How to use data for content curation

With growing competition, the best way for your brand to stand out on social media is through engagement. And for that, you need content.

With online conversations and trends moving quickly, it can be challenging to stay up to date with trends or posting original content frequently enough to stay visible in followers’ feeds.


That’s where content curation comes in. It helps you keep your feed fresh and engaging without stressing to create new content every time.

In this guide, we show you how to use data to curate content for social media and share posts that resonate with your audience.


What is content curation?


Content curation is the process of finding content that your audience would love from multiple sources and strategically sharing it through a variety of channels. So rather than creating only original content, you’ll share and credit others’ content as well.


An example of curating content would be gathering several blog posts about social media marketing and using them in a roundup post or newsletter for your readers.


But curating content for social media is a bit more straightforward. Find the content you want to share (think: social mentions) and add it to your social media calendar. So you may Retweet posts from influential industry names in the industry or you could even share user-generated photos on your Instagram Stories, with permission of the original content creator.


Why curate content?

Here are a few reasons why content curation makes sense for your overall marketing efforts:

  • Enhance your brand-customer relationship – Social media content curation gives you the opportunity to share user-generated content (UGC). This allows you to put your customers in the spotlight and enhance your relationship with them. According to the Sprout Social Index™ XVI: Above and Beyond, 41% of marketers plan on using more UGC in 2021.

  • Highlight your products in context – Through content curation, you can use UGC to highlight how your products look or perform in the real world. This puts your products in context and helps reduce buyer anxiety.

  • Build value and trust with your audience – When you curate content for social media, you typically want to focus on content that adds the most value to your audience. This not only helps you build brand value with your audience, it also helps you win their trust as they see that you’re putting their needs first.

  • Add variety to standard marketing content – Curated content on social media also helps to add some variety to your standard marketing content. So you can keep your feed fresh and varied to engage your audience.

  • Build relationships with influencers – When you curate social media content, you might even share content from influential names in the industry. When you reach out to work with them on sharing their content, you’ll be able to strengthen your relationship with these influencers.

How to curate content based on data


While content curation solves a lot of problems, it comes with its own set of challenges. One of the main challenges is in finding content that would resonate with your target audience. And the best way to solve this is by looking at the data.

Fifty-six percent of social marketers use social data to gain a better understanding of their target audience. And 49% are already using it to inform their creative content.

Similarly, you need to use data to understand your audience, what they like and what resonates with them. This can then inform your social media content curation efforts. The following content curation tools can help you uncover valuable data that could inform your content strategy:


Step 2. Look at your social media metrics


Which of your content is getting the most engagement? Looking at your social media metrics can help you determine which type of content resonates with your audience. Is your audience reacting more strongly to video over photos? Or did a specific campaign’s imagery have the biggest impact? Depending on your social media goals, your impressions and engagement data will help guide the content you share.


Step 3. Find relevant content


Next, find content relevant to your industry or your brand. This will help you take an organized approach when looking for content to curate.

We highlighted this earlier, but curated images of your product or brand in context is always a good way to use UGC.


A good place to start searching for relevant content is through social mentions and relevant hashtags. You’ll find that your brand is mentioned by many people, and your options for UGC content are endless. Just be sure what you wish to reshare is aligned with your brand’s voice.


On that same note, testimonials and reviews, such as Tweets, are great to share across your social media profiles too.


Step 4. Publish and analyze


Finally it’s time to publish the content you’ve curated. Make sure to personalize each post with your brand take on the topic and in your brand voice. And be strategic when you fit these posts into your brand’s existing publishing calendar. Sprinkle them in with your marketing content for variety in your feed.


Once you start publishing your curated social media content, be sure to analyze its performance. See what’s working and what isn’t so you can fine-tune your content curation efforts.


Get to curating


You’re all set to start curating content for social media to build better relationships and boost engagements. Make the most of the tips and tools given above to fuel your content curation efforts. Through thoughtful data metrics and understanding your audience, you can include curated content alongside your original work as well. To learn more about customer behavior and social marketers’ strategies, download your copy of the Sprout Social Index™.


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