Shareable media


Even though I spend each work day with my nose buried in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google + and reddit – without fail when I get home each night, my girlfriend and I usually have the same social media conversation:

Her: Hey did you see that funny cat meme Jenny Lawson posted today?

Me: Yeah that was hilarious. Hey did you see The Riverhouse posted about a new menu?

Her: I did, we should check that out this weekend. The picture of that pumpkin squash they posted looked amazing. Oh, did you read that article that JetPack posted about the major changes coming to D.C.?

Me: Um… no, I must have missed that.

Next thing I know, I’m reluctantly sitting through an incredible post that I now find myself fully enjoying… and then share on every social media channel I have. This routine happens almost every night, usually while we’re making dinner.

More importantly, this conversation explains why we like, follow, pin, and subscribe to brands on all the various social media channels we have available to us, we don’t want to miss out on anything.

FOMO – The Fear of Missing Out
The above conversation also happens because my girlfriend wants to show me that she knows more interesting things than I do, which she does. Then the competitive side of me goes crazy because I think I’ve missed something. Worse yet, the network I’ve built for myself (on all my social media channels) might be missing out on this incredible nugget as well — because I’m not sharing it. I don’t want to look like I’m not in the know.

The approach to social media, however big or small, should be focused on shareable-media. If you want people to take notice of your brand (and capitalize on the word-of-mouth nature of social media) then you need to present your content in a form that will get people to share it. Social media is about engagement, the best way to get those likes, shares, pins, or +1’s is to deliver your content in a way that drives people to want to share it.

Content is king:
How do we get them to share? None of the above situations kick in unless the content being posted is strong. Whatever you’re posting in your social media channels, you need to put your best content out there, whatever it is. Facebook even has a tip when you buy a sponsored post; sponsor the post on your page that did the best, not the worst. Their rational being that since it did so well with your audience before the extra bump, then the content is strong enough to deliver the best results. So nothing else matters because the content is still, and will forever be, king.

Personal space:
All that said, people still see social media as their personal space, and it’s important that brands don’t go too far. People are likely to unfollow a brand if they feel their social network is being invaded. We as users invite brands to be welcomed in our network. That invitation also comes with a responsibility to be a good guest. People want to be apart of a brand that they know and love. They want bragging rights about how well they are connected to their brand, but they also want the brand to listen and respond to their needs. When they comment on your post, it’s important to respond. Most of us don’t want to feel like we’re shouting in an empty room. We want to know that our voices are being heard, especially if we’re “liking” a brand – so always be listening and know when to respond.

(c) Brett Whitmarsh