The Single Biggest Problem with Content Curation

A lot of people ask me how we came up with the idea for Sniply. It all started with a simple observation as I was curating content. For those unfamiliar, content curation has become an integral part of social media marketing. This is the act of sharing great content, thus providing value for your fans and followers through curation.

Many experts suggest that at least 50% of everything you publish on social media should be content from others. Not to mention, content creation can be costly and therefore many companies start with content curation as their only social media strategy.


Once upon a time, I was working on social media marketing at another startup. We, like everyone else, relied on content curation as one of our core strategies. It took a lot of time everyday, going through heaps of content and struggling to find the right things to share. At some point, I began to question whether it was worth my time. The scary thing was… I had no idea. I intrinsically felt like it was important work, yet I had no evidence or reasons to prove it was actually working. This was when I realized the big problem with content curation:

Content curation offers no measurable return on investment.

As you’re curating content, you may carefully select the ones that are most relevant to your brand. Maybe you’ll share an article reporting on an internet security problem, implying that your company offers the solution. Or perhaps you’ll share a blog post about the importance of good design, hinting at the fact that your company is the right firm to hire for the job. The problem is… do your followers know that?

We click through links all the time, opening them in new tabs, and often forgetting where we found the link in the first place. We read tons of articles per day amidst an ocean of online noise. What are the chances that your followers can actually see the correlation between your shared content and your brand?

Even though there are plenty of tools out there to help you measure the engagement for your shared content, none of these measurements seem to offer a clear ROI. For example, Facebook Insights will tell you how many times your posts have been clicked. Social dashboards like Buffer and Hootsuite will tell you how many times your links have been clicked. You’ll also be able to track retweets, reposts, likes and favorites. The big question is… so what?


So what if you posted a link to TechCrunch and generated 1,000 visits to their website? So what if you got 5 retweets and 15 favorites? None of these numbers have any direct impact on your business. It’s not easy to measure the value of driving traffic to other people’s websites.

The general argument is that content sharing boosts your credibility and establishes your position as a credible source of information. This, in theory, leads to more followers and perhaps higher engagements. However, this doesn’t change the fact that there’s still no real measurable impact from any of the aforementioned outcomes. What is the impact of having 10,000 followers? What is the value of having 500 clicks on your posts?

After failing to answer the above questions, I realized a simple fact…

Content curation offers no measurable return on investment.

This was the observation that sparked the birth of Sniply. How do we introduce relevance between shared content and your brand? How can we offer a measurable return on investment for every link you share? What can we do to transform content curation from an art form into exact science?

The answer was simple. In order for there to be a measurable return, an action needs to take place, and the most directly measurable action is a click-through. Whether it’s to your landing page, an Amazon page, or an Eventbrite page, there simply needs to be a click-through opportunity.


By using a simple iframe, Sniply lets you embed a call-to-action directly into content from others. This call-to-action links to a destination URL of your choosing. With every page you share with Sniply, there is a click-through opportunity. This means that every link you share will have a tangible conversion rate of click-throughs to your destination URL.

Having recently breached 1,000,000 clicks (update: 6,000,000) while sustaining an average conversion rate of 7%, it would seem that Sniply may have actually solved the biggest problem in content curation. Things are looking bright, but it’s still too early to celebrate. I have a feeling we’ve only scratched the surface of the impact we could have on the whole concept of content curation. As our journey continues, I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on the impact of what we’ve built.