To Share or Not To Share: What Content Will Readers Recommend to Others?

When readers share and retweet a post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other social media site, they are exponentially increasing exposure for the company, blogger, or marketer who produced it. Martin Lieberman of Constant Contact Blogs suggests a number of ways in which content creators can guarantee that their posts are share-worthy.

One tactic is to post helpful tips, since, according to the author, “People love to be seen as a resource for their friends.” He also writes that according to a study done by The New York Times, 84% of people share posts about supporting different causes. People are eager to make a difference and show others that they care about an important issue.

Posing questions to get the conversation going and providing incentives are further strategies that Lieberman points out.

But what content will users not share? According to Sprout Social:

  • Followers don’t want to read negative tweets, so don’t argue.
  • Don’t give your pessimist opinions. See: Chrysler’s Twitter #fail.
  • And don’t sell to your customers. Author Nate Erickson writes, “The value of social networks to businesses is new opportunities to engage with your audience, not market to them.”

Phil Mershon of Social Media Examiner writes that users won’t share content if they don’t find your company to be trustworthy, or they stop having interest in your brand. “Your customers are looking for valuable information, great deals and a chance to meet other people who share their interests,” he says. “As soon as you stop offering these things, your fans will go looking elsewhere.”

In addition, Mershon suggests that marketers only post content that people can relate to (and share as an advertisement that represents their personality), and content that builds community, helping their fan base keep in touch with one another.

When it comes to social media, the content has to be 100% about the customer. They have to be able to relate to your brand, support a cause your brand promotes, and build community within your brand. Otherwise, the users won’t be there to share your content, minimizing your brand’s chance for a marketing success.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Carlos Maya

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