“Content Curation” is a phrase and concept that I often mention to clients as an integral part of their Content Marketing strategy. Particularly for small to medium businesses and business owners who do not have the time or resources to create their own unique content frequently, content curation can be an invaluable way to demonstrate expertise and a willingness to help others, with a far less investment of time up front.
Scoop.it is one of the tools that I highly recommend for content curation, and they’ve just released a couple of updates that are really exciting.
What is Scoop.it?
Scoop.it is a website that allows you to create a free account and one or more “topics.” You can create one topic or many for your business – whatever makes the most sense to you. I like having a single topic that I treat as a kind of online magazine. Once you have your topic(s) set up, you can begin to add new “scoops” in the form of articles that you find and recommend.
Scoops can be from pieces other Scoop.it users have found, on other website’s you’ve visited, or brought in via RSS feed. You can set up sources for articles within Scoop.it but subscribing to RSS feeds, or doing a keyword search and letting Scoop.it offer some suggestions. I also highly recommend installing the Scoop.it bookmarklet so that whenever you’re on one of your own blog posts or someone else’s that you’d like to scoop, it’s an easy click of a button.
When you scoop a story, you’re given an opportunity to add in your own commentary, as well as select one or more additional social media profiles to share it to. You can connect multiple networks, and even a Tumblr or WordPress blog if you’ve got one of those set up for additional curating.
One of the more interesting aspects to Scoop.it! is that it also has significant social aspects – as much as Instagram or Pinterest, truth be told! Scoop.it! users can follow other users and their topics, leave comments, thank them for scoops, and recommend topics to others.
This is a really important aspect of the system to understand because one of the more powerful features is that users can “suggest” scoops to other users. That means that, if I scoop my latest blog post, I can in turn suggest that some of my connections on Scoop.it might be interested in that scoop and post as well, in the hope that they would add it to their own topic and share it with their audience. Like any other social networking request and activity, this is only truly effective if you’ve developed a relationship with the person you’re making the request to. Fortunately, Scoop.it also includes the option of marking such requests as Spam, to quickly eliminate requests from followers that aren’t putting any real effort into the relationship and request.
When you first create your Scoop.it account, you’ll be prompted to connect your various social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Your Scoop.it profile will then include linked icons for each of your networks so that people can find you wherever they’re active.
And now, thanks to a recent update, Scoop.it has added the much requested feature of a Google+ connection. If you already have an account, simply log in, go to Settings and click on Edit Profile. Scroll down to the Google+ Profile URL field and paste in a link to your Google+ profile, like this:
You should also head over to your Google+ profile and add http://www.scoop.it as a contributor link, like this:
Once you’ve completed these two quick steps, your account will be set up with Google Authorship.
Wait, what’s Google Authorship?
Oh, well, if you’re not familiar, Google Authorship is Google’s way of identifying who wrote a particular piece of content so that the author and some information about that author can be shared to people who are searching for that kind of information within Google search. If appropriate, an author’s profile image, byline and Google+ follower count are displayed along with the search result, making it stand out within search results. Like this:
So once you’ve set up authorship, your curated scoops and the commentary you add may bring you more visibility and added traffic within Google search results.
Each time you add a new scoop to your topic, as I mentioned before, you will be prompted to share that scoop with your other connected networks. Those include Facebook profiles, Facebook Pages, Twitter, LinkedIn profiles, LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Company Pages, Tumblr, WordPress and even Buffer profiles.
And now Scoop.it has added Google+ Page support, which means that businesses can use Scoop.it to find, curate and share great articles and information to all of their branded accounts.
To connect your Google+ Page, hop back over to your Scoop.it settings and click on Sharing Options. Open the Other Social Media section to connect your Google+ account and choose your Google+ Page.
And that’s it! Now, any time you decide to scoop a new story, from anywhere, Scoop.it will give you the option of sharing it to your Google+ Page.
Note that when you select your Google+ Page, a new commentary area gets added where you can put in a unique description for Google+. This area fully supports Google+ formatting and styling. That means you can use * and _ to help add bold and italics, and use paragraph breaks to put in spacing and structure to your post. You can even mention people if you use + and their full Google+ ID number! (Sorry, Google doesn’t yet allow third-party user look-ups.)
If you have a Business Scoop.it! account, you can also schedule your posts, bringing an added level of convenience and functionality to the platform.
I’ve been using Scoop.it for over a year now (My topic: The Content Marketing Hat) and continue to get more and more from the platform. Over time, I’ve added followers and found great sources of information, and have also come to appreciate more of the capabilities of the service. These added Google+ integrations have helped put Scoop.it at the top of my list of content curating and sharing tools. If you aren’t yet using it, I highly recommend checking it out.