The 4 Surprising Benefits of Sharing – Even When It’s Not Your Site

By: Marilyn L. Davis

“A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation… A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched.

But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.” ― Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

social network symbols in the tree

What’s In It for You?

Too many writers, bloggers, and website owners do not understand the value that they receive when they share articles or provide links to other people.

Certainly, they can see how it would benefit someone else, but don’t understand how promoting others become an advantage to them.

So, just what can you expect to gain when you share a blog or post by someone else?  You’re going to improve your social capital on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Facebook.

How is that important to and for you? Your social capital helps establish trust, build relationships, and foster mutual understanding and support, and there’s not a business, blog, or service that can’t use more of those.

When we share beneficial information to our social contacts, we strengthen the connections and improve the relationship. The network effect states that the number of people sharing the information generates value and commonality. It also relies on the findings of the 2013 book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On. Therefore, the number of writers promoting other bloggers, Two Drops of Ink, and themselves creates greater value for all of us.

Opportunities to Share: We All Win

When we share important news, events and informative articles to others, we’re sending several messages – this is important to me, I thought you might like this, here’s an explanation and great how-to, or I wanted you to laugh today.  We can feel good that we’ve passed along something of value to others; and in any situation where both parties benefit, it’s a win-win.  Although I do not like pat phrases, there are times that these clichés explain the outcome.  In sharing a worthwhile article written by someone else, win-win is an apt descriptor – both sides succeed in the end.

The writer gets promoted by me, thus increasing their exposure, and I get to look informed, knowledgeable and gracious in the sharing.   PR for both.

Paine Webber and E.F. Hutton created marketing campaigns using this principle.  “Thank you, Paine Webber”, and “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.”  These two companies were using marketing strategies that implied that what they were promoting had value. Taking this principle and building upon it, use your contributions to social media to support others and be known as someone who spends time researching, linking and sharing worthwhile information.

A Reflection of the Person Sharing

Each of us has words we would use to describe ourselves. Generous, caring, kind, diligent, thorough, eccentric, quirky, and straightforward are some words that I would use to describe myself. When I share articles that reflect those aspects of myself, it means that readers on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or Google Plus, begin to create their image of me.

If you’re sharing posts by others, their messages reinforces aspects of you.  

How It Works: 4 Messages You Send When You Share Someone Else

In the table, it’s obvious that I’m sharing work by another, however, the unstated messages are about me, which in turn strengthens my social capital.

scott-writes-a-post

My shares give potential readers a link to a worthwhile article – that is the apparent communication, and some subtle information about me – the unstated message.  For instance, in a share I might provide:

  • Worthwhile Content for Others

Benefit 1: The unstated message:  “I believe in this topic/writer/issue.  I think this is informative/interesting/entertaining.”

  • Articles Defining my Beliefs, Ideas, and Interests to Others

Benefit 2: The unstated message: “This is me written by someone else.”

  • Links to Like-Minded Individuals for Online Connections

Benefit 3: The unstated message: “I added this link as we think, feel, and believe in similar ideas.

  • A Call to Action for Social Problems, Injustices, and Causes

Benefit 4: The unstated message: “These are the causes, social issues or injustices that arouse my passion, and I want you to know about this subject.”

Introductions:  Your Time to Shine

community small

Just as you introduce one friend to another if they don’t know each other, when you’re sharing another person’s article, say a few words about the writer in your share.

Structure your introduction positively.

I frame article introductions to reflect the emotion of the article or it reflects my opinion of the piece. Positive, uplifting, heartwarming, touching and gratifying are all emotions readers respond to according to New York Times studies.

Let’s Start Using the Network Effect

About eleven months ago, I decided to start using Twitter, even though I had an account for several years. I was like a lot of people and didn’t understand the value or limitations of 140 characters, nor did I want to get involved in wading through tweets of what someone ate for breakfast like on Facebook.  I didn’t understand how Twitter worked.  Since then, I’ve increased my followers by 300% using some helpful articles on how to make Twitter work for me.

Building Links and Relationships to Increase Traffic

If I want my articles shared, I have to share others. Think about the 1981  Faberge Organics TV commercials, “…if you tell two friends. . .then they’ll two friends, and they’ll tell two friends…and so on and so on and so on…”

Let others know you are promoting their articles. On most social media sites, you can tag a person or mention their name.

The more interconnections with people or links to articles that we can create in our articles means that more writers receive a mention, their site gets exposure, and our articles have value added content.  

And so on that note, I invite you to:

  1. Follow me on Two Drops of Ink or Twitter
  2. Join Facebook or share a link on your Facebook posts
  3. Join Stumbled Upon to start promoting
  4. Use Google Plus writer’s groups and read, promote, and start building relationships
  5. Find people on LinkedIn that share your passion
  6. Use the “Share This Page” features for Two Drops of Ink
  7. Promote five other writers and let them know in a comment or private email that you shared their article and would appreciate the same in return
  8. See if your number of views increases

I Can’t Guarantee Viral, But I Can Guarantee Visibility

Unlike E. F. Hutton, Paine Webber, and Faberge, there’s no campaign or hashtag for, “Who is Marilyn L. Davis promoting today”, and I can’t guarantee that a share of mine will go viral for you, but it could happen.

What I can guarantee is that it will get exposed to my followers on Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, and Facebook.

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Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing

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9 comments

    • Hi, Danielle. Thanks for commenting.

      While generosity is a valuable trait, not everyone uses theirs. I think for some individuals, we have to be clear that there is a benefit for them – then they get generous. She smiles.

      Like

  1. Marilyn, awesome post!

    We hear so much about doing this, yet we don’t because we’re looking for immediate results. I also love your action steps. A big help to someone like myself who is still learning the ways of social media and internet networking.

    Like

    • Hi, Chris. Thank you for commenting. We’re all learning, and that’s one of the benefits of a writing community. When we find groups that interact, share and teach, we’ve found something! We know each other through Intentional, and it has just those qualities.

      I’m glad you ventured over here to Two Drops and welcome to this community as well.

      I’d like to hear how you used any of the action steps and your outcomes. That helps me frame directions, or support my original premise. You’d be doing me a huge favor if you let me know your results.

      Again, thanks for commenting on the post, and don’t be shy – come back! And if you’d ever like to submit a guest post, we are always looking for new and seasoned writers to join our contributors.

      Like

  2. Great post! I just started trying to make serious connections in the writing world last year (getting an author Facebook page, regularly blogging, following other people, etc.) I had a writing blog for several years, but I wasn’t very knowledgeable about sharing or making connections, so it didnt grow hardly at all. Now I’m meeting new writers and readers and both learning from and sharing with them. Making these connections is wonderful and I can’t wait to make more in the future! I followed Two Drops on Facebook… Your posts are very insightful! Here’s my page: http://www.facebook.com/authorcaitlinlambert

    Like

    • Hi, Caitlin. Thanks for giving me your link. I appreciate that and I will check out your blog. That’s the beauty of today, we have so many opportunities to connect, share and learn.

      And thank you for taking the time to comment on the post, too.

      Like

  3. Good morning, Lydia; thanks for the kind words. Good Karma cannot be overrated. I understand that we all get busy and don’t follow back, or re-share others, but in the end, it’s a better approach – give and take for social sites.

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on Live…Love…Share!!! and commented:
    How often do you take the time to like the work of your followers? Do you follow back those who follow you? There is good Karma in sharing the content of others!!! Take time to read this awesome and informative article by Marilyn Davis.

    Like

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