How do you get members to share content?
One solution is technical. You can tweak the sharing
options. You can provide more nudges for people to share the material. This has
a small boost amongst the members that were planning to share it anyway.
Another option is to beg. Please share/click/recommend/like
this article. This is the route most FB fan pages take. It doesn’t work well
and reflects badly on you.
Another option is to write a truly remarkable,
groundbreaking, article. You can write the types of articles that get shared a
lot because of their sheer quality/novelty/entertainment value. This is a rough
market. You can’t pull this off every week. There are only so many How To’s, great
contrarians, and Tim Ferriss’ in the world. For all the talk of content
marketing, few people are doing this in any major way.
The final option is the school play tactic. Schools involve
every child in the school play because they bring their relatives. This
approach works with community content too.
The more people you involve in the creation of content, the
more people will share it. If you ask ten members for their best advice on a
topic, publish this as an article, those 10 people are likely to share it. In
fact, many more in the community might feel a sense of ownership over the
The secret then is to develop a process for members
regularly co-creating content in the community. You want members tackling
several topics at any given time. You can even provide a list for members to
topic. You want to publish regular eBooks written by the community with dozens
of links back to relevant discussions in the community.
Ideally, you want this whole process to be ingrained in the
community culture. Members propose a topic, different members share their ideas
about it, this is publish and shared externally.
It’s a safe bet that members will share content that have
helped create. It’s also far more fun than any other approach.