5 Tools to Curate Content like a Pro

Have you noticed more content curation sites popping up in the last few months?

Would you like to learn a content curation strategy that can help you share valuable content and generate social media engagement?

In this article I will teach you how to use 5 of the most popular content curation platforms and how to integrate these into a daily content curation campaign.

Trap.it

More than a social platform, Trap.it is a discovery engine.  By typing in keywords, trap.it will search for authority articles from the web.  If you like or dislike the articles, the algorithm learns the type of content you like and will serve more of the same type of content.

You can also click on “Share” to get a shortened URL that you can then schedule through Buffer or Hootsuite to share with your networks.  Instead of having to search for industry articles, you just log into Trap.it and find your personalized reader.

In Google Reader, you get articles from the same sources over and over again.  Through Trap.it you can find other writers, blogs and content that you wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise, this can open doors for you and your business.

devivotrapit3.9RebelMouse.com

Instead of searching the web for content to discover, RebelMouse is a social aggregator. You can connect RebelMouse with your social profiles, including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Tumblr and Instagram.  You can even connect it with your website’s RSS feed.

RebelMouse will use a Pinterest type display for all of your social content.  Highlighting images and enlarging them makes navigating your social stream easier and more engaging.

Adding RebelMouse to your own site, using their WordPress plugin or provided HTML code, can keep visitors on your site longer as they look through your social content stream.  By sharing excellent content on your social media stream and displaying it on your site, you are also providing high quality curated content and establishing yourself as a content curation authority for your industry.

Using their “Stick” bookmarklet, you can share content as you surf the web. Articles get shared to your RebelMouse page, and you can also send them to Twitter, Facebook, or your other linked accounts. Finally, you can create a page on your site using the RebelMouse content within your site’s template, or you can embed the HTML into your pages or sidebar. Check out my RebelMouse page here.

Overall there are many benefits for using RebelMouse:

  • Increasing engagement for your social stream
  • Keeping track of great content
  • Enhancing your site with RebelMouse’s social stream display
  • Establishing yourself as an industry authority by curating excellent content
  • Showcasing your social content in one beautiful display

The primary advantage of RebelMouse is the ability to bring in multiple social streams into one space, enhanced by large images in a readable format.  Additionally, by using their widget or WordPress plugin you can bring all of that content into your own site.

Unlike the others, RebelMouse is NOT a great discovery engine as it will not go out and search the web for articles you might like.  You have to enter in the social accounts or RSS feeds that you want it to use, thus limiting it’s functionality as a discovery engine.

rebelmousedevivoScoop.it

Create topic scoops and share information around a specific topic.

You start the process by creating a new topic.  After you enter the title, description and keywords, Scoop.it will spider a variety of sources for content containing those keywords.

What’s great about Scoop.it is that it goes beyond just Google search and looks for content in the social web, including Youtube, Twitter, Google blogs and Google News. You can limit the content sources that it suggests by date as well as including or excluding words or domains.

Additionally, you can enter custom content sources by adding in Twitter lists, users, Slide Share searches, Facebook pages and much more.

Once you’ve created the new topic and customized it, you can surf through the suggestions to select what articles you want to add to your scoop.

If you like an article, you can select the “Scoop it” button and it will pop up a window with the article title, brief description and image.  You can also add commentary to the scoop, which is essential to differentiate yourself from other content curators.  I typically pick out the best part of an article and write a quick summary and commentary.

Finally, from the “New Scoop” pop up you can share your scoop on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.  A great feature is the ability to connect with Buffer. By combining Scoop.it with Buffer, Scoop.it becomes your discovery engine and Buffer your syndication method, thus scheduling the new articles in the queue behind other articles.

You can search through other people’s scoops, and if you rescoop one of their scoops and share through your social media channels, they will be mentioned, thus bringing you to their attention through their social stream. Here’s my Content Curation Tools & Ideas Scoop.

What distinguishes Scoop.it from other content curators?

  • Ability to build scoops around specific topics
  • Integration with social media channels
  • Insights can be added to the content you share
  • Customizable content sources.

