Experimenting with Facebooks Boosted Posts

This blog post is part of our series from schools participating in the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy.

Our participation in the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy inspired our Marketing Department at Golda Och Academy to tweak our social media strategy and one of the most exciting trials was our experimentation with boosted posts on Facebook. Prior to this experiment, our Golda Och Academy Facebook page was popular among current parents, students, faculty, and alumni, however, we wanted the opportunity to bring new eyes not only to our Facebook page, but to our website and brand through social media. With the recent nosedive of a Facebook post’s organic (unpaid) reach—particularly coming from a company page— it seemed like the perfect moment to try boosting our posts.

We boosted posts that included student enrollment-related videos about our Kindergarten program, a partnership with a community business, and one about a current student who transferred to our school. On average, a typical Facebook post on the GOA page would organically reach between 300-1,500 people and earn between 5-50 likes prior to boosting. We did find that depending on the amount paid (usually around $25 per post) and the audience chosen, our boosted posts would reach between 5,000-20,000 people. Although we did not necessarily find a correlation between a boosted post and an increase in post likes, we did find that a boosted post would bring in new page likes, which helped us achieve our goal of bringing new e. Our foray into Facebook advertising is absolutely a work in progress, but along the way, we have learned a few things that we would like to share:

3 tips to maximize a boosted post:

  1. Expand your existing network. Although you are more likely to reach a larger audience by selecting nearby towns and the ages befitting to your demographic, the more valuable demographic (for example, for a niche as specific as those interested in a Jewish Day School) would be the “People who like your page and their friends” option. The people who already like your page are more likely to have friends with mutual interests than the general public and are more likely to engage with your posts.
  2. Less words, more photos. Think about the posts that catch your eye while scrolling through your personal Facebook feed. It’s usually not the lengthy post, but probably a single eye-catching photo or cute video. In fact, Facebook will reject your boost if it’s too wordy – make use of Facebook’s helpful grid tool to achieve the perfect photo/text balance.
  3. Promote your services. While boosting a post about a particular student’s accomplishment is nice, it isn’t necessarily providing a service to the community and to potential fans of your page. If your school hosts open houses, an after-school program, a summer camp, or any other special services, this is the information most relevant to potential fans. 

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2013-14 nationwide cohort of 15 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here with the tag #jdsacademy

Complete the Social Media Self Assessment for your school at http://www.dayschoolacademy.org/assessment

These are the Days: Lessons in Content Planning

At The Agnon School, a community Jewish day school located in Beachwood, Ohio, we set out to enhance our social media reach and interaction in order to attract additional students to the school. 

One of the first things we did was to conduct a survey of our constituents – primarily our parents and prospective parents – to see what types of social media they were using most frequently.  Through the survey, we discovered that Facebook was most often used.  

As a result, we increased our use of Facebook by posting engaging items on a daily basis each week.  We developed the following weekly schedule:

  • Mondays:  We posted an article of interest written by a national education expert for our target audiences to read (articles were not specific to our school).
  • Tuesdays:  We posted a video or photo album related to activities happening at the school (including special programs or simply everyday learning).
  • Wednesdays:  We posted a fun and/or thought provoking question and parents could respond to the question.
  • Thursdays:  We had “Throwback Thursdays” and posted an alumni photo with an accompanying question or invitation to interact and share.
  • Fridays:  We posted our Head of School Shabbat blog.

We found that student photos sent out on Tuesdays and Thursdays received the most attention.  In addition, photos of people holding signs with key messages regarding fund raising also generated a tremendous amount of attention for our benefit golf outing.

In addition, we pre-posted articles on Mondays to make sure we have regular posts.  In order to increase interest on the other days of the week, we learned through trial and error that Wednesday’s “question of the day” needs to be simple in order to get responses.  We plan on changing the questions for this day to something shorter in order to encourage more responses.  Plus, we plan on giving the Head of School’s blog on Fridays a more attention-getting name.  We are also considering the pros and cons of paid posts.

However, our ultimate goal was to have our followers “like” or “share” all of our weekly posts.  Through this exercise, we discovered that we needed social media ambassadors to engage and support participation.   To achieve the best results, we e-mailed some of our key parent ambassadors and requested that they “like” or “share” our posts.  This worked so well that we decided to create a Social Media Support Committee for the 2014 – 2015 school year.  This committee’s sole job will be to simply “share” Agnon’s Facebook posts.

