Getting people to tweet your content is easier than you think

More tweets!Most people are inherently lazy.

No, not you of course… but those “other folks”. Those individuals make up about 90 percent of the digital landscape, at least if you subscribe to the 90/9/1 rule. Though these numbers are highly debatable, the concept at least creates a clearer picture of our responsibility in empowering others to make our content contagious.

According to this rule 90 percent of the social space are only lurking and creeping on content. They are unlikely to create content of their own, merely digital peeping toms.

Then there’s the 9 percent: those that share content as curators of information. These individuals are sharing, spreading, and promoting all of the links they believe best represents they’re brand, identity, or person.

And finally, the 1 percent: The imaginitive folk who actually do the writing, filming, designing, or creating of content – good, great, or crappy.

This is the 90/9/1 rule.

My point is this:


The remaining 90 percent of the digital world, regardless of how great your content is, are near-never going to share your message online. So why exhaust yourself?

Instead, focus on the curators and creators only.

And as your great content is released, the trick is to help nudge your readers with easy sharing opportunities. Besides strategically placing your social buttons, you can offer the easiest of all – pre-packaged social sharing tools.

Here are a few tools to help eliminate some of the friction and empower even the laziest followers to tweet more:


1. Click To Tweet is a website where you create specific tweets you want others to share. You simply write the text, click the “generate” button, and then a link is provided for you to insert wherever you wish.

Once a person clicks the link a message pops up in their status box, click and post.

If you create this tweet to be fun and amazing, you’ll make it as easy as possible for someone to share.

For example:

“Getting people to tweet your content is easier than you think”TWEET THIS

“Want to get more people tweeting your content?”TWEET THIS

2. Pay With a Tweet

Sometimes, you can can give away a ebook, pdf, or anything online for FREE in order to attract possible customers to your site. This “social payment system” offers someone’s social network as a commodity to assist your brand. Boom.

Just fill out the form and get your personal Pay with a Tweet download button and URL –


3. Ask Outright

The final nugget I’ll share with you is the easiest, but not one you want to use too often. Simply asking people to take action is alright once in awhile. Although, a caveat is that you need to have built trust and shared some generosity yourself first.

Could you please share this post?

How about a follow for @angusnelson or @socialfresh?

Ultimately, relationship is the best way for any content to be shared. And the more you offer value to others, through great content or relationship, the easier others will participate in your social efforts.

Be kind, be brilliant, and be bold.


Originally Posted on SocialFresh 7/17/13

How to get your coworkers to share company news on social networks

sharingOk, picture this…

Your company receives fantastic news!!!

The press release is crafted, released, and, as the tremendous marketing guru that you are, you forward this great information to all of your company’s employees for them to shout from the rooftops!

… then, crickets.

Your exciting news does little to motivate your team into sharing with their personal social networks, a far greater reach than the one, singular channel your company runs on.

And that’s the thing.

Your brand has only ONE channel on any given social stream

Unless, of course, you’re a behemoth enterprise company diluting your way into a multiple personality disorder.

The number of channels through which a company’s employees can reach, however, is significantly more diverse and potentially more powerful. Not necessarily in sheer numbers, but by the likelihood of being trusted and seen.

According to the recent 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer, employees rank HIGHER in public trust than a company’s PR department, CEO, or Founder. Your company needs it’s employees to be socially successful, er… successful at being social.

In fact, there’s no more powerful social curator for your company than an enthusiastic employee. The people who love their job WANT to talk about the company, what it’s doing, and how it’s making a difference. They WANT to brag about the company they’ve identified themselves with.

Your Coworkers Have a Powerful Voice

So why, then, has your company ended up with all of the deadbeats?

You’ve begged, pleaded, and maybe even bribed. And short of paying off a number of individual’s mortgages or selling your soul to get their help, how do you incentivize fellow employees to embrace your social mission?

Get social

The power of social is relationship. And chances are, you don’t have as much invested in your fellow employees as you think you do.

Sure, you’re great in the virtual world. The regions of fiberoptic outside your four walls may be your wheelhouse. But here, in the office, you’re probably feeling a little small and fatigued.

Your co-workers are not obligated to share anything from you

If you fail to remember this aspect, you’ll be perceived as that narcissistic son-of-a-bitch, always talking about yourself, YOUR thing, and never caring about others or listening to what they have to say.

Nobody likes that guy at the cocktail party…

nobody likes that guy at work…

no one likes that guy…


“To have friends you must first show yourself friendly.”
~ Jewish Proverb

Recently, a community manager asked me what she could do to help her co-workers “play their part” (a really charming attitude). So I kindly asked her, “Have you ever thought of using social to reach them?”

“Well, of course, I tweeted them the links over and over… and still, no response.”, she snapped. I could feel her impassioned frustration, but that’s not what I meant.

I went on to ask her, “When’s the last time you had lunch with any members of your company’s engineer, design, or financial team members?”

She said, “never”.

And herein lies the fact many social managers struggle with: connecting internally is the same as connecting externally.

No one enjoys feeling obligated or coerced into anything

Simply barraging someone with content will never get them to like you or your message. Even if it’s a co-worker who loves their job. They just don’t like being harassed.


