Sharing content online

Posted by on Jan 31, 2011 in Social Media Strategy | No Comments
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Reach a wide, diverse audience by sharing content online

There’s no point in creating a fantastic piece of content for your company if no one’s going to see it – but people often underestimate the sharing stage.
For me, at the beginning, shyness held me back. I’d tweet once that I’d blogged and hope that people would come. I didn’t necessarily tell my Facebook friends or LinkedIn contacts and I certainly didn’t ask anyone to pass on the link for me.
I’m pleased to say I’ve stopped being so bloody British and realised that sharing content is not only socially acceptable, it’s necessary, especially for businesses. If I’ve spent time creating something, I want it to reach the widest possible audience in the shortest possible time. As was highlighted at Friday’s New Media Breakfast, share buttons are one of the best ways to do this – they allow the viewer to pass the link on to their various networks in seconds. You can find the code for share buttons easily – here they are for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The Facebook button is the most important – organiser Gordon showed a statistic that 44% of content is shared through this network – but the LinkedIn share button arguably has more potential. It allows you to both publish the link on your profile and select which of your groups you want to share the content with, increasing the audience by thousands.
The position of your share buttons can also make a difference – Gordon showed an example of a woman whose traffic had jumped 200% after she changed their position. If you want your viewer to share a whole web address, position your button on a sidebar. Otherwise, have your buttons within the content. With a long blog it could be more worthwhile to have your share buttons at the top of the post; if it’s shorter, or a video or picture, perceived wisdom is they’re better at the bottom. Keep an eye on your analytics and test if the traffic increases one way or the other.

When you’re sharing your own content it’s important to think about timing.

  • When will your audience be online?
  • Can you time it to coincide with another, similar online conversation? Gordon gave the example of running a golf promotion the same week as the Ryder Cup, and tagging tweets with the #RyderCup hashtag.
  • Can you ask colleagues to also pass on the links?
  • Can you arrange a mutually beneficial system of being the first to comment on each other’s content to get the ball rolling?
  • Can you establish competitions which encourage people to get involved online?
  • Are you linking online with offline? Increasingly, businesses are advertising in their premises the fact they’re on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Finally, something I believe quite strongly is that people will only share content that reflects well on them – so make it worth sharing!

What did you take from Friday’s New Media Breakfast? Have you found any tricks for sharing online?

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