Compelling Ways to Get Customers Share Content

“Whatever your methods, find a way to incorporate a social element into every marketing campaign you run by finding compelling reasons for people to share. That’ll make every dollar you spend on marketing look like two.” – Sanjay Dhalokia

From not being there to touching every part of our lives, social media has come a long way. In the world of business too, everyone understands the importance of integrating ‘social’ into the overall strategies. Social media is visible and a highly potent form of communicating – it transcends boundaries of channels, markets, and cannot work in a silo. However, for messages in the content to reach a wider audience, it is vital that those who the messages are initially intended for ‘share’ that content with other people. In other words, it is critical to success that a company provides compelling reasons for customers to share content. With so many companies spending loads of money and resources on pushing content to customers, the messages often are diluted and become ineffective. All of them soon just turn to ‘noise’ and only those messages, that are interesting and engaging enough, get noticed and ‘shared’.

There are a number of studies and research, which prove that prospective customers are more likely to believe recommendations from existing customers and their peer group – this is 92% of the time. Advertisements and promotions from the company have only about 33% trustworthiness. This just means that every company must look at harnessing the power of their customers and give them reasons for customers to share content and information about the company. Companies are too caught up in trying to outdo each other – flashy advertisements, over the top promotional activities – without understanding the engagement and connection levels of the end customer. The best way to get customers to share content is by providing engaging and awe-inspiring messages, which makes them feel empowered and thus compels them to show it to others too. Customers are unlikely to spend too much time reading or making efforts to understand the message a company is trying to convey – it should be clear and powerful enough for them to understand and feel inspired to pass it on to their friends and associates.

The more such inspiring and engaging content a company comes up with, the sooner it would become known as an expert and authority on the subjects – enhancing the trust and likeability of their current customers. When customers feel positive about a company, they tend to do their bit to contribute to its success and one of the ways is by sharing content and messages. Does your company ensure that it compels its customers to share content? What are the steps your company takes to spread its messages to a much wider audience? The first step would obviously be to create content that resonates with information, and proves to be highly useable by customers. Such content adds value not just to the company’s customers, but they would be happy to share it because it would add value to those they care about – friends, family, and associates. Getting customers to share content is not something that a company can force – but customers would be compelled to do so if they enjoy the content and benefit from it.

Another great way to get customers to share content is by ensuring that some of the content is about them. They are unlikely to discard or ignore anything that has ‘them in it’. In fact, whatever highlights their accomplishments or ‘features’ something about them will most definitely be shared – such sharing boosts their self-esteem and gives them ‘show off’ reason. If there are images that have them, ensure that when ‘posting’ these images, your company does so with their names. It is extremely gratifying having your names splashed around for all the right reasons, which in turn would compel customers to share this content. While sharing their own pictures, customers would indirectly be advertising your company and its offerings, and probably doing so to a customer base that your company did not even know existed.

By offering incentives and ‘exclusive’ offerings, a company can get customers to share content. With so much technology, it is extremely simple to track which of a company’s customers are sharing content, to whom, and how often. Give them offers they cannot resist, which however, would only be accessible if they shared content to a certain number of people or a certain number of times. For a company this means wide reach and a larger audience, and customers too are happier sharing because they would receive some great ‘stuff’.

Customers that achieve certain milestones with your company are certainly worth mentioning. By sharing their accomplishments with your company via social media and asking them to further share the ‘news’, your company would gain wide publicity, increased brand awareness, and free advertisement. Your company would not only be acknowledging its association with the customers, but also finding in-roads to hitherto untapped markets and customer bases. By making customers feel important and valued, your company is making things a lot easier for itself to gain increased profits and brand advocacy. However, a very real fear is that with so many options, customers may be inclined to explore those options and not return to a company. It is imperative for a company therefore, to send out information-laden email and communiqués that will re-engage customers and bring them back to your company. In addition, if the messages they receive from your company are useful and have visible CTAs, you would be compelling customers to share content and gain visibility for your company.

Regularly sharing value-added content – could be anything that your customers could use, find light-hearted, makes them laugh, or share without making any changes – would make your company the ‘centre’ and focal point of information. Customers tend to stick with companies that come across as experts in their field and would be more than happy to share the content received from such companies because it would make them appear knowledgeable too. In addition, when customers share content that they know is valuable, it increases their reputation and standing in the market and amongst their friends and peers.
Social media’s influence and reach comes from those people who have the ability to influence others through their words and accomplishments. In order to compel customers to share content, a company should attempt at getting an ‘influencer’ to read and spread it, in order to have a greater impact. When influencers share content, people ‘sit up’ and take notice, which means that your company will be seen in a better light and its reputation will enhance. Content shared by influencers is the best call to action that a company can ask for – people would be more inclined to share content that ‘great minds’ find invigorating enough to push forward.

Customers share content when doing so recognizes them as being intelligent and smart enough to pass on information that would be useful to a large number of people. When ‘likes’ and more shares happen, they bring recognition for the company that published the content and for the person who shared it. Recognition in any form is a powerful motivator for any action. Whatever be the method a company chooses, it should result in becoming a compelling reason to get customers to share content and eagerly await the next piece of content.

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