Curating Made Easy, Social Sharing With Wings.
Today, we are all publishers. From the last tweet you sent, to the last twenty-four hours of likes, comments and Facebook posts – this truth holds true. The self-publisher in each of us is participating in a social ecosystem that increasingly begs for tools to help us simplify engagement and distribution.
As startup marketers, we particularly seek solutions to cut through crowds of content to engage more than just friends and followers, but much larger (incremental) audiences drawn to the same topics and interests. And then there was Scoop.it: curating made easy, content sharing with Red Bull (ish) wings.
Interviewer: Michelle Fitzgerald
Interviewee: Guillaume Decugis
Since you launched Scoop.it in 2011, you have been presenting the interest graph. Can you please explain what that means and how it relates to the startup (marketing) community?
Historically, Social Media was built on top of social networks, which connect people for various reasons via the Social Graph. But just because we’re connected with someone doesn’t mean we share the same interests. I myself am an entrepreneur, a gamer and a free-ride skier, plus I enjoy talking about all these things. But at best, five of my Facebook friends share all these interests. The Social Graph is, therefore, not an equivalent of the Interest Graph.
The disconnect between social Activity and Interests means we get a lot of noise. Everyone publishes stories, but no one has the ability to filter what is really relevant to their interests. You end up either becoming a spammer or censoring yourself to things your friends will like.
Scoop.it changes that by being built on a topic-centric model, not a people-centric one. That means you follow topics, not people. And that makes it much easier for users to grow an audience of people with similar interests that will see curated content as signals versus noise. For startup marketers, this is a great solution to a common challenge – telling stories on niche topics in a noisy social web environment and building brand through that with limited budget. Scoop.it helps them be heard.
Topics (the core of the interest graph) are at the heart of content marketing. And topics are passion points for individuals and communities. How does Scoop.it aim to disrupt the way we’ve previously interacted with topics (a.k.a. passion points) in larger online communities?
Precisely because these large online communities are social networks, topic-based conversations (a.k.a. content) struggles to get attention. Everytime I check one of my groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, I end up doing a million other things because I can’t resist checking notifications from people I know.
The opposite happens on Scoop.it. You start from a tweet or a share and you end up reading not just one story from that curator but three or five more. Instead of losing one’s attention, curators get enamored and stick around. Isn’t that what Content Marketing is all about?
How does Scoop.it help startups accelerate social influence beyond (content) sharing via stand-alone Tweets, Facebook posts, etc?
When you tweet or share a link, you’ve done the hard work – finding great content. But the benefits are often fuzzy. Few people will associate this content with your personal or business brand as links drive them away from you – not to you.
Scoop.it not only helps you find more great links to share, but also lets you add a personal curation layer in between. When you tweet or share content you’ve curated with Scoop.it, users will get to the original content through your Topic page. This allow them to see the context you’ve given to this link (e.g. Why is it important? How is this related to other things you’re saying? To your products or services?). They see your brand and they see all the related posts you’ve curated on the same topic. There’s a win-win that happens – they get value from the context you’re providing, plus it becomes clearer for them what your story is and why they should follow or like your brand. Versus in a Tweet or Post, updates get mixed in feeds with hundreds of others and the full picture about “you” is lost.
Scoop.it also provides benefits such as SEO. Scoop.it pages are indexed by Google and other search engines, providing an additional stream of targeted traffic.
Scoop.it has been gaining popularity with a wide range of online influencers. How does this reflect on the value prop of Scoop.it? And are Scoop.it fans side-stepping other curation and content participatory tools like StumbleUpon, Trapit, Storify…or simply finding a way to weave these solutions together?
It’s true we’ve had great traction since we launched publicly last November, now reaching millions of unique visitors on a monthly basis. But the metrics we’re the most pleased with are the high retention rate and the fact that individual usage is growing. The value proposition people perceive initially is that they will save time publishing on social media. Then, they realize the ROI is also better as Scoop.it helps them grow a targeted audience with similar interests from their social networks, while also gaining SEO benefits. And this increases engagement rates.
On the second point, our users often make Scoop.it the hub of their social media publishing, using it to find and curate content and push it to their Facebook pages, their Twitter accounts or even their blogs. Scoop.it is an open platform that works with many other tools and platforms. For example, Storify stories can be nicely embedded in Scoop.it pages and you can publish your scoops to StumbleUpon too. This was really important to us. We didn’t want to be just another social media to use on top of others, but rather a way for our users to leverage existing ones in a better way.
At Get Scrappy we’re laser focused on delivering solutions to the startup community that achieve results and scale on limited resources. How would you advice a startup, just jumping into social curation, to get on board without complicating what’s already a hairy audacious task of managing social–content marketing?
I would argue that social curation is the easiest content marketing form there is. Creating a viral infographic takes time and you can’t guarantee its impact. Same for videos or Slideshare presentations.
- Start by defining your topic. (e.g. What do you already tweet about or what should you tweet about to be interesting to your customers, partners or prospects?).
- Create this topic on Scoop.it and you’ll be doing content marketing in minutes.
- Over time, interacting and sharing on Scoop.it will help you (as startup) understand what original content you need to create. By curating frequently, you’ll quickly see missing pieces of the puzzle on your Scoop.it page.
To start using Scoop.it, please visit here.
Guillaume Decugis is a Web and Mobile entrepreneur. He is also the CEO & co-founder of Scoop.it, the publishing-by-curation platform that makes it easy to create an online magazine on your favorite topics. He’s also a board member and advisor for various start-ups, including Tedemis, a European leader in email retargeting.
Guillaume’s previous company, Musiwave, became the leading Mobile Music Service Provider in Europe and was sold for $120 million in 2006. It is now a Microsoft company. Guillaume also launched Goojet, a mobile social media which topped 1M downloads in France at the end of 2010.
In the late 90’s, Guillaume spent 6 years at Sagem Mobile Division where he held several top positions.
About Michelle FitzgeraldA product evangelist with over twelve years of traditional and emerging marketing experience. Provides FT and PT consultative services to the startup community to help brands develop a better understanding of what drives results (analytics), what drives connections (branding/PR/social media) and what drives revenue (performance marketing/media). Past and current work experience includes Tout, StyleStalk, iCharts, MyBuys, Zinio, Yahoo!, the LA Times and CareerBuilder. Michelle also publishes ebooks, regularly contributes to Upmarket Magazine, speaks at industry events and guest blogs.
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