Although the actual act of sharing online is simple, the affect on your relationship-building efforts is huge. The act of sharing content actually helps others process your information better. Because of the implied commitment, those who share pay closer attention to what they are sharing. Another New York Times study on sharing found that:
- 73% of participants say they process information “more deeply, thoroughly, and thoughtfully” when they share it.
- 85% say reading content that others share helps them understand and process information and events.
- 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about, potentially changing opinions or encouraging action.
So by creating ideal conditions for content-sharing, you build power for your brand AND create new value by helping your audience understand you and become authentic evangelists for your products and ideas. Obviously, getting to this cannot be reduced to SEO techniques or “buy-ten-thousand-Tweets” schemes to drive traffic. Mark Schaefer says, “Shareability requires connection of some kind; your content must fill a need or perhaps even reflect on a trusted relationship.“
There are any number of pieces of content that go viral on the Internet due to luck. One of my favorite sayings is “Cats win the Internet!” But only a few of them really take off. Who knows why? In any case, you shouldn’t build the focus of a strategic effort on getting lucky. Leverage best practices and learn some of the techniques you can apply to give your content its best shot. One of these is the recognition that most of the value created on Social every day is not economic. The bulk of folks on Facebook are not there to be more profitable!
Emotion is at the core of the idea of social….social has a number of definitions and nuances as a word, but in this context the meaning is “Attitudes, orientations, or behaviors which take the interests, intentions, or needs of other people into account (in contrast to anti-social behaviour)…” People share when they feel joy, fear, uncertain or passionate about something. One study discovered that purely emotional content performed about twice as well as strictly rational content. This part of human personality benefits from the addictive nature of connecting, storytelling and commiseration. The reward for passing on content is intrinsic and rewarding in ways that cannot be bought. Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing, says “The most important characteristic of content marketing today is not quality or quantity. It’s insight. And that is the differentiator lacking most everywhere.“
So, if the most highly regarded values on social are driven by emotion, ego, insight, intrinsic fulfillment – not coupons, deals and discounts – how do rethink your marketing strategy with the goal of blowing through the content shock? This is a tough nut to crack and a challenging mindset to take.
Is building deeper relationships with your customers a big goal for you? How are you going about it?