Less is more in Social Media Marketing

Craig Hoggins
January 17, 2013
Social Media

How you can make use of organic traffic on Social Media

Ever heard the expression that less is more? Well, this is true, especially when it comes to social media sharing and online marketing.
How you can make use of organic traffic on Social Media

Often we think that the more information about our brands we throw out there in people's faces the more they will see our product or our business. We paste our brands on every box and table. This is all good but when it comes to online marketing there is a huge difference in both the way people interact with brands and the way they process information. Less is more when you embed social media buttons. Social media marketing is all about being value because no one on the internet wants to visit a poorly built site and a useless article for the sake of visiting it or for any reason. They want to visit sites that capture their interest and either create an emotion or shows them something they didn't know before. Mostly for general information purposes or news type content.

You probably want to get your articles out there, you want to get your brand in people's emotions and interest, your hard worked on content browsed and shared because after all, this is what online marketing is about. Embedding social media buttons is one way of doing this, it's one way of getting into people's emotions and interests because people share content they are obviously interested in, it gives the person reading your created content the chance of sharing your content with their audience if that content is interesting enough. Everyone has an audience even if they don't realize it. Your audience are your friends, your family, your co-workers and everyone that surrounds you daily. Your audience on the internet is every potential visitor or every person that made their way to your site somehow.

This is the secret of online marketing. In life outside the internet, you have endless ways of capturing the imagination of those around you but in online marketing, this is downgraded to the goldfish rule. The goldfish rule is that when someone visits your site you have 5 seconds to capture their focus until they forget your site and move on to the next topic. This was proved with Stumbleupon a few years ago, however, their tests determine that this was down to 3 seconds. So let's just say 3-5 seconds is the average attention span of the average person browsing the internet. You have a mere 3 seconds to capture the focus, imagination and interest of the average browser, after that its "goodbye".

In life there are leaders and followers, most people are followers and not leaders. The great thing about this is that if your article is shared only once or twice by a leader, that gives people the ability to follow. This is where social media buttons come handy. If you can get 2 or 3 of your friends to share an article on Twitter using embeddable social media buttons it means that the leader has started and soon the sheep will follow, because the person that starts the action is the leader and that can be anyone that takes the initiative and time, but also the risk that no one will respond. However, sheep need a reason and this is where emotion comes into play. Within the first few seconds, you have to capture the emotion of the person browsing your site and this is done with fancy titles or normal obvious ways including images and the likes. What is not obvious is that people know somewhat about the topics spoken of up until here in this article, so they embed just about every type of button known to mankind on their site. This is the wrong approach because well as the title says less is more in social sharing and online marketing.

If they see 1 or 2 buttons where "leaders" started the action of sharing they will follow. Especially if those leaders caused somewhat of a following already. Sheep follow the other sheep, the more the better and safer they feel. If they see many shares on the number of shares located on most embedded social buttons they will in turn also share because their reasoning is, if so many people like this I don't stand the chance of not getting any reaction because so many other people reacted. Now I'm not saying all articles on Twitter and Facebook are shared like this and not all people are the sheep but from experience, this is one definite way of starting the social ball rolling and the best way to get traffic. Now, if they see 20 buttons but only 2 have leader actions this makes them afraid to be the ones taking control and sharing on the other buttons. This also makes the ratio of shared buttons versus not shared buttons obviously much higher and gives the unshared buttons the focus.

This brings in the fear that if they share there will be no response because to the naked eye, there's less response in the total ratio of buttons than there is a response. If there were to be 3 buttons and two of those buttons had plenty of shares then the sheep might just start using the 3rd button because if two has plenty of shares and there is only one without, this means the share ratio is higher than the unshared. By watching posts go viral you enable buttons one by one until every available button has shared views on it. This will be more inviting to both leaders and sheep to share your posts. This is what it means, Less is more. Less available buttons equal more traffic if the existing buttons have shared.

Here is a great example:

A site with the first image of social sharing buttons would be shared much less, whereas the second image, a site containing those buttons would be shared almost instantly by someone having the same interests because if so many people found this topic interesting and it's actually a topic the person reading is already interested in, then this must be truly worth sharing.

This will not be shared

Sharing ratio will be tremendously high

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