Okay, we all get it. Social media is about sharing. We know how important it is to be “liked,” retweeted and have our content or app passed around. But has this new call to action really sunk in? Has it genuinely changed the way you plan, execute and measure campaigns based on their ability to encourage sharing? Has it caused you to think about your share strategy?
If not, it really should.
The new call to action starts by putting a value on sharing.Understanding the value of sharing and being able to measure its impact are critical if we expect any of our social media strategies to be supported—and more important, funded—after all the social media hype dies down.
So, just what is a share worth? Does it count as a conversion? Is it a lead? I would suggest it’s something different.
Sharing is a form of reach—and endorsement. The value of sharing can best be defined in terms of influence. This influence certainly relates to a conventional marketing model that not only drives prospects down a purchase consideration path, but it also can take place well outside the purchase consideration window and beyond those individuals directly involved in the purchase.
Building a value for your share strategy starts with an understanding of influence and the influencers that surround your target audience. Knowing how, around what and why your target audiences engage others can go a long way toward identifying your share strategy and the measurable value it can bring to your marketing mission.
Building audience value into your share strategy. Just like a product, what we put out there to share must address the needs and interests of the target audience. People are motivated to share many things: the latest news, new ideas, great deals, inspiring words or entertaining content, to name a few. We need to ask ourselves what we are giving our audience to share. Is it worth sharing? What would motivate them to share it, and with whom might they share it? When creating content, offers or even digital applications, we need to factor in the audience’s “share value.”
Sharing needs to be on the audience’s terms, not yours. Finally, in execution, it’s critical that we accommodate the way individuals share with each other. Yes, of course that means delivering on the most popular devices and social networks, but context is just as important as the delivery when executing a social sharing strategy. Understanding that context requires a perception of when and where they will likely encounter and share what you have to offer. It also means thinking through the barriers you may be putting up and balancing your need to control and easily track how your audience shares with others.
By building value for sharing as a call to action, you have the beginnings of a share strategy. And you stand a better chance of getting your fair share.
by Mike Hensley
Executive Vice President, Global Client Service
Cross posted at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network