What’s more, we were introduced to a number of new tools to assess metrics.  We learned a great deal about our posting habits relative to the types of postings that appeal to our audiences and the most optimal posting times.

 

The Agnon School participated in the 2013-14 cohort of the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy, an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2013-14 nationwide cohort of 15 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here with the tag #jdsacademy

Complete the Social Media Self Assessment for your school at http://www.dayschoolacademy.org/assessment

 

LBTV (Leo Baeck TV)

Given the power of online videos, we inaugurated LBTV Action News as a vehicle for telling the school’s story. In 60 to 90 second installments, students did standup spot “news reports,” on selected events and subjects. It was effective in terms of growing our social media reach. Parents are our main audience on Facebook – which is our main social medium — and they love seeing children doing the presenting as well as being the subjects of a video. It lent an additional appeal, as opposed to watching the expected administrator or teacher talking head tell about the school. And they were eager to share the Facebook postings, as well. Some of our most shared and far-reaching videos on Facebook were LBTV Action News items.

It is a win-win: not only does this provide a framework for packaging video items, but it’s a worthwhile learning experience for the students, who gain amateur TV reporter experience. One Grade 8 student even mentioned in her reflection at graduation ceremony that being an LBTV Action News reporter was one of the highlights of her year.

My background as a radio news reporter came in handy in developing a few basic guidelines for the students: how to prepare an intro, segue to an interviewee and how and what to ask, and summing up in an extro/sign off. They learned the proper way to stand, hold a mic, and to think in terms of their audience of Internet viewers watching a small frame video screen.

The Middle School teachers selected a news team; I called upon those students in turn when a newsworthy event came up. It was interesting to observe the qualitative growth of each reporter over time.

Some of the highlighted news reports included coverage of Toronto’s Jewish day school Debate Tournament, hosted at our school; coverage of the Jewish day school Cross Country Meet; Talent Shows; and innovative programs that engaged parent and grandparent participation in the curriculum.

Videos of course go far in opening the walls of the school for parents to witness the “magic” of what goes on in school between drop off and pick up. But adding this TV news “packaging” allows for student involvement and a ready-made format.
 

David Bale is the Director of Communications at The Leo Baeck Day School.

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2013-14 nationwide cohort of 15 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here with the tag #jdsacademy

Complete the Social Media Self Assessment for your school at http://www.dayschoolacademy.org/assessment

Keep Momentum Over the Summer

The Jewish calendar is great for pacing our lives, for embracing the seasons, and appreciating things in their own time.  Summer, however, sometimes feels like it can derail the communications momentum we've worked so hard to build over the year.  Especially in educational organizations where classes don't meet over the summer (and where staff may be only working part time, or not at all), it's important to pay special attention to your summer social media plans.  Thus from our staff, and the wisdom of the crowd!

CONSISTENCY  Maintaining consistency is important both to keep up your ranking so your content will appear in newsfeeds, but it's also important to keep people in the habit of being engaged.  You've worked to get people engaging with your posts — keep it up.  It's also a great way to introduce and integrate new families into your community.   Make a point of posting at least once or twice a week.  Use the scheduling function in Facebook or a third party tool like HootSuite to schedule posts if you need plan ahead.

CONTENT  If you've used the POST planning process to identify the "sweet spot" of content that's both mission centric and of practical value to your audiences, you know how important it is to find the right content.  What do your audiences need over the summer?   Tips for events and opportunities in your local community?  How about ideas of fun summertime care packages to send to camp?  Or links to back to school preparedness? Tova Otis suggested in the JDS Social Media Academy Facebook Group that she posts links to school supply sales in their community.  Even links to fun activities like this list of creative things to do for under $10 or how to make quick kosher dill pickles with your cucumber harvest, other fun things you can find on Pinterest. (Got links to share?  Add them in the comments)

CONTRIBUTIONS  How can you get people participating in your Page even if they are not walking through your door?  How about a photo contest to have people submit a picture of their adventures over the summer, or wearing their school t-shirt in exciting places?  Invite your audience to send a postcard — a real one which you can scan and post online, or a virtual one by posting on your Page.  Do a virtual scavenger hunt.  Promote these invitations both on your page, and through email and other vehicles with links to help them take immediate action.