Scoop.it has become one of the most popular content curating platforms and as it grows it will likely release new features and enhancements.

devivostorify3.9Paper.li

With Paper.li, you can add a variety of content sources to create your own newspapers based on relevant information.  Paper.li does the discovery and sharing for you, requiring little interaction with your newspaper.

You can embed your newspaper on your site or other social profiles, just like you can with RebelMouse.

Additionally, you can select multiple articles, videos or images and create a favorite collection, which you can then share with your social media channels after adding a comment.

Here’s an example of a great Paper.li on Social Media.  You can read a little bit of information about the author and peruse a number of relevant articles.  You can subscribe to each newspaper to receive updates, thus using Paper.li as a way of staying in touch with your followers without having to write any content.

paperlidevivo3.9Storify.com

Unlike the other curation sites which have extensive automation, Storify has the feel of a scrapbook in that you have to copy and paste elements of the discovery engine to create your story.

When you wish to curate content, you go to your Storify dashboard and search a variety of social channels. You can search on sites like Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, Google and Instagram, and you can even import an RSS feed to search through. Once you find interesting or relevant content, you then have to write your own title and description, and drag and drop to your stories the items that you’d like to share.

You can drag and drop as many items as you’d like, and you can even write a commentary to each. Here’s an example of one of my stories:

Using Storify you can create beautiful pages with a variety of curated content sources, including your own commentary.  These stories can then be exported to other social sites including WordPress, Tumblr and Posterous.  Here’s an example of my story on my WordPress hosted account; you can also send the stories to your own WordPress hosted blog.

Using this method you can easily create curated lists of content for your site.  If you have Publicize enabled on your WordPress blog, the list will then get shared with your social media channels. Once it’s shared with your social media channels, it will also be added to RebelMouse.

Although Storify CAN function as a content discovery engine, it would be best used as a way of searching the social web and creating lists of relevant articles with your own commentary, which you can then easily share on your own properties.  Unlike list sites like StumbleUpon or Delicious, your lists can then be easily imported into the template of your own site to create an additional content asset.

storify2devivo3.9Daily Curation Workflow

1. Go to Trap.it to search for updated articles for your traps. GIve each article a thumbs up or down to improve the discovery engine algorithm. Trap.it sends you a daily email so you can start your daily discovery when checking your emails.

2. Click through to interesting articles.  If you like an article, use the Scoop.it bookmarklet and add it to your scoops.  Be sure to use the link on the top left of trap.it otherwise you will be on a page using the trap.it applet and when you share the link on scoop.it, it will go through the trap.it redirect. Find the direct link to the page and scoop.it, and be sure to share it with your social networks.

3. Visit your own Paper.li or other papers that you subscribe to.  Find relevant, interesting articles and click through to read.  If the content is interesting, then use the Scoop.it bookmarklet to add it to your Scoop.it account and share.

4. Go to Scoop.it and read through your scoops or other scoops you follow.  Rescoop interesting content from other scoops, or curate your own content by reading through scoop.it’s suggestions. Again, every time you scoop any content, be sure to share it on your social channels.

5. Go to Storify and search for relevant articles.  Create a story and share the story on your blog. Then share the blog article to your social channels.  Try to include the @ for all article authors that you mention. Storify may be a platform that you use once a week to create a “Best of” story.

6. Remember that everything that gets shared through your social platforms will get added to RebelMouse, so your RebelMouse presence will continuously grow and become your curation hub.

Using this system you will use Scoop.it, Trap.it, Storify.com and Paper.li as discovery engines to populate content on your Scoop.it topics, Paper.li papers, and RebelMouse accounts.

You can then promote your accounts on Scoop.it and Paper.li, as well as your RebelMouse pages. As you are building links for your blog, be sure to include links to your curated platforms to help them gain popularity and exposure.

By following these steps, you will quickly and easily discover interesting content to share with your social circles.  The key is to add your own insights so you are not simply passing on links without any context.  Provide a value-add so you can differentiate yourself from others.

Do you have a content curation strategy?  Are there tips and tricks that could improve your curation process?  Please leave your comments and suggestions below!

About the author

Marcela De Vivo