Fact: Social sharing is key for growth.
If you have an online business, getting people to share your content — articles, giveaway campaigns, and social media posts — can help you reach your goals.
The good news is that increasing your shares isn’t as difficult as you might think.
Read on to learn three social sharing benefits and a list of strategies to encourage shares, no matter what you’re promoting online.
Why Is Social Sharing Important?
When your audience shares your content with their connections, it can help:
- Generate website traffic. The more visitors your website attracts, the better. This is because it gives you more opportunities to build relationships with people who can become potential customers.
- Increase the number of your leads. Stats show that generating leads is a top priority for marketers. If done correctly, social sharing can be a powerful tool to get leads — and more importantly, high-quality leads.
- Strengthen your social proof. Social proof uses the “bandwagon effect” in which people do something (like follow a brand or buy from them) simply because others are also doing it. Basically, people take cues from those around them! One share can lead to another, and the next thing you know, people look to you as their go-to resource.
What Are Examples of Social Sharing?
Here are some examples of scenarios where businesses have leveraged social sharing through UpViral campaigns:
#1: Van Maanen Holiday Homes: Over 64k total leads and growing
Eline van Mannen runs a holiday resort for dogs and their owners. She used UpViral to set up a recurring campaign that rewarded dog owners who would share it. Her incentive, which was a free weekend stay with your dog at one of her chalets, made her campaign go viral.
In addition to generating 70,424 total social shares so far, she collected 64,748 total leads. Plus, 41,209 of those leads were actually referred.
#2: Sew Much Easier: 2,000 to 4,000 new monthly leads
Another example of a recurring campaign that uses social sharing is Terry Mitchell’s contest for sewists. He and his wife invite their audience to enter a contest where they could win a sewing machine. All they needed to do was to share it with their friends on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Whatsapp.
They’ve used this strategy since 2015, which helped their e-commerce business collect over 94k leads while generating 2k to 4k new leads each month.
#3: Siddharth Pal: Brand awareness, partnerships, and leads
In his giveaway, e-commerce entrepreneur Siddharth Pal took social sharing to the next level by partnering with several businesses. These businesses provided the prizes for the campaign and took an active part in sharing it.
Within 22 days, Siddharth collected 4,691 leads plus other impressive results.
Tips to Encourage Social Sharing
How do you encourage social sharing? Below, you’ll find some effective tactics you can implement on an ongoing basis to encourage shares and foster growth.
Determine the channels that your audience uses.
In other words, be present on the right platforms.
While there’s nothing wrong with setting up an account on every social media platform (in hopes of reaching your target audience), down the road you’ll need to focus on your top channels. That way, you won’t be wasting resources on platforms that don’t work.
Surveying your audience is a good strategy in finding out where they usually hang out. You can ask them, “What’s your favorite social media platform?” and additional questions that will give you more insight into their content preferences.
💎Pro Tip: If you’re just starting out in business, you can use UpViral to run a contest. Then, on your contest share page, include sharing buttons of every social media channel you can think of. After the campaign, check which social media channels have gotten the most shares (in your UpViral Reports). These are your top channels!
Create content that people will want to share.
Successful social sharing takes into account what your audience considers relevant and interesting. One of the best ways to know what content to put out is to observe what’s already getting shared.
Spy on your competitors. Which of their content formats (blog posts, videos, visuals, etc.) have gotten the most engagement and shares? What topics do they cover? Create posts of your own based on the data you gather.
Here are more helpful ways to plan and optimize your content for social shares:
- Take advantage of trending topics in your niche or topics you think would be a big deal to your audience. Be one of the first people to cover these topics in a blog post or video — then share them on social media.
- Create content that’s useful and actionable. It must be something that helps your audience solve a problem!
- Welcome giveaways. Posts that invite an audience to enter a giveaway never fail to generate shares, referrals, and leads. You can even take your giveaway campaign to the next level by incorporating user-generated content (UGC) where your audience submits content as part of entering the campaign.
Entice them with an irresistible offer.
Speaking of giveaways, offering something for free gets people excited.
You might think that this tactic is a waste of time and money — but it has been proven, time and again, to generate high-quality referrals from customers and keep them loyal.
The key is to offer an incentive that resonates with your target market. It must be related to your business or the service you’re providing.
For e-commerce businesses, giving away one of your best products is sure to spark shares and attract leads (even sales)!
💎Pro Tip: End your campaign with a limited-time sale. That way, those who don’t win can still grab your offer at a discounted price.
If you don’t have a product yet, start with what you know about your audience’s interests. For example, if you’re targeting moms with preschool kids, you might want to give away educational toys or a playset.
Add social sharing buttons to a page.
People aren’t going to share your content unless it has social sharing buttons (which makes sharing convenient).
The more visible the buttons, the better. So, if you publish articles on your website, place the buttons at the top and bottom of the page so that readers won’t have to scroll all the way back.
On the other hand, if you’re setting up a giveaway or referral campaign, make sure to add social buttons that are relevant to your business on the share page. (As mentioned previously in the article, you can add as many as you would like if you don’t know yet where your audience hangs out — and then refine your strategy later on!)
💌Email marketing tip: For those who are trying to get more results from email marketing, a helpful tip would be to write a short note at the bottom of your email message that says, “Forward this newsletter to someone you think would enjoy [your topic]!”
Repurpose an existing piece of content.
Content repurposing is reusing (or recycling) a piece of content to widen its reach. Repurposing usually involves changing the format of that content — for instance, taking information from an article and making a video from it.
Repurposing can effectively boost social sharing since different audiences prefer different content formats. Some learn better through reading while others through watching or listening. You get the idea.
You won’t realize the potential of your content to go viral unless you try repurposing it! When it comes to the kind of content to repurpose, choose evergreen content. Evergreen topics stay relevant and useful to your audience for years to come.
💎Pro Tip: When sharing repurposed content (a YouTube video, for example) invite your audience to check out its other format, especially if it’s more comprehensive. It would also be a great opportunity to collect additional leads if that content (usually a blog post) offers a lead magnet — like a free ebook, checklist, or webinar.
From increasing your website traffic to consistently getting new leads and customers, social sharing can do a lot for your business.
But keep in mind that boosting shares requires work from your end. It entails knowing where sharing is likely to happen (based on your audience), giving away valuable free stuff, and creating content that resonates.
So, there you have it. Try these strategies to make the most out of your content or campaign. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Finally, if you’re looking for a platform that helps you get the results you want through incentivizing and sharing, use UpViral. Find out how UpViral has helped solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and agencies grow by checking out our case studies.