When you post content online – one question needs to be the filter.
Will they share it?
When your fans/followers/friends read, view or interact with your content is it providing enough value that they want to pass it on? Will they like it? Will they leave a comment behind? Will they tweet it? Will they email it? Will they blog about it?
Will your audience take the time to syndicate your content on their social networks?
That’s the filter you need in place.
The reason is simple. The way in which people get exposed to new content these days isn’t from searching the internet. They aren’t finding content based on SEO algorithms or ads served up by Google and Yahoo. New content is being pushed to them in one of two ways:
1.) From friends, family and colleagues connected to them online. This is their online social graph and it is reflected by who they chose to be friends with on Facebook, who they follow on Twitter, and who they email and text with on a daily basis.
2.) From the brands and news sources that they decided are trusted sources. These are the brands that they allow to send them email notifications, or that they subscribe to through RSS feeds or follow or like on Facebook and Twitter.
No longer are we browsing the internet for information or directly visiting a plethora of websites through our Favorites folder on our internet browsers.
Here’s how it works now:
- We check our social media streams for updates. More people are grouping the people, brands and news sources they are following in categories like “Sports” or “Politics” or “Friends.” We then check these streams on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc… and click on the links and updates that interest us the most. This is likely the way most of us are discovering new content – the funny video or photograph, the cool infographic, a new book, a movie trailer or an article from a news magazine or newspaper.
- We check our email and RSS feeds. We are alerted to brand new content automatically. If the headline or topic seems interesting or entertaining we visit and consume it.
And now, of course, we also share this content.
So if we enjoyed the funny video that Uncle Sal syndicated on his Facebook page, we like it so that our own friends can see it and watch it. If we liked the article the New York Times published a link to on Twitter, we retweet it. If we find a cool deal on Facebook or on Groupon, we email it to our friends.
All of us are sharing content with each other – all the time.
So the only question that every brand should be asking before they publish online content is:
Will they share it?
Because that’s how you’ll reach your audience.