How many times have you seen someone share a Facebook article under a post that says, “Saving for later?” Every time a friend of mine does this, I copy and paste a link to Pocket in the person’s comment feed.
Pocket is the perfect app for clipping articles to read later, and you don’t have to clutter up your Facebook wall to do it. I use Pocket’s Chrome extension in addition to carrying the Pocket app on my iPhone. When I come across something I want to read while I’m using my Mac to surf the Web, I simply click on the Pocket extension icon and save the content to my Pocket account. If I want to curate content on-the-go, I access the articles I've saved using my iPhone.
I’ve integrated Pocket with my Twitter app and with Safari so that it’s easy to save articles at the touch of a button. Although Facebook doesn’t integrate with Pocket, I open links, copy them, and then open my Pocket app. Pocket immediately asks me if I want to save my copied URL to Pocket. I tap “Add” and move onto my next task.
Pocket has become an essential content curation tool for me. I never lose track of something I really want to read, and I also stay on task instead of thinking I have to stop working and read something immediately. Let me take you through the process of how Pocket makes it simpler to curate content to share on social networks.
Step 1: Triage
I find most of the content I share within my Twitter lists or in Feedly, or it’s emailed to me by News.me, Trendspottr, and other content discovery tools. Unfortunately, so much of the content I see isn’t of high quality, so I don’t immediately save everything that looks interesting to Pocket.
Instead, I put incoming content through a triage process. Triage, in case that’s an unfamiliar term, is what battlefield doctors do with incoming wounded, or what hospitals do with incoming patients after a natural disaster or terrorist incident. They look at patients, make a quick evaluation of whether or not they can be saved, and decide whether they need immediate attention or whether they can wait for later. It sounds harsh, but it’s the best way to save the most lives under difficult circumstances.
When I triage content, I divide it into three categories: “garbage,” “read later,” and “share now because it’s so awesome.” These questions help me to make a quick judgment about incoming content:
- Is it generic? This is the first question I ask myself. If it says nothing new or nothing of lasting value, it’s garbage.
- Does it offer value to my social network followers? Not all articles contain original ideas, but a well-written article about an evergreen concept can prove quite valuable to a client, business partner, or fellow content creator. These usually go to Pocket to read later.
- Will it teach me something? The world of digital marketing moves quickly, and it’s vital to stay up-to-date with new developments, trends, and ideas. If I need to make sense of a marketplace development that could affect me, like a Google algorithm update, I save the article for later.
- Is it breaking news? If it’s something immediately interesting to me or to my clients and business partners, I share it immediately or schedule it for sharing in HootSuite.
- Is it prescient? Prescient is a $5 word for “perceptive” or "offers insight into future events." If it’s something that offers a new revelation, something funny, or a unique take on an important issue, I send it to Pocket to read later.
Most days, when I’m actively curating content, I send 70 percent of the content I see to garbage, about 25 percent to Pocket, and 5 percent to the immediate share pile. The more you curate, the better your taste becomes, and the better you get at triage.
Step 2: Read Later
When you share something via Pocket on social media, it’s shared with the hashtag #longreads. I like the connotation of that hashtag and the way it suggests a block of time, a cup of coffee, and a leisurely, ruminative read.
On your desktop computer, you can view Pocket content in tile view, like this:
Or you can view your saved content in list view, like this:
I set aside a block of time on Saturday morning to review what I’ve saved to Pocket, usually scrolling through my reads on my iPhone while my kids are in karate class. If something engages me, I put it in my social media sharing queue. Again, most of it goes to the garbage.
Bonus! Weekly Content Suggestions
Pocket also sends a weekly email digest of content that you can save to Pocket for later. Some of the shared list is sponsored and not completely organic based on my interests, but I probably save half of the 10 or fewer items suggested to me. In addition to making it simple to keep track of what I want to read or watch later—you can save videos in Pocket also—the weekly suggestion email is a good referral source for what I share with my followers.
Get thee to Pocket pronto to sign up for an account, and then download the mobile app and the browser extension. Once you use it, you’ll appreciate how much it saves time and helps you curate content that's more thoughtful and sophisticated.
Of course, even a time-saving tool like Pocket isn't enough to help some busy small business owners get active on social media. I can help you curate content and compose social media posts. Contact me about small business social media management.