How to Use Content Curation to Build Social Capital for Yourself–and Your Business

This Guest Post was written by Angela Dunn, who will be sharing some of her tips in a 3-part series on Content Curation.   She will also be a guest on ProfNet #ConnectChat Twitter Chat tomorrow, Nov. 8 at 3 pm ET.

What is content curation?

Content curation is the process of finding, organizing and sharing information that adds value to, and encourages engagement with, the audience you are hoping to influence. A content curator, like a museum curator or a D.J., brings their taste and Point of View (POV) to the curation.  As a curator, your goal is to build a community that finds value in the nuggets you have assembled in multiple formats, around a key topic in your target’s interest graph.   This community becomes your social graph–and the content you’re curating gives you influence within that community.

What makes someone a good curator?

Your goal is to build a community around a shared interest.  A good curator is a subject matter expert. They have to have a passion for the topic. They also have to have good taste–an ability to find and distill the best information. Having a point of view is what separates curation from aggregation. Curation is selective; aggregation is collective. This podcast by University of Florida’s Mindy McAdams gives an overview of the difference between curation and aggregation.

Does your content point of view represent you personally—or your company?

Navigating the boundaries and overlaps between your personal and your professional digital brand—as well as your company’s brand—is one of the key questions for all business people who use social media. It’s important to understand that there is a different recipe depending on your role.

Your personal network has a value. Your company’s social graph has a value. Your influence is a product of the two. 

For example, customers may want to engage with the CMO of their favorite sporting goods store.  But that CMO may find that his “influence” drops when he leaves that position.  Some people were interested in him personally.  Others were interested in him for the professional role and point of view that he represented.

  • CEOs have a difficult time separating their personal and professional brand. Content Curation builds social capital.  CEOs share their social capital with their company.When they speak publicly, including on the social web, they are sharing social capital with their company brand. The CEO’s social capital compliments the company’s social capital.
  • A founder, entrepreneur, consultant or doctor is their brand. Typically, they don’t leave their company and are always the face of their brand. Many establish separate Twitter accounts for themselves and their company, but they tweet for their company as well.
  • The average time an employee spends at a company is about 4 years. Content Curation Creates Social Capital.  Employees lend their social capital to their company - how much you give is up to you.Realistically, how much social capital an employee shares with his or her company as an employee is up to the employee. Community Managers have a more defined role in representing the company brand.

Ready for More?

  • Tomorrow, November 8 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm ET, Angela will be a guest on ProfNet #ConnectChat Twitter Chat.  To participate, just go to Tweetchat, sign in with Twitter, and ask your questions about content curation!Angela’s post on Content Curation has helped more than 50,000 people understand how to maximize Twitter for thought leadership.
  • At Realtime NY 11, Angela led a workshop on “Curating Content on Twitter for Thought Leadership.”  Check out this recap posted by Maria Perez for ProfNet.
  • In Part 2 on Content Curation, Angela will showcase company brands that do a great job with content curation.

About Angela

Angela Dunn is a “happy connector of people and ideas.” She is a Content Strategist who specializes in content curation and building digital thought leadership. Dunn is launching a new community, CurationZen, for those interested in learning more about content curation, best practices and curation tools. A global speaker, Dunn covers content curation, Twitter chats and business blogging–all keys for developing a digital brand. Dunn is the founder of #ideachat, a monthly Twitter chat about “ideas.” She is also an analyst who does market research and blogs about digital and mobile trends for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Early in her career, Dunn actually was a DJ and the creative catalyst behind one of the tops clubs in the world.  You can follow Angela Dunn on Twitter @blogbrevity or via Google+.