Today’s guest post is written by Tammy Kahn Fennell
You hear that word a lot. There’s even an entry in Wikipedia for digital curation:
Digital curation is the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets.
But what does that mean to you, as a social media user, marketer, business?
Is there a such thing as “social curation?”
It is starting to emerge. In a recently article on ReadWriteWeb, Jon Mitchell writes about Storify, and how during recent #OccupyWallStreet events, startup Storify became the go-to site for news, because of it’s unique ability to curate social news in one place.
We are living in a saturated social world. You have multiple profiles, on multiple sites, in a world where it seems like social networks themselves are multiplying. It is content overload. To know if you’re suffering from it, ask yourself:
When was the last time I checked in on every single profile I have?
I bet you’ll find, like me, there’s one, two, or even four or five you’ve been wholly ignoring. It may be Linkedin Groups, it may be your Facebook fan page, or that Twitter account you never quite off the ground. And, to take it one step further, have you been reposting interesting content?
Have you been reading everything happening on Spin Sucks, or retweeting that really cool bit of information they just tweeted? Everyone has their procrastinated social element, because, nearly everyone is simply overloaded.
I’m here to help.
Five Types Of Social Curation
I like to break things down into sections, so the way I see it there are five elements to social curation.
- Engagement. You need to make sure you are organizing all the people who are posting at you, across all your different platforms. This is what we will call “engagement curation.” Imagine if you were in a brick and mortar store, and you were trying to sell your antiques. Someone asks “So, what is the age of this piece?” and you just stare back at them blankly, present, but unresponsive. Eerie, right? That’s what it’s like for people when you don’t respond when they engage you on social media.
- Interests. There is still the element of social media that you just want to keep up-to-date with interesting things. These deserve some curation of their own. Tweets don’t have to disappear after 24 hours if you curate them. Saving good articles, sharing them, emailing them all means you’re curating interesting content.
- Team. Often overlooked, especially by entrepreneurs, but you can’t always do it all. Team curation is managing and sorting what social bits go to whom and then tracking the progress. It doesn’t stop at assigning something to someone. Did they follow up? Can their work be now curated as a lead?
- Segments. You need to segment your social world into relevant sectors. If you are looking to connect with clients in Nebraska you don’t want to waste too much time with leads in Norway. Curating your social media into sections helps you identify the most important people to connect with.
- Leads. For a business, this is the most important part. Engagement often turns into a viable lead, but it can easily be lost or misplaced on social media because of the sheer speed of “real-time.” Curating leads means having a system to store them, assign them, and/or prepare them for follow-up. Social media may be fast but there’s no excuses for missed opportunities. It’s a tough economy so don’t leave money on the table.
A Growing Trend
2011 really launched the need for social curation, but 2012 will bring it into a class of its own. I expect to see a Wikipedia entry for it before the year is up. But there’s still the question, How do you tackle it? Imagine if you could remove the bias from one profile over another? What if you could manage, engage, store — in a word “Curate” your social world? You could certainly do it manually. Since it’s almost the holidays, you deserve a treat…
The newest version of MarketMeSuite will release in January and is going to crack social curation. The new version will allow you to curate by location, network, team member. It’s lead curation. It will help you cut through the clutter, organize your marketing, engage in the most relevant places and analyze your efforts. When you’ve come back from your holidays, recovered from all the partying bringing in 2012, you’ll be hearing more!
2012 will be the Year of Social Curation.