CONVERSATION  Keep the conversation going.  What questions can you ask that inspire people to speak up ("Where are kids going to camp this summer? What's your favorite ice cream flavor?) or chime in?  Ellen Dietrick asked her community to vote on the color t-shirt for the coming year and got dozens of responses – some serious, some silly!  Remember to be LISTENING as much as TALKING. If you're not in the office make sure you're getting notifications (by email, or on your phone or tablet) so you can monitor and facilitate conversation as people chime in!

How will you keep momentum during the summer?  What kinds of content will you post?  How do you structure your time over the summer to keep momentum?  Share in the comments.  Happy summer!

 

 

Teachers Teaching Parents to Parent: A Lesson in Content Curation

Adding value in your social media channels is the number one way to compete in an attention economy.  Knowing what value to add means being empathetic – understanding deeply where the pain points are for your audience, so you know how to help in mission-centric ways.

For many parents today, questions around appropriate use of technology and screens (large and small) are a daily preoccupation.  From handing an iPhone into the back seat to keep a toddler occupied while in traffic, to helping teens navigate appropriate use of their own devices and freedom on the internet.

The bottom line is: Parents today are doing this for the first time.  We’re pioneering.  This technology did not exist when we were kids, so we have no models of how to parent around it. While there are no simple right or wrong answers, parents can learn a lot from a) experts in the developmental ages of their children, and b) what Jewish values and wisdom can offer to help guide our decision making.

That means Jewish schools and synagogues have a huge opportunity to curate content from expert sources and contextualize wisdom for parents.  This kind of content can be curated throughout the year, but especially in the summer when there’s less “boots on the ground” storytelling, such curated content can become even more important to keep momentum on your channels.  We asked some wise Jewish educators (including those in JEDLAB and Darim Educators Facebook Groups) for their best sources.  Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments.

We love the folks over at The TEC Center and The Fred Rogers Center's new Ellie initiative. Both are about supporting educators in making informed developmentally appropriate choices for their schools and students. (Shariee Calderone)

Digital Decisions: Choosing the Right Technology Tools for Early Childhood Education. (Iris Koller)

Raising Digital Natives is a fantastic website run by Devorah Heitner who brings lessons and insights about creating a positive media ecology in one’s family. I particularly like this recent post about teaching  your children responsible media behavior by modeling it as you take (and share) photos of them. / (Lisa Colton)

Danah Boyd's book, It's Complicated – The Social Lives of Networked Teens.  Really a great counterpoint to a lot of the fear-mongering that's out there, and fabulous reporting. You can download as a PDF too! (Sophie Rapoport)

NAEYC has good resournces on technology and young children (Iris Koller)

Award winning app, Circle of 6, recognized by the White House Apps Against Abuse Challenge.

I like the new book "iRules" very much a parent's perspective–not research based. I also like selections from "The Parent App" and "Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out." (Devorah Heitner)

Anything from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center is great just for context (Russel Neiss)

Following American Academy of Pediatricians Guidelines on children and media is a must. (Russel Neiss)

Common Sense Media has great reviews of content, movies, sites with a breakdown on various attributes (violence, language, etc.) which I find very helpful as a parent, and is always available for quick reference on my phone when I need to answer if my kids can see XYZ movie, etc. (Lisa Colton)

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel is great for Parent discussions! (Susan Rosman)

 

Any other suggestions or resources you'd add to this list?  Add them in the comments!

Lessons from a Social Fundraiser

After completing our first-ever social fundraiser on Crowdrise this spring, there is no doubt it was the best learning experience of the Social Media Academy. We met our goal, reached new donors and developed new fundraising ideas for the future–all while having a lot of fun doing it.

Of course, we learned along the way and have a few lessons to share.

