What is and isn’t okay to share has been a big topic of discussion, particularly with Pinterest. A lot of controversy surrounding content being pinned to Pinterest that content creators would have rather not been pinned came up a few weeks ago. This led Pinterest to introduce do-not-pin code for websites to implement to block pinning. Flickr was one of the websites to implement this code.
Sharing is Social Fuel
Blocking sharing is one avenue for a brand to take (and the right avenue in some cases), but a social media marketer's job is to create experiences, distribute content and drive sharing. Sharing fuels online conversation. According to Aol and Nielsen, 23% of social media messages include links to content, and 27 million pieces of content are shared daily. Now, it's a matter of being part of that sharing.
Give Permission to Share
The controversy sparked by copyright and Pinterest paired with other online conversation around sharing content you don’t own probably won’t stifle consumers from sharing, but have you told your customers they can and should?
A little permission can go a long way. A call-to-action for consumers to share, distribute and pass along content to their social connections is important. Marketers can’t assume consumers will share, so give them permission. Add a sharing policy to the website and owned platforms that let consumers know they’re free to share. Don't leave it up to question. Tell them it's okay.
Make Sharing Part of Everything
Giving permission to share is one thing. Giving the reasons and means is the next step.
Integrate social sharing buttons. Allow consumers to easily share content by “Liking,” pinning, tweeting, etc. using social sharing plug-ins. Adding a “tweet” button has been known to drive 7 ties more shares on average than a site without the button.
Give reasons to share. Create experiences that consumers want to share. Contests that encourage user voting, videos, photos and other tactics give consumers reasons and content that they want to share with others.
Know the time. Evaluate your consumer behavior. Look for traffic spikes or identify when people are most likely to interact with your brand on other owned platforms. Those peaks are the optimal times to share because the content will land with the highest number of people at that given moment, creating more opportunities for content sharing.
That’s just the start. Marketers can’t assume consumers will take it upon themselves to share. It’s as much art as it is science. Brands need to create (or curate) it, give permission and then better their chances by incorporating the means and using analytics to tip the scales in their favor.