A social trigger is a tool which prompts users to share your content on social media. There are many ways to use social triggers for content promotion, but we are going to focus on three: social media buttons, click to tweet, and viral social loop.
I call them social triggers, but Derek Halpern built an entire blog around the term. When he started out, he wrote and produced these long posts about the psychology about why we do things online. Those posts were fascinating. It looks like these days he has changed his focus to helping people run an online business.
One of the things that people attribute to Halpern is the 80/20 rule. Do a research online about content promotion, and that rule comes up almost every time.
Sujan Patel even wrote a post challenging the idea (he really just challenges how the idea is used and interpreted). It is a terrific post worth reading.
As with anything, you should always test “rules” and techniques against your own context.
The 80/20 rule says you should spend 80% of your time promoting your content and 2o% of your time creating the content. These are, of course, give or take amounts. The real takeaway is how little we spend promoting content.
There are multiple ways to generate traffic to a website or a blog, and not engaging any form of content promotion will lead to a very small amount of traffic.
Social triggers are the techniques we can use to generate leads which prompt our fans to share socially. Below, I dive into three different triggers we can use to help promote our content. Before we look at these three different methods, I want to offer a caveat. Quoting Suan Patel,
To make promoting your content worth your while, the content itself has to be good. Great, even. Simply banging out any old blog post and investing 80% of your time into promoting it won’t suddenly turn it into something that people will want to share. This method only works if you have the resources needed to create content that’s actually worth promoting.
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You have to take the time to create good content.
Got it? Good. Let’s dive in!
Social media buttons
If you remember the early days of blogging, social media buttons weren’t prominent. In fact, blogging was an accepted form of social media in the early days and as powerful or more than Myspace. Of course, since those days, we have had rise to Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, and Instagram. Common wisdom is to share your content on these channels.
Eventually, third party tools popped up to help with sharing across multiple platforms. Nevertheless, as a WordPress user, there are plenty of plugins available to help your users navigate the sharing of your content on your favorite social media platform.
Thankfully, because of plugins, we don’t have to buy or download packs of social media icons to put on our site. Simply install the plugin of your choice and set them on your blog posts.
Adding social media buttons before, after and to the left side has become sort of a standard for social media buttons. Most plugins accommodate these placements.
Top plugins for adding social media buttons
Making it easy to tweet various snippets of content is a powerful technique that you can easily employee. There are numerous plugins which you can use to make something easy click to tweet.
Ann Smarty has a rundown of some of the most common ways to make content clickable in this article at Internet Marketing Ninjas.
In addition to some of the ones she mentions, we will discuss a few through some of the more popular plugins.
Sumo has a suite of content promotion tools including a tweet sharing app called Highlighter. Simply activate the app in your suite, configure your settings and users will see the option to tweet text when it is highlighted.
2. Better Click to Tweet
The plugin Better Click to Tweet by Ben Meredith is one of the top downloads for click to tweet plugins and the highest rating. The plugin an improvement on the Click to Tweet plugin by TodayMade of the CoSchedule team. If you are looking for something simple that can be customized without investing money, this is a great one to consider.
3. Social Warfare
Social Warfare is a fantastic premium plugin for social media. Adam Connell from Blogging Wizard notes that Social Warfare is his plugin of choice for sharing,
Social Warfare is now my go-to social sharing plugin for WordPress. This plugin makes it easy to add visually stunning sharing buttons to your blog in a variety of locations – you can add share buttons above/below your posts, via shortcodes and even floating share buttons. And it gets better: you also get access to a number of powerful features that can give you a massive boost in social shares.
Social Viral Loop
A viral loop is a tactic many growth hacking experts use to gain followers quickly. Users see this technique quite clearly with products such as Trello and Dropbox. For sharing and referring a friend you are given more of the product (ie. space for Dropbox) as a part of your plan. The technique uses incentive.
I like to call it a social viral loop because, in our context of content promotion, it is a very social based tactic.
What is a viral loop?
Kieran Goodacre gave a simple but effective definition on Quora saying,
In it’s simplest form a Viral Loop is term used for growing your product via referrals.For example, person uses product -> tells friend -> the friend uses the product -> tells another friend who uses the product -> cycle is repeated.This image explains it clearly…
Viral loops have mostly been used in the startup space, particularly with apps who need a large block of users. You see viral loops at work with social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.
A viral loop for blogs will need three dynamics to make it work: content, incentive, and social proof.
Can you execute this for your blog? Sure.
1. Share to get lead magnet
One technique I have seen is the share with your friends on social media to get the lead magnet. In this case, the emphasis is on getting users to your blog. One marketer even used this technique on LinkedIn and managed to get 76,000 new email addresses.
2. Thank You page
This technique uses the thank you page after a person signs up for your email newsletter. Typically, on the thank you page, you offer an additional piece of content for sharing with the user’s friends on social media.
Ramit Seth’s team did just that for a course they created. Joe Choi explains at Growth Lab,
As usual, we sent everyone to a “thank you” page after they entered their email and signed up.
On the page, we embedded the tweet and Facebook post I showed you before. And we asked readers to share or retweet.
3. Webinar Registration
In this case, when your user signs up for a webinar, they then are encouraged to share that they have signed up for the webinar with their friends on social media. You can add an incentive or just ask them to share. This is the same tactic as the Thank You page, it’s just executed on the webinar registration page.
Do you need some help executing a social viral loop? Naturally, there are third party tools that can help you increase sign ups and email subscribers. Below are three tools for doing so.
Content promotion is a large part of the battle for content marketing. Simply publishing a blog post will do little for your efforts unless you have a huge following already.
Social Triggers help because it creates the environment in which you can sign up email subscribers which in turn will know when you post new content and also spread your message across multiple social media platforms by your existing audience.
What tactics do you use to promote your content?