Sharing content on social media – when, where and how?

Most people may not believe that social media, from an organisational perspective, needs to be approached with a clear strategy, with clear key messages and with a defined target audience.  Fact is, social media should be incorporated to the organisation’s overall communications strategy.

So that being said, before you start going crazy posting anything and everything on your corporate social media profiles, you need to take into consideration the behaviour of your followers. For example, when do they access their social media accounts and what is their sharing behaviour? Which platforms do they use and what kind of content do they actually absorb and react to?

The diagram below shows who posts online and what activities they undertake. This is based on American audiences, however, is still a useful indicator of Australians social media usage. Australia actually has a larger number of social media users than the US.

Research suggests Wednesday at 9.30 am is the peak day and time for sharing content on social media feeds with most people clicking on a link two minutes after your content is first shared. Seventy-five percent of clicks occur within the first day of a share. Since Twitter was launched in 2006, the amount of content shared has risen by 35,356%. Facebook’s sharing growth has grown by 5,809% – significantly less than Twitter. Linked in is also growing in terms of shared content, with a growth rate of 3,226%.

So how then, do you get people to share your content by retweeting and re-posting? Firstly, make sure the content you’re sharing with your followers is new and that it actually benefits your target audience. Re-posting an article that is three days old is not going to get you any re-tweets and it’ll make your organisation seem out of touch and not up-to-date with industry news.

If you’re the one re-tweeting, make sure you mention the original poster and, if you need to edit the text to make it fit the 140 character limit, ensure the original message is still the same. Also make sure the links actually link to a website. If links are broken, chances are your target market won’t bother clicking your links in the future. We just don’t have the time or the patience to wait for a site to load, just to get an error message.

It’s also important to remember, that if you’re sharing content from another source, it is automatically assumed that you agree with the message of the post.

The most common mistakes organisations do when sharing content is over –posting. Studies have shown that the number one reason people ‘un-friend’ another person or family member is because they post too often. If friends and family can be dropped in an instant, do you think your organisation has much chance? On Facebook, one or two posts daily is acceptable as long as you have something of value to say. You can be a bit more liberal on Twitter as it is considered a constant flow of information – just don’t sync your Twitter feed with your Facebook account.

Ellis Jones is leading (no boast – fact) the development of social recruiting techniques, online employer branding models and mixed media internal communications campaigns.

We’re happy to share what we’ve learned so give us a call.

image credit : Niklas Wikström