In this blog series, Shaun Shaffer (a.k.a. Domingo) will discuss in three parts the making of a good social media content management strategy. This blog is based on Domingo’s popular presentation at the 2014 Ingeniux User Conference.
Presenting a More Sharable Experience
If you want to put in a bit more effort to get better results from your work-building community on social media, there are a number of things that can be done on top of the quick fixes we discussed in my previous blog post. In this post, I’ll focus on two fairly obvious ones: writing better content and designing more sharable pages.
I think there are two types of stories that can be told on a website. Some stories are meant to keep the already-in-the-loop audience knowledgeable and connected, while others are meant for a wider audience—new visitors you are trying to hook. These purpsoes overlap, of course, but most of the time these two types of stories are written and shared very differently. Honestly, who is going to share your first quarter fiscal report?
The easiest way to work with social media is to get it to work for you. Write stories that are compelling to your community about things that they might share with the outside world. Individual shares of pages are seen much more widely than when you post something to your own company social media account. Shareable content has the potential to go viral.
When thinking about your content, ask yourself questions about how best to share it. Are you giving a portion of the profits to a charity? Make that the star of your story. Do you have the happiest employees in the land? Write about it! The most active members of your community will want to hear about these things and might want to share them with others.
The other thing to look at is design. Shareable pages are transient content pages such as news stories, blog posts, events, and case studies. What’s happening now, and what’s current? Take a look at these pages and design them with the idea that they are sharable.
Think about placement of your share buttons. The image above is an example of good placement. One great option is to put the button for sharing right at the end of the story, but also retain the “Share This” button at the top of the page (if I only clicked to share, make it easy for me). Don’t use pop-ups or persistent overlays to request a share. Don’t be Upworthy.
Also, customize which buttons show. Let the reader of the story make the decision about which social media platforms to share your content. Remember that different platforms have different audiences and purposes. For instance, if you want your story tweeted, it had better be short and sweet. For Facebook, it will be something that the user feels will “up” their social “cred” for sharing it. To be shared on LinkedIn, content should be business oriented, something that helps users project marketability by making them look connected and professional. The list goes on and on. No two social media platforms are the same.
A single story can target all of these, but not every story can be relevant on all platforms. This is especially true of fringe platforms (such as Technorati or Good Reads) that target specific segments of the online community.
Making Content More Sharable in the CMS
So what do you do in the CMS? Add fields for the user to decide which share buttons appear. Structure content to make it quick for the content contributor to provide a compelling layout for the content.
I would suggest using a font kit to get icons for your buttons. I really enjoy GlyphIcons, which has the logos for the most-used platforms and is easy to implement. I’m not a designer, though, so work with your team or firm to come up with compelling layouts and interesting designs that fit your brand.
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