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Social Media Sharing Pays Better Than Posting

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social media

Social media sharing on websites may have greater value these days than postings on social media accounts.

Website publishers with social media accounts have to take time to create regular postings. In the old days, the social media sites would freely share the postings with anyone who followed the account.

But not anymore. Facebook in particular has become stingy in recent years with sending a post to an account’s followers. Facebook wants publishers to pay for that privilege instead.

A real-life example illustrates the problem. A post goes on a Facebook page. Facebook shares it with a skimpy 6 percent of the total followers of the page. But next to the post is a message from Facebook kindly suggesting that an ad campaign would boost that distribution by a factor of 30.

Online publishers with tight budgets often don’t have the money to pay for large advertising campaigns. They certainly don’t have enough money to pay for continuous campaigns.

Even worse, when a single post gets distributed to a small number of followers, the engagement rate often isn’t strong enough to make the effort worthwhile.

It’s no surprise that many Facebook business accounts become inactive. Publishers give up on them because they aren’t worth their time.

Social Media Oversaturation

User growth in social media was high for many years because the concept was new for many people. Likewise, publishers and business owners bombarded social media sites with their own pages and then bombarded those pages with postings.

It was inevitable that social media became oversaturated. Facebook users have become less likely to follow a page in part because so many pages offered similar content. Likewise, they discovered personal limits in how many pages they wanted to follow.

So many publishers and business owners run into yet another reason why social media marketing isn’t as effective anymore.

On-Site Social Media Sharing

Social media

© 2017 Scott Bateman

Anecdotally, even websites seem to have a smaller social media presence than in previous years. If this observation is quantifiable, the likely reasons include:

  1. Again, poor response rates in social accounts.
  2. Few people use the follow function on the website (if it exists).
  3. Few people use the share function on the website (again, if it exists).

But publishers should take care in not giving up too much with social media marketing. Each of the above three scenarios has a different commitment of resources.

Social accounts require postings, which require time and effort. Advertising requires money. So the return on investment has become much lower.

Fewer people use the follow function on websites because of oversaturation. Even if they do follow, social media giants such as Facebook are stingy about letting them see any posts in their newsfeeds.

Social Media Sharing is Cheap

But the social media sharing function on a website doesn’t have either one of the above two issues. It requires no time and effort. It requires no money. It doesn’t push visitors to follow yet another page with posts they might not ever see.

In my view, the most valuable social media marketing tactic for small organizations with limited time and money is website social media sharing.

Think of it as a type of advertising. Experiment with placement of the sharing buttons on the website. Track the click rates. Compare the click rates to actual advertising.

The results may not produce a meaningful increase in traffic. Just keep in mind that it’s a low cost benefit that might be worthwhile in attracting more site visitors.

Sharing Tactics

Prominence determines the best results in social media sharing. Tactics include:

  • Social links at the top of an article (more prominent)
  • Links at the bottom of an article (less prominent)
  • Social links at the top in the header (more prominent)
  • Links in the footer (less prominent)

Results will determine whether they deserve the exist in any location.

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