“Implicit sharing” vs. “Explicit sharing”
A recent scholarly article caught my attention. It sought to understand why people curate content. The paper, "Sharing the Loves: Understanding the How and Why of Online Content Curation" (pdf) highlights the obvious reasons why people share content — to facilitate social connections and to solve problems. But it was the section on What Do Other People Find Useful that was particularly enlightening. The researchers found that people like it when curators identify new sources of content on a regular basis and when they share a variety of sources or interests.
Beyond mobile apps, there are many third party web apps that enable marketers to share content from across the web. The types of content shared through these platforms are often “curated” from outside sources, a practice that might lead to “implicit sharing” for some. However, it’s important to make sure your content curation strategy includes explicit sharing.
Content curation refers to distributing someone else’s content, in this case, through your social channels. As content marketers, and marketers in general, we want to establish ourselves and our companies as thought leaders. As such, it’s vital to not only be a respected writer, but also be someone people look to to find valuable content . The benefits of content curation are many, but just as important is the messaging that you include when sharing this content.
These ideas don’t just pertain to Facebook, but to all social channels. Along with Facebook, Twitter is often used as a curation channel for content. A mistake that is very, very often made is to just copy and paste the title of the article as the tweet itself. While this mistake isn’t a cardinal sin, if you choose this roue, at least include relevant hashtags within your tweet. This will at least ensure that your content will get in front of the right audience.
Twitter (or any other social channel, for that matter), hasn’t really enacted the same kind of rules that Facebook has. There are rumors abound that Facebook is actually making content less visible on News Feeds so that companies are more likely to pay for promoted posts. Facebook now has to report to its shareholders (myself being one of them), and I still think (hope) that its decisions are based on wanting to give users the best experience possible. More active users = more advertising dollars = happy shareholders.
Now that Twitter is also a public company, some people may worry that it will adopt a similar approach. Again, I tend to disagree. While Twitter has increasingly been pushing promoted tweets, there’s no indication that they are “weighting” tweets, and I don’t see them doing this any time soon (I could be wrong, though I hope not).
This might sound like a lot to digest – and for many marketers, trying to keep up with the changes can be overwhelming. Not to fear, here are a few tips that will help you curate content with explicit sharing: