December 23, 2013 Michael Bickerton
Sliverpop is an email platform and (like all email providers) are building towards engagement automation, which is a valid opportunity. There are many in this space and automation may well have provided some decent results prior. However, it’s my opinion that automation may well be the end of a good marketing effort and automation may, in fact, leave your followers in a negative position.
The fact is that we are already inundated with a multitude of feeds, emails, social streams, RSS, etc., etc. You know this already. As marketers continue to automate, there will be more and more emails and communications rendering them less and less effective.
I came across a Silverpop piece from 2009 “Emails Gone Viral: Measuring ‘Share to Social’ Performance”. There was a lot of great information in this whitepaper, and I’m going to highlight a few thoughts, just a small snippet.
Why do people share content?
1) They want to contribute to the conversation
2) Self-interest, i.e. points, discounts, freebies etc.
3) Altruism, they want their friends to know about it
4) Validation, sharing feeds the ego
5) Affinity, sharing makes people feel part of the community
6) Prurience, (even after reading the definition, I’m not sure I get it, but everything seems to come back to sex).
The whitepaper make notes about what exactly was “Share worthy” and it appears to me that the reasons to share are the same as they were in 2009:
2) Tribal Interests
3) Simple & Obvious
4) Ease of Sharing Technology
5) Social Acumen
6) Creates Value
7) Incentives & Rewards
The takeaway here is that much hasn’t changed, email & social still work well together and people like to share. It’s what we do. The reference of sharing, social currency, friend to friend or birds of feather marketing, it’s clear that the reasons and content for sharing haven’t changed much. Yet, there is much more traffic, as such, building your organic following takes longer and more effort than ever before.
Email, social sharing, and social currency all work together, and people like to share, so as marketers it’s our job to provide value, provide a reason to share and then make it easy for them to do so. After all, we as people, it’s what we do.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd., Oakville, Ontario, December 2013