The Social Fundraising Age Gap: While it’s true that all ages are on social media these days, it’s not necessarily that everyone is engaging on social media—commenting and taking the call to action that we seek in our posts. Contrast these two cases:

  1. One donor who learned about our social fundraiser actually contacted The AVI CHAI Foundation (which was providing matching funds through the JDS Social Media Academy) after seeing no mention of their matching grant to us on their website. Really? Because it was certainly on the school website!  That person had never heard of Crowdrise and was entirely skeptical. And although she was kind enough to donate, she did it by mailing in a check. It’s possible that she never uses her credit card online.
  2. Now, consider our seniors (students), who we engaged for Campus Fundraising. They wanted no information about our campaign after finding out that money went to our school. A fundraising team captain would say something like this: “You know Crowdrise? Well, go there and find the ‘AlmostAlumni’ link. Give me some money, and our team will win.” And then that student would whip out his phone and credit card and do exactly that. Engaging our seniors and planting the seed for future donations was the best part of our campaign.

Don’t Base Results on the First Few Days: We raised over $6000 in one week. It took three more to raise another $2500. Enough said.

Competition Was More Effective Than Prizes: The most aggressive fundraising happened when fundraising champions were motivated by winning. It didn’t really matter if they won a prize or not, they were excited by the challenge of beating their friends (or losing!) in public. Our best results came from alumni who knew each other and were motivated to stay ahead. One would get a donation and another would ask for that amount, plus $1 just to keep the lead. As for prizes, we didn’t see higher results from our champions or our donors based on incentives like Amazon gift cards, iTunes and even Passover shopping gift cards.

Wendy Margolin is the Director of Communications at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, IL.  The school was on of 15 schools chosen to participate in the 2013-14 Jewish Day School Social Media Academy.

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2013-14 nationwide cohort of 15 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here this spring with the tag #jdsacademy

Also, check out the Jewish Day School Social Media and Video Academy website, which includes a free self-assessment to help your school focus on key areas of growth in your social media work.

Be Seen! Intro to Facebook Boosted Posts

Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla of social media – ignore it at your own risk. For most of us, at least SOME of our audience/community is active on Facebook, so it's important to be there, reach the right people, and be seen consistently. But recent changes to the way Facebook functions are making it harder for your fans to see your posts and engage with them. Putting a small budget towards Facebook advertising can help keep your engagement up. With that in mind, here's a short introduction to a quick, easy way to make sure your posts get seen by more of your people. Additional resources are posted below. Check it out, and let us know if you give it a try!

And some additional resources:

More on Facebook's Edgerank algorithm

Facebook's FAQ on Boosting Posts

An overview on how to select different target audiences for your boosted post, from Tabsite

My favorite book on social media marketing, with a heavy focus on Facebook: "Likeable Social Media" by Dave Kerpen

20 Fun Ideas for Great Twitter Content

This Tuesday, the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy cohort participated in a Twitter tutorial, digging into the tool and exploring ways of maturing your practice on Twitter. Among other things, we talked about ways schools can develop new content to share on this fast-paced, link-driven network. Here are our top twenty. What are your suggestions?

20 fun ideas for Twitter content:

  1. Post your school's sports scores, plays and results.
  2. Tweet photos and bios of your new teachers.
  3. Post your daily lunch or snack menu if you have one.
  4. Tweet school cancelations or delays due to weather.
  5. Tweet articles from local newspapers that discuss your school or issues you care about.
  6. Share a classroom highlight or insight with a photo or Vine video. 
  7. Tweet a unique school picture of the day for a caption contest.
  8. Take photos of rehearsals for a school play or concert and/or post a short Vine video to encourage people to attend.
  9. Tweet quotes from school meetings that are informational or memorable.
  10. Tweet job openings at your school.
  11. Tweet upcoming admission, alumni, and other events as reminders.
  12. Gather "Questions of the Day" from teachers to post (for students as an assignment, or just to model curiosity and learning for your community!). 
  13. Develop a personal learning network by following colleagues and experts in your area (education, Jewish education, specific ages or subjects).
  14. Conduct research using Twitter Search. Ask questions to tap your network.
  15. Create a Twitter List of Alumni, and share it!
  16. Curate and retweet items from related sources (parenting, development, local, Jewish, etc.).
  17. Do #FF (Follow Friday), #SS (Shabbat Shalom) and other weekly traditions.
  18. Share news about alumni and their accomplishments.
  19. Welcome new families to your school community. 
  20. Follow other teachers, schools, alumni, and people in your community and listen to how they use Twitter.

