Sharing content from other users is one of the principals of social media. It helps grow your audience as you share content that is listed not just on your feed but also on the feeds of others. It also creates conversational points between you and followers with new avenues to demonstrate your expertise and why you are a preferred supplier for many of your clients.
In addition, it helps fill voids in your content creation. This is really important as you should limit the amount of content you share that is all about you or just from your site. Those who post just about themselves tend to limit the impact their social media accounts have.
However, there are times when sharing is not just ill-advised, but can be damaging to your profile and online marketing campaigns.
1. Immoral Sharing
One of the worst types of sharing is when users hijack another user’s content and create a marketing message that is self-serving. This is essentially spam and will likely incur complaints against the person responsible for this type of message. Our content is often subjected to this, but we ignore them or block them. An example is below:
We can tell that this is spam because of their timeline:
This just isn’t social media – it is spam and spam is highly ineffective on social media sites. In fact, research has often stated that only 1% of all online sales can be traced to social media. In addition, consumers prefer to converse with brands online. Therefore, this organisation should be looking to engage with their target audience and create conversations.
2. Accidental Sharing
Sometimes, automating your sharing, based on certain keywords or user location can be manipulated by other users. One instance of this was demonstrated when I was managing a client’s social media account. Though they didn’t share the update, I noticed that several other well respected businesses had. I looked down the list and noticed one thing: they had likely shared it because they automated sharing of the term: #essex looking to generate local interest.
However, the content they shared on this occasion was for a ‘dating agency’ that featured the picture of a topless woman and used terms that could have been interpreted as offensive by other users.
Unscrupulous organisations do make use of this, sharing their content focusing on keywords that they know others are sharing automatically. The fallout from this wasn’t too bad, although more than a dozen brands (including digital media agencies, shops and government agencies) shared this item.
What Can You Do To Limit Trouble With Sharing?
The first thing is to not use automated sharing. You should be making this personal and not having generic messages or just retweeting messages. Instead, find just ten minutes a day to find content that is of interest to you and your audience. Then share that.
Use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your chosen content in advanced.
Alternatively use Klout to find content that users are currently responding to, when your ideal times for posting are and to share content via their system. Klout even allows you to schedule up to three content pieces per day and calculates how popular your account is. Your Klout score is a representative of your popularity, with the average being 40.
Using automated sharing tools is not a great idea. It stops you from being sure that what your account is tweeting is suitable for your brand identity and your audience. Instead, you need to look for ten minutes a day to cherry-pick your content and schedule it in for a time that you know will be seen by your audience.
How do you source content for sharing? What impact does that have on your social media campaigns?
Let us know in the comments.