published in Entrepreneurs, Marketing for small business, Social Media by Maryanne | December 7, 2013

Psst…Might Sharing be the Secret of Social Media Marketing?

 

Soda tells Sable a secret

Soda shares a secret with Sable

 “The best way to be an interesting person is to be interested in others.” 

Jordan Keats

When I heard Jordan, our instructor in the Social Media for Small Business class at Royal Roads, casually state the above sentence a few weeks back, my little gazelle ears perked up. I know a truth when I hear it – and that was one.

It is also, I am learning, a very effective way to use social media as a marketing tool.

The catch, of course, is that you have to actually BE interested in other people’s ideas and messages versus pretending to be interested.

Mind you, feigned interest is a slight step up from NO interest, which I suspect is the norm more often than we care to admit. Because let’s face it, social media can be a very me-centered medium in a very me-centered society. Look at MY photo! Read MY blog! Buy MY book! Hire ME! Watch MY video!

If you want people to share your content via social media, you must be willing to share theirs.

As such, I am taking Jordan’s advice and actively looking at what other people have to offer – and then sharing what I’m learning…but not because I want other people to see me as a person who shares/plays well in the sandbox with others. As tempting as that might be, it’s not an authentic reason for sharing – and one can spot a fake a mile away.

 “Leaders who set out to give are more productive than leaders who seek to get…and the intent of the leader matters. The tribe can sniff out why someone is asking for their attention.”

– Seth Godin, Tribes

Rather, I am sharing other people’s content because someone else might find it of use or interest. And how do I determine whether content is share-worthy? Simple: if it has value to me, I will pass it on to like-minded peeps. 

And get this: an added benefit of my efforts is that, in the past few weeks, I have learned more useful information about a wide variety of subjects, including social media, from reading other people’s blogs and articles than I have in the past year! By thinking I was “too busy” to take a few minutes a day to learn some new ideas and perspectives, I shot myself in the foot by choosing to remain ignorant on matters that would help me with my business.

That’s lovely…BUT how, pray tell, will all this lead to SALES?

Good question! And the answer is this: another significant benefit to sharing other people’s content through social media is that by doing so, you are joining – or creating – and perhaps eventually leading a tribe of people who share similar interests. You are becoming part of a network of people you can do business with.

In other words, you are finding – or creating – your market.

“The Law of Income: You will be paid in direct proportion to the value you deliver according to the marketplace.”

– T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

So if the value you can deliver to the marketplace is not just your products, services and ideas but other people’s as well, you will vastly increase your capacity to earn money from your own products, services and ideas. Why? Because a) the value YOU deliver to the marketplace has increased exponentially and b) the number of people you are connecting with BY HELPING THEM has increased exponentially…and therefore so will your income. No – it won’t happen overnight. But if you are building a business that is meant to last, it will happen.

Here Are 6 Ways You Can Help Others Through Social Media:

1. Endorse people on LinkedIn

– Only if you know the person and can attest to their particular skill or experience.

2. Share another person’s LinkedIn post

– If  you deem the content valuable

– Don’t overdo it (says I, from experience)

– Don’t join every group in your industry and then proceed to share the same link in every group! A friend of mine told me how annoying it is to have to scroll through twenty of the exact same posts on her LinkedIn page.

3. Retweet other people’s tweets

– Again, don’t overdo it…we’re looking for quality here not quantity

– Be genuine: take the time to read the quote, blog, article, etc first

4. Share other people’s Facebook posts

– Be honest: only share someone else’s FB posts if you genuinely think it a useful blog, cute photo, good story, helpful tip, inspirational quote, etc

5. Comment on other people’s blogs

– Don’t just read them; let the person know you’ve read them by leaving a brief but insightful bit of feedback. This could come back to you ten-fold because the chances increase significantly that the person will return the favour down the road.

6.  Send tweets, or even write the occasional blog, that refers readers to other people’s products, services and ideas

– Choose people/businesses you know and trust – and in whose services, products and/or ideas you believe in. You will be amazed at how mutually beneficial this can be 🙂

So how much time should you spend sharing other people’s content on social media?

Effectiveness – often even survival – does not depend solely on how much effort we expend, but on whether or not the effort we expend is in the right jungle.”

— Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

If you are learning valuable knowledge that is of use and interest to you and your business, then sharing it with other people who are also in your jungle – your tribe – is probably not, within reason, a waste of time.

