Jun 24, 2012

7 Content Curation Tools That You Should Start Using Today

Written by : Cendrine Marrouat| 8 | Featured

Pinterest (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

If you are involved in social media, chances are that you have heard of content curation. The phrase has amassed a huge amount of publicity, as well as strong advocates and ennemies. The latter often contend that curation violates copyright laws and provides curators with an unethical way to draw attention to their own content.

I would say that nothing is farther from the truth. Curation is different from aggregation and content stealing. Curators spend hours reading and filtering content, only to select what is relevant and useful to their audiences. It is not an automatic process. It takes a lot of work and commitment.

I jumped on the content curation bandwagon almost two years ago, and have not looked back since. I enjoy being a curator, mostly because it allows me to establish my expertise in a very competitive niche (social media marketing and branding). Actually, it has been been one of the most effective promotional tools in my entire professional career!

There are tons of great curation tools that make a curator’s work easier. In this article, I want to share seven of my favorite ones.

1. Paper.li 

Paper.li aggregates content from Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and RSS feeds, and organizes everything into an appealing, newspaper-like format.

I love Paper.li because it automatically sends a daily tweet to my followers. People can also subscribe to my papers by email.

I use Paper.li in several ways:

  • To keep an eye on conversations on specific topics. Every day, I check out all the papers I am subscribed to, read the articles with the most appealing titles, and share the best on Scoop.it, Pinterest and Google+.
  • To declutter my Twitter stream. My “Cendrine’s Favorite Tweeps Daily” allows me to stay in the know about what the people I really like share on Twitter — and curate the most interesting content.
  • To allow my Twitter audience to read my articles in one convenient spot, the “Cendrine Marrouat Daily“, instead of having to visit all the websites I write for every day.
  • To reach a new audience or reconnect with my current readers. The daily tweets Paper.li sends to my followers to announce the new editions of my papers always mention the names of those who share “top stories”. A lot of people send me “thank yous” as a result, and I take this opportunity to respond, read what they have shared and check out their Twitter streams.

Paper.li newspapers also feature an Editor’s Note section. Use it to enter some information about your papers, and include relevant links (your website, blog, etc.).   

2. Scoop.it

Scoop.it is the first content curation tool that I have ever used. It is also my all-time favorite. I love the layout and how easy it is to set up. A free account lets you create five curated topics that each have their own dedicated magazine-like page.

With Scoop.it, you can share your “scoops” on Facebook (profile and page), Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, as well as Tumblr and your WordPress blog. Your followers can also easily rescoop your curations and leave comments. And the sources of the articles you curate are always included.

Scoop.it is the tool that I use the most as a curator and reader. I follow more than 40 topics and the platform sends me a daily email with highlights from the previous day. I always find some great content to rescoop and share on Twitter, Paper.li, Google+ and Internet Billboards.

I also receive an email every time someone rescoops my curations. I always leave comments to the curators who have taken the time to share the articles I write, take a glance at their topics, and usually end up following one or two.

I now have about 240 followers. Scoop.it has helped drive major traffic to my blog and website.

3. Storify

With Storify, you can create news stories by gathering content from Twitter, Facebook, Google, Flickr and more. It’s an excellent tool to build a narrative, and you can edit and update your stories as often as you want.

I do not use Storify much, but I follow some great users. An example would be Katrina Moody and her story on Autism Awareness. She has done an excellent job of pulling relevant content and adding her own thoughts to the mix. The result is an article that is both easy to read and very educational.

Storify stories are also indexed in search engines. When I released my latest eBook, titled The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips, I created a Storify page that I used to gather all the information about the book: reviews, interviews, videos, etc. A few of my readers actually found me through it.

4. Pinterest

Pinterest is a social bookmarking site where users “pin” and organize their favourite pictures and videos into specific collections called boards. It is all about visual content there.

The trick to be found on Pinterest is to pay attention to the names and descriptions of your boards. Make sure you use relevant keywords. If you do a great job, your boards will even be indexed in search engines!

When I pin items, I try to use descriptive words and phrases, as well as hashtags (i.e. #socialmedia). They help people find my stuff more easily.

With that said, to have a positive impact on Pinterest, you must also show your human side. Fill in your profile: Upload a picture of you, and add a short but targeted bio and the link to your website or blog.

Pinterest Profile

Also, connect your profile to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. And most importantly, interact with others:

  • Re-pin other users’ items
  • Leave comments
  • Be grateful when others share your content
  • And be active: pin and re-pin items to your boards daily

5. Google+

Google+ is much more than a social network. It’s a community full of passionate users who are really interested in building relationships with others. I like what Guy Kawasaki has to say about it: “For me, Facebook is for friends and family and Google+ is for people who share your passion that you don’t know yet.”

I use Google+ pretty much in the same way as Paper.li and Scoop.it, except that the topics I curate are much broader. I don’t limit myself to social media marketing and branding. I also share articles and videos that raise awareness of important issues, as well as music and quotes.

Google+ happens to be an excellent monitoring tool, as well. I visit my saved searches once or twice a week and have a quick look at the streams to find great content to curate.

Since Google+ profiles are indexed in Google, make sure that your bio section is filled with great information. Include a detailed biography and links to your social media profiles, website, and products to create backlinking. And don’t forget to upload a picture of you.

Cendrine Marrouat Google+

6. Internet Billboards

When Tom George invited me to visit Internet Billboards, I joined right away. This site is full of passionate curators who interact with one another.

