As your small business relies more heavily on social and content marketing, it is important to increase your number of social shares. Some marketers are even touting that social shares are “the new SEO”. Fortunately, increasing your social shares doesn’t necessarily require visually stunning content or elaborate marketing schemes – in fact, the best way to increase your social shares is to simply be more social!
Social shares are defined as the number of times your content is shared via social media networks. While the primary focus of your marketing efforts should be the conversion and funneling of new and existing customers back to your website, it is also important to pay attention to how often your marketing content is distributed outside the confines of your own social media accounts. A common feature of social media networks is the ability to share content with friends and followers, which allows your followers to both quickly and legitimately share content with their friends and followers.
While forwarding commercial offers to friends and family via email has historically been questionable, there is no spam stigma attached to social media sharing – through friending and following, social media users have opted to receive all kinds of messages from friends, family and other social media users, and the option always exists to block any shared content deemed offensive from the source without actually blocking the family member or friend who originally shared it, which removes the spam stigma from this distribution. Through social sharing, those that follow your business accounts have the power to significantly extend your marketing reach by redistributing your content to their followers.
The Secret To Improving Social Sharing
For small businesses, increasing social shares may at first appear to be a daunting task. Large corporations can have millions of social media followers while your social media followers may number in the hundreds or even tens. Large corporations also have vast marketing and advertising budgets at their disposal. However, almost anyone can boost their social shares simply by being more social! It sounds too simple and straightforward to be true, but many professionals and small businesses miss a significant marketing opportunity by ignoring other businesses in their local community on social media.
Sharing Is Caring
Do you actively participate in networking events at your local chamber of commerce, or do you simply patronize a number of other small businesses in your community? Now, how many do you follow on social media, and how often do you share their content with your own followers? You may be shocked to find out how easy it is to expand your own social reach and increase your social shares simply through social media reciprocity! To maximize the potential of this sharing reciprocity, be sure to keep track of which businesses share your content and be sure to acknowledge and thank them, either through comments or a return tweet or message.
The other common sense component of increasing social shares for small businesses is to share everything! This doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to flood your social media accounts with content – in fact, posting too much to social media can be detrimental. Instead, assess your current social media strategy and ask, are we leaving any content out that our followers, friends and partners might find interesting? If your social media content isn’t attracting a sufficient number of social shares, try changing things up and sharing photographs, special event information, “how-to” tutorials and other creative and relevant pieces of content that you may be confining to your website, advertising and other marketing materials.
Share Buttons Are Essential
If you are producing content for a blog, it is crucial to have social media “share” buttons in place to make the process of sharing your content easier. Social media networks already have sharing mechanisms in place within their own networks, and social media users can add outside content to social media messages by copying and pasting URLs. Despite this, share buttons on your blog are still important because they make the process easier and more streamlined and provide the additional benefit of tracking the total number of shares made, providing a convenient source of analytics to track the popularity of your content. All modern blogging platforms, including WordPress, have share buttons built-in and can be easily utilized, but if your Content Management System (CMS) lacks this feature, plugins and widgets are available to add this functionality.