Above image credit: Flickr user MKHMarketing

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About

Originally published in EJewishPhilanthropy

During Open House season, schools are looking for ways to stand out among the crowd of institutions trying to reach prospective parents. Talking about a school’s “warm and nurturing community” and the “academic excellence” is only going to get the school so far.

So what else can schools do to rise above all the noise?

When we are faced with many choices, we often rely on word of mouth from friends in our social networks to help make our decisions. So it was clear to us at The Jewish Education Project that in order to promote the school in a unique way, we need to have the parents involved and we need to get the parents talking.

As Bonnie Raitt writes and sings, “Let’s give ‘em somethin’ to talk about.” Or in the 21st century version of this, let’s give parents something to Facebook about.

Parents who are part of the Parent to Parent (P2P) network have been learning about the power of social media to share their stories about Jewish day school education, and adding their voices through local parenting blogs and the Parent to Parent site. The challenge has been to keep them talking, especially during peak periods, such as open house season. Here’s where the campaign approach comes in.

The P2P campaign model organizes parents for a specific time period to talk about a value, an idea, an event – any focus point unique to the school that will help prospective parents get a better idea of what that school, and the community it fosters, is all about.

A very creative campaign can promote the school, without necessarily talking about academic excellence or the nurturing environment. Take for example a marketing campaign for Mercy Academy, an all-girls’ Catholic school in Louisville, Kentucky. In an article about the campaign, the writer explains “The campaign, created by Doe-Anderson, a Louisville-based advertising agency, is meant to reflect one of the school’s core goals: to help its students become independent, productive women in the real world.” And as you can see in the ad, they didn’t need to show science labs or innovative technology to get the message across.

Jewish day school education is first and foremost about imparting positive values to our children. You know it when you experience a Jewish day school education. We need to give parents a framework to convey those values with their friends.

A P2P Campaign in Action: Mazel Day School

The highly engaged and motivated parents of Mazel Day School (MDS) of Brooklyn were the brave pioneers who first experimented with this approach. When I asked the parents what they love about the school, most of them had a real, emotional reaction to the question and talked about the school’s successful approach to imparting positive values. They are extremely proud to see their children grown into mensches.

It was no surprise that they suggested a Photo Mitzvah Campaign promoting the value of the children doing good deeds by inviting parents in Brooklyn to submit pictures of their child doing a mitzvah or good deed. The Mazel parents wanted to reach parents from Jewish early childhood centers in the area, so they partnered with several of them on the campaign. The submitted photos were shared on Mazel Day School Facebook page. The photo with the most “Likes” on Facebook won a $400 Amazon Gift Card.

Mazel Day School parents gave out fliers in the early childhood centers, emailed their friends, sent Facebook messages and talked to other families. The parents now had something to talk about.

The campaign ran for five weeks and opened new doors for the school to reach prospective parents. For the first time, Mazel Day School officially partnered with early childhood centers in the area: KingsBay Y, JCH of Bensonhurst, and Shorefront Y. These new relationships can now be leveraged for other partnership opportunities and for reaching prospective parents. The campaign increased exposure of the school to the broader community. Mazel Day School Parents overheard parents who were not part of the school talking about the contest. The Mazel Facebook page experienced a significant boost during the competition period, including 50 news likes on the Facebook page. The last time they had so much traffic was when their school was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy; now the attention was due to a positive story that truly highlighted the school and the community. In their reflection about the implementation of the campaign, the Mazel parents wanted to organize a larger group of parents to lead and implement the campaign to reach an even larger audience of prospective parents.

At their upcoming open house, the school will ask prospective parents how they found out about the school. At this time, the Mazel parents will be able to evaluate more specifically the reach of their campaign and where they need to focus their future outreach efforts.

Action Steps: Running a P2P Campaign in Your School’s Community

Consider experimenting with this campaign approach to promote your school. Here’s how you can get started:

  • Invite a minimum of three parents in your school to run a campaign.
  • The parents should identify a value, event, or other unique aspect of the school that excites them and would be appealing prospective parents. If it doesn’t galvanize your current parent body, don’t do it, because they won’t be talking about it with their friends.
  • Identify your target audience; be very specific on who you want to reach with the campaign. Mazel parents aimed specifically for parents of children in local early childhood programs, for instance.
  • Get talking! Play around with different social media tools to spread the word about the campaign. Empower parents with the tools they need to keep the conversation rolling.
  • Most importantly, make it fun! Turn it into a competition, make it into a game. Let the parents get really creative and make it their own.

