Social Sharing has become one of the most effective ways of driving traffic and building brand recognition, but it is also an area in which many online marketers have some degree of difficulty. ‘Going Viral’ is an accomplishment many people strive for, yet few attain. Getting people to share your content has many benefits aside from the inbound traffic you receive and the increased knowledge of your brand. It also helps you rank better in the search engines, may increase your conversion rates, and helps you to appear more credible.
One way to improve your likelihood of having others share your content is to offer incentives for doing so. This can be done in any number of ways, such as:
Creating Exceptional Content – People share what they like, what moves them, excites them, humors them, and educates them. In order to provide your followers with content that does this, you will need to know more about them. The more you know about your target market, the easier it will be to hit their ‘hot spots’ when it comes to creating shareable content.
Giving Recognition – When people do share your content, make it a point to acknowledge them. You can do this with a simple like or a comment to thank them for the share. They just gave you free advertising! The least you can do is show them that you appreciate their actions!
Create a Contest – One very popular way to incentivize sharing on social media is to create a contest in which one would receive entries for sharing, liking, and/or commenting on a specified post. If you use this method, you will need to make sure that the prize(s) is something that is especially useful to your followers or is an exclusive that cannot be obtained in any other way.
It would also be smart to simplify the process as much as possible by asking for the least amount of actions possible. For example, instead of giving entries for every like, share, AND comment, simply ask them to share the post. Chances are, they will like it and comment on their own anyway. Also, be sure.if you use this type of incentive to have a pre-determined date on which the winner will be chosen and announced. Put this information in your original post so that the participants will know when they can expect to learn who the winner(s) are.
Everyone Wins, Instantly – While contests that reward only a certain number of people for taking the required action can definitely boost your popularity, giving everyone a reward for sharing can double or even triple your desired outcome. While you may not be able to provide physical or digital prizes to hundreds or thousands of people at once, you could provide them with discount codes or coupons which are available instantly instead of making the participants wait for weeks to receive their reward.
The scenarios that you can come up with to incentivize sharing of your content is really limited only by your imagination. For inspiration, you could research what other brands in your niche have done in the past or are doing now and build from their ideas. Of course, you will need to make your incentives unique to your brand and targeted towards your particular audience, but once you see and understand how a successful incentive campaign is run you will most likely be brimming with ideas on how to incorporate one into your own marketing strategy.