One of the techniques that many businesses will use to market content is to “curate” it. This is when you provide your readers with an assortment of links to other sites or resources, typically with your own opinions or observations inserted. It’s sometimes easier than writing entire articles on your own since you simply need to find and compile these links and add in some comments of your own. Since an article of curated content is not completely original, it’s not a technique that should be used all the time, but one method that can be used daily is a daily newsletter with that day’s top stories and articles. This is where Paper.li and other similar services come in.
The idea is that, each day, the website service will automatically put together a new newsletter for you that contains articles and media from around the web, and sends it out to your subscribers and designated social networks.
To get started, go to http://paper.li and create an account. Once your initial account is set up, click the “Start your paper” button at the top of the site.
Create a Title for your paper. You can name it after your business, but we recommend using something to do with your industry. Each day, Paper.li will issue a tweet when your new paper is ready with the name of your paper, like this:
Social Media Digest is out! http://paper.li/mike_allton/1310678081 ▸ Top stories today via @Mike_Allton
So if you use an industry term or phrase, you’ll be inserting that phrase into each day’s new tweet, rather than just repeating your business name.
Next, you’ll set up your Content Streams. This is where you get to pick and choose where Paper.li finds the new content for your paper each day.
We recommend starting with your own Twitter account as a Single Twitter User so that your tweeted stories will be sure to appear.
You can then add links from Twitter accounts you follow.
From there, you can choose to add specific keywords or hashtags from Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Before adding such a stream, make sure that you do a quick search on that network to be sure you’re going to get the kind of results you’re looking for.
Choose a language for your paper, and then select which sections you wish to include. These can be anything from Arts & Entertainment to Health or Science.
Click Publish, and Paper.li will begin creating your first paper.
Once you have saved your paper, you can go into your Paper Settings to edit your content streams, choose when it’s published, set a background image or promote it by connecting your Twitter account or importing email addresses as subscribers (be careful not to import anyone who hasn’t already opted in to receive emails from you). You can also view statistics on views and subscribers.
You can also embed your paper onto your website. You can see our Social Media Digest right here on The Social Media Hat at any time.
Assuming that you’re sharing links on Twitter to your new articles and blog posts, make your Twitter account the highest priority for your content streams to ensure your own articles are featured in your daily papers.
Include streams from your Twitter followers. Their usernames will be quoted in the tweet (via @SocialMediaHats) and they will often thank you and retweet your paper to their own followers.
Limit the paper to specific topics. If you need to, you can always create additional papers for additional topics.