Creating quality content that not only engages customers but encourages them to share is no easy task. A recent study by Exact Target found that 55% of Facebook users have “liked” a company and then later decided they no longer wanted to see that company’s post. Are you doing everything you can to not only keep customers reading with relevant posts, but also providing content that is easily shared?
Tip #1 - Make Sharing a Breeze
I know there may be skeptics out there when it comes to adding social sharing buttons to your website but there are some things I would like you to think about. Try to consider sharing buttons housed on your website, blog, or email campaigns as low hanging fruit when it comes to sharing content. A recent study by BrightEdge found that of the 4 million tweets analyzed, websites that had a Twitter share button were 7 times more likely to have increased mentions on the social media platform. If simply adding a few share widgets to your website could create 7 times the amount of sharing, is there any reason not to do it?
TopRank Trivia: One of the first social media sharing widgets for blogs (Social Bookmarks Creator) on the web was created right here at Online Marketing Blog in January 2007 by Thomas McMahon. The tool was so popular there were over 40,000 blogs using the widget at one time.
Tip #2 – Know Who You’re Talking to & Provide Relevant Information
There are many ways that you can use information from your social networks to segment followers. A simple social media audit can help determine who your current followers are, what they tend to share information about, and the format in which they use to share socially. Networks such as Google+ have made it even easier to segment those you follow by creating Google+ Circles. With Google+ Circles you can share information with specific circles which will create a much more customized approach to social sharing.
Tip #3 – Think Outside the Marketing Box
Social sharing has traditionally been an initiative for the marketing department. In order to increase social shares you may want to consider adding additional departments to the mix such as Public Relations or Human Resources. Job postings shared via social media can become a great recruiting tool as well as means to encourage social sharing. According to Ragan’s PR Daily 14.4 million people have used social media to find a job in 2011 alone.
Tip #4 – People Love Lists
In 2010 Lee created a list of 25 Women Who Rock Social Media which was very well received. Our 2011 list with about 3,200 tweets, was created based on over 60 nominations from the women who made it on the 2010 list. We found this was a great way to recognize women who were having a large impact on social media as well as crowdsourcing information from our networks. Twitter lists are also a great way to segment different types of followers, or recognize them as an expert in a particular field.
Making the additional effort to segment your audience, share relevant content, and making information easy for others to share can have many benefits. An engaged audience is also more scalable because your reach has now gone beyond your immediate network to include the network of your followers who have re-shared your information. Consider social sharing an introduction to additional prospective clients, contributors, or employees that could inspire the growth of your business.
Take a look at your current social media plan and ask yourself a few questions.
- Would I re-share this information?
- What action am I anticipating my followers to take based on my content?
- Am I making it easy for users to share my information with their networks?