Those that cannot afford the luxury of paying to promote their content to their audience, must have people who are willing to share that content. However, research shows that most posts on social media are rarely shared. But given the soaring stream of new content, marketers don’t really seem to care. Is that justified? How bad is it if your content is hardly or not shared at all?
To be honest: quite bad! So it’s time to take a look at the most serious consequences. Before I do so, I first want to take a look at the study that proved that sharing is more of an exception than a rule.
Two years ago, Buzzsomo analysed more than 1.000.000 posts (!) They came to the stinging conclusion that half of this content only had 8 shares or less. Three quarters of the posts received less than 39 shares. The results are consistent with previous findings from Trackmaven. This provider of marketing analytics software found out that 42% of professionally marketed blog posts generate less than 10 interactions.
You could say those are quite lousy figures. Therefore, we can assume that our content is poorly shared on average. Should we deal with the consequences or can we carelessly continue offering new content? In this article, I’ve listed the 10 most serious consequences of poorly shared content:
Many people see shares as something extra, as a bonus, because it’s normal that content is poorly shared. But is it really normal? Imagine that you have 200 colleagues that each have 500 social media connections on average, and you manage to persuade 100 people to share your content through LinkedIn. Then you’d have a potential reach of 100.000 individuals. Now you’re missing out on that reach. Of course, due to the overlap in connections, the net reach will be a bit lower, but still rather significant. And contact frequency also has value.
According to Nielsen, 84% of consumers trust recommendations from friends about products and services.
Just like views and likes, the amount of shares answers the question of your audience whether the content is worth the effort. If a post is shared often, you may start to wonder what’s so good about it. You get curious and want to find out more. And if something has little shares, you tend to ignore it, even though the content might be great.
The same goes for credibility and reliability. Not only the quality of the content, but also the publisher, you, is questioned. And that’s not useful when you’d like to be considered a thought leader in your field.
“Word of Mouth is best medium of all”. Advertising legend William Bernbach (known for the famous Volkswagen advertisements) already said so in the seventies. In this era of social media, word-of-mouth is powerful than ever, according to research; In this article of GetAmbassador, you will read 40 interesting research facts about word-of-mouth. I’ve picked up a few:
If you are still not convinced, then I recommend you to read the other 36 facts. But if you are, then it should be clear that those that don’t do any effort to share their content, are leaving the best and most advantageous medium unused.
If you manage to engage a large amount of your followers to share your content at the same time, you will be more visible than when you build up your reach slowly. And with a lot of people, you may even be able to take the centre stage. Demanding attention on a specific moment may be very important. For example, if you’d like to catch up on current events or would like keep control of the news you’re bring out.
There usually are a lot of people who want to help you and/or your organization and don’t mind sharing your content now and then. Think of supporters, fans, members, franchisees, sponsors, suppliers, partners and don’t forget your own colleagues, friends and family. In fact, you have a whole army of ambassadors within your grasp that are willing to lend you a favour. Why wouldn’t you unwrap that present?
Of course, ambassadors also have their own interest in sharing content. They can profile themselves with it and extend their relations. Those that frequently share valuable content will automatically gain more followers and authority. And from experience, I can say that sharing content is conducive for your Social Selling Index (SSI) on LinkedIn. In short: by allowing people to share your content, you give them the opportunity of making themselves more attractive as a professional in their field. Why would you deny them such a chance?
Not sharing your content may cost you (tons of) money. Because you might need to pay to get your content promoted. And I may be wrong, but I cannot get rid of the impression that the costs for paid promotion on social media have been increasing for quite some time. Each euro that you can save can be invested in more and even better content. In building your own audience. In optimizing conversion. In effect. In turnover. In profit. In your career.
Creating beautiful content, publishing it and then finding it own that isn’t been shared and yielding little… It’s lost effort and incredibly frustrating. And a waste of the money you’ve put in the creation and production of it. That all doesn’t really motivate you to keep on going.
Your job on the line? That’s exaggerated. But is it really? Continue posting content that is hardly shared and expect to answers some difficult questions in the future: “What are we spending on promotion?”, “Why is it costing so much money?”, “Why is it advantageous for us?”. You’ll soon find out that you won’t be able to answer them satisfactorily. You need to defend yourself while the internal support for your plans is melting like snow under the sun. You are a football coach who’s losing match after match, with no light at the end of the tunnel. People start meddling with your affairs. The mood is getting worse and worse by the day and tension on the work floor is rising. The call for another approach and even substitute becomes increasingly louder. The situation itself becomes untenable, and one day, you are put on the spot and asked to take your things and leave.
A smaller reach, less authority, less impact, no control over the timing, inefficient deployment of people and resources, less results and perhaps even a dismissal… Well, the consequences aren’t really something to be jolly about (I already mentioned before: it spoils your mood).
Apparently, it is not enough to add sharing buttons to your content and kindly requesting everyone to urgently share your content under the motto “sharing is caring”. Because that’s what most marketers do.
If we look for the solution, we will first have to look at the causes. Why is content shared so little?
Is the content so bad that nobody wants to share it?
Does the sharer not want to be associated with the publisher?
Doesn’t he know what has to be shared?
Are you asking too much effort, even if it’s just one single click on the button?
Is he simply forgetting to share your content?
Doesn’t he care about it?
… is it more important to him that sharing your content is indeed lending you a favour, something that you depend on, that you can’t control? If we look at it from that perspective, shouldn’t the amount of shares be the result of a tightly organized and perfectly executed approach? Shouldn’t w evolve from “sharing is caring” to “caring is sharing”?
Looking at the gain in efficiency and effectivity that can be achieved, you’d say it is. In my view, it is important to make the organization and its ambassadors aware of the importance of sharing and investing in a smart sharing strategy. With due haste, because NOW they can still gain a competitive advantage.