for inbound marketers, shared content is the golden snitch,* a rare and elusive signal of value from one’s audience. make sure that if someone wants to share your stuff, you give them the tools to do it right. there are a number of ways to facilitate content sharing, and it’s well worth the few extra seconds needed to give sharers a powerful message to promote your content effectively.
shared content is public endorsement
whatever content you create — a tweet, an email or a web page — some will read. some of them will click to engage further. and a select few will see enough merit in your creation that they will share it with their network. call them fans, advocates, evangelists. they can expand your reach by exposing your message to people not yet in your network. an even bigger benefit comes in their tacit or explicit endorsement (see related link below on the power of recommendations).
optimize shared content with a compelling introduction
A while back I showed how to make links shared on twitter more effective by including hashtags. this post is really just an expansion of the concept. people want to share your content. help them do so more easily and effectively by optimizing the link and snippet they share.
let’s look at an example, where a leading national realtor takes a new service introduction that could attract both new agents and new home sellers and covers it in a thick coat of same old same old. coldwell banker is introducing a new service for home sellers. this fall, the realtor launched “redesigned digital platforms.” I liked one feature in particular aimed at empowering home sellers to take a more active role in promoting their homes by adding content to “make the house a home:” stories, pictures, etc., that would be featured right in the online listing. cool, right?
I discovered the news in an article on mediapost: Coldwell Helps Home Owners Sell with Social. I thought it was cool enough to share out, but when I clicked the share link for linkedin, I saw this:
a meh graphic and a snippet that failed to expand on the headline. buried a few paragraphs in was this:
imagine how many more clickthroughs mediapost would get if they took a minute to identify a snippet like this one and/or use a graphic with some relevance to marketers with real estate clients! (not being a journalist, I won’t go into the issue of burying the lede).
don’t waste content marketing gold
to be fair, coldwell didn’t give them a lot of help. the mediapost article didn’t provide a link to more information on the coldwell banker site. it took me 20 minutes or so searching to find a blog post (the first link above) that talked about the introduction. engaged visitors on the blog who try to share get this:
this one lacks even a relevant headline and offensively generic stock imagery! the blog post does include a nice video, and clearly the company spent a good chunk of change developing the new design and functionality. by not paying attention to the tools they provide to potential evangelists, however, coldwell (and mediapost, for that matter) are wasting their “golden snitches.”
* apologies to non-harry
the golden snitch is
featured in the game of
quidditch, an airborne
hybrid of polo, rugby and
capture the flag.
similar to marketing,
except without unicorns.