They have a term for it: The Content Wall. It is akin to the age old problem of “writers’ block”. But it is easy to underestimate how important this aspect of Social Media Marketing is until you have tried building an audience on Twitter or Facebook yourself. The things is, anyone can open a Facebook Page or a Twitter site and start posting right away. One of the attractions is how deceptively easy it is to put out content about your industry or favourite commercial topic. But sooner or later, even the best of us hit a content wall. The time when you just have nothing left to say that is sufficiently interesting to your audience. Inevitably the rate of growth of your fan base will then falter. This is the time to turn to some of the curation tools on the Internet. This week, I am going to look at Scoop.it.
Scoop.it is a tool that does a couple of things really well:
- It allows you to automatically search for third party content on your topic or industry in a similar way that Google Reader does on a PC or my6sense does as a Mobile App.
- It then allows you to seamlessly present and share that content via say, Facebook or Google+ to your audience in an efficient and attractive “Magazine” format
If you are careful about setting your own search criteria such that it only returns really good quality information and you are careful to publish your content on a regular basis then, with luck you will build up an audience of like minded individuals as Followers. In a commercial environment, there is a good chance that those Followers could be persuaded to visit your web store or physical outlet to buy something, or ask for a quote in the case of a service business.
Your Followers are relying on your specialist “curation” of content from across the web, saving them time and effort. The word “curation” is a bit odd, but if you think of the way that a Museum owner/ Director would spend his/her time thinking about what exhibits would represent the finest in their category, you get a better sense of the word.
Curation works really well if you are an industry guru or hobby specialist. But even if you are not the top industry guru, the very process of selecting and refining your search criteria, then building your own Scoop.it interest sub-category will encourage you to pick up the latest “gen” and gossip from your specialist subject area. After a while, the enthusiatic amateur curator becomes a guru!
Scoop.it is free for everyday curation as required of the enthusiast, but more sophisticated versions are available on a subscription basis. For the Professional, the cost is $12.99 /month and allows you, in particular, to share to your own WordPress Blog and also provides analytics. While the Business version is $79/month and will allow you to properly brand the curated content as though it is from your own business.
So Scoop.it make it easy for the small business owner to start out in the curation market with their free version. And with this, as an absolute minimum, where once you would have hit the “Content Wall”, you will now have self-created a valuable source of ideas to further populate the pages of your own Blog or YouTube channel. Then, if you like the Scoop.it magazine format, you can go on to make it the hub of all your Social Media posting activity too. What’s not to like?