We all share content on one or more social networks. In fact, social sharing has become one of the most common activities on the web. There are some who get a kick out of sharing everything in their life (“I just took a shower with chilling cold water!”); some feel connected when they share; some want to stay relevant within their circles; some want to build their credibility; and there are others who do it for various vague and valid reasons. But, very few understand how effective their sharing is, and how they can improve.
No matter what you do for living, I can bet you have limited time. When you are active on social networks, it can take away good chunk of your time depending on how addicted (or dedicated) you are to building your presence. But, it is not hard to see that everyone’s social content does not get equal engagement. And, that is fine for most people. If all you want is to share your personal pictures with friends and family, you don’t really need to count likes and comments. But, even then, sharing comes with an expectation – that your connections and followers will react. If there are no reactions, incentives of sharing are diminished, which leads to decreased sharing.
Know your audience:
So, what is the main difference between someone who gets good engagement vs another who doesn’t? As with any brand marketing effort – it all starts with knowing your audience. It is no different for an individual when it comes to getting ROI from your social network activity. You have to start with knowing your audience and understanding the value you can provide to them. All your activity has to be centered around how you get your audience excited and involved in conversations around information you share. To get engagement, you have to follow your followers – not the other way around.
Bear in mind, your audience will probably be different on each social network. On Facebook, it might be easier because you probably have a ‘common denominator’ understanding of what your friends and family like (does not apply to people who have crazy number of friends!). But, it is much more difficult to figure out needs of connections and followers on other platform, for example, strangers who follow you on Twitter. When in doubt, you have to listen to ongoing conversations and understand what your audience finds valuable, and things they get engaged with.
Focus on topics important to you:
Talking about being valuable to your audience, brings another important aspect to mind – Focus. You should consider value to audience as long as the focus remains on topics that matter to you. If you are trying to build your brand around Big Data, you have to find what is valuable to your audience around topics related to Big Data. You cannot start sharing unrelated topics such as Graphic Design just because some random graphic designers started following you. Followers can come in all shapes and forms and most are just trying to get a follow back. Don’t get distracted. In the end, you want to build your audience in the areas that matter to you. So, focus and be persistent in topics that are important to you.
So, to summarize:
- Know your audience and understand what type of information they find valuable and interesting.
- Keep a relentless focus on topics that matter to you.
Do you follow a strategy when sharing content? What kind of things bring more engagement for you? Please share in comments..