30 Social Share Tips To Increase Your Social Media Reach
Using a well-balanced social sharing approach is the next best thing to a viral social media success.
Distributing content once on a given social media network is insufficient to reach most of your followers.
By contrast, Guy Kawasaki shares his content 4 times over 8 hour intervals.
Be like Kawasaki, approach your social media sharing strategically like a traditional media entity to provide your target audience multiple impressions of the same content over a period of time. (Also, the lifespan of a social share is limited.)
Why we share on social media: 7 findings
Here are 7 key social sharing findings from The Psychology of Sharing: Why People Share Online research conducted by The New York Times Consumer Insight Group and Latitude Research.
- 94% of respondents carefully consider how shared information will be useful to recipients.
- 84% of respondents share to support causes or issues they care about.
- 78% of respondents share information online to stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with.
- 73% of respondents distribute information to connect with others who share their interests.
- 69% of respondents share to feel more involved in the world.
- 68% of respondents share to give others a sense of who they are and what they care about.
- 49% of respondents share to inform others about products they like and potentially change opinions or encourage action.
5 Keys to social sharing
Based on The Psychology of Sharing research, here are 5 keys to social sharing that you can apply to your social media distribution.
- Appeal to customers’ motivation to connect with other people. Social media isn’t a promotion platform. Participants aren’t necessarily interested in your brand or product.
- Build trust with your audience to get your information shared.
- Simplify your message to facilitate sharing. If your information is too complicated, your audience will either mix it up or move onto something that’s easier to deal with.
- Give your audience a reason to act, NOW. Once they set your information aside, chances are they won’t act.
- Go beyond sharing content to build relationships with your audience. You must respond and engage with them.
5 Social sharing powerhouses every business needs
To maximize your social media reach, you can’t just publish your content and pray for results. You have to optimize your content for the greatest appeal, now and into the future.
Leverage these 5 social media sharing powerhouses to get the most out of every piece of content you share on social networks.
1. Individual, social media manager or content creator social sharing
This social media sharing powerhouse applies more broadly to the person who created or initiated the business social sharing process.
As part of the basic social media distribution checklist, it encompasses the following social sharing tactics:
- Share content across the major relevant social media networks. Don’t share for the sake of sharing. Use social media platforms that have strategic value for your business. Don’t underestimate platforms like Pinterest for driving business. Curate your own content there!
- Distribute content via email. Email is an early precursor to social media communications.
- Provide for RSS distribution as well. While not widely used, RSS still appeals to social media savvy people.
- Include multiple social media sharing buttons. At a minimum, place them at the top and bottom of each article. Even better use a floating set of social sharing buttons so readers can share your content when they see something worthwhile. Don’t make them think.
- Incorporate “ClickToTweet” for quotes and data points. Make it easy for people to share your content.
- Add share buttons and “Pin This” to your images to extend the social sharing. Maximize your visual content’s reach.
- Enhance your social media reach with hashtags and @ mentions. Make sure your use of these additions is relevant to the groups and people mentioned.
- Chop up larger content into smaller bite size shares. Stretch your social sharing power by hand crafting multiple shares.
- Add different images to your shares. To attract more views.
2. Employee social sharing
Take advantage of your employees’ social media reach through their personal networks. Hootsuite revealed the multiplier effect of tapping into this value resource.
Before asking employees, appreciate what’s involved for both your business and your employees.
- Make sure your organization has social media guidelines. Outline how employees must behave as your representative as well as on personal social media engagement.
- Offer social media training. Don’t assume employees know what you expect them to do on social media. (BTW–we can help your organization with training.)
- Give them a reason to share your content. Answer WIIFM for them.
- Take professional photographs of everyone in your organization. Don’t leave it to them to have professional photographs. Remember how your employees look on social media reflects on your organization.
- Have a videographer tape anyone who wants to participate. This way you give them the tools they need to connect. Get a release from participants.
- Remove the fear of looking stupid. Support employee social media sharing efforts with corporate editorial, creative and technological support.
- Share preformatted social media shares with employees via email. While it’s preferable to allow employees to craft their own social shares, it may be expedient to write them for your organization.
- Leverage the power of corporate email signature files. Make employees use a standard email signature file and change the social media share regularly. Similarly use customer service and purchase emails to promote your social media content.
- Make your socially active employees into company heroes. Spotlight your success stories across the organization.
3. Influencers help social sharing
Influencers are the experts to whom your target audience listens. It’s useful to have an Influencer Program in place to leverage the power of their connections in an organized way on social media.
- Build relationships with influencers by sharing their content. Go one step further and respond to the content in the comments section. Influencers like Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks pay attention and respond.
- Gather influencer input when creating content. This is a great way to develop epic curated content. By involving people in the content, they’re more likely to share your finished work.
- Email influencers to let them know you’ve mentioned them in your content. Ideally, it helps to link to their website or blog. For his pre-conference ebooks, Top Rank’s Lee Odden sends a group announcement with pre-formatted social shares. I recommend personalized notes.
4. Community social sharing
Community is at the heart of social media. To this end, get your customers, fans and others who love your brand involved. Also, engage with your suppliers and distributors where it makes sense.
Like other forms of advertising, once isn’t enough to get people to see your request and act on it. Bear in mind that 90% of people lurk, 9% do something small and 1% do something big on social media.
Bottom line: Getting community participation can be a challenge.
- Ask for shares in your social media shares. Dan Zarrella’s Twitter research showed that asking for a “retweet” or “RT” improved results.
- Invite customers to share their experiences in your store. Use signage, receipts and shopping bags to nudge them to act.
- Make it easy for shoppers to share on social media. Set up an area of your shop to get buyers to pose for Instagram and other social media platforms.
- Spotlight customers who share your content on social media. Thank them as well as reshare their content.
- Take away the fear. Like your employees, make it easy for people to share your content. Photograph them and upload the images for them. Of course, don’t forget to get their permission first!!!
5. DIY social sharing
This works well for smaller, scrappier businesses or professionals.
- Get a buddy. Don’t go it alone. Find a peer in a related category so you can support each other. Check out conferences and live events to meet people in real life.
- Assess your personal contacts. While you probably don’t want your mother reposting everything that you share to her BBFs, you probably have professional contacts from other aspects of your business life.
- Participate in Twitterchats and Google hangouts, especially social events like #UsGuys.
- Join relevant LinkedIn Groups. Don’t just sign up. Get active in these groups. Aim to contribute at least once a day.
While everyone would love to have a viral social media success, you have to ensure that you maximize the distribution of every piece of content. To this end, take advantage of all 5 social sharing powerhouses.
What is your favorite tip for extending your social media reach using social sharing and why?
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