Best-selling author Seth Godin writes: “Stories are the way we navigate our world, our chance to make sense of who we are and what we do.[…] Nonprofits make change, and the way they do this is by letting us tell ourselves stories that nurture our best selves.” Creating a buzz and chatter around your school requires giving parents a great story to talk about. Day school parents are part of a movement committed to giving their children the greatest Jewish education possible. Let’s build that movement; let’s help parents get their stories out.

What will your community share?

Parent to Parent is an initiative of The Jewish Education Project and is made possible by a grant from UJA-Federation of NY. Learn more about Parent to Parent on our website, blog, Facebook and follow us on Twitter. If you are a New York area day school and would like to get staff assistance to implement this project, contact Irene Lehrer Sandalow, Project Manager in the Day School Department of The Jewish Education Project at isandalow@jewishedproject.org.

Footnotes: Content Generation and Curation

Last week, participants in the Detroit Social Media Academy learned about content generation and curation, a topic at the heart of any effective social media strategy. Above are the slides, and below are some important take-aways for thinking about your own content… Take a peek and let us know what you're up to when it comes to content creation and curation!
  1. Content is a connecting force. Think about the classic Jewish study model of chevruta: two people hover over a text, dissecting it, questioning it, comparing it to other sources and their own lives. In the process, they not only develop a deeper relationship with that text and Jewish tradition, but with one another. The text is the connector. That's what good content can do online, in a way that's broader, public, and potentially more inclusive.
  2. Always start with your goals. You have to know what you're trying to accomplish in order to choose the right content – and, by extension, the kinds of conversations – that will help you and your community get there.
  3. Always remember your audience. The people you are trying to reach have their own self-interest, for better or for worse. Practice empathy. If you can tease out the sweet spot, the overlap between what you want to accomplish and what they want for themselves, you'll be able to choose, develop, and share content that's both meaningful to your audience and relevant to your goals.
  4. Events as opportunities for content generation. Pictures, videos, and quotes are all quick, easy things you can grab at an event and make effective content. Think through what else might work for your event, who will be responsible for capturing it, and how you can share it.
  5. Crowdsourcing for content generation. It's important to be transparent about your intentions, but putting a question or enticing message out on social media, then using the responses as a blog post or as another type of content (collect images or links, turn the responses into a graphic, etc.), is a great way to build community and momentum online AND generate meaningful content.
  6. Blog parties for content creation. Some communities are experimenting with hosting IRL (in real life) parties specifically geared towards sharing and documenting stories. Again, you need to be transparent about your intentions, but getting together a small group (and a few laptops) for some wine, cheese, and storytelling can make for a fun opportunity to both build community on the ground and unearth great stories to share.
  7. Have evergreen/recipe content ready to share anytime. Much of the content we share is event or time specific; but having content that's appropriate anytime is a useful way to keep at the front of your audience's mind more often. That way, when you ask them to attend an event or give a donation, it's not coming out of the blue – they've already been in conversation with you and are ready to listen. Lists, recommendations, interviews, profiles, etc., can all be great options, but think about what might work for your community.
  8. Reframe what you're already doing. Be conscious about what you're sharing (get permission for photos, etc.), but anytime you can capitalize on the things you're already doing, or capture moments in real time (think mobile!), you're putting together an authentic experience for your audience and building trust.
  9. Content curation. A curator is a sense-maker. She's someone who knows what's out there, finds the best of it (again, based on her goals and her community), and puts it together in a way that makes a meaningful experience. This means sharing your voice, explaining key points, asking good questions, being attentive to the responses. It means being very aware of what's available and what might be useful to your community. Finding, framing, and sharing other people's content in a way that speaks to who you are and what your community wants is the real opportunity behind content curation. It's a fun, though sometimes challenging, way to build your reputation online.
  10. Curation begins with listening. Listen for good content shared by others. Listen to your community. Listen for responses and be ready and willing to shift and reset if something isn't working.
  11. Next steps? Time to try something new! Listen, plan, and jump in and have fun!
     

How do you create and find great content to share with your community? What else would you like to know about content generation and curation?