The most successful social-media marketers create and publish a high volume of original content through blogs, videos, white papers and other vehicles, but they also share quality content produced by others. Gathering, sorting and republishing content from other authors that you believe your followers will value is called curation.

By being a great content curator, you help customers, prospects and colleagues find the “good stuff” online and know what to read. This not only makes you an informative and influential social-media contributor, but it also helps attract new followers.

There is a wealth of potential content online to share with your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter followers. Follow these steps to curate information that will bring real value to the people you’re connected to:

  1. Use Google Alerts and similar tools to see who’s publishing what on the web about the main topics and keywords related to your business.
  2. Sign up for RSS feeds from websites in your field, such as trade associations, conference sponsors, competitors and industry media.
  3. Subscribe to the top blogs in your industry to hear what the most influential voices are saying.
  4. Follow key industry leaders and commentators on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
  5. Sign up for email news briefs from news media specific to your industry to know the latest news and research.
  6. Follow reporters at major news outlets, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, who write articles related to your business.
  7. Apply your knowledge of your industry to separate the news wheat from the chaff. Focus on information that offers meaningful insights, a new perspective or new findings on a key topic.
  8. Look for patterns that could indicate potential trends. Follow top researchers and share findings that could indicate a shift in your industry or your market.
  9. Filter out content that’s obviously self-promotional or “research” that’s self-serving or otherwise suspect.
  10. Add your point of view so people know why you’ve selected content to share. Include comments such as “A great demonstration of…,” “Helpful tips about…,” “Important news…,” “A can’t-miss conference,” etc.

Content curation is an especially effective part of a smart marketing strategy. Being a content curator is an ideal way to demonstrate your expertise and position yourself and your company as thought leaders in your industry.

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Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategy expert and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing which provides marketing strategy and creative services to leading business-to-business and consumer marketers. Read her blog for more marketing tips at http://www.gianfagnamarketing.com/blog.