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How Much Should You Curate? [audio]

Today we’ll talk about how often you should curate content or how often you should click publish. We’ll talk about both curating content on your local site or your blog and also social media.

Before we jump in, if you’re new to Curation Suite, we are a content-curation platform built exclusively for WordPress. Our discovery tool is called the Listening Engine. It’s designed to help you discover content for any market or any niche.

Let’s jump right in.

This question about how much you should curate, how much you should publish, is one of the biggest questions that I get.

CC BY-NC-ND by Fouquier ॐTypically, my answer is the same no matter what market or niche you’re within, no matter what you’re really looking to do for your content curation or your publishing, what your goals are. It typically is publish and curate as much as you possibly can.

I’ve get to see someone that did not increase their publishing, that did not increase the amount of curations that they do, and not get more traffic, not get more conversions, and ultimately not make it more worthwhile.

The key there is that you really do want to track what’s happening. You really do want to see as I publish stuff, am I generating traffic, am I generating engagement.

If you think about any popular site out there, one example that I give is Mashable. You might not know the history of Mashable, but they started as one person was just publishing a couple times a day. Now, I bet if you check their site, they’re probably publishing something every 10-15 minutes, if not more frequent. They have a lot of guest posts, they have a lot of people publishing there.

Every site that you can name that has got popular has increased its publishing as it got more popular. The reason for that is simple because once you gather an audience, you want to feed that audience.

General Publishing Rule of Thumb

If you want a general rule of thumb of how much should you publish, I suggest everybody try to focus on publishing at least a day.

Do one single-source curation a day. Then when you want to step it up, maybe add a couple roundups throughout the weekend. If you’re unsure what single-source curations are or roundups, you can visit our site at curationsuite.com/blog/.

On the side bar there is training for adding commentary, there’s training on what single-source curations are, there’s training on how to create a trending roundup. These are things that are focused on the most popular forms of curation that you can do.

The general rule of thumb is focus doing a single-source curation once a day.

Then add a couple roundups. If you want to take it to the next level, curate a couple times a day. That’s really the key. Once again, I’ve yet to see someone that did not increase their publishing that did not increase traffic, did not increase conversions. Not everything that you curate or you publish is going to knock it out of the park. That’s the other thing here.

What wins in content marketing is consistency.

It’s consistently doing what you have designed your site to be about. If you’re publishing a site on drones, if you’re publishing a site on wine, if you’re publishing a site on Amazon affiliate marketing, whatever you’re publishing on just doing it once here and there is not going to get you results. What’s going to get you results is consistently publishing.

I don’t know if you do this, but is subscribe to a lot of people on YouTube.

I actually, in the last couple of years, I’m starting to subscribe a lot more. I’ve been discovering people that are just getting started around things that I’m interested in. I just started getting interested in photography for instance. Of course, I followed some of the popular people. I also have started following people that are just starting out. One thing that you’ll notice with people on YouTube especially is that the people that got popular, they got popular because they were consistently doing the same thing. You can go back … It’s kind of amazing sometimes.

You can go back to the history of people when they were just starting out and see the progression, see when they were maybe testing things, see how when they were trying things. One thing that you’ll notice in any popular person out there, especially in YouTube, is that if you go back in the history you’ll see it was consistently done.

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They consistently published a new video every Tuesday, every Wednesday, whatever it is. Nine times out of ten, if not more, 99% of the time the people that are popular, the people that remained consistent. Remained consistent, of course, they maybe changed out the theme or what they did, but they remained consistent and they stuck to it.

Keep to a Publishing Schedule

It’s the same thing with curation. it’s the same thing with this type of publishing. Really, the key is start with a schedule that you can execute. Ensure that you are watching the results of that.

When you publish a curation:

  • is it creating traffic from social media?
  • When you share it out on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest, is it generating links back? Are people coming back to your site?
  • If so, how long are they staying?
  • What are they doing?
  • Are you converting to your email offers?

These are things that you should be looking at. That’s probably a good place to get in where we’ll talk about social media.

The first thing you should focus on, and this is something that I stress to anybody on curating, is that it’s easy to curate in social media. It’s also the least valuable place to curate. Ultimately, if you can get someone over to your website, your opportunity to convert is 100 times better than it is on social media.

Plus, you’re getting the data of someone visiting your site if you’re doing any type of marketing like retargeting, you have the ability to retarget.

Let’s say you just have 15 minutes a day, right? You say, “What should I do for 15 minutes a day?” I would say, “Curate as much as you can, share it out on social media, and that’s the best use of your time.” To get someone over to your site and have the opportunity for them to convert there and do other marketing like retargeting is greater than if you were to spend that 15 minutes trying to figure out what you’re going to share on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc., etc.

