The rules of marketing have changed: The Edelman Trust Barometer has found that over 70% of people trust information shared by friends whereas only 14% of people trust mass media advertising. Increasing numbers of people consume news pre-filtered by their friends on social media – photos, videos, status updates and links to news articles posted by people who they know and trust. Facebook, as a social network that has become especially popular as a news aggregator for many, will be the focus of this post.
Consumers are becoming sophisticated at tuning out of traditional advertising and sceptical about unsolicited information. But the content that does get shared has much more gravitas as it carries a lot of trust embedded in it. How do we, as marketers, capitalise on this inevitable change of dynamic? Well, of course, by looking at ways of producing great quality content that is worthy of sharing and utilising technology to maximise exposure. This quick guide will give you a few pointers to get started.
Motivations for sharing
Before you jump to posting, let us have a look at some of the reasons why people share content on Facebook.
Many studies don’t really reveal the motivations behind content sharing, but a study by New York Times’ Customer Insight Group shows that:
- 49% respondents say sharing allows them to talk to others about products they care about and potentially encourage actions and change opinions.
- 68% share content to give their friends a better sense of who they are and what they care about.
- 69% feel more involved in the world through sharing.
- 73% connect with others who share their interests.
- 78% share information to help them stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with.
- 84% share to support causes they feel passionately about.
- 94% consider how useful the information they share will be to the recipient.
Sharing is all about relationships
Unsurprisingly, the study also found that, like so many other forms of human communication, sharing online serves to forge and maintain various relationships. Among the most often quoted reasons for sharing were the following:
1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others
2. To define ourselves to others
3. To grow and nourish our relationships
4. To nourish oneself (self-fulfilment)
5. To get the word out about brands or causes
So, how do you get your content shared?
There’s no way around it – people are not likely to share low quality, bland content that adds no value to their lives. But also think about the following factors to enhance your visitors’ experience and increase the probability of shares:
- Trust is the cost of entry for getting shared.
- Embrace a sense of urgency.
- Appeal to consumers’ motivation to connect with each other, not just with your brand.
- Keep it simple and it will get shared without getting muddled.
- Appeal to their sense of humour.
Additionally, consider these top tips from Facebook Developers themselves:
- Learn who your users are and what they want to share
- Make sure the Facebook Crawler can access your site
- Use proper Open Graph tags to drive distribution
- Optimize your image sizes to generate great previews
- Use our debug tool to debug your Open Graph Tags
- Encourage your content creators to turn on Follow
According to Brian Carter from Infinigraph, shareability is about the effect the post has on people. Abundantly shareable posts do at least one of the following:
Content – where to start?
You know by now what makes people press the ‘share’ button. But how do you create good quality content in the first place? The basis of most content marketing is blogs, and the basis of blogs most commonly is a mixture of compelling text and beautiful, attention-grabbing images. You’ll find hundreds of great, royalty-free pictures on Photopin that you can download and distribute in your communications. If you’re after a more customised, but still sleek-looking graphic, head over to Canva, a nifty online graphic creator. And last but definitely not least – start with solid copy. We have recently published a handy guide on how to Write Copy That Sells, where you’ll find detailed tips on how to produce the perfect text.
And what about timing?
Yes, the time of day you post your content also plays a vital role in how sharable it ultimately is. For a detailed guide on social media posting times with infographics, check out Huffington Post’s
A Scientific Guide to Posting Tweets, Facebook Posts, Emails and Blog Posts At the Best Time.
Do you need help getting your content up to speed and shared on social media? Give us a call today!
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