In a recent post on the Bing Ad’s blog, Microsoft employee Tina Kelleher went over some tips for small business with regards to content sharing. All it takes is one person to share your content for it to begin spreading, which will increase traffic and in turn generate sales.
It’s easy to give up on social media; often times it can be impossible to get followers or likes, at other times you have a following but no action (comments, shares, etc..). But the power of it cannot be underestimated, which is why Tina went over some ever-important tips that small business owners and marketers can follow. The idea is to create interesting content that users will feel compelled to share with their friends.
Her first tip is absolutely the most important one — Appeal to customer’s motivations to interact with one another, and not just your company. The idea isn’t even to get them to like your company, or post, as much as it is for them to share it with other friends. If users are motivated to share your content, you can rest assured it will spread like a wildfire. Think about everything you post as a common user detached from your brand — would you like it, would you share it, would you show it to your friends? If not, rethink the post using some creativity (humor, emotion, art) and try again.
Second, she goes over how important trust is. You need to establish yourself and your company as trustable and legitimate. If you always have great content, whether funny or unique, people will enjoy reading it all the time. They will view your content, sometimes without even reading the title, knowing they’re going to get good content.
Next, it’s vital to not confuse your readers. Your content should be simple, easy to read, and straight to the point. The hard part is doing that, while creating something users want to share. But if you confuse them, you have no chance to get them to send it to others.
She then dwells back into what the content should include. As I mentioned above, humor is key. The main reason people share something is because it’s funny. Think of any viral videos or stories that you have seen or read recently…how many of them were historically funny and how many them were either serious/boring or too emotional (sad, horrifying, etc…). The answer is most of them were funny — just about everything that goes viral makes people laugh. If you have an extremely compelling story or idea, it can also catch up, but as you try to build your brand, humor is going to be your best friend. If you don’t have the creativity, hire a creative writer who does. There are people who devote their careers to good content.
Having a call to action can drive people to share your content. If there’s a sense of urgency — say a breaking story, an expiring discount, or anything of that sort, users will be compelled to read it and share it. If you can frame it as something important, people will be more likely to view it.
Finally, it’s important to know that social media isn’t just on Facebook or Twitter. Tina goes over the importance of Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram — the power of pictures and “pins” rather than just text. It’s no secret that people have shorter attention spans in the 21st century — they don’t want to read an article, they want to look at a picture and gather the information they need. If you can jump ahead of the curve, it will help you tremendously as those networks are the fastest growing ones.