Archive for October, 2011

The science of sharing: How charities can increase financial support using social media

This guest post has been written by Craig Hartzel,  CEO of Charity Greetings and expert in creating infinite social loops.

In this short blog post, I am going to share (excuse the pun) with you my findings of why people actually share content on websites. I did this research for my book, Playing The Charity Card.

My aim was to find the scientific and psychological reasons individuals share content via their social media identities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, etcetera.

You’ve all seen the Facebook like and share buttons, tweets and Google +1 icons all across the web, but what actually compels you to hit that button and give that specific content your seal of approval?

With the nature of social networks and the exponential benefits of spreading the word with powerful peer-to-peer marketing, charities simply must have a sharing strategy.

I’ve studied the psychology of sharing extensively to find out what really drives people to share online content with their family and friends.

Are you prioritising Facebook Share over Facebook Likes?

It’s easy to get caught up in the Facebook like craze that’s been sweeping websites, but are web and social media masters missing a trick by focusing on the Like over the Share?

So let’s start with the difference. A Facebook Like is a vote for a link and its content. A Share is exactly what it says… the user sharing the post, image, link with their social network. This is important because of the way Facebook news feed works, a user simply Liking an update is not enough to guarantee their friends will see it in their feed when they log-in, there’s too many variables that get in the way.

For instance, if a friend also Likes your brand page then they will likely see the update their friend has just liked, however friends who have never interacted with your brand won’t see the Like. Contrast this with a Share where the user is specifically saying “look at what I’ve found”. A Share acts more like a normal status update.

Your tweets are hot in the middle for CTR

Here is some very interesting data via RRW and the folks at Hubspot. It seems that out of 200,000 tweets analysed, other than at the very end of the tweet the middle of the text is also a very hot location for CTR for people reading the tweets. You can also see a spike  of solid red at the end as well, given that the end of a tweet is probably the most common place to put the link, that is to be expected.

It will be interesting to see how social managers react to this data. Personally, we’re going to add more variety into our link placement. In many ways placing the link in the middle or near the front of the tweet will force us to be more creative with how we write our messages.

It also sends an interesting signal to readers that this account probably isn’t just feeding RSS, someone took the time to craft this tweet.