It’s probably pretty clear by now that the starting line for this race is great content. Just like the expectations around customer service I mentioned in an earlier post, this no longer a differentiator, it is a given. So once you’ve created that stellar content, what happens? In a lot of companies, it gets slapped onto the web site, the Facebook Page or the YouTube channel and that’s about it.
Needless to say, that doesn’t work so well.
I’m going to cover several factors that will help your work rise up, get discovered and shared. While there’s no simple strategy that works for every single kind of business and the overall mix you use to execute your plan is up to you, each of these factors should be considered for your situation. Then pick out a couple that fit for you and you will be ahead of the competition.
The first one we’ll cover is “shareability“…that is, building the components that make something shareable into the actual content, not bolted on as an afterthought. This factor is so crucial, I will cover it in more than one post…
You’ve heard it….”Like us on Facebook!” It is one of the most over-used phrases in digital business today.
Well, first: a Share is not a Like, a Comment or a “+1”.
While most frequently shared posts also get a lot of Likes, etc., there are Much Larger numbers of posts that are Liked but barely shared. Why is this? Well, a person may Like a post to support a view of some sort (political, cultural, philosophical, theological…) that could upset a more general audience if it were more publicized. As a rule, people don’t want to make their friends and others uncomfortable, so we don’t share.
Liking is like nodding your head in agreement. Sharing is more of a virtual shout! Share something and you’re saying, “I’m totally part of this! I’m in this club and I NEED to let the world know!” Getting your audience to that kind of commitment and excitement isn’t easy.
You need to understand why
people choose to make that commitment and not merely agree. Think about the things you’ve shared (not Liked!) recently. Why did you do it? Mark Schaefer
lists a few reasons that may have moved you to click that particular button:
- It made you look cooler, smarter, funnier, or more relevant – providing you with a personal psychological benefit.
- The content struck some strong emotional chord. It made you laugh, cry, or otherwise feel something so profound it deserved to be shared with others.
- It’s practical or timely. Sharing the content will help and inform your friends.
- You found a new idea and can’t wait to be the first to share it.
- You feel deeply connected to the author and you want to support them.
- It represents an achievement. Maybe you or your company were mentioned in the content and it makes you feel good to show this representation of your status.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. All the audience research you’ve done to this point will inform your choices as to channel, content type, location, demographics, and the like. Taking a look at your competitors and the various conversations that take place to your audience and about your topics will also give you some pieces for this puzzle. If you can, talk with them to help you discover some of these things. Then you can make the move toward applying the psychology of sharing to your content and blow past the content shock.