So you’ve pretty much mastered the art of social networking and generating social media traffic to your page. You’ve mastered the use of newsletters, you’ve cleaned up your once-messy twitter wall, and Pinterest is now a piece of cake. Yet, you feel…limited by what these (undoubtedly useful) tools can and cannot help you accomplish. Your twitter page is limited to the people and trends that you’re directly connected to, Pinterest still needs you to do most of the collection work, and there is very little in your newsletter that’s news to you anymore.
Well, by this point you would have discovered a kind of software that’s called a “content curation tool” which automates whatever you’ve been forced to do manually uptil now: collecting information on the latest trends, generating traffic, starting online discussions and amplifying your social media marketing game. The options, however, are so close to limitless, that even the most experienced amongst us would feel overwhelmed.
Here are a few of the best free-to-use content curation tools, which are equally easy to access, as they are to operate:
1. Feedly (free and paid):Feedly works on a similar principle to RSS Feeds (you can even integrate that) in how it compiles information across a variety of websites, ready to automatically share it as you please across Twitter and Facebook. While it may seem like a lot of the features are sacrificed in the free version, it can effectively be used alongside other content-curation tools to create a kind of a “super-filter”, so you can get the most out of all your content curation tools when used together.
Feedly is also available for Android and iOS, and you can use it free-of-charge or upgrade it to a premium account – which presents a few improvements that would be especially useful to those who want the most out of any single content curation tool.
2. Zite/Flipboard (free):Zite is a content curation tool that is famous for its layout, which mimics an online magazine in its minimalist, distraction-free design. Although Zite was recently acquired by Flipboard, it will mostly retain its original features, with existing users able to transfer their preferences and information over to the new app through integration. Both the apps are equally functional, however some may prefer Zite more for its initial ease-of-use.
The Zite app is available for the time being on Android and iOS platforms and is completely free-to-use.
3. Kuratur (free):Kuratur is an app that is currently in its beta stage, but it is one of the most thorough and comprehensive content curation applications available; with a plethora of customisation options available to you, it takes on a “WordPress-level” of interaction in how you get to choose exactly how the information you want to see more of, will get presented to you.
It is not yet available for mobile use.
4. The Tweeted Times (free and premium accounts available)This might feel like a controversial addition to a list of free-to-use apps, because a number of useful features are missing in the free version as compared to the paid, premium version. However, all the basic customization options are still available, with it being a much more effective way of reaching out to new connections in twitter.
It is available on the Android and iOS platforms.
5. Swayy (free)Swayy is an app that is completely devoted to content curation and absolutely nothing else. You can set your preferences at the onset itself, receive updates on your audience’s interests as they browse your page, and it’s all presented in a clutter-free environment. The best part is that it is one among a few social media tools that is completely focused on content curation, while remaining almost completely free to use. For an extra 9 dollars, you have access to a few customisation options for your dashboard.
The app is, however, not available for mobile devices.
6. List.ly (free and premium)List.ly is available for free use, with a large part of the appeal coming from its extreme accessibility, even for beginners to get started with collecting a great deal of information from the onset itself. Another reason that list.ly remains popular amongst its users is for its “barebones” approach to presentation, with further upgrades allowing you to make the site look even more minimalist. Otherwise, the basic version has no real limitations at all.
It is available for Android and iOS devices.
7. DrumUp (free)DrumUp is a unique and comprehensive content curation tool that allows you to have access to posts across the web, along with posts uniquely published on the blog as well. This app is designed to give you an edge over your competitors, giving you complete control over receiving, sharing and posting information, across most major social networking platforms.
It is, for the time being, available on Android devices.
Although content curation tools are an extremely useful accessory to generating social media traffic, most of the “leg-work” will still be left to you. Moreover, you will have to use more than one content curation tool – often side-by-side – to gain the most of the content curation process, while still remaining extremely active on social media. Most of all, you should avoid paying for these services until you are completely certain that you have picked the right ones for your needs.
Uddhav Srivilasan is your average college student and an avid writer. As a lover of the written word, his style keeps things short and sweet.