Time and money.

Two core factors that can always be limiting for health care communications pros. Similarly, both these resources are particularly important when it comes to having an engaging and effective online communications strategy. Planning, developing, editing and publishing original creative content costs money and can be a major time strain. So where does one start when faced with limited resources to match the responsibility of driving an effective online communications effort?

Digital curation to the rescue.

Given today’s social landscape, you’re probably aware that people are actively creating content around your brand all the time. What you may not realize is the volume of content being produced. Whether through tweets, Facebook posts, videos, blogs or other content, chances are good that mentions are coming at you from every which direction.  Content quality will always vary, but as technology advances and more people take on a content creation role, the volume of quality content will also continue to advance.

How can you take advantage of all this content?

Unless your organization is in full broadcast mode, you already curate content to a degree. But, how effective is that process? Here are three steps to ensure you’re making the most of the content others are producing.

1. Shape Your Storytelling Strategy – What is your end goal for curating content? Are you doing it to produce a daily newspaper that helps draw eyeballs to your brand and position thought leadership in the community? Are you doing it as a service to your community to provide thematic insight around conversation at a health care conference? Curation opens up a lot of options for creative storytelling but like all communications, is most successful when executed with a solid strategy in place.

2. Refine Your Listening Process – If you are not currently monitoring daily mentions, tracking weekly spikes and assessing month-over-month trends, start now. There are plenty of free measurement options to provide you with a good foundation centralized through Google Reader as a monitoring hub. Regardless of whether you’re using paid or free tools,  make sure you have a measurement guru review your slated search terms and phrases to ensure you streamline the volume and pull the results you desire.

3. Create a Community Hub – One of the major benefits of using other people’s content is that it provides credibility to your brand. By positioning your advocates and supporters front and center, you are demonstrating the importance you place behind dialogue as opposed to just broadcasting brand messages to your audience. Provide a roof to house these conversations and enable others to connect with one another.

Are you actively using digital curation in your own communications efforts? Share your tips below!

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