Your Stories Spread When Others Share on Social Media

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

Get that brand on social media. Update that Facebook page. Tweet away, but let’s analyze when our Tweets can have the most impact. Share on social media!

It’s easy to over-analyze, use social media as a traditional promotional channel or forget about updating it altogether. And don’t get me wrong, I love social media, I do. I use it for my brand and the brands I’m working for and with. We all Tweet, Facebook and Google Plus. A lot. But brands’ social media engagements take off when others do the sharing.

When others share on social media what we’ve created, it’s an added endorsement. They don’t have to share on social media what we’ve created, but when they do, people in their social networks pay attention.

I’m chatty on social media. So are the brands I’ve worked with and it helps them digitally brand themselves. But the best results happen when others share on social media what the brand created.

I’ve seen this in a number of projects now.

Kids and Tech Post Jumps to Top After Social Share

I’ve started a blog called Kids and Tech to share some of my six-year-old’s comments and musings about technology, media consumption and related topics.

The blog has been well-received, and my daughter enjoys helping me post updates. We published a post on Valentine’s Day 2014 that discussed how we ordered flowers for Mom. Shortly after publishing, it was shared and liked by a number of people, which led to it jumping up to the new site’s most-read post.Again, when others share to social media what we produce, it will spread much quicker.

Social media: Where the discussion happens

A few years ago, I set up a site that displayed videos of speakers pitching ideas at a community event. People could comment on the videos and share them. Interestingly, I thought then, there was hardly any discussion on the website, but many of the videos had dozens of shares to social media networks. A lot of discussion, commenting, etc., was happening on those social networks.

People were really engaged and participated in the community discussion. Discussion happened, but just not always in the place where it was easy to measure and track for me. Keep in mind that some discussions couldn’t even be seen by me due to the person’s privacy setting on the social network.

RAGBRAI Traffic Spikes Through Social

Cedar Rapids RAGBRAI website

In 2012, I helped develop and publish the Cedar Rapids RAGBRAI site and related social media accounts. RAGBRAI is an annual bike ride across the state of Iowa that makes stops in different cities each year. In 2012, Cedar Rapids was an overnight stop on the route.

The RAGBRAI site again showed the power of social media.

The picture below shows where traffic came from during one of the early weeks after the site was launched. We had just kicked off our theme contest – asking the public to submit a tagline for the Cedar Rapids RAGBRAI day on July 26, 2012.

Local TV and newspapers (thank you!) encouraged people to submit a suggestion. So did people on Facebook. (Thank you!)

As you can see 180 referrals (where people saw the link to the contest) came from Facebook. Twitter was in second place with 22., one of the local TV stations was third with 21. The other two TV stations ( and were in the teens. After that referrals were in the single digits.

So, why were Facebook’s referrals so high? For one, Facebook has critical mass. Facebook is the most-used social network in Iowa. Plus, many people shared the link through their networks and then their friends continued sharing the link with their networks. It’s fair to say that it spread. And Facebook does make sharing easy. I saw it happen many times. A person shared it, people liked it, commented and passed on the information.

Share on Social Media: Conclusion

Social media continues to be a great way to connect with people, add value to our communities and even build a business. We want  to share our own content. I’d say audiences expect it. But it won’t spread until others start sharing it. One easy way to ensure this: Make sure content is easily shareable from your website. Those share buttons are easy enough to add now.

I’ve used social media for a few years now ranging from interviews, connecting with new collaborators and finding help for projects.The ease of sharing content has its own advantages and can help worthwhile causes and content find interested audiences.

Will you share this post for me? 🙂

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