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.
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. They can see how it would benefit someone else, but don’t understand how promoting others becomes 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 with 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.
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 reinforce aspects of you.
4 Messages You Send When You Share Someone Else
In the image, it’s obvious that I’m sharing work by another, however, the unstated messages are about me, which in turn strengthens my social capital.
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
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.
More interconnections with people or links to articles in our posts mean 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:
- Follow me on Two Drops of Ink or Twitter
- Join Facebook or share a link on your Facebook posts
- Join Stumbled Upon to start promoting
- Use Google Plus writer’s groups and read, promote, and start building relationships
- Find people on LinkedIn that share your passion
- Use the “Share This Page” features for Two Drops of Ink
- 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
- 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.
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing