Why Human-Curated Content Outstrips Computers Every Time

Social Pros Podcast | Real People Doing Real Work in Social Media

Elias Roman, Songza

Elias Roman, Songza

Elias Roman, Co-founder of Songza, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week (on the 99th episode!) to discuss the undeniable power of excellent curation, delivering content to users that is perfect for the moment, and what makes people hit the “share” button.

Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.

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Tweetable Moments

“It’s about content that is perfect for the context.” -@eliasroman (tweet this)

Coming up! Social Pros 100!

Don’t miss the 100th episode of Social Pros, live via Google Hangout! We’ll be joined by many of our guests from the past 2 years to discuss what has changed in social media and what you need to do to stay relevant this year.

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Monday, January 13th at 5pm EST

RSVP here – https://plus.google.com/events/c3kjpjimjmoq3easrceeqo295ng

We’ll see you there!

Dynamic and Responsive

Songza has the perfect music for every moment. Whether you’re working out, going to sleep, pre-gaming, or throwing a party, there is a playlist that’s just right for your situation. And what makes them different from all the other music apps out there is that the playlists are made by 55 music experts: DJs, music critics, ethnomusicologists, musicians, etc. This is your music experience, curated.

vinylSongza also brings on high-profile curators to create playlists and interact with their listeners. Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, and Michael Buble created Christmas playlists over the holiday, then shared those playlists on Twitter and asked for feedback.

On the advertising side of things, they can help a brand “own a moment” relevant to their audience and then curating, with the help of the Songza team, a playlist for it. By generating social media engagement with the content, the playlist can always be changing. Elias says, “That’s the whole point of a human curator: to be dynamic and responsive.”

Lessons on Implementation: Listen

When they first set up social sharing capabilities for Songza, they got it wrong. Elias and his team assumed that people would want to share the song they were listening to, but there was very little uptake.

When they asked hundreds of users why they weren’t hitting the “share” button, they realized that people wanted to share the playlist, not the song. For Songza users, it’s not so much a moment of sharing media as it is a moment of sharing “this is so me.”

Wondering why this is here? You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out.

Social Media Number of the Week: -11

That was the temperature outside of Jeff’s house in Ohio earlier this week. And thanks to social media, everyone knows about it. What was once a local phenomenon is now “the connective tissue, the shared cultural experience.”

“Every other one of my friends on Facebook,” Jeff says, “is posting a video of themselves throwing boiling water out their door.”

In the past, we had families and friends gathering around the television for a sports event or for a favorite television show.

Today, we’re all gathering around Facebook and Twitter to share our experiences of freezing our butts off.

Holy Social!

The new question & answer app Jelly went live this week. Jellyfish, neurologically, have more of a “we” mind than a “me” mind, and Jelly taps into that. Use the app to ask a question and get answers from your connections on Twitter and Facebook, or from a friend-of-a-friend. Jelly’s whole stance is that knowledge is different from information.

Yahoo! Answers and Quora provide a similar service, so Jelly differentiates itself by being very image-centered. Users can ask questions using photos, and the whole experience is completely mobile-centered. Additionally, friends don’t need Jelly to answer a question, which conveniently exposes them to the app.

Introducing Jelly from Jelly Industries, Inc. on Vimeo.

Jeff takes a skeptical stance, wondering people would be as excited about Jelly if it weren’t Biz Stone‘s new app. “The adoption beyond Silicon Valley and social influencers will be the deciding factor about whether it’s huge or not.”

The Big Two – Elias Roman

What’s your one tip for becoming a social pro?
Compete for retweets. “We want to write back to people, and not just a way that’s helpful but is so helpful, so personality laden, and so fun to read that people will re-tweet our customer service response.”

If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be?
Mayor Bloomberg has been incredibly supportive of Songza in particular, but New York tech and Queens tech more generally,” Elias says. “I probably can’t thank him enough.”

See you next week!

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