devote to social media activities.

1. You don’t have an objective for you social media activity – Without a clear objective it’s no wonder things aren’t going to plan. You wouldn’t go into a sales meeting without a bottom line offer in your pocket! Be clear what you want social media to achieve for your business; to acquire and engage new customers, to gain leads and referrals, or to boost awareness, to give you an insight into a new business area, even to become the ‘go to’ expert on a particular topic.

2. You are on the wrong sites? – With myriad options how do you know which one’s are right? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+, Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Foursquare – these are some you may know.  Making them work for you does require a bit of homework. Find out where you potential customers are most likely to be active – not all sites work for all brands. Think “Who do we want to talk to” and “What do we want to say” to help focus your social media efforts on sites where your ideas are most likely to appeal to the audience.

3. You are not giving readers/followers anything to react to? – Remember social media is about conversation and communication. Don’t just broadcast – LISTEN. Nobody wants to read time again about your new widget or service, your latest special offer,or why they have to buy what you sell. It’s like chatting to a friend – ask questions, respond to their views, agree or disagree with them, repeat the good stuff, challenge them – don’t just talk about yourself.

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4. You delegate social media to an office junior/PA/Admin assistant. – A classic error. Don’t assume that because your PA/admin assistant is on Facebook that she knows how to use it for business. Social media success requires you to be real, be yourself and show a personality that is appropriate for your business. Find an expert or do it yourself.

5. You pushed out too many ideas. – Keep it simple. It takes time for potential customers to get to know your business, don’t switch and change your posts, tweets or videos too frequently. Create a content strategy and calendar with themes and topics that are relevant. Allow time for people to absorb what you’re saying.

6. You gave up too soon – Few relationships are ‘love at first sight’ and social media is no different. If you are guilty of any point in 1-5 above you probably haven’t had a great first date. But don’t give up too soon. It does take time, some planning and a bit of effort. But the results will be worth it.