Big data conceptThis is Day 27 in the 31 Days to Become a More Efficient Virtual Assistant Series

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Social media is a great platform to share content with your community, whether it is your own or other people’s, to help strengthen and build your thought leadership in your area of expertise. It’s also important the information you share be relevant to your audience. It cannot just be a bunch of random links. You need to carefully curate what you post. Consider the strengths of each platform, like Facebook and Twitter, and the type of content you share. Effective curating takes time and effort to do well.

As a virtual assistant, you want to be able to curate and share content to grow your business as well as your client’s. Thanks to technology and online tools, we are able to do this. Here are some tools that can help you:

Feedly (my favorite Google Reader replacement) is a news aggregator you can access via the web or through your smartphone or tablet. Available on both the iOS and Android platforms, it is a beautifully designed news reading app. You can easily access and read news from a number of different online sources.

My favorite feature is being able customize your experience based on what information you want to access and share. Customized news and information feeds all in one place. Feedly also allows users to easily share an article via Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or email. You can also save articles to read later by saving to the Pocket app. You also have the option of scheduling your tweets or Facebook updates via integration with the Buffer app (another favorite of mine!). Best of all, Feedly is free to use. All you need to do is sign up for an account and you’re all set to go.

Flipboard is similar to Feedly as it aggregates news and information. It presents your feeds visually, much like your own personal magazine. You can easily customize what you want to see. You can also connect Flipboard with your social profiles to easily share content you find useful, add to Pocket or your favorite read it later app or email to friends, family or clients. One downside though is that it does not currently integrate with Buffer. If you want to share via Hootsuite or Buffer, you’ll have to copy and paste the link and text of your post manually to schedule.

Buffer is a social media scheduling tool. It offers both a free and paid versions. You can access Buffer via the web, on your smartphone or tablet on both the iOS and Android platforms. With the free version, you are allowed one account and you can schedule up to 11 tweets or Facebook or Google Plus updates. The paid version allows you to maintain several accounts, have multiple team member access and unlimited number of scheduled updates depending on the plan you select.

Some frown upon the practice of scheduling social media updates, but if you want to be productive and not spam your audience with tweets or updates all at once, scheduling allows you to spread out your social sharing throughout the day. Not only can you share your own content, you can easily retweet other people’s content you find useful and informative. If you want to build true relationships with people on Twitter, retweeting is a great ice breaker.

While using Buffer will certainly increase your productivity, another huge benefit you gain is access to the built-in analytics tool that allows you to monitor the effectiveness and results of your campaign. It will also help you offer better advice to your clients regarding what types of articles resonate best with their audience as well as what days and times are best to post. Buffer eliminates the guess work.

Curating and sharing relevant and useful information in a timely manner is key to building relationships with your clients and audience. By thinking carefully about what you post, it shows you care about what you share and not just posting random updates for the sake of having a presence on social media. As I mentioned earlier, it does take time and effort to do it right. Using Feedly or Flipboard in tandem with Buffer can really make a huge impact in terms of your productivity.

Do you curate and use scheduling tools? What tools do you use? Share your experience by leaving a comment.