So you’ve begun to realized your employees are a great value toward your online marketing efforts and using a social media employee advocacy program would be a wise business decision. You’ve taken all the right steps to implement the program by crafting a social media policy, an employee advocacy platform and you’ve even hand-picked your initial enthusiastic champion advocates. You’ve explained to your advocates of the importance of employee engagement and the impact employee advocacy can have on your business. But now what?
Even the most comprehensive social employee advocacy programs boil down to two basic parts: your employees and the content you want them to share. While it’s very likely the collective social media networks of your employees is far bigger than that of your brand, this doesn’t mean they’ll share anything your business recommends posting. This is why it’s essential to understand how to curate content for social media so your employees want to share and not feel the need to share.
Content Curation vs. Content Aggregation
First let’s start with content aggregation. Content aggregation is the act of collecting information based upon certain keywords or keyword phrases and placing them in a central location. We have all seen aggregated content at one point or another. The most common example of it would be a search engine, like Google or Bing. A user inputs a search query and the search engine collects, or aggregates, specific results based on this query. It then displays the results in a centralized location, otherwise known as a SERP (search engine results page.)
On the other hand, content curation, is the process of sifting through third-party material, picking and choosing specific content and presenting it in a way that is meaningful and organized. Content curation is nothing new and has been around for decades.
Museums are a great example of traditional content curation. A museum curator picks and chooses different pieces of artwork to organize them around a central theme. Curators choose what’s best for their audience and editorialize each piece. By doing this, curators contribute value to their community and position themselves as an expert on the subject matter they are presenting.
The same process can be carried out online. A skilled curator will scour the Internet, filter through the noise and cherry pick the best images, articles, blogs or videos and group them around a central theme. They distill the information and give clarity to their audience by providing a unique perspective.
There are many times when content curation and content aggregation overlap. Take Twitter for example. Twitter is a giant content aggregator that collects Tweets from the individually curated feeds of those you follow and places Tweets in a central location–your feed. Although curation and aggregation can cross paths sometimes, it’s important to understand content curation is not content aggregation and vice versa.
How to Curate Content on Social Media
Now that you know content curation, you need to understand how to do it correctly. Focus your efforts on utilizing the employees participating in your social media advocacy program and find great content that adds value to your employees and your brand as a whole.
Research by WeberShandwick shows 50% of employees already talk about their employer on social media. By taking the time to curate great content for your employees, you essentially guide your team’s online conversations, which is highly beneficial for your company. If your curated content provides value to your employees, there is a much higher probability that you’ll have a larger social reach and increase in employee engagement.
Here are some content curation tips to help you curate content that your employees would love to share:
1. Understand Your Employees Are Part of Your Target Audience
Curate and craft your content in a way that appeals to your employees on a personal level. If your staff connects emotionally with the content you curate, they are more likely to engage and share the content to their personal networks.
2. Curate Unique Content For Each Employee Group In Your Organization
Not all individuals are drawn to the same types of content. Because of this, it’s important to individually cater to the different subdivisions of your organization. Do you think your sales team would show as much interest to a tutorial on jQuery development? Or that your management team would want to share content about sales tips when they aren’t involved in the sales process? Segment your employee advocates into teams and individually cater to these groups by curating stories they would actually be interested in sharing.
3. Showcase Employees As Thought Leaders
As your employees share more content, their personal brand is developed. Encourage employees to submit content they have authored so you can show it off to the world. By showcasing their work as great content, you not only publicly acknowledge your employees as experts in their fields, but also individually acknowledge their contributions to your business.
This creates a positive feedback loop: you show off your employees’ work, they enjoy being in the limelight and become more motivated to author other great sharable content. Employees will jump at the chance to show off their skills and expertise. This build your employees up as experts and helps your company look like a key player within the industry.
4. Focuses on Notable Experiences
Sharing notable experiences is already a popular strategy on social media. We want the world to know that we just got married, bought a new house, went on a vacation or ate a delectable chocolate fudge sundae (after taking pictures of the dessert of course). People love to hear about your notable experiences, even if they happen at work.
Work is such a huge part of our lives. In fact, the average individual spends 35% of their waking hours working, which equals about 91,120 hours! During this time, there are plenty of notable experiences that are bound to happen. Whether it’s a new product launch, an amazing company retreat, or a significant milestone the company has reached, great company-centric content already exists. Curate and share this type of content with your network as this type of content outperforms anything else.
If you’ve created an environment where employees are passionate about their work and aligned with your brand goals, they’ll be happy to share this type of content as it shows their networks what a great company they work for and what an amazing job they have.
5. Avoid Sharing Negative Content
This may seem like an obvious tip, but don’t curate and share content that evokes strong negative reactions. Since the early days of psychology, it’s been known that people want to be happy and feel good about themselves. Use this to your advantage in when you’re curating content by sourcing material that is positive and uplifting
Did a customer leave a raving review? Has your company participated in charity events or give back to the community as a whole? This is the type is unique, branded content that is great for social media and creates high levels of engagement, even among non-employee audience members. Mix in third-party content that motivates and inspires and you’ll have a solid facet of your curation strategy that is sure not to disappoint.
6. Don’t Make It All About You
The content you curate should always add value to both your brand and your employees. This doesn’t mean you should curate content that is only promoting your brand or product. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Your employees don’t want to continually share content that is overtly promotional. When curating content for your employees, always follow the 80/20 rule. This means 80% of the content you curate should benefit your employees and 20% should directly promote your business. Content that is directly promotional doesn’t always have to be authored in-house either. It is recommended to source third-party content but editorialize it to be covertly promotional if possible.
By using tools such as Mention or Sprout Social, you can monitor social media and the Web for great material being shared by external sources as well. There is a plethora of great content out there that isn’t promotional and can be tailored to fit your overall theme. You can also utilize platforms like BuzzSumo, Content Gems, and Topsy to find content that is already performing well.
Editorialize stories you find by adding your own personal insights to them. State what you found interesting about it or why you think it’s important for others to read. This creates an open dialogue between you and your employees as the content can carry over to their individual networks.
7. Ask Employees What They Want to See
When you first implement your employee advocacy program, there is no way of knowing what type of content will perform well and what type of content will fall flat. Instead of wasting time and resources by guessing what your employees want, just ask them! By doing this, you take out the guesswork and know exactly what type of content will be well-received by your employee advocates.
8. Let Employees Know What They Missed
You can’t expect every piece of content to be seen by all employees, nevertheless shared. Your employees may actually be busy throughout the week doing actual work.
Understand from time to time things do happen and the content you curate will occasionally fall through the cracks or go unnoticed. Counter this by taking your top posts and sending a monthly company-wide email round-up to everyone. This allows individuals who missed the post on the first go-round a second chance to share. It also gives those who already shared a chance to re-engage with the content.
Why is Curating Content So Important?
Employees are one of the most untapped assets businesses have. When you curate content that is specifically meant for them, you can increase overall employee engagement and participation in your employee advocacy program.
Studies show strong correlations between employee engagement and performance across many different industries around the world. By distilling information through content curation, you give clarity to your target audience, provide a variety of unique perspectives, build authority, and greatly extend your brand exposure by leveraging your employees’ social media networks, all of which improves your bottom line.
Do you have any additional tips for curating content on social media that your employees want to share? What kind of content performs well with your individuals who you work with? Let us know in the comments below!
8 Ways to Curate Content That Your Employees Will Love To Share
Written by Andrew Wasyluk on November 04, 2015