How content curation platforms work
There are a lot of websites out there offering curation-type services. They crop up and disappear with the latest craze. To get a clear sense of how a brand might leverage curation, we can break them down into categories.
Social bookmarking and news
Bookmarking services are the old-school tools of curation, having their start in browsers like Netscape. They've evolved dramatically since, with smarter features to match your interests to quality content. The best over the years have gone beyond saving and organizing articles by using social data to sort through noise and make better recommendations about content relevant to you. With the ability to follow interests, share, and "vote up" content, sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, and others have turned curation into communities. According to recent stats from AddThis.com, StumbleUpon is the current hot item.
The top ways people share online by far are the Facebook "like" button, Facebook wall posts, and tweets. While sharing is super important to anyone's content marketing strategy, posting a link to friends is not exactly curation. A "like," for example, does not give you the ability to categorize and save an article. It simply means you deemed it worthy of showing up in your newsfeed for your friends to see. Similarly, with Twitter and LinkedIn sharing, once it has made its way through the feed, it's like a fish that got away. Sharing happens in many forms and formats, and the value of how and where things are shared will depend on your target audience.
Aggregation and syndication networks
Platforms that are built for posting and reposting -- and reposting and reposting -- stuff from anywhere are excellent for viral sharing. A good example of this is Tumblr, where you can post original content or in one click "reblog" other people's content. Photo sharing has become the trend in 2012, with the rise of Pinterest and other photo-centric aggregation websites such as Trap.it and TheFancy.com. Image-rich experiences bring about new ways brands can connect with their audiences while driving traffic back to their websites where these images are hosted.
On the following pages, we'll take a look at eight ways your brand can get in on the action.