Though originally brainstormed in the 90s, the concept of social sharing didn’t really take off until the launch of Delicious in 2003. But it ascended with the rise of sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Most of us realized the potential long ago, but it is still a treat to see that the use of the social sharing button is generating real results. Positive results at that. A study conducted by SEO specialist BrightEdge Technologies backed up the growing notion that social sharing buttons are a viable way to increase the mileage of your marketing content. According to the firm’s report “Social-Share Analysis: Tracking Social Adoption and Trends,” using them could result in up to seven times more mentions for brands. In a shocker, Facebook was revealed as the most widely used tool for sharing content. Next was Twitter, followed by newcomer Google+, which surprisingly beat out social networking veteran LinkedIn. Overall, the data showed that sites with these buttons have the potential to do better than those without them. Using Social Sharing Buttons the Right Way So what’s the big take away here? That social sharing buttons can be equivalent to marketing gold when used correctly. Right on time, here are a few tips designed to help you use them effectively:Pick the Right Buttons - The report by BrightEdge shows that 53.6% of the top 10,000 internet sites have incorporated social sharing functionality through plugins or links. This means that less than half of them did not. While adding them is definitely important, so is knowing which buttons to use. The research suggests that Facebook is the best option, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best choice for you. In the end, the best options for buttons will be those that accommodate the social presence you have already built thus far.Think outside the Box - When thinking of where to add social sharing buttons, the first place that comes to mind is probably the homepage of your website. While this is definitely an ideal location, you will give them greater visibility by placing them in more places. Social sharing buttons can work on other pages of your website, your blog and even the email newsletter you send to your subscribers every month. Don’t limit your potential by limiting where you place them. Give ‘Em a Reason to Share - Adding social sharing buttons to your website, blog or newsletter is only half the battle. The second and most difficult half is actually getting people to use them. Simply sprucing up a page or post with a nifty button is not enough. You must complement it with quality content that compels your audience to share with the people in their inner social circle. It’s really as simple as that. Using social sharing buttons definitely has its advantages. While you’re at it, don’t underestimate the importance of encouraging others to connect on your preferred social destinations. These connections can be just as rewarding as those shares in the long run.
I love email marketing, which puts me at odds with some of my social media brethren who like to tell me that Facebook messages are the new email. Short answer: they\'re wrong. Longer answer: They\'re really wrong. For you, I want to share my five best email marketing tricks and tips, which have given me open rates as high as 78% on my list. 1.) Be Personal I write all my email newsletters in the first person. I write them with a custom firstname field and do a lot to evoke a very personal and one-to-one tone. I never use \"you guys\" or \"all of you\" or anything that intimates that the conversation is beyond you and me. 2.) Be Brief No one has time to read more than 500 words. Maybe that\'s even too much. We\'re a world of people who scan the preview pane to determine whether we should read further. Honor that. 3.) Be Succinct Use only one call to action per email. Any more than that and you run the risk of getting nowhere. Too many links mean too few clicks of what you want them to click. Stop sending catalog pages through the mail. 4.) Be Consistent Send out email as consistently as you can muster without annoying people. I see email marketers really ramp up and over-message their lists when they have a desperate need to sell something. That just fatigues your list and forces unsubscribes. Was your cost-to-acquire those subs worth you bullying them into pushing the spam button? 5.) End with Social Sharing Your email service provider should have social sharing, like \"post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,\" etc. If not, you\'re missing the biggest reach-booster ever invented for email. Demand it if they aren\'t providing it. It\'s a few lines of HTML. These tips have really pushed my email efforts well. I follow the rule of never sending an email I wouldn\'t want to receive myself. I hope you find that useful. See for yourself by subscribing to my free newsletter for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Chris Brogan is President of Human Business Works, where we provide tools and smarts for small businesses.
The advent of the social network sharing button has caused some pundits to note that it may mark the beginning of the end of Google\'s stranglehold on the web. The structuring of web navigation based on sharing features such as Facebook\'s \"Like\" button could supercede the more static indexing conducted by Google and other conventional search engines. A Google SERP is essentially based on an algorithm\'s preferences, but the \"Like\" result is based on your friends\' and family\'s preferences. When a computer user is given the choice between a buddy\'s recommendation and a convoluted program\'s, it\'s not difficult to see why the \"Like\" button could set up a seismic shift in the currently well ordered Google-ized universe. These social network sharing icons can also be assimilated by astute email marketers into their campaigns to provide an additional layer of connection and pertinence to the prospects and their social circles. Sharing Buttons Can Dramatically Increase Marketing Impact Leading edge email marketers are exploring various means whereby social network sharing buttons can be integrated into their current campaigns. One of the most powerful advantages to incorporating social network sharing buttons is to provide a greater sense of relevance to the reader and their social cliques. By featuring buttons that allow easy sharing of content on a wide variety of social sites, the \"pass along\" rate of your messages can skyrocket. In a few and very special cases, the message itself can go universally viral, which will then increase your marketing impact by several orders of magnitude. There Are Many More Social Sites Out There Than Just Facebook & Twitter The inclusion of a social network sharing icon does not necessarily need to be limited to the top of the pecking order sites of Facebook and Twitter, but also to sites such as MySpace and LinkedIn. It can also extend to the bookmarking websites such as StumbleUpon, Delicious, Reddit, and Digg. The Brand Should Be Primarily Interested In Conversing, Not Selling This sharing initiative considerably encourages and boosts bilateral interaction as the inclusion of the icon communicates that your company is interested in a conversation based on mutual interaction. This display of corporate openness is enthusiastically welcomed by many social media participants as it is generally interpreted as a hallmark of credibility, relevance and professionalism. This portrayal leads to an increased likelihood that your readers will click on the button in order to amalgamate your brand into their social circle. The Slightest Hint Of Hucksterism Will Bury Your Campaign There are also some caveats in social network sharing button integration: Although you might be willing to head down to the used car sales lot to save a few bucks on some rusty wheels from a checkered jacket huckster, it doesn\'t necessarily equate to wanting to invite him over for dinner. Similarly, the inclusion of sharing icons can be interpreted as counter-productive by some readers as it may seem to cross the line into gung ho self-promotion which is usually a taboo behavior behind the fortress walls of the online social fiefdoms. Some of the less internet proficient prospects such as senior citizens may also feel deluged by the sheer density of your choices, as well as suffering from incomplete comprehension of exactly what social sharing is all about. In order to tread the fine line between these two extremes, wise email marketers are exercising great care in the integral position of these social sharing icons and with a heightened sensitivity to the brand-customer relationship.