12 Most Crucial Rules for Content Sharing
Every day, a sea of content flows into our Twitter streams, RSS feeds, email inboxes and other electronic channels. Social media has made creating — and thus, sharing — content easy, fun and ubiquitous. After all, without the share button, “going viral” would still bring to mind disease, not video.
Here are 12 guidelines in to keep in mind the next time you +1.
1. Curate cleverly
Your audience should be able to anticipate the kind of information they’re going to get from you, generally, whether it’s original or passed on from others. That’s what adds value and helps you increase your following and credibility. If you’re throwing content at your followers and friends on such a broad array of topics that it comes off as a jumbled mess, they’ll flee.
2. Give credit
Sharing content helps you stay relevant and connected to your audience. But unless you created all of it yourself, you must link to, or cite, the brainpower behind it — no exceptions. Repin, retweet? Wonderful. Cut and paste another’s blog post into your WordPress template and hit publish? Not so much.
3. Add your 2¢
Before you share content, consider splicing in a short reason why you liked it or what made it share-worthy. That helps your followers and others choose whether they want to invest the time to take a peek. That’s not only considerate it can also help increase the proportion of your audience that decides to view it, and perhaps share it, as well.
4. Mix it up
Share a blend of formats: video, blog posts, studies, white papers, infographics. Keep it interesting and varied.
5. Share your content but not only your content
Social media is about conversations and exchanges. Who wants to be in a conversation with someone who talks only about himself or herself? Yuck.
6. Promoting can be good
Did a post or other content move you or capture the essence of an idea, in your opinion? In those cases, give it a boost by sharing it with a promotional compliment. Consider sharing the item a few times during a 24-hour period and on more than one social media platform. Sharing graciously on social media brings good karma. If it’s really good, your followers will be grateful. And the creator will notice and remember.
7. Stealing will be detected
If you rip off fellow content creators, that will also be remembered. Expect to be called out on it and, possibly, shamed. It’s really bad form to do this, anyway. But social media makes it so easy to be caught. Just don’t.
8. Repurposing is okay…
…but it’s courteous to let followers know if you are sharing something that is not fresh. Oftentimes, posts and videos (especially how-to’s) have a very long shelf life of usefulness. Still, they might pass through the tweet stream or scroll by a Facebook Timeline without making the impact they deserved. Unearth items from bloggers or others you really like and give them new life. Just make a note when you share it that the content is making the rounds again as an encore.
9. Be creative
Simply retweeting or sharing in a straightforward way on Buffer, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, G+ or another site is fine. But consider jumping off an idea that inspired you by blogging about it. In your blog post, you can link back to the original content. And then you can add value, or your own twist, in the analysis and conversation the post contains.
10. Be kind
It can take some sleuthing to discover the creator of content that’s already been picked up and shared, repeatedly. Be a thoughtful social media sharer and check the social chain to reference not just the place you spotted the content but the Twitter handle or website of the source. It’s not that hard. And it’s the right thing to do.
11. Share fair
Use a high standard when giving credit and err on the side of caution. It doesn’t matter whether it’s only a snippet of copy or just a catchy headline. If it came from some one else, it should be very clear when you share it. A hat tip is often sufficient.
12. Have fun
So much content is being created and curated, that it’s like a buffet of yummy, amazing treats all day long on social media. Your followers will appreciate the great content you spot and pass it on as you dig into the feast on various sites.
These are the guidelines I think are most crucial. What would you add? Please share!
Featured image courtesy of 邪恶的正太 via Creative Commons.