A recent Nielson Survey showed that 15% of buyers believe what a brand has to say about itself. In contrast, the same study showed that 76% believe what their peers have to say about a brand.
The lesson: information shared about you by others is much more valuable to you than the information you share directly.
Motivate Fans to Share
Having fans and followers in social media is great; fans and followers who post about you is even better. Here are ways to motivate people to share information about you:
- Reputation: You acknowledge what is shared and call out the source as a trusted expert.
- Access to something exclusive: Fans who post get some type of perk.
This could be access to a product or information that gives the person more to say about you.
- Competition and winning: opportunity to earn special status among followers or to win a valued prize.
- Altruism: Feeling that others are being helped by what is being said about you.
Note: Never, ever, never pay a fan to post content about you. This seriously undermines the credibility of the poster and your brand.
Campaigns that Invite Sharing
Here are some types of social sharing campaigns that can help get people talking about you:
- Refer-a-Friend: These campaigns are always centered around a compelling offer. (Refer a friend and get x.) Make sure that you have a special offer for the both sharers and the sharees.
- Social Sweepstakes: Invite people to enter to win. Be sure your fans will find value in what you are giving away. The entry form for the contest allows you to collect data.
- Polls and Voting: Everyone has an opinion. Ask your audience to share an opinion via a poll.
- Flash Deals: Set up a promotion that is time sensitive, creating urgency for fans. These deals can last from a few hours to a couple of weeks. You can also create additional urgency by limiting the number of deals offered.
- Giveaways: Giving away something for free is always a sure-fire way to get attention. Just make sure that what you give away is something that is appealing.