Recently, we were on a conference call with one of our clients in the CPG space. They had just launched a new(ish) program and were looking for insights and tips on how to get their advocates to share content consistently week over week. We’ve heard this question fairly often from clients of all shapes and sizes. After all, if you want to grow your Earned Media Value and drive that sweet ROI magic, your advocates need to be sharing content on a reliable and consistent basis. So, we’re sharing our answer to this question with the world!
If you want your advocates to share your content on the regular, you need to cultivate a habit of sharing.
What the Heck is a Habit of Sharing?
Simple answer, a habit of sharing is when you get your advocates into a habit of regularly sharing your posts and content.
Longer answer, a habit of sharing is when you have trained your audience to expect your content on certain days/times. They then habitually share your content, almost as an unconscious action. It becomes a compulsion. Kind of how like people habitually check their Facebook or favorite time-wasting blog when they’re waiting in line at the grocery store. They simply just do it.
The good news for brands is that developing this habit is 100% up to them and how they interact with their advocates. Here are our best practices for developing a habit of sharing:
1) Understand That Habits Aren’t Formed Overnight
Science has shown that it takes 21 days to develop a habit – which means that if you want your advocates to develop a habit regularly sharing your content, you need to ensure that you are providing them ongoing opportunities to share your content. Sharing one time does not a habit make.
2) Train Them with Consistency
If you’re asking your advocates to share at random times over the month, you’re not going to develop a habit. Habits come from repeated behaviors. People need to be trained to share your content, and the best way to do that is by asking them to share at consistent times. Don’t go weeks between sharing posts only to bombard them with 4 posts in a week before going dark again.
Train them to expect your emails (and your content) in set time frames, say every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am. After a while, your advocates will start anticipating these emails. Meaning they have already made up their mind that they’re going to share your content.
Human beings are creatures of routine (Taco Tuesday anyone?). If you’re going to train your advocates, you need to give them into a routine.
3) Hook Them with Great Content
Self-reflect a bit with us and look at your own email and content sharing habits. We’re sure every reader receives email or content from a brand or spokesperson that they open religiously. We actually get excited to see some of these emails come through!
We get excited because that email sender has proven to us (from past experience) that the content they send is valuable. Opening their emails is worth it to us.
Your advocates have the same requirement. If you want to cultivate a habit of sharing, you need to make sure the content makes your advocates go B-A-N-A-N-A-S. We’re not saying every piece has to be a polished piece of comedic wonderment. Your content can be entertaining, but it can also be helpful or be a resource to help elevate your advocates social status. Whatever the goal, your advocates need to see value in your content.
4) Set a Sharing Goal For Your Advocates & Have Them Reach It
Dietitians will typically tell you, the best motivation for someone looking to lose weight is to see those first couple of pounds fall off the scale. Habits are built on a feedback loop. Someone takes an action, sees the immediate benefit (endorphins, material rewards, likes on Facebook), likes those benefits, repeats the action, etc.
In an Advocacy Marketing Program, the positive feedback we’re describing are the points your advocates earn when they share your content. With every piece of content they share, their total points in the program grow. This gamification element is a strong driver of success in an Advocacy Marketing Program.
On top of points, you can help cultivate a habit of sharing by providing other opportunities for positive feedback by:
- Sharing regular notes of praise and encouragement to your advocates
- Give advocates that hit a certain threshold a public shout out on your social media profile
- Send a few surprise-and-delight packages
The better an advocate feels when sharing your content, the more likely a habit of sharing will form.
5) Make it Easy
Lastly, be sure to remove as many barriers to sharing as possible. The easier you make it for an advocate to share your content, the quicker the sharing habit starts to develop. SocialToaster makes it simple for your advocates to share your content straight from their email. Using our patented one-click sharing technology, your advocates can automatically post your content to their social channels straight from the email you send them.
No new tabs. No copy pasting. One click on one button shares your content directly to your advocates’ pages.
Struggle No More With SocialToaster
Are you struggling with getting your content seen and shared? Let SocialToaster design a custom Advocacy Marketing Program that your Superfans can’t wait to join. Email or call us today and let one of our advocacy marketing strategists set up your free demo to develop an advocacy program that fits your needs.