Obviously, however, you have to first have a clear sense of what you are trying to achieve with your company and WHY it matters. Then you can use that as a guide to determine a) how much time you should be spending sharing other people’s content and b) what content to share.

For me, I am spending approximately 1/2 hour a day, three times a week sharing other people’s content through social media.

As for creating your own content to share through social media channels? Well, that’s a whole other blog topic…or two or three. So stay tuned!

Related blogs by Maryanne:

Social Media Marketing Tips for Frustrated Small Business Owners

Smooth Sharing on Social Media – How Easy is it to SHARE your Blog or E-zine?

6 Tricks to Getting More Marketing Mileage Out of Your Blogs

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and the upcoming book, Barrier Removed; A Tough Love Guide to Achieving Your Dreams. Maryanne also writes screenplays and play scripts, including the play, Saviour. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund.

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9 Comments

  1. Colin Gilchrist on December 7th, 2013 at 1:13 pm:

    That was an important blog, thanks Maryanne. It puts the seriousness, without it being too dry and oppressive, back into life. It just professionalizes our existence, I think, and makes us want to be the best we can be.
    Colin

  2. Shan on December 8th, 2013 at 5:33 am:

    Thanks to being cognizant of the fact that everything I say and share on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook directly reflects my personal brand, I’ve learned to be quite strategic on what I share and where. I want the information I share and the comments I make to be relevant to the networks I’ve built up on each of these outlets. They are not one and the same so information I share on Twitter and LinkedIn may not get shared on Facebook. It all depends on what I think will resonate positively with any given audience. I’ve also come to value Klout as it provides me with a fairly accurate snapshot of where I’m having the most impact. I like checking my Klout score to see if I’m slipping. It keeps me on my toes and gives me a good idea of where I’m having the most influence. Social media is a very interesting communications tool and has been key in building my professional network and has led to numerous business opportunities.

  3. Maryanne on December 9th, 2013 at 4:11 pm:

    This just came in via e-mail:

    Great insights you share!
    TW, Victoria, BC

  4. Maryanne on December 9th, 2013 at 4:22 pm:

    This comment also just came in through e-mail:

    Great job on this blog Maryanne! I made a comment on it and also tweeted it out so now you’re even more popular in the Twitterverse 🙂 Within five minutes of sharing your blog on Twitter last night, I got two new followers. Crazy!

    You are SO correct about sharing content being the key. I often just share someone else’s content out and then weeks, even months down the road, I get contacted or referred by someone unexpected in my social media networks. It’s pretty cool how it works.

    I love social media in regards to business. I’ve gotten three job opportunities in the last week because of comments I’ve made on Facebook and my profile/connections on Linkedin.
    SL, Calgary, AB

  5. Maryanne on December 9th, 2013 at 4:25 pm:

    I will totally check out Klout!
    Maryanne

  6. Maryanne on December 9th, 2013 at 4:36 pm:

    Here’s another e-mail comment:

    Great Job! Very well put.
    TC, Abbotsford, BC

  7. Maryanne on December 9th, 2013 at 6:39 pm:

    This great comment just came in via e-mail:

    Great read … and so true.

    Social media isn’t just about posting what you’re doing – although that is part of it. All the likes, retweets, comments and shares help to create an actual relationship with someone or some organization. That’s why I do take the time
    to do those things and take an interest in the efforts of others on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

    If you’re constantly set to output, you’ll get tuned out eventually, which is also why I try not to post TOO much at once (although
    during Giving Tuesday for example, you kind of have to post a lot).

    I find LinkedIn is really good for actual interaction – I’ve discovered graphics, stats that are useful and participated in
    conversations that have resulted in the discovery of great ideas I can share with our followers.

    I also find that commending the efforts of others can prompt people to look into what you’re about. And it can be far more effective to say “great work” and leave it to people to look into what you’re about rather than saying “here’s what
    we’re doing” … kind of like trying to find a dance partner in high school: don’t come off as too needy or desperate!

    Anyway, great stuff!
    IW,Calgary, AB

  8. Maryanne on December 10th, 2013 at 1:03 pm:

    This comment just in…

    Looks great and I dare say I learned a few new tips from you, so thank you!
    SH, Calgary, AB

  9. Maryanne on December 18th, 2013 at 2:23 pm:

    This came in via e-mail:

    Great post – thanks for that. I’ll re-tweet it, for sure!
    NR, Courtenay, BC

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