Everyone loves being valued and appreciated.

How to win over your coworkers, expand your company’s social reach, and still love people in the process:

 1. Have coffee or lunch with other members of a team within the company.

Get to know them, learn what’s happening in their world.

2. Ask questions about successes in their department.

Everyone wants to feel heard and understood.

3. Later, post a shout out about specific individuals of this department, thanking them for their creativity, brilliance, and/or hard work.

Celebrate with them, rewarding their contribution and value.

4. Continue interacting with members of each department and develop relationships.

Life is all about relationships… so is social media.

5. Retweet, share, and re-post fellow workers posts when possible.

Sow the seeds, model how it’s done.

6. Be patient, check-in periodically, mutual trust and respect grows.

Everything takes time.

7. THEN… ask co-workers, very nicely, if they would, occasionally, share company content.

When they do, thank them openly as often as possible.

You CAN inspire your co-workers.

It may look a little different building a community within your company versus one outside, but the principles are quite similar.

Be friendly, listen, and show value… and get those lunch plans coordinated.


Originally posted on SocialFresh 3/13/13

4 Ways To Get Your Business On More Twitter Lists


Followers, followers, followers!

This is the demand of every social brand, individual or organization, in the Twitter-sphere.

According to an infographic on CTR (Click Through Rates) there is a law of diminishing returns the larger your follower counts rise. Averaging only 1.64% of tweets clicked, your challenge is to maximize the opportunity for tweets to be seen.

As Twitter users add more followers themselves, the amount of time any particular post hangs in their home feed decreases significantly making your goal to be seen more and more difficult. It is daunting.

Enter Twitter Lists.

For me, I’d rather be added to “Lists” than gain huge follower counts.

Followers build the ego, List adds build community.

For the experienced user, we know that creating Lists allows us to dramatically increase the organization of our Twitter feed. In addition, it provides more “hang time” of posts we like to follow.

The question is, how does your business get on more Twitter lists and therefore be seen more often?

1. Educate Your Community

Your brand has a tremendous opportunity to educate your community while, at the same time, increasing your brand’s value. Getting your community to maximize Lists is the gateway to growing visibility and engagement.

Create a page on your website where you share  How-to Use Twitter List, why it’s valuable to your user, and the benefits of organizing the accounts one follows. Then tweet links to this page as often as is beneficial for your brand.

2. Suggest Lists for Your Community to Follow

In your research, serve your community even further with useful Lists for them to follow – either ones your team has created or ones you’ve discovered by others.

While modeling useful and valuable content curation, you train followers in becoming Twitter savvy and even more loyal to your organization.

3. Expand Your Brand’s Knowledge Base

It’s one thing to grow your brand’s community. It’s another to make your brand smarter too.

Assuming you’ve already taken the time to build your brand’s Lists, follow the Lists of other brands, thought leaders, or industries to quickly reveal what others are developing or discovering. In addition, you can do powerful searches for Lists on  Listorious according to your goals.

4. Ask Your Community Questions

Now instead of merely gaining followers, your brand’s goal is to inspire followers to add you to one of their Lists. This opportunity challenges your social team to make every tweet count: connecting, empowering, and showing value.

In addition, you can periodically ask your community to add your brand to a List where it best fits. This becomes a revealing exercise as you can observe how individuals perceive your brand, title it’s List, and what other brands they categorize you with.

In Conclusion

Gaining followers is a key metric for many businesses. But getting on lists is more valuable.

And staying on top of the best social news happens when you consistently see Social Fresh articles in your feed. Perhaps, if you haven’t already, considering a List to place @SocialFresh in would serve you well. For that matter, you may even want to add the author of this post to one of your Lists.

Learning, connecting, and educating the concepts of Lists maximizes everyone’s Twitter experience. And your business’s community is only as powerful as the community you bring along for the ride: supporters, employees, investors, enthusiasts, customers, etc. If these individuals are educated and connected, there’s little you can’t accomplish.

Originally posted on SocialFresh 2/6/13

The Simple Secret of Why People Share Your Content (or don’t share it)

I don’t remember having to look for which social stream button to click the first time I saw Charlie Bit My Finger.

I just shared the link instinctively.

Yet brands, desperate to make a connection, strategically research and place these icons where they deem most effective.

Exactly how many places on my website landscape are there to place social media sharing buttons?

Should we place icon links in the right column, the left column, above the post, after the post, header, footer, or within the post itself?

If the content is crap it makes no difference where a share button is located.

I won’t follow, friend, or share.

But, if the content is unbelievably magical (or awesome) and it connects to me on some level — BAM, I’ll scramble, scrounge and search for a button to push.


Because I want to promote your page? no.

Because I hope to get others to follow your brand? uh, nope.

Because there’s great value and wisdom in this post for everyone? you’d think, huh?

Still not it.

People share great content because it makes them look ______ (fill in the blank)

  • good
  • smart
  • controversial
  • connected
  • funny
  • insightful
  • a go-to resource
  • or whatever

That’s it. That’s the special sauce.

