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BroadVision Marketing Blog

How to Get Sharing to Work for You

Posted by Jaco Grobbelaa on Tue, May 31, 2011 @ 11:36 PM

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="SUBWAY"]A SUBWAY restaurant in Dawson, Texas.[/caption]

How many of you have tried your hand in social media by launching contests, promotions and branding campaigns on blogs, Facebook, Twitter,  and YouTube? OK, raise your hands.  If it worked for you, keep your hands up. Oops.

I have a clue for you. “Social” is not the same as “sharing.”

You have to identify your key influences and motivate them to share with their friends or you are missing the main idea. Social content works best when people share it.

How do I activate my super-influencers?

You have found your super-influencers. Now you need to directly engage them to share more about your brand. What you want to do is to offer them incentives to keep them sharing that will encourage them to do that while giving them rewards.

People really love to know something before anyone else. Super-influencers love to be in the know about information before it goes public. They then share this with their friends and followers, giving them insider information about contests or deal before anyone else hears about this. You can create this sort of information that you share only with your super-influencers while letting them know that they are one of very few people to receive this information.

You can offer your key influencers specials like shareable friends and family discounts, special badges they can post on their blogs and Facebook, special after-hour in-store sales, parties for people like themselves, discounts for sharing something with 10 friends or even previews of new products.

You can also comment yourself on their blogs and Facebook pages, link to and promote their content and publicly thank them for their loyalty by email or posts on your official website.

You want to make your super influences feel valuable. So it is worth your time to go the extra mile to give them special attention.

How do I know if what I’ve done worked?

You want to measure the results of your sharing campaign. You need to know exactly who is sharing your brand the most, with whom they are sharing, what social media platforms they are using and whether what they are doing results in clicks and conversions. Did you know that there are social media measurement tools that can help you find out if your super-influences are truly influential?

Here’s an example. MTV Networks got together with Subway and launched an innovative social media campaign called Fresh Buzz, a website introducing new musical, comedic and performing talent. The two brands worked hard to encourage viral sharing, influential brand advocates who would share the content on all social media platforms. But did the influencing super influencers work? They had to measure it to know for sure.

MTVN and Subway saw when traffic peaked on the site, but they wanted to know what caused the surge. Was it the results of people spreading the Fresh Buzz URL with friends using Facebook, Twitter, their blogs or email? The two used social media analytics and an activation technology from Meteor Solutions and accurately identified their super influences, what they shared, where the sharing took place and how the sharing affected traffic to the site including conversion and brand recognition.

What they found is astounding. Just 0.4% of site visitors were responsible through sharing for over 70% of the overall traffic. When compared to the paid ad campaign using banner ads, search and other media buys, the total from the less than half of 1% was incredible. What was the absolutely most incredible part was that the word-of-mouth marketing by the super influences was totally free.

It is obvious that creating and publishing social media content is simply not sufficient in and of itself. Brands that want to benefit from the totally real power of word-of-mouth need to locate those super influences and get them to share.

When you offer incentives in return for influence, your  influencers and even your less influential fans will quickly change from followers into sharers. These sharers will definitely boost traffic to your site and drive people into conversion.

What are you waiting for?

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Topics: Using Different Media, YouTube, Uniform Resource Locator, Brand, sharers, influencers, Meteor Solutions, super influencers, Subway, Facebook, Social Media, Marketing Principles, Branding, Twitter

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