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Hidden dangers of content curation

3 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

This week we asked, Does curation play a role in your company’s social-content strategy? The results:

  • Yes: 68%
  • No: 32%

Nearly 70% of you said curation plays a role in your social-content strategy. Without sounding like a naysayer, I’d like to offer a few words of caution on the topic.

First and foremost, if you curate because you don’t have enough time to create, you are minimizing the value of creation and the power it has to give your company and brand a voice and a position in the marketplace. When faced with the choice between curating and creating, in terms of prioritizing and allocating time, until all your basic creation needs are met, curation should almost always come second.

Next, by sharing other people’s information (curated) in place of your own (created), while you may be providing value to your audience by becoming a valuable content resource, at the same time, you may be harming your ability to differentiate yourself. Your brand’s promise can only be fulfilled through your voice. It’s a fool’s errand to believe that can be achieved with curation alone. Yes, curating has its benefits; for companies/brands though, curation should not be at the top of the list for attracting attention, generating interest and influencing decisions on the social web. That’s creation’s place.

You need your own branded content to achieve those lofty goals. And by nature that content must be thought provoking, compelling and unique in order to break through the Web’s clutter and stand out. Sharing other people’s information shines the light on them, not you. While a balance in sharing is necessary, you need to be cautious that it is not to the detriment of your brand’s competitive positioning.

If this sounds complex, well that’s because when it comes to curation, it is. Using content curation as part of your marketing strategy is not something to be taken lightly (and not something that should be done because everyone else is). Winning brands are built on a foundation of trust and solidified by what they stand for. In the race to be present on the social Web, don’t overlook the risk of not really having anything to say or simply echoing what has already been said.

Add your voice and be heard. Otherwise …

This poll analysis was written by SmartBlogs contributor Jeremy Victor. He is the president of business-to-business content-marketing agency Make Good Media and editor-in-chief of For more of his writing, visit and follow him on Twitter and Google+.