Now if you have Listening Engine, you can already do this. Basically, the first thing you would do is curate a story, the top story. Here’s what we train. We have a trending score within the Listening Engine. Fire up the Listening Engine on all your topics, pick one of the top five trending stories to do a curation, and the other stories that you see there, share it social media. Share on Facebook, Twitter, wherever else you share stuff, share it out there.

Curating in Social Media

That’s probably a good place to start with talking about social media and how much you should curate there. First, make sure that you’re curating on a platform that you own and you control. That’s your biggest value. That’s your biggest opportunity to convert. That’s where you want to get people to. When we move on to social media, my best advice here …

This is what I suggest. We follow a lot social media gurus. We’ve hired consultants. What I’ve figured out is do what you feel is right. Do what’s right in your gut. Let me give you an example from our own marketing so you understand where I’m coming from here.

We do a strategy on Twitter called super engagement mode.

In fact, we built a tool called Super Social Engagement that’s only available to customers, that only customers can purchase this tool. It’s a Twitter engagement tool. It executes a strategy where basically what we’re doing is we’re engaging with people, we’re retweeting people on Twitter, anywhere from 15-30 times an hour, sometimes more. Every social media guru that I’ve shared that that have said that we’re crazy, it’s not going to work. I have over two years of data showing that we consistently get traffic, we consistently get new followers, we consistently get profile visits. If we don’t lose followers, it works for us. We get engagement.

It just felt right for us when we started executing this strategy years ago, and when be built this tool to help us to execute the strategy so we aren’t spamming Twitter.

We’re only doing high-quality engagement. It felt right for us. Same with what we’re doing with Instagram. We’re not as good in Facebook I’d say organically, but advertising wise we really got that dialed in. We need to figure out the organic side. As we’re going about Facebook now, we’re going to do the same thing that we’ve done with Twitter. We’re going to figure out what’s our frequency and how can we do a ten-times strategy.

Do More of What Works (for you!)

My philosophy is do as much as you possibly can if it’s working for you.

There is a diminishing amount of returns on both curation and social media engagement. You can overdo this just like email marketing. You could email people too much, and it’s a diminishing amount of returns. There is a sweet spot. I wouldn’t even say a sweet spot.

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There is a frequency to do content curation and social media engagement that is more that what everybody else is telling you. That’s what I would suggest. If you think that, “Look, publish once a day,” guarantee if you publish twice a day you’re going to get more engagement, you’re going to get more traffic.

We live in a word right now where attention is a commodity.

Your ability to capture your market’s attention, the people that you want to attract’s attention, is really … It’s what you’re after. We live in a world where a lot of conversations go by quick. What I would suggest, especially in social media, is figure out something that you can do consistently. A good example I look at, too, is there’s radio hosts that are on Facebook. Some radio hosts maybe publish once a day, maybe an opinion. Others, a couple times a day. These aren’t just simple, “Hey, how you doing? or, “Look at this story.” Sometimes there are 500-700 word opinions on Facebook multiple times a day. Their audience is engaging with that. That works for them that they’re going where their audience is. They found an engagement point.

One of the keys is figure out what works for you. Figure out what you can do consistently.

Always test the frequency, meaning how much can you actually add. How aggressive can you get with it? That’s what I found that works best for what we do. Whenever I consult with people, we have a Quick Start package in Curation Suite, for instance, where it’s one-on-one consulting. Everything I consult with people, I share the same thing: do as much as you can. Everybody that executes that does well. Once again, it comes down to consistency. You got to be consistent.

Let’s recap here on curation. The best publishing or how much you should publish is at a minimum once a day, if you can do it multiple times a day. If you can do multiple styles of curation, maybe do a video curation, do an image curation. The key is to mix it up, try new things. On social media I believe that the opportunity to publish at a frequency higher than what most people would advise.

Understand What You’re Willing to Commit To

http://media3.giphy.com/media/l0K4hO8mVvq8Oygjm/giphy.gifOne thing that I would add, and I don’t mention this enough, is that you really should look at what you’re willing to commit to and what you believe in.

If you already own Curation Suite and the Listening Engine, you picked up the product because you looked at it and said, “Look, I believe that this strategy of curation can work for me. I believe that this is a strategy that is a good content strategy.

It’s lightweight. It fits a role for me and what I’m doing.” Whether or not you have multiple blogs or multiple sites or a single site or a product or service, while you’re doing marketing for your company, whatever it may be, I believe that same idea transfers over to individual social networks. You either look at Facebook, and you understand it and you get it, or you want to spend time to understand it and get. You’re going to commit to it. You’re going to make it work for you.

