In a prior post, I wrote about four tools to make you a content curating master. It’s easy to make mistakes in this process, and if you make some of these mistakes, you risk the loss of attention, followers, respect, and authority. But not to worry! I’ll provide suggestions on how to correct the mistakes. In this post, I cover common mistakes people make in content curation and how to solve them.
1) Frequency Mistake: You Share Too Often
On Twitter, there’s a school of thought that people may miss your first tweet, so you should repeat the tweet multiple times. While I agree with this, a common mistake is to disregard spacing and variety.
On spacing, it would be a mistake to post the same tweet five times, one hour apart. On variety, it would be a mistake to post those five tweets without other tweets mixed in. Think about your followers. If you’re one of 5,000 people a user is following, then your tweets will be evenly distributed across the other 4,999 users.
However, if you’re one of 50 people a user is following, your tweets may have sole ownership of the feed for a few hours. If that user fires up Twitter and sees your five consecutive tweets, he may unfollow you.
How to Correct: Space your shares and mix in other content. On Twitter, I repeat tweets across days (not hours) and have 5-10+ other tweets mixed in before I repeat one.
2) Topic Mistake: Lack of Focus
Let’s say you gained Twitter followers for the content you share about marketing. And then one morning, you tweet about food, politics, music, TV, and travel.
The people who followed you for your marketing content may have no interest in those topics. In fact, they may determine that your tweets are all over the map and unfollow you.
How to Correct: Determine the topics your social presence will center on (e.g. sales and marketing), then aim to have 80% of your shares relate to those topics. At an 80/20 ratio, your followers will keep following you for that 80% and forgive you when you stray into the 20% zone and tweet about Game of Thrones.
3) Quality Mistake: Low-Quality Content
Clickbait is evil. Some sites, whose names will be withheld, have mastered the art of the title. Their titles are so captivating that people will click “share” without reading the content! Sharing without reading can be a fatal mistake because what you share reflects on your personal and/or organization’s brands.
How to Correct: Read every post or article that you share. And I mean 100%. The entire thing. What if the author makes a closing argument that’s contradictory to your beliefs? Or worse yet, makes a negative reference to your organization? It would be embarrassing to share it. Once you read it, assess its quality. If the article had your byline on it, would you be proud to show it to your boss? If “no,” then don’t share it. When you share high-quality content, you gain more respect, appreciation, and trust.
4) Commentary Mistake: You Forgot It!
I follow some users who share useful content on social media. The problem? It’s a steady stream of:
While I’ll gladly read some of the articles, it’s something a bot might have assembled. The mistake here? Users don’t demonstrate things that are unique to them: their personality and perspective. That’s a lost opportunity.
How to Correct: Don’t just share a link, share your thoughts and opinions about the content. When sharing on Twitter, most sites include the necessary markup (tags) on their pages, so that the tweet appears within a Twitter Card. The card displays the article’s title, description, and image. This means that you don’t have to repeat the title in the tweet. Delete the default sharing text and write something original.
5) Selfish Mistake: It’s All About You
When sharing content on social, you’re serving “them” (your audience) and not yourself. A lot of individuals and brands commit the mistake of making it about them. They only share content that they published or contributed.
While it’s possible that this content is audience-friendly, audiences don’t want to hear from a single voice. When I look at an individual or brand’s social presence, I often decide not to follow if their presence is too much about them.
How to Correct: While it’s fine to share your own content, be sure to include others’ content in your shares: customers, partners, influencers, perhaps a competitor from time to time!
6) Tagging Mistake: Your Forgot to Tag
Not everyone has alerts in place to flag when their content is shared on social. That means that you could share their post without them knowing it. However, if you tag them in your post, they’ll see that you shared it and they may decide to re-share or re-tweet it.
How to Correct: Give the author and site a shout-out in the post by tagging them. This can give your share more likes, comments, and re-shares. On Twitter, tagging also includes the use of hashtags: add 1-2 hashtags related to the topic (e.g. #contentmarketing for an article on content marketing).
Improving your curation and sharing can help you increase engagement and gain a higher following on social. That can help not only your personal brand but your business as well. Use the comments area below to share some of your own tips on curation and sharing. And if you deem this post of high enough quality to share on social, I thank you for that.
What makes an article “share-worthy” to you? Do you have any hard and fast rules that you abide by for content curation? Let me know in the comments.