Thanks to social media, we have a place for quick-share communication between friends, family, and even customers. From the start of Myspace to the current social landscape filled with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – we have a variety of platforms to share information quickly in a format we prefer. Your business, whether it’s B2B or B2C, can benefit from sharing content on social. So, how do we effectively use sharing as the currency of social media and craft the perfect share? It all starts with skill and crafting the ideal strategy for success.
Who is Sharing on Social Media (and Where)
Take a closer look at consumer audiences and get your hands dirty before you click the share button on social media by breaking down who is sharing and what channel they’re sharing on. The largest audience sharing on social is 18 – 29-year-olds, and they’re sharing mostly on Facebook (shocking!), YouTube, and Snapchat. The next audience of 30 – 49-year-olds are sharing mainly on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. For the older generation that is made up of 50 - 64-year-olds, they’re sharing on Facebook and Pinterest.
What Type of Content to Share
Consider the type of content when deciding what you’ll be sharing on social media. Thanks to the internet and a bunch of smart people in a room who calculate numbers for our benefit, we are able to see the averages shares by type of content. Coming in first place is infographics with lists following closely behind. Tied for third place are “What” posts, “Why” posts, and “How-To” articles along with video.
However, equally as important as the specific type of content shared is your target demographic and how it will resonate with them. So, ask yourself, will your audience thank you for sharing that piece of content? Take it to the next level by thinking of connecting with your audience and if they will feel compelled to share your content with their peers. "Useful" is only one of the signs of great content. It can be funny, thought provoking, etc., and the list goes on – so think hard before you share. Sharing on social media is driven by emotion and identity.
When to Share Content on Social Media
Now that you have a good feel for what to share and where, think about the best day and time to share on each social media platform. One great way to do this is by looking at data and insights on each network. All it takes is a little time and experimenting to determine the day and time that’s best for you and your business. There is a boatload of resources at your fingertips when it comes to sharing content and reaching your intended audiences.
Keep in mind that 85% of the most-shared Facebook posts last year were videos, and the highest levels of engagement occur at 9AM, 1PM and 3PM. As far as Twitter goes, videos get retweeted six times more often than static images and three times more often than GIFs. Twitter users are also more likely to engage with B2B content during normal business hours and B2C content on weekends.
For Pinterest, sharing on Saturdays is ideal considering audiences on that platform and their schedule. All about business? No worries – sharing on LinkedIn before or after work during the weekdays is the ideal time to reach users with your content. These are just a few basic guidelines to adhere by, so definitely carve out some time to research what will work best for your business.
How to Share Content on Social Media
Now that you’ve found your sweet spot when it comes to content and when to share on social media, all that’s left is to share your content the right way. This means developing a consistent style to show off your content in the best light. Believe it or not, people are creatures of habit and they like to know what they can expect. Want your content to succeed? Help its chances for success by creating a consistent style.
Dig for the gems, whether it’s a great photo, astounding statistics, or an optimal quote. Whatever gives you (and the consumer) that “aha” moment when you see a share worthy piece of content is the element to highlight when you share. From links, images, and retweets to questions or quotes – develop a “type,” and be consistent. Whatever it is that your audience loves and engages with, make it your staple share “type.” Then, establish a few supporting types of content to back it up. Don’t forget to give a hat tip to the person or pathway by which you found the content. This small gesture will help build a bigger relationship in the future with the creators, your audience, and the content they love.
Ready to take these tips and hit the ground running? With these valuable insights in hand you’ll be able to take the first steps in sharing content that not only improves your relationship with your target audience but also benefits your business’ bottom line. Learn to exploit this key skill, and you’ll be far more likely to earn shares on your carefully crafted content.