Around 54% of the 10,000 largest websites are now displaying social sharing buttons for the major social sharing networks. The main focus is to reach out to more number of people by triggering the reader’s emotional response. It is more like forwarding interesting email articles to friends, retweeting a post on Twitter, or liking a story/ link on Facebook. However, the content must ignite a spark in your readers’ mind.
What sharing means for your business?
This kindergarten concept can actually help you to generate and nurture leads. Research showed that websites with sharing links generate seven times more online social mentions than the sites that do not offer this facility. In fact, a website with Twitter sharing buttons is linked to around seven times more often on Twitter than site without any tweet button. On average, sites (among those 10,000 largest websites) with Twitter share buttons are mentioned in around 27 tweets along with a backlink to the site.
Thus, you can imagine how your social reach will expand by merely adding some social sharing buttons on your website. But is it really that simple to motivate your readers to share the links on the major social sharing networks? You need to understand that by sharing links, you readers are actually recommending your content to their friends and followers. And people only recommend stuff when they are really interesting and/ or informative.
So ask yourself would you share the link – this is the basic criterion to understand if your content has the potential to ignite that spark in your reader’s mind. Remember people hardly spread what is mediocre; they value great work that inspires to care and your goal is to inspire them to share to reach your network’s network.
How to ignite your readers?
One of the best ways to ignite (even) a little spark in your readers’ mind is by sharing your opinion and taking a stand. Expressing your opinion in no uncertain terms usually inspires people at an emotional level. For example, look at the political and business blogs – they usually hit the emotional level of their readers to become a key player for discussion about the given topic. Take your cue and a stand about something to increase your social mentions.
Give your readers something to react to; tell them how you feel about a certain topic. The Times conducted a study with Latitude Research regarding the psychology of sharing. It was found that around 68% of respondents shared a link to let people know who they are, where are coming from and what they care about. The bottom line is to create content that offers validation to your readers. Foster an attitude to connect your product/ services to something meaningful in people’s lives.
A recent study conducted by SEO firm BrightEdge Technologies showed that around 53.6% of the 10,000 largest websites have at least one social button or plug-in installed. Adding social sharing icons seems like a no-brainer, yet many websites are not even leveraging upon this technology to make sharing their content on the top social media as easy as clicking. They fail to understand that it is essential to make social sharing as effortless as possible.
Which social sharing button to choose?
Facebook and Twitter are dominating the online market, when it comes to choosing social sharing buttons on the homepages of a site. Around 50.3% of the 10,000 largest sites are displaying Facebook links and plug-ins, while another 42.5% have Twitter links. Google+ share buttons are found on 8.1% of the websites and LinkedIn buttons were displayed on just 4% of the sites. However, these two sites are more likely to gain popularity in the coming days. In addition, share buttons for Delicious and Digg are found in several larger websites.
Try using a catch-all service like AddThis or ShareThis to offer readers an easy way to handle sharing. Make sure that individual buttons are more compelling and less confusing. Facebook and Twitter offer share services where you need to install buttons and code on your own blog/ site. And embed this social sharing option on everything you offer – be it an article, a video, infographics, case studies or success stories, e-books and white papers or any other stand-alone content.
Some more suggestions!
Also, try to create some winged content to soar across the social web. People usually share content that they find useful, informative, or just plain fun. So have some content that can create social buzz. Also, make sure your site’s settings allow sharing the content that you have uploaded. If you want to extent yourself a little, you may allow others to use your content for corporate brochures, but with an attribution. This will increase your social exposure up to a great extent. In addition, there are some online license providers who help you to define the terms of what people can/ cannot do with your website content, apart from sharing them on social networking sites.
Some websites also use a logo or watermark (make sure they are tastefully embedded) in the corner of the photos you are uploading on your website. And with the social sharing buttons you are encouraging others to use your photos in their digital work while giving you the attribution, thus increasing your social mention.
The monster Infographic of Social Sharing
The Social Sharing Trends Infographic
The social media sharing habits of men and women – Infographic