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Unique vs. external content on social media?

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We usually write our own content for social media but recently have been considering using twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. to share other content that we find and think is valuable, or just think our audience would like. The reason we haven't done this in the past is because it drives your audience to another source when and if they click on it. And we wanted to use social media it drive people to OUR site. But could posting this alternative content also drive interaction and other benefits (with the additional hashtags and connections we could make by using this content) that would outweigh the fact that users aren't going right to our site?


7 Replies

Dominic Warne
1
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Dominic Warne Entrepreneur
Global Brand Director - Sea Life (Merlin Entertainments plc)
Ryan, all the evidence suggest the latter these days.mby curating content not just creating, then as you say, you could drive greater engagement.

Subject to what you're doing with Breakable, there are very few sites which are a destination and priority source of content for most consumers. Unless you can create lots and lots of compelling, shareable unique content, you're unlikely to drive lots of traffic to your site.
Jamie Riddell
2
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Jamie Riddell Entrepreneur
Digital Pioneer
For your social audience, just sharing your own content can get really boring, really quickly. Sharing other content could drive further engagement with your audience and grow trust between you and them. If you can achieve both - sharing of your own content AND engaging your wider audience you will have the chance to grow the traffic you get to the site quicker than if you just keep broadcasting your own content. You could however, create a blog post of one paragraph and maybe a quote for articles of interest - that credits and links to the source BUT drives traffic through your site too. There are also tools (certainly used to) that added your own social profiles as a header/frame above the content you shared so your profile remains constant. (I personally think it doesn't look great.) It does feel like you should only be focusing on traffic and sales but growing your audience actually gives you a bigger audience to 'sell' more to in the long run. Jamie :-) Jamie Riddell CEO Digital Tomorrow Today Unit 1 Brightwell Barns Waldringfield Road Brightwell IP10 0BJ www.twitter.com/jamieriddell www.digitaltomorrowtoday.com www.birdsonganalytics.com www.v4technical.com
Michael Boezi
1
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Michael Boezi Advisor
Writer, Strategist, Educator.
You have to employ a mix of content, otherwise it's just a broadcast mechanism. The whole point of social media marketing is to try to provide value to others. That value may be on other sites-and it's OK, you still get the "shine" for recommending it. It's the thing that will gradually build you up as an authority, and keep people coming back to you. All good outcomes.

I recorded a short video to show this in practice-using Twitter, specifically-with a behind-the-scenes look at my own account (@mboezi) so you can see my methodology.

Here it is:
Twitter Basics: Finding the Right Content Mix http://bit.ly/twitter-basics-1

Hope you find it to be helpful!
David McKeen
1
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David McKeen Entrepreneur
Social Media Manager | Social Media Education | Business Development | Marketing | Business Coaching | Speaker
I have a platform that gets me around this issue by keeping a footer on any content I share. I use this to drive people to sign up for a newsletter, provide free whitepapers, link to my website or blog, special squeeze pages, etc. Send me a message if you want to know more.
Amy Vernon
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Amy Vernon Advisor
Audience Development. Community, content & product. Prize-winning journalist & writer. Connector of people & ideas.
If all you do is post things to drive people to your site (unless you're a large publication - and even they often post links to other publications), people get tired of that fast.

Use social media as a way to share the most important and relevant news, photos, videos, information and other content, no matter the source. People will come to regard you as the source to find out what's going on and will think of you as the expert. When it comes time to pull the trigger on a purchase or whatever action it is that you're trying to effect, people will think of Breakable as the 3D printing expert because they've found out about all the latest things because of you.

You can do things like create a specific Pinterest board for news from your company or photos of your work or whatever, and have other boards for other topics. Create a Flipboard magazine about 3D printing, with a mix of yours and others. Etc.
Richard Harris
1
0
Richard Harris Entrepreneur • Advisor
Top 25 Inside Sales Leader, Public Speaker, 40 Most Inspiring Leader, Sales Trainer, Start-Up Advisor, SalesHacker
What you are describing is called "social selling" (old school "word of mouth) this means you creating and sharing content that adds value to your prospects or potential prospects. The goal of social selling is to be seen as a thought leader not to actually sell anything. Over time people will gravitate to you when the time is right.

It does not mean you cannot also prospect people but be sure you understand the difference between adding value and selling.

Adding value means you ask for nothing in return. Selling means you want something.

Scott McGregor
1
0
Scott McGregor Entrepreneur • Advisor
Advisor, co-founder, consultant and part time executive to Tech Start-ups. Based in Silicon Valley.
I think this falls into a certain class of business problems that are all about getting people to come to your place of business vs. meeting people where they are. I'm reminded of the small shop owner who had a custom jewelry store on a little trafficked side street. He tried buying ads in newspapers and magazines and tried putting up handbills on a more heavily trafficked main street with an arrow pointing down the side street. But it didn't noticeably bump his business. His nephew suggested that they take some of his creations to a street fair, where other jewelers would also be demonstrating their wares. But the shop owner resisted, not wanting to pay space fees and enrich the fair organizers and disliking the fact that customers would be distracted by competitors so nearby. Taking some initiative, the nephew bought a number of items and went to the fair and resold them himself -- but he also told all the buyers who the original jeweler was, and about his out of the way location. After the fair, people started to come in the shop having discovered his work at the fair in the nephews stall.

You might think about social media the same way -- it would be better to get people to come to your site, but if they aren't coming, you might want to go where they are, and show them enough that they want to come to where you are.
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