Be a Curator, Not a Follower! Why You Need to Become the Source to Succeed in Social Media
Are you a social media leader or a follower? Meaning do you curate and create content or simply retweet (on Twitter), reshare (via Facebook or Google+) or repin (on Pinterest) what other people post? While resharing is the relationship-building Karma that underpins the social web, curating original content is what will get you noticed.
Let me explain…
Why You Need to Become THE Source on the Social Web
On Twitter: The power of the retweet is extraordinary. Most often, people talk about it from the perspective of traffic-building. What is as important as the clicks it generates is the attribution (RT @YOURNAME + your amazing insights to all their followers). As a social media curator, you become the source that your followers share to their followers.
Why you need to be a curator instead of a follower is because the retweet of a retweet of a retweet quickly loses characters. When the limit is 140 character, something has to go. What goes? Often it’s the retweetor, not the originator. Even worse is what happens when you retweet something from Twitter or the Twitter app: your name completely disappears and instead the originator appears in the timeline and you are a footnote in the retweet column.
On Facebook: A share via Facebook is an interesting game. Maintaining an active Facebook profile and fan page is a challenge. It requires finding and sharing interesting, funny, inspiring and engaging content that sparks conversation. Hopefully that content is interesting enough that your friends and fans want to share it with their friends and fans.
When you reshare a link, a photo or a status update, it generates activity in your news feed, boosting your EdgeRank amongst your friends and fans, but when one of THEIR friends and fans reshares the content you reshared, the person who originally shared the link, uploaded the photo or wrote the status update gets the credit. So again, it’s the social media curators, not the followers that benefit. The same holds true for Google+.
On Pinterest: Just as a tweet or a share on Twitter or Facebook link back to the original source, pins on Pinterest connect the photo to the web page on which that photo is found. Because of how the site is structured, pins on Pinterest have a rather interesting lifespan. Unlike both Twitter and Facebook which more or less follow a linear timeline, Pinterest is organized by category and popularity. The more popular the pin, the more it shows up in the categories.
This means pins remain active a lot longer than their real-time cousins on Twitter and even longer than the most popular of posts on Facebook. The reason is new content is connected back to older content via boards, allowing pinners to dive deeper into that category rediscovering the content that is no longer active. And just as original content shared via Facebook stays connected to the curator, pins on Pinterest function in much the same way. A win for the person who pinned it first.