It really gets my goat, when I’m reading a really good article on a website, only to find there’s no option to share it. I find it even more shocking when it’s an article about social media. With the world being so social these days, it really baffles me that the basics aren’t even considered. In this digital age, the world of sharing visual and written content is not unknown. Only a fair few, I know only 2 or 3, who will actually email their friends or shamefully just tell them about an article they saw online, rather than sharing to the masses across their social channels.
The internet is crammed with so much visually stunning [and stupid] content that should be shared to the desired audience with a click of a button. Publishing content, sharing it, engaging with other people is common sense in this day and age, that’s why it baffles me that there are a stupid amount of websites out there, who don’t bother with the social sharing buttons. What’s wrong with you? Don’t you want people to read your content, share that silly video of Bob moonwalking at the office Christmas party or that you won that well deserved award?
There are authors out there claiming that having social sharing buttons is ridiculous. Don’t listen to them.
Here are my reasons for having them:
Content and Brand exposure
Let’s start with content.
Writing a post/article is not easy. Heck it takes me sometimes a few days to really get an idea from my head, to readable English and then onto here, it’s not easy. No one said it was. Just bear in mind, that it takes time. You have to think of a topic before you even consider typing it in. You then have to write it, edit it, add pictures/videos, shiny pretty things or whatever, then post it and then keep a beady eye out for those comments. So why spend all that time preparing it and posting it for it to never be shared? Don’t you want your content read by others? That’s the whole point of writing it right? Engage your audience and the readers will flock.
You have a business or a brand that separates you from the rest. You have this great product that no other business on the planet distributes or knows it like the back of your hand like you do. You have some advertising here and there, or not or you just want to be known through word of mouth, different to others, no fancy ad campaigns, no big fees with agencies, that’s fine, your choice. But it’s not going to come for free. If people don’t know who you are, how are they going to buy? The whole point of marketing and advertising is about getting your brand, your message and who you are out to your desired audience. Social Media is used by millions of people worldwide. You may not be a social media expert, no one is expecting you to be, but having the right tools, will improve your likelihood of getting your content and product into the eyes of your new customers, potential clients and others.
Think of it as this, you speak to Peter about a great little restaurant you went to in Twickenham the other day. It was different to all the other little restaurants he’s been to in recent years. Peter recommends it so highly, he’s booked a table for next week with his girlfriend’s parents. He tells you the food is to die for, the customer service is second to none and the atmosphere is perfect, what you wouldn’t expect for a little restaurant down Church street in Twickenham. So now you know. And so do however many others Peter is going to tell, his strong recommendation for that great little tapas is going to go places. He might just say it to friends, heck he might log on to Toptable and write a worthy review there or he might just pop onto his Facebook and Twitter and tell his friends and family. The thing is, before you can shout ‘Bob’s your uncle,’ Peter has spread the word with a whole host of people, who might just take his recommendation and pop along, if not now, but in the near future. Meaning hip hip hooray for little Tapas bar, hello new business.
Social sharing is like this. Your giving your audience the free-right to share your content, so use it to the best of your advantage. If your brand is worthy of exposure, encourage your audience to share. When someone shares your content with their network, it might not be business they want but who they share it with, that matters.
Are you feeling lucky punk? I’m no Clint Eastwood, but I’m certain given these circumstances, and he just so happened to be a social extraordinaire he would say this in the social context, of course. Social sharing is important and makes a huge difference to your online brand. Everything that’s shared on social has a huge impact on search engine results. Using relevant keywords, topics of conversation, hashtags, pictures, profile pictures etc makes a big impact on your search engine result page. The more others share, the more you come up in shiny bright lights on that all important search result page.
Have the right social sharing buttons
Some websites go so overboard with social sharing buttons, you’d think they were on crack when they put them up. No one wants to see you can share with every channel out there. Keep the main ones in mind and stick to the obvious that relate to your brand. If you’ve never used LinkedIn or heck, know what the hell it is, why put it on your page? It makes no sense. If you see an audience in Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, chose those. The most common of users and the majority of only use five main social media networks: Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
To finish off, I shall say this. What you do with your business, is your decision but consider social in your plan. Nothing in life comes for free, even though most social channels are, exposing your brand comes with time, patience and effort. Think about what you want to gain and how to go about it.