Have you ever hung out with a friend after they've been overseas, and they show you photos of their trip?
Have they ever shown you way too many photos?
Yep. I think we’ve all been there.
It’s a difficult situation because:
- You genuinely love your friend and want to hear about their trip
- You just don’t want to hear about it that much
It’s the same with social media.
People like you, and they want to hear a little bit, but they don’t want you to bombard them with stories that aren’t relevant or interesting to them. And unlike the friend who politely sits through your trip photos, your social media followers aren’t going to stick around while you tell them how you lost your passport in Trinidad. They’re going to leave. So the best thing to do is to only post your absolute best on social media. We’re talking the choc-chip bits from the cookie, not the flour.
The difficult thing about posting only great content, is that it is so incredibly difficult to find share-worthy content to post.
Now, for your church, I’d suggest that you go with an 80/20 rule - that is, 80% of the things you post should be your own content, while the remaining 20% can be shared content from other sources. Today, I’m sharing a simple system with you that’ll help you find that 20% content.
This system involves a little bit of setting up at the start, but once you’ve done the work at the beginning, your content curation will become a breeze, I promise.
Side note: How cool is the word ‘curate’? I love using it! It makes me feel as though I’m an important art collector or a museum aficionado.
I’d also like to add that there are content curation websites and apps out there that will do this kind of thing for you. In my experience, however, because those websites don’t know your church like you do, they still can’t curate exactly what you’re looking for. If you’d like to try a content curation app, you might want to take a look at Post Planner*.
Feel like listening instead of reading?
Now, onto my self-appointed totally awesome social media content curation system!
1 | Define your brand
This may seem like a weird one to start with, but you need to know the beating heart of your church and the people in it to really post content that resonates with your social media audience. Is your church bursting with joy all the time, or are you more concentrated on serious world issues. Do you focus on community outreach or overseas mission? Answering these types of questions about your church will help you to know what to post.
If you have a fun, family vibe, maybe steer clear of posting about the terrors of prison. But if you have a really strong prison ministry, then maybe an article about prison would be appropriate.
2 | Make a new Twitter account
If you run a Twitter account for your church, you can choose to use that. If you’re not ready to run a Twitter, that’s totally okay, because you’re going to be following other people, not posting your own content here. I don’t recommend using your personal Twitter account because if you’re following a bunch of people who aren’t posting relevant content for your church social media accounts, then its going to make this process a bit messy. So, either use your church Twitter account or make a spare one just for content curation.
3 | Follow relevant influencers on Twitter
Go crazy and follow everyone you can think of who are posting things you’d like to share. Think of Christian influencers; they could be authors, pastors, churches, bands or friends. You could even follow your local news outlets or city guides so that you can share information relevant to your location too.
4 | Sign up for Nuzzel
Nuzzel is a free online service that you connect your new Twitter account to. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll probably never visit the site again, because here’s the cool thing: Nuzzel will crawl through your Twitter feed each day and send you an email with the top couple of articles from that day.
5 | Check your emails!
I check my emails every day, but I save up my emails from Nuzzel and then check them all at the end of the week. Your email will contain a summary of 5-10 popular articles that have been shared by the people you follow on Twitter. I click on all of the links that look interesting to me and open them up all at once, then delete the email. This way, I have to go through the articles now, rather than putting it off for too long.
6 | Read through the content
You’d be surprised how many people are willing to share articles they’ve never read. I should know, because I was one of them. But the truth is, if you want to be valuable to your audience, you need to make sure every piece of content that you’re sending out is something that you deem worthy. Otherwise, what’s the point? So, a quick skim read is a must. If you don’t think the article is worth it, exit the tab. If you like it, check out the next step!
7 | Create a Pocket account
Pocket is an online app that has a Google Chrome extension to help you save articles when you’re in a rush. When I like an article and want to share it at some point, I simply add it to Pocket by hitting the button installed on my browser and it will add the article to a bank. I can visit my article bank at any time and delete articles, open them to read, or categorise them. Whenever I need articles to share, I simply open my Pocket account and I’ve already got a ton in there, ready to go (here's my current bank below)!
8 | Send to Google Sheets (optional)
If you like to keep a bank of the captions you share on social media, as well as the articles you’ve been sharing, you can use this formula to send the articles you’ve saved in Pocket directly to a Google Sheets document.
9 | Send to Buffer (or add to your social media schedule)
You can set Pocket up to automatically to post articles that you favourite to Facebook using this tool. If you’re using a social media scheduler then you can simply add the articles from Pocket or Google Sheets straight to your queue so they’re ready to go!
I hope this was helpful! The set up process can sound a little daunting, but once its done, this process makes curating awesome content for your church social media a breeze! Here’s what I do after its all been set up:
- Check my Nuzzel emails and pick out articles that I like.
- Skim read the articles and click to save the good ones to Pocket.
- Open up Pocket when I need content to post on social media!
So that’s it! I hope you found this post helpful. Have you got any tips for curating content? I'd love to hear! Let me know in the comments below.
*For links marked with an asterisk I may make a small commission if you choose to use their paid services, at no extra cost to you. If you'd prefer not to use my link simply type the website into Google! I only recommend products that I know, love, and believe will be helpful to you.