Ditch the Sales Pitch: Social Media as the Gallery Wall
One of my favorite experiences is walking into a new gallery opening to view a collection of art. Especially one in which a rich context is given for the work being viewed — one in which you can trace a little golden thread weaved throughout the conceptual space. Those ideas will follow you when you leave, provoking thought and conversation days and weeks afterwards. Recently some of my favorite gallery spaces have been online — on social media.
I subscribe to the model of social media as a platform for content curation — a gallery wall on which to hang relevant and related information to inspire curiosity and build connections. This certainly isn’t the only viable use for social media, but I think it is a powerful idea that is being underutilized. And I feel strongly that a sales pitch doesn’t belong on social media, so I’d love to suggest an alternative. The big trend right now is content creation, but content curation should be just as important to your business strategy. This is particularly true of platforms like Twitter and Pinterest. The limited character count and space isn’t particularly well suited to original content, but is most powerful when you offer short insight into what a reader will find on the other end of a link. In that sense, there is a little bit of creation involved in the process as well–you’ll have to create a framework for your audience to interpret the information you are sharing for it to be truly valuable. The idea of curation as authorship is worth exploring further — and for that I‘ll point you to Maria Popova’s thoughts on the matter.
Content curation is valuable to all parties involved. Your audience will be grateful that you’ve taken the time to wade through the massive amount of information available to find the most pertinent and intriguing content that meets their interests and needs. Do a good job of curating and you’ll build trust among your audience and develop credibility within your industry, all while developing a rich community. That should be a sufficient number of buzzwords to grab your attention. Remember, the key is to provide some context for why the information you are collecting and sharing is valuable. If you can’t draw any insight from it yourself, you‘re throwing it out there for everyone else will only contribute to the clutter.
Here are a few simple tactics to help jumpstart your curation career:
- Only share information that you find valuable yourself.
- Offer some brief but insightful context for the information.
- Be sure to attribute information properly.
- Don’t collect everything! Make sure the information is pertinent to your audience. Be focused and filter out the garbage.