There’s no denying that social media is getting all of us hooked, and fast. It’s addictive and irresistible, like candy is for children.
But what happens when children eat too much candy? A sugar high of course, and eventually over time it can result in tooth decay.
Are we doing the same thing as we rush to jump on the social media bandwagon, quickly adding it into every aspect of our business because it’s fresh, exciting and the cool thing to do – only for it to one day dawn on us that we’ve done it all wrong?
Sometimes, yes. If you introduce social media sharing to your website and marketing campaigns but don’t first fully consider what is right for your business specifically, or consider the ‘what next’ consequences of doing so, then you’re probably doing yourself more harm than good.
Let’s look at a specific scenario: replacing ‘forward to a friend’ with ‘share to social’ in your email marketing campaign.
Now at first take, this sounds like a no-brainer – and under the right circumstances, it is.
4 good reasons why Share To Social trumps Forward To A Friend
1. It is much easier for a user to share by simply clicking a link (rather than manually entering a friend’s email address).
2. Sharing to a social media channel gives far greater exposure to tens if not hundreds of people, much faster, than by forwarding to one friend.
3. The act of sharing increases user involvement and brand awareness. Positive interactions such as these build a greater relationship between your customers or prospects and your business.
4. There is less perceived risk at sharing content through a social media channel. Some subscribers worry that websites will spam their friends if they use their forward to a friend web forms.
Share to Social isn’t something you want to miss out on if it’s right for you, so let’s address some basic questions before you jump into this:
Q: Will people want to share my content with their greater social circle?
A: lot of this comes down to common sense. If you’re in an affiliate marketing niche such as yeast infection, save my marriage or even attract women – it seems fairly unlikely people will be wanting to share your content on Facebook with their friends. These are situations where sticking with a forward to a friend option would make more sense.
Q: Is my target market using social media and which channels?
One day, this question will probably be redundant. But for now, there are still plenty of pockets of people who simply don’t use social media, know how to, nor have any desire to.
The only way to really be sure on this one is to ask. Collect this data as part of a quick survey to those on your email list, you might be surprised with the results. What would be the point of adding a tweet link to your email if only 2% of subscribers use Twitter?
Once you’ve done this background work and are ready to implement share to social, the next question you need to look at is – is it worth your time and effort?
Does content sharing by your subscribers provide the greatest ROI? Are there alternative measures you could be spending your time on that would give you a greater return?
If people are re-tweeting your content left, right and centre that’s great but does it mean you need extra resources to accommodate your increased presence on Twitter? Is it worth it?
What if you enabled share to social on your content and it got everyone talking about you, but for all the wrong reasons?
These are just some of the questions you need to consider and monitor carefully when you make the leap into the social media wonderland. As the reigns of your marketing campaign are shifted more into the hands of your subscribers, it pays to keep one thing in mind before you make any radical changes:
You and your users are at the mercy of the owners of social media sites, whereas email is not owned by anyone. Sure, passing the bat to your subscribers to maintain your marketing presence looks like a very tempting candy… but do you know how long that sweetness will last?
How much control do you want to have?