curationThese best practices are based primarily on what we do at Heinz Marketing, plus what we’ve seen scale well to the curation efforts of our clients and partners. Our curation objectives focus on keeping our broader prospect/customer/partner/pipeline network engaged with value-added content, plus driving pass-along, increased awareness and new discovery/registration among their peers.

With that in mind, here’s what we recommend:

1. Be intentional about your themes & topics
Stay reasonably focused on a small handful of themes, but make sure the body of work reflects the human element as well. For example, the vast majority of content in our curation streams focus on sales, marketing and productivity. But you’ll also occasionally see content about cocktails, company culture, baseball and more.

2. Pull from a consistent set of sources (to save you time)
You’ll likely encounter good content from all over the place, but identify a core set of sources you can count on for both consistently good content as well as a variety of sources of similarly-themed content. This includes a handful of great blogs and newsletters, plus topical aggregation sites like Alltop. I also like the SmartBriefs newsletters for this reason as well, since they pull from a wider variety of sources than I typically read on a daily or weekly basis.

3. Use an automated queuing and distribution system
Something like Buffer is preferred in my mind since it’s one-click easy to curate and queue content from your browse as well as several feed aggregation apps such as Feedly. Anything that makes it easy to pick content to curate, quickly choose which channels it will be done, and then automatically space it out over days & weeks is preferable.

4. Always give credit back to the publisher
A quick “via @twitterhandlehere” at the end of your curated posts is typically enough. It’ll be their attention, and could drive more reciprocation and curation of your own content as as result.

5. Post across channels to increase reach and awareness growth
Don’t go overboard on this (i.e. don’t post to 50 LinkedIn groups three times a day). But don’t be afraid to curate good content across Twitter, your Facebook company page and your Google+ page at the same time.

6. 3-4 curated posts a day is fine
Think of social media as akin to driving by a house at 35 miles an hour and trying to throw a newspaper into the mailbox. Sometimes it’ll get in, most of the time it won’t. You’ll need to play the numbers game a bit so that a small percentage of our curated content reaches and impacts your intended audience.

7. Actively curate 2-3 times a week max
If you’re using an automatic distribution system like Buffer, you don’t need to find new content every day. I typically reserve time twice or three times a week to get through my reading material and queue up new stuff.

8. Make instant curation one-click easy from your browser
If you’re using Buffer, add the bookmarklet so that you can one-click curate content from anywhere you happen to be reading. I end up curating at least 2-3 pieces a day just this way.

9. Use team tools to increase contributions
Buffer, HootSuite, GaggleAMP and other tools make it easy for teammates to suggest their own curation recommendations. Great way to get others involved and cut down the time required from you to curate everything yourself.

10. Spread out posts from the same consistently-good sources
There are a handful of blogs and sources I read on a regular basis that consistently have great stuff. And when I curate content only 1-2 times a week, it would be easy to queue up content from one source all in a row. Instead, try to space it out a bit. Spacing adds to the perceived comprehensiveness and reach/value of your overall curated body of work.

11. Prioritize content from partners and prospects
Might as well make an impression with the people you care about most at the same time you’re curating. Show them you’re paying attention!

Curious to hear what some of your best practices are for curating content as well.