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When you first begin marketing on Twitter, it can seem completely counter-intuitive to promote other people and their content. You joined Twitter to promote yourself, your brand and your business, right? The reality is that you can actually gain new followers, more traffic and additional leads simply by pushing other people’s content.

Content curation (sharing other people’s content) is not about being kind or charitable to those content creators but is actually about getting yourself noticed by new people.

If you’re not convinced then please read on and I’ll explain exactly why you need to start sharing more and more content written by other people:

Reach New People on Twitter without Writing Content

Content creation is time-consuming. It might take you 30 minutes to write a quick blog post. It could take you a few hours to put together a long form article. Unless you’re working with big bucks and can afford to hire out a whole content marketing department then chances are you simply aren’t producing enough content to fill your social media feeds.

The advantage of sharing other people’s content is simply that you don’t need to spend time writing it. Instead of spending 30 minutes on creating the content, you can instead spend 30 seconds sharing it to Twitter.

But I know what you’re thinking… That’s all well and good but that still doesn’t benefit you directly. Yes, it shows you’re there sharing useful content. Yes, it might make you appear a little more influential in your niche. But you want direct, positive impacts on your business? Well, keep reading!

@Mention Content Creators when you Share

The first thing you need to do every time you share someone’s content is to mention that someone. They’ll receive a notification that you’ve mentioned them and when they see the mention is because you shared their content they’re likely to take action. This could be a follow, a reply to say thanks, a like or a retweet. One or more of these things happening can ultimately lead to traffic to your Twitter account.

We do this a lot on the DM Pilot Twitter account:

Find a blog post, share it and mention the writer. It’s as simple as that and even simpler if you use something like Buffer to queue a few up at a time. Of course, it’s key that you actually read the content you’re sharing. You’re not looking to spam your followers solely to get the attention of a few content creators. Your foremost goal should be to inform and provide value to your followers.

And Don’t Forget Hashtags!

So you’ve mentioned a few people in your content sharing tweets but this really only connects your tweet to one or two other people. When tweeting, you want to try and reach as many people outside your own personal followers as possible. This is, of course, where hashtags come into play.

When sharing the content of others, make sure you throw a few hashtags into your tweet. If anyone actively monitors those hashtags on Twitter then they may stumble across your tweet, which they may then take action on. New followers, likes, retweets, visits to your blog, leads… All from sharing someone else’s content.

So, How do you Find Content to Curate?

Finding content is pretty straight-forward. Once you’ve set a few things up, it can take a matter of minutes to find fresh content to read and then potentially share. Here’s what we do at DM Pilot to keep an eye on multiple content sources:

Twitter Lists – This is one of the ultimate ways to find new content. All you need to do is set up a Twitter list, add relevant blog’s Twitter account to the list and then keep an eye on the feed for that list to find content you might find of interest. When it comes to building your list, go for quality over quantity.

Twitter Lists for Content Curation

You can, of course, create multiple lists for different types of content. When you need some new content to read, just visit one of your lists to see what your list members are tweeting about. Simple, right?

RSS Feeds – A lot of people though RSS feeds would die off when Google closed down their Google Reader application. However, several decent alternatives popped up and RSS are still going strong. There are free options, but we love FeedBin. Just add in the RSS feeds of any blogs you like, then keep an eye on the feeds. You can read the content directly in FeedBin and then decide if it’s worth sharing to your social networks.

Google News and Alerts – Google News and Google Alerts are two other great sources of content. With news, it’s a simple process of typing in a relevant keyword to find stories from news outlets to share. Google Alerts, however, does involve a little setup. What Google Alerts can do for you is to email you every time fresh content appears on the internet about a particular keyword(s). You can limit your alerts if you’re getting spammed by Google.

Subscribe to Influencers – Perhaps an obvious one but certainly not one to forget. You can probably list a handful of influencers in your niche, right? If we were looking for influencers in the social media marketing space then names that come to mind are Aaron Lee, Mari Smith, Jeff Bullas, Tim Fargo, Kevan Lee and Courtney Seiter.

We’d then go to where these people publish content and subscribe to their newsletters to receive regular blog updates. There’s not much more to it than that.

By now, hopefully, you understand the importance of sharing other people’s content. Social media is not all me, me, me. Share other’s content and ultimately benefit yourself.