We’re all limited in resources and time to understand and figure out things. I would suggest you tackle the one or two networks that you believe in, that you like, and do a higher frequency than everybody else suggests. That’s what I would suggest. Then you’re going to get better results.

We do that with Twitter now. We understand Twitter. It’s an open network. We enjoy Twitter. You’ll see that we engage on Twitter at a higher frequency, a lot higher frequency. We’re good at Facebook as far as advertising. I’d say we’re gook; we could be a lot better I believe. Organically, we’re not as good as I want to be. We’re going to be doing the same thing with Facebook. You’ll see over the next couple months we’re going to dive in. I’ve always wanted to figure out Facebook to next level. We just haven’t had the time or the resources to dive in and make it happen. We’re going to do that.

I think what you’ll see is what we typically do in other networks that we get into. We’ll spend some time testing and figuring it out. I bet our frequency of publishing will be more than what people recommend. I bet they will be different than what most people recommend just because what we try to do is we try to base our decisions on data. We try to base our decisions on what’s happening in sales. Actually, the number one thing we based our decision on is is it generating sales? Is it generating conversions? Is it generating engagement? That’s what we really base it on.

I would suggest you look at the same thing when you’re talking about what’s my frequency of both curation and social media curation. Look and see what are you willing to commit to? What are you willing to do consistently? What expectations do you have going into it? What does your gut tell you? What do you believe is going to work? One thing I would suggest outside of that, I mentioned a couple times already, is then if you’ve frequency knob and it’s set at two, set it to ten, set it to 15, and see what happens.

That’s really the best advice is can give. Every time we’ve increased our frequency of something, we’ve done it on not a whim but on our gut that we thought it would do well. We looked at the results, and it’s always done better for us. We’ve always got more conversions. We’ve always got more engagement.

I’ve yet to find someone that’s overdoing it. Usually, to get to that point, you already know, you already feel like, “Look, we’re publishing too much,” or “We’re sharing too much,” or “We’re doing too much of this. I can just feel it.” You can usually back that up with stats. My general rule of thumb, once again, is when you’re thinking about how much I should curate, how much I should publish, go into it realistically and do as much as you possibly can. The capital of today is getting attention. Your ability, really what you’re doing as a content marketer, as a person engaging out in social media, is you’re looking to capture attention.

The better that you get at that, the more that you can do that, the more sophisticated you get at being able to capture people’s attention, is a skill that really translates into your ability to convert, your ability to capture and audience. It’s why the social platforms that come up are worth billions of dollars, not because they’re making revenue. It’s because they have the ability of time spent.

They have the most important asset that people are giving, which is their time. They’re able to capture that. If you come up from that perspective, you’ll realize that if I have that ability or I can figure it out, then really I just want to increase my frequency. If I’m getting at this publishing once or twice a day, what would happen if I do two or four times day? What would happen if I do it ten times a day?

The Good Problem to Have

Now there is that, like I said once again, a diminishing amount of return on some of this. When you get to that point, isn’t that a good problem to have? Isn’t it a good problem to say, “I’m publishing too much. Maybe I should scale back.” If you get to that point, that means you’re doing something right. That means you have the ability to scale back. It’s worst to be on the other side, which is, I’m not publishing enough. I’m losing my audience,” or “I’m not capturing my audience enough. I’m not giving them enough because I’m not publishing enough.” To be on the other side of the coin, we’re saying, “I have to scale it back,” is a better situation to be in. That’s where I’ll leave you here.

Once again, if you have questions about anything that we covered here today, you can reach out to us on Twitter at twitter.com/curationsuite, or send an email to [email protected] If you want to learn more about Curation Suite, visit curationsuite.com. We have full tutorial videos on all of our products.

One thing I don’t mention enough is that we do update our products. We’re on about a twice-a-month development cycle, meaning that we have a release cycle, I should say. We update the Listening Engine consistently. We update the Curation Suite plugin consistently. We also do have other products as well that we update.

We just released the Super Social Engagement product. We have an awesome new update coming for that in mid-July. We have a couple interesting updates for the Listening Engine in mid-July as well. These aren’t products that we just sit idly on and just sit back and watch them sell. These are products that we’re actively updating, actively adding new features, actively listening to people that purchase and say, “Hey, I really wish it did this.” If you’re looking for a tool that’s actively supported, definitely check out Curation Suite.

I look forward to seeing you in the next audio that we release.

CC BY-NC-ND by Fouquier ॐ