Sometimes, yes, your mother really did know best. Remember how she would tell you that you need to be generous with your things? Share your toys with your sibling? Share the playground with your friends?
Now, as an adult, your toys are likely expensive and you really aren’t required to share them. But sharing is still important, especially in the business world. Being a giver – a giver of information, a giver of resources, a giver of wit and personality – can get you quite far with your target market.
With inbound marketing, your website is your hub and you want your audience to not just visit, but stay and interact. To do this, you need to make sure that you are providing a wealth of information (without giving away the proverbial milk for free) and keeping your brand consistent. Hopefully, while you do this, you are displaying your ultra-cool company persona as well.
By sharing your expertise and know-how via blog posts, video clips and more, you will attract and encourage your audience to pass it along to their colleagues and acquaintances. In essence, you are inviting your audience to share your materials so you reach an even larger number of people over time.
But you can’t just throw things up on your website and assume they will be shared. You can’t just upload or post items and think that they will be received well and be the next viral email or Facebook post. Here are some tips to make sharing easy and encourage your audience to share your content over and over again:
- Don’t assume that your viewers are already connected with you. Many will not be. So make sure that visible buttons and links are available on your website for the audience to hop on over to your various social media profiles and connect with you via Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and so on. Having the graphic buttons on your HOME page with direct links to those profiles is a must. But don’t be shy. You can add them to every web page. You can also whip up a blog post discussing social media and inviting your audience to come and hook up with you via the social media platforms they are active on.
- Make it easy. There are plenty of plug ins that will make it a simple action for the viewers to share your material. Ideally, every blog post will have the ability to quickly and easily be distributed across multiple social media platforms if the audience feels compelled to share.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. It’s okay to ask your audience to share something that you feel especially important to pass along. You might not want to do this with every single thing you post on your site, as it may get old real quick with your audience. So do this selectively. But don’t be too shy about it either.
- Make sure your items are share worthy. Not everything is. And that’s okay. But you want a majority of your material to be passed along. So try to be timely by tying material into current topics, a calendar item or hot button issue. Also, take a look at your headlines…are they eye-catching? You have a second or two to grab your audience’s attention. Make your headline work for you.
- Talk to your audience. This is not monologue time. Think and post with a dialogue in mind, every single time. You are inviting interaction. You are nurturing a budding relationship. You want your audience to speak back to you, to pass along your amazing materials and spread the word about you. So don’t toot your own horn with every upload and offering. Ask for feedback. Ask for comments. Pose questions and start that conversation up.
Over time, you will come to see what types of items are passed along via social media platforms and what topics receive more interest and dialogue. As this happens, you should evolve your materials to fit that “need.” Remember, sharing is caring. So be a giver!