In fact, readers will only share this Social Fresh post if I, in some way, help them and make them look like a genius. Which, of course, I’m trying to do here.

This is nothing new. In fact, back in 1966 Ernest Dichter’s study on Word of Mouth reveals 64% of sharing is about the sharer, themselves, desiring to:

  • gain attention
  • show they have inside info
  • help
  • reach out
  • show friendship
  • show humor
  • provide information

Only 33% has anything to do with the actual product or brand experience.

In addition, a study at the University of Pennsylvania surmises that sharing creates an emotional communion.

You and I share primarily out of our own self interest.

So if every viral video, whitepaper, slideshare, or review is shared because, on some level, it says something about the individual, than it’s on me to create content that effectively causes my audience to appear favorable in the eyes of both themselves and their peers.

My strategy should not be about my brand, or my widget, or even me.

The goal is to cause followers to feel powerful… about themselves.

And as I make others look good – my brand, widget, and I all look very good too.

Yes, we all love watching Charlie getting his finger bit. But, in truth, someone first shared this video with me because they wanted me to appreciate their sense of humor; or relate to them as a parent, knowing I’m a parent; or at least they wanted to make me aware of this particular video going viral. Upon which, I then went on to share Charlie with my network for my own personal motivations too.

Obviously Charlie’s not the most direct example of your brand’s efforts to gain social traction. However, the point of empowering an audience with content they feel inspired to share is. Does your content spark curiosity? Can your brand be funny? Will your blog post inspire? Is your tweet educating?

Is your content valuable to the audience you desire?

On one level, this may seem like you’re feeding people’s narcissism. However, on another level, your brand has an incredible opportunity to generously serve and help others. And it’s this very perspective that makes all the difference in how your content is perceived.

If you connect often enough your content creates trust, loyalty, purchasing power, and ongoing evangelism.

And should this theory stand true, cheeky as it may be, you may desire to share this new-found revelation out of your own generosity, inspiring others while revealing your own brilliance… if so, there should be a share button around here somewhere.

Originally posted on SocialFresh 11/19/12

The difference between content that hits and misses is…

“Content is king, marketing is Queen, and your blog is their castle”.

It was former Salesforce Social Media Director and now startup of Addvocate, Marcus Nelson, who stated this. And though I agree, I would add an element that sustains it all…


Context is the “story” told: “how will your widget help me?”; “why should I trust you?”; “who is your company and staff?”; or “what is your company doing for my employees, my industry, or the world?”

These are the elements of your story shaping and creating the connection you have or don’t have with your audience. And the real strategy is not only the content, but the context in which that content is perceived.

Too many companies tell their story, over and over again. However, like a bad movie, they’re simply accounting a series of hopelessly boring events where “they don’t go anywhere” and/or “we don’t like the characters”.

Stories are far more exciting when we are endeared to the characters, when we care about what happens to them, when something great is at stake… this is a powerful story.

This is context.

So why should I care about your company? Here are 9 elements to powerful content (AKA Context):

1. Personality

We all despise interacting with someone soulless. Craft posts for your blog or Twitter stream with a sense of humor or creative flair. Don’t get carried away, but make it interesting to read, inviting to share.

2. Generous

Share interesting content from other sources related to your industry or audience. Add a snippet of perspective or insight on the RT. Offer a shout out to members, offer advice online, post free content, coupons, or deals only to your followers.

3. Physical

Send the social media team to events and trade shows for networking, putting a face to the brand. Loyalty dramatically increases when a face gets involved. Highlighting the social team with pictures and video reinforces a human sense.

4. Cause

Supporting a non-profit endeavor reveals a corporate value to your brand. More importantly, selecting a niche organization elevates your brand even higher. For example: Kiva offers micro-loans to individuals in developing countries, Charity Water digs wells to provide clean water, or Grantoo helps college students win tuition grants, rewards, and donations for their favorite causes.

5. Personal

Seek out conversations in your space and offer quality contribution. Many brands send out a “thanks for following” direct message; that’s shallow. Learn your loyalists, check in on them, celebrate them, and like the Generous context, give shout outs. Everyone loves to see their name.

6. Transparent

If your company is perfect, you’re delusional. Sharing mistakes or failings as a company not only builds trust, it causes the reader to cheer on your behalf. Customers find it refreshing when a brand accepts, even owns their blunders.

7. Testimony

Nothing endears people more than hearing someone else brag about your brand – how it influenced, improved, advanced their life/company/product.

8. Emotion

As a company, have an opinion on your industry. Share a perspective, wisely and respectfully, that reveals your corporate culture or values. Speak up for something/someone when necessary. Showing some spine and gumption has more positive impact than negative… just steer clear of the typical religion and politics. Unless, of course, that’s your space – then by all means.

9. Swag

Who doesn’t like free stuff? T-shirts, coffee mugs, apps, or whatever. Just make sure it represents your company’s sense of excellence not just junk trinkets.

In a digital stream deluged with brands and organizations competing for attention and loyalty, your company can stand out from the rest when you actually care for the individuals on the other end of the wi-fi. Truly powerful social media occurs in relationship with the context.

So again, why should I care about your company?

Originally posted on SocialFresh 09/19/12