Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media
I came across this really interesting blog post on simplyzesty.com a few weeks ago that outlined a study done by the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The study, which took place over three years, attempted to determine the relationship between heavily tweeted articles and the amount of times they were cited elsewhere on the Internet. The results were pretty impressive; highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles. The “twimpact factor” measures the number of tweets that an article gets in seven days and the study concluded that “Top-cited articles can be predicted from top-tweeted articles with 93% specificity.”
So what does this mean for you and your social media marketing campaign?
It doesn’t matter what social networking platform you prefer (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the new-ish Google+), I’d say this study gives ROI-focused marketers the kind of numbers they have been looking for that show real value for their social media marketing efforts. The more buzz you can build around a piece of content the more natural links it will generate for itself, much like a snowball effect. Social media marketing builds upon itself with time and has amazing potential.
Think about it like this. Let’s say you routinely post snippets from your blog to Facebook. Every time you publish a new post it has the potential of being seen, read and shared by everyone in your social network. But it doesn’t stop there. If only one other person shares your content on their Facebook wall, your brand has just been introduced to their entire social network, many of whom may have never interacted with your brand before. If one person from that segment shares your content it reaches an even wider audience. Much like ripples in a pond, one piece of content has the ability to travel much farther than the original post thanks to the power of social media.
But you can’t treat social media marketing with a “if you build it they will come” attitude. Website owners cannot expect their target audience to do all the heavy social lifting on their own—you have to make it easy for someone to share your content if you want it to be shared! It starts with adding social share buttons to your website, which let a reader share your content on a social network of their choice without having to leave your site. However, you have to take the first step in getting your content published on social networking sites! Submit it to relevant LinkedIn groups, tweet the link, post it to Facebook and share it on Google+, submit it to social bookmarking sites, use it in your newsletters and so forth. The more places you can publish your content the more likely it is to be found by your social network and the more likely it is to be shared.