One of the best ways to engage your audience is by providing them with a compelling reason to share your message across social networks in a way that is natural and seamless. Word-of-mouth marketing and peer recommendations are an extremely powerful way to increase brand visibility, as people will believe their network of peers vs. a brand driven campaign.
So how do you get your audience to engage and share? At Marketo, we believe there are 3 rules to social sharing.
Rule #1: Give People a Reason to Share
Social is exploding with influencers. And you want to know who is influential about your brand, your products, and your campaigns. A great way to get influencers is by making sure that your campaigns are conducive to social sharing. Appeal to your audiences emotions and provide them with access to something exclusive. Once you have a piece of content or a campaign that you think is worth sharing, create incentives. For some tips on how to do this, check out our recent blog: The Art of Social Sharing: 5 Social Campaign Ideas to Get Your Audience Engaged.
Below is an example of a recent sharing campaign that we did during The Definitive Guide to Social Marketing webinar. During the webinar, we provided attendees a link to a landing page and asked them to share it on their social networks. As an incentive to share, we gave away a Kindle Fire HD.
Rule #2: Always Prompt People to Share at the Right Time
Now that you have created reasons for people to share, you want to make sure you are prompting people to share your message at the right time. As social sharing has become more important to B2B marketing, the best practice has been to include social sharing links before or after a piece of content. This is passive sharing. You are creating the opportunity to share, but you are not asking for the share. And if you don’t ask for the share you may be missing out on an important chance to engage with your audience, as they may not notice the sharing buttons or be compelled to use them. At Marketo, we prompt our readers to share by having a share box pop up as they are reading the blog or watching a video, reminding them to share. By asking for the share you are starting the conversation.
Here is an example of an active video share–after you have watched the video, a box pops up asking for the share:
Rule #3: Make your Shares Measurable
When a prospect or customer shares your content, this is a great indicator that they are an influencer for your brand. By tracking shares, you can determine what content is working so you can create more intelligent social campaigns over time. At Marketo, we use Marketo Social Marketing to have more visibility into our campaigns. Through analytics we can determine what campaigns are performing well and who is sharing our content. Once you have this data, you can start performing A/B testing, just as you might do for an email campaign.
Remember the webinar share from earlier in the post? Take a look at the results! We had a social reach of 193,104 and 194,176 in social impressions. By analyzing the metrics we can determine how well this campaign worked. And by the looks of it, the webinar share did great!