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How to Use Other People's Material to Your Advantage

6 min read
September 20, 2020

The definition of curation of content

The definition of content curation consists of the usage of your own and other people's material with certain modifications, additional elements, systematizing, and its further publication on your social media. That is to say, you collect and process material from other platforms and use it to your advantage, or publish your own material. This way, you save time and money that you otherwise would spend on creating new content.

An example of the curation can be a thesis presentation of your article in a blog or a short summary of the research and their adaptation to the format of social media.
curation of content
An example of the curation of other users' publications can be a repost with your insight on this material or an adapted translation of the foreign article with your own examples or valuable extract from the third-party research.
social curation
But don't misinterpret the curation of content with plagiarism and syndication.

Plagiarism is copying someone else's information without specifying the source, which is a violation of copyright and undermines trust among the audience.

Content syndication is the passive use of someone else's material on your platforms by indicating the source. Lots of brands and bloggers use this format, but there is little benefit for the business from it. For example, you found an interesting article for the followers and decided to repost it. The information can be useful, but the audience is unlikely to become more loyal to you since you just shared someone else's material. But if you express your own opinion on the contents of the article or do a short extract, then users will see the benefit in what you did and see you as an expert. This is content curation.

What are the advantages for the business

Content is one of the main ways to promote your social media. Without interesting and useful posts, users will simply have no reason to follow the account and be active. But generating unique publications constantly can be expensive and labor-intensive, and sometimes there is just not enough inspiration for creating new topics. This is why the curation format is so convenient. Although the author's interpretation of the finished post requires effort, it is incommensurable with writing the material from scratch.

Content curation also helps to increase the level of engagement and trust among followers to the company. For example, somebody has already posted about trends on Instagram for the next year. Why rewrite the material if you can't do it better, and there is nothing new to add? The only option left is content curation. You repost it and add a comment with your own expert thought about the material. This way, you can make your post writing task easier by selecting the best material for your followers. And if they like it, then they will be active, which will increase the reach. And your expert assessment will help in building trust and showing professionalism, which will increase the audience's loyalty.

Curation methods

There are several ways to competently use your own and someone else's material in order to establish yourself as an expert or leader in a particular topic.


1. Repost with a comment

In this case, you don't just share someone else's publication, but add your thoughts and reasoning to it. This gives the material value and gives you credibility points. The comment can contain a summary of the material or a preview. You should explain why you shared this post, why are you interested in it, and why you find it helpful to read.


2. Thematic selections

This method involves the search, selection, and competent systematization of materials on one topic. For example, a list with useful tools for an SMM manager or some life hacks for the photo editing. You made a short summary, and the followers are grateful to you for saving their time.
content curation definition
Thematic collections can include not only third-party material but also a selection from your own content. For example, Top 5 blog articles on promotion, exercise combinations.


3. Material addition

This is an intricate way for somebody who is truly an expert in their field. You share your opinion, ideas on the topic under discussion, or criticism with the audience. Your support your opinion by materials from various sources. This is the most efficient way to demonstrate professionalism and build trust among your audience.


4. Infographics

Statistics on a particular topic seem interesting to a lot of people. But it's not always possible to conduct research on your own or post all the statistics on social media. That's why you should convert boring numbers into infographics and serve it to your audience. You can do the same thing not only with the research but also with other materials that you can arrange into a visual picture. Followers will be very grateful to you because the infographic contains a main idea of the material, and they don't need to spend a lot of time studying it.
content curation definition
5. Quotation

Many people listen to the statements of successful people seeing as they already have achieved significant heights and are role models. Use quotes in your material to add value to it and reinforce your message. The main condition is for the author of the quote to meet the interests of the audience, and for the statement to fit the meaning of the material.
content curation tools
6. Distillation

This is an extract from the material, its main essence. This method is especially relevant for complex scientific articles. The author processes the text and makes it easy and understandable for the audience. For example, a doctor that has a blog on Instagram can explain the research in a way that all people are able to understand. The same way fitness trainers can easily explain nutrition or training from a medical point of view.
curating social media
7. Chronology

Collect materials on a specific topic in chronological order and share it with the followers for them to study. They will be especially grateful to you if a particular action has been dragging on for a long period of time. For example, present the materials on the development of a vaccine against cancer, how this process began, and what scientists have achieved by now. Or you can write a short story of your company's history, and describe how you launched the business and what you have achieved so far. You can also choose more entertaining topics such as the timeline of the famous artist's career, and their songs, or movies that changed the game.
curation of content
8. Customer reviews

UGC or user-generated publications are a prime example of content curation. Publish customer reviews or customer stories about your brand. For that, you need to monitor branded hashtags and mentions of your account. Choose the most interesting publications and share them. This way, you not only add a fresh category to your content, but you will also earn the trust of the audience, increase followers' loyalty, and even attract new customers without much effort.
social curation
Content curation doesn't necessarily mean that you are supposed to use just one method. You can mix 2-3 different methods in one publication. For example, you can present a chronology of the currency rate changes and turn them into infographics. You can also collect the Top 10 most important news of the year in a thematic selection, and arrange them in chronological order.

Curation of your own content

Curation of someone else's publications is optional, but when it comes to yours, it is necessary. Republishing posts saves resources and makes the material work multiple times. The main thing is for the information that contains in it to remain relevant and interesting to the audience.

In order to do this, you should analyze the most popular articles on the website or top posts on social media, and republish them occasionally using various curation methods. For example, make a selection of the Top 10 most popular articles in 3 months. Or compare two of your own studies and turn them into infographics. Duplicate an article about SMM tools and add a quote from an expert in this area to it.

The rules of curation

Curation allows you to increase the number of publications with the least amount of work. It is very convenient and tempting for many companies and bloggers. But there are some rules that you should adhere to so that the content would remain high-quality and the account would not lose its uniqueness.


  • Use your own publications and adapt it to social media formats. This way, you can make an announcement of the material, republish interesting content, and remind your followers about it.

  • Curated publications should be relevant to the interests of the audience and the theme of the account. It should be material from a trusted source and with up-to-date data.

  • If you use a curation method when you need to express your point of view, do it not as a brand, but as a company representative. An impersonal person can not be credited and called an expert.

  • Curated material should make up no more than 25% of the content plan. Experiment with different presentation methods and make sure to mix it with your original material.
  • Always analyze curated content with the utmost attention. This way, you can understand whether it is beneficial, or it is better to exclude it due to the small number of impressions. You should also analyze which method has the best feedback from the followers, and which one has the worst.

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Answers on the most
common questions
What is the definition of curating content?
It is a tool that allows you to combine your own material with other people's posts and publish them.
How can content curation help in promoting social media?
You have to post regularly to promote your social network. This way, you don't have to waste a lot of time writing new posts.
Which method of content curation is the best?
There is no definitive answer, experiment with it, and observe what your audience likes best.