I use Internet Billboards to share the best articles I find on social media marketing and branding. I also include some of the content I write for my blog, Examiner.com and Digital Journal.

There are three things I like about Internet Billboards:

  • The curated content is always of great quality.
  • Each curator’s bio is displayed prominently under the articles they curate, and includes  links to their social networking profiles and websites. A neat way to create backlinking and build your credibility.
  • The curated content appears in search engines like Google.

7. Blog

If you have a blog, why not use it as a content curation platform? I know I do.

Every Monday, I highlight the five best articles on social media marketing and branding that I read the week before. I only mention the titles, the names of the authors and their blogs, and link everything to the original articles.

Why do I do it? Because I believe that it is important to acknowledge the great minds in my field. My goal is not to only get exposure for my work. I also want to connect and engage with insightful individuals. Including them on my blog is part of my commitment towards building relationships that matter — and ultimately creating a community of unique thinkers.

Have you used the content curation tools in this article? If so, what do you think? And do you use others? If so, share your thoughts in the comment section.  

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Cendrine Marrouat

Cendrine Marrouat is a social media journalist, blogger, coach, curator, and author living in Canada. She is also the founder of Social Media Slant , a blog focusing on social media tips, tools, stats, and news for small businesses and solo-entrepreneurs.

On March 6, 2012, Cendrine released The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips, a comprehensive resource that provides bloggers of all levels with essential information and precise guidance to attract quality traffic to their blogs. She is currently working on an eBook on social media strategies.
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  • I’m into you Cendrine. Content curation helps increase visibility. Found some of my curated topics on Google. It’s an alternative way if your website is not ranking well on search engines. For the readers’ side, you help them find valuable contents in a certain topic so that they can save time searching considering that there are tons of them uploaded everyday.

    • Thank you, Belinda! I absolutely agree!

    • Hi Belinda,
      My name is Tom I am the acting community manager for IB, and I just wanted to say thank you for visiting and for all of your your great comments. I can tell you are passionate about what you do, and would like to personally invite you to become a curator on our site. It is super fun and very rewarding. Just register and let me know your username.

      • Hi @Tom George. I have already made my registration to IB. 🙂

        • Great Belinda! Welcome on board. I viewed your profile page with us and it looks good. You can feel free to read the IB getting started page and curate. Have a great day!

          • Thanks @internetbillboards:disqus. I’ll be glad to. 🙂

          • Super Belinda! I am looking forward to reading some of your curation posts and getting to know you better.

  • Anthony

    Thanks for the Article! Great info, really liked the summary of everything. I have used most of those tools, I started with Scoop.it as well. I really like it too, I recently switched to a different tool ( Curation Traffic) that allows me to have a layout like scoop.it but on my own site which is nice. But it does not have the suggestions like scoop.it which I really miss. Thanks again for sharing your insight!

    • Hey Anthony,
      So now you have me curious what type of subject matter you like to curate and are passionate about.

  • I think you have neatly summarized all major tools for content curation, although I find Pinterest and scoop.it to be the most useful ones. Curation has proved to be a great marketing strategy for my company and I’m constantly thinking about ways to improve it, so any new resource is very interesting.

    • Hello Radek,

      Thank you for stopping by!

      I agree with you. Scoop.it and Pinterest are by far the most effective ones. I like to mix things up with Twitter and Gogle+ myself.

  • very interesting take on utilizing content – gazillions of info out there – now to pick and choose to curate! will delve more into this concept. Thanks for sharing and great job today!

  • Good stuff, Cendrine! I’ve been trying to figure out how to maximize Google+. Thanks much!

    • Hello Lady Khadija,

      Glad you found the post useful. Google+ can be maximized in many ways. Unfortunately, too many people still compare the network with Facebook. The potential has been there since day 1. It’s up to people to really make an effort to use it well. 🙂

  • MamaRed

    Hey there Cendrine…thanks sooooooo much for sharing your wisdom and methods. As someone new to curation, although not new to writing, I’m fascinated by the multiple ways this approach can be of service: to the curator, those reading, those who want to curate content and of service to their peeps.

    Thanks oodles!!!!!!!!


    • Hello MamaRed,

      Glad you found the article useful and thank you for your comment. Content curation is a great tool, indeed. You just have to learn to leverage it the right way. Once you have a good idea of what to do, it’s a lot of fun!

      • Thanks Cendrine for a great article and the mention. This is really appreciated. I shared this one on our company Facebook page as a post. Really looking forward to reading more from you. Thanks again!

        • You are welcome! It was fun to share my experience and let people know why a site like Internet Billboards will go a long way. 🙂

    • Hi MamaRed,

      Thanks for stopping by and visiting Internet Billboards. I really enjoyed the article as well. Do you have a Scoop.it topic created yet? I would be happy to follow it and give you a few ideas also.

Content Curator

Cendrine Marrouat

Cendrine Marrouat is a social media journalist, blogger, coach, curator, and author living in Canada. She is also the founder of Social Media Slant , a blog focusing on social media tips, tools, stats, and news for small businesses and solo-entrepreneurs. On March 6, 2012, Cendrine released The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips, a comprehensive resource that provides bloggers of all levels with essential information and precise guidance to attract quality traffic to their blogs. She is currently working on an eBook on social media strategies.

More Curations by Cendrine