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Social Sharing 101: How to share content without spamming

Encouraging shares of online content is not only a buzz worthy business practice, it’s a smart one as well. When we secure placements for our clients, we often can’t help but share our excitement and spread the word through our personal or professional networks. But as PR professionals, we walk a fine line between offering our Twitter followers quality content and spamming them with news from clients or other sources. Similarly, we have to juggle sharing on a professional and a personal level.

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There is not one simple approach to how you share content from your personal Twitter account, but there are definitely ways to avoid becoming a spammer rather than sharing as a thought leader. Here are some tips on creating quality shares.

1.        Put it in your own words- Unless you are directly retweeting another account word for word, you should try to accompany a link with your own writing. It doesn’t have to be your personal take on an article, but it should reflect your personal writing style and character.

Followers can tell when something you post is written by someone else. By sharing the link in your own words, it differentiates you and the content from others who may be sharing the same link. Unique wording clarifies why it is important that you are sharing this content with followers.

2.       Treat the tweet like a lead- Like an article or press release, a client tweet should entice followers to click through. Ask why your followers would want to read the article. The answer should dictate what you write when you share a link. Make a follower feel as if they may miss something if they don’t click your link.

3.       Keep it short and sweet- Sharing does not mean paraphrasing or elaborating in multiple tweets. You simply want to push the content out there, not rewrite it. With Twitter, you get 140 characters or less. Instead of summarizing the content or attempting to boil a whole article down into a sentence, keep the copy short and to the point.

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4.       Act as a thought leader- When it comes to sharing with your followers, you are the expert. You know what you’re talking about and should be confident in what you have to say. When tweeting client news or personal links, mirror these qualities. While you can share a mix of lighthearted and serious items, make sure the client news you’re sharing is something you want to offer to your followers, as well as a piece that will align with your values.

5.       Don’t overdo it- Sharing content can be a great way to drive leads or create a buzz, but there’s a point when sharing can turn into spamming. Continuously sharing the same link or same sort of news will not make your followers click on it. By blanketing your page with shares, it begins to look a lot like sponsored content instead of unique content you generated. If you have gone overboard, at a certain point, followers will begin to tune you out, or even worse, choose to ignore or unfollow you.

Balancing a personal account with client news isn’t easy. But by finding a healthy balance between shared content and personal style, you have the opportunity to become a thought leader in your own right.