Are you ready for when your hopes come true and something you share is well received and widely shared? If your online profiles are ready to welcome new relationships, if your branded assets are consistent and you're proud of how you represent yourself online, if your social networks are linked and regularly monitored, then you probably are.
If you are ready to capitalize on your online success, it means you are at the helm and ready to start and feed relationships that could give your business the jolt you have hoped for. Potential relationships and business can be gained if you're able to thank those who share your content, answer praise and questions, and impress those who will be introduced to you for the first time online.
Organic (or "Viral") Sharing Gone Right
When something you share resonates with a group of people and they decide that it's worth sharing with their networks, the result could be exponential sharing of your content which pulls significant traffic your way. There are a few things that every business can do to make sure this wonderful opportunity is not wasted.
1. Make sure your branding is strong and consistent across platforms
Every social channel is different and should be treated as a unique community. For example, how you represent yourself on Facebook should be a bit different from how you represent yourself on Twitter since those communities behave differently and there are different social norms on each.
But it's important that who you are as a business or as an individual is consistent. You may present a different energy or style of communication on one versus another but your branding should be consistent and your perspective should never contradict itself across platforms. For this reason, organizations that have different people supporting different channels need to make sure there are strong social ties that connect those people so they all share the same vision and purpose and show the values and priorities of the business.
2. Link your channels
Your website should be your hub. Whether your main site is a blog or a product-focused site (most often both), how you let visitors know you are available on various social channels should be clear and obvious. Your website is where people go to get a sense of your professionalism and your brand identity, which makes it the most powerful element of your online profile. Make your profiles on all social channels point back to your main web asset.
However, your audience is going to come across your content on the social channels they spend their time on and rarely will they enter your URL into the address line of their browser to go straight to your website. Your content will feed into THEIR social networks. So making sure it's easy for people to dig deeper and find more about you when they want to is important.
Feed links back to your blog from your social accounts. Make sure your profiles contain links back to your website. And, most importantly, make sure your main profiles (I use Google+ and Linked because they the most comprehensive and public) and your website feature all the ways that people can connect with you and share your content. Because hopefully they will.
3. Make sure you are listening
Making sure you are setup to listen to your social channels is vitally important. It will mean that you can hear the comments made and every time your content is shared. Google analytics, URL shorteners, and filtering/monitoring dashboards are all available, often free, to help you listen and monitor what's being said about you and your brand. If you're not listening, how will you know when your content goes organic?
4. Make sure you're relating
What do friendly people do when someone says something nice about them or shows interest in them or their product? They often start a conversation. They sometimes look for opportunities to help even more. They always say thank you.
Can you start a conversation to build on your post because you are present and active on the channels where people are sharing your content?
The whole point of creating and sharing is to offer a benefit to the people we want to build relationships with. When we write content, especially focused on the interests of our business audience, we hope that people will like it and share it.
So are you ready for when they do?