Which is More Valuable – Content Aggregation or Content Curation in Social Media?

By on May 27, 2011

If you’re not a media expert, content aggregation and curation are terms you might not have heard of until now. And yet they hold so much power with social media, it’s worth understanding the value of both.

So, in this post, we’re going to explain what these terms mean, and how you can use them to improve your social media campaigns.

Content Aggregation

Content aggregation is driven by content creators and technology. People create unique content, and that content is aggregated or shared via apps, websites, news services, search engines, RSS feeds – a huge variety of online technology. Content aggregation always leads back to the original piece of content, so it’s great for content creators.

Outside parties use technology-sourced content aggregation to build communities of their own – usually for traffic, exposure or profit. But because the demand for quality is superseding the demand for quantity, even aggregation of content is moving away from auto-aggregators. Real people finding real quality – that’s where we’re at. This is where content curation comes in!

Content Curation

People that are actively seeking out excellent niche specific content and sharing it with their social media communities, are known as content curators. They don’t need to create the content – but they spend a lot of time building a network of quality links to outside or external content, that in their opinion, is the best.

By recommending specific content to their community, they attract people that are looking for a central knowledge hub in their niche. These people often become influencers, not because they create the most incredible content, but because they share other people’s incredible content with their networks.

The Real Value of Content Curation

As we’ve mentioned, content aggregation is fast becoming content curation – for these excellent reasons.

1: Your community doesn’t have to go anywhere else for information
2: They stay longer on your social media pages
3: This improves brand identity, trust and eventually increases profits
4: You become an expert or influencer in your field because of ‘collection’ not ‘creation’
5: Sites like Twitter, StumbleUpon, Alltop and Flipboard help you curate content

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

If you’ve been struggling to keep up with the relentless content demand on your social media sites – it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. Content curation is just as important as creation and can take your business places – without the headache or expense of having to generate unique content. If you can’t afford articles for a while, then spend that month gathering the best content in your field.

How Do I Get Started?

Gather the most popular keywords in your niche and use news syndication services like Google, Yahoo and MSN to source great content. Bookmark excellent blogs you come across. Use sites like StumbleUpon to get great content that doesn’t rank well for keywords – Twitter is also a good place to look for fresh links.

The value of aggregation still exists – obviously when creating your own content you get added benefits like streamlining messages, or adding calls to action for your business. But don’t dismiss the value of curation either. It’s here to stay, and its fast becoming an affordable way to build communities and get new leads.

What platforms do you use to curate content online? We want to know!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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