The Right Way to Share Third-Party Content: Tips for Social Media Success

Contrary to popular belief, a company’s social media page isn’t just for self-promotion. On top of links to your own site, you should also mix in a healthy dose of third-party content: external articles, blogs or videos that are relevant to your business.

Beyond bringing your page fresh posts, sharing third-party links also lets you take a break from talking directly about your business. This helps avoid projecting a self-obsessed image; but more than that, it also lets you establish a more personal relationship with your followers, and show that your company understands new developments in your industry.

Still, it is possible to share unhelpful third-party content. So study these strategies to learn what links to look for, and which ones you should ditch.

Only Share What’s Interesting

A lot of boring updates tend to clog social media feeds, which means readers generally make quick judgement calls on whether to read or scroll past a post.

To get noticed, then, businesses should opt for quality over quantity when sharing third-party content. While regular updates do help keep followers interested, a constant stream of dull posts will encourage them to tune you out.

In short, make sure every post adds value to your page. Don’t just share for sharing’s sake; ask yourself if it will inform, entertain or otherwise engage your followers.

Personalize Every Post

Posting content without further comment is fine for individuals — but for businesses, an unexplained URL looks awkward. With no supplementary text, viewers will be left wondering what exactly your company thinks of the topic.

So don’t give your posts the silent treatment. Instead, add a unique lead-in to every third-party link and illustrate its purpose on your page.

On top of adding clarification, this practice will also build your brand by establishing a personality for customers to connect with.

Read All Your Content

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important enough to say anyway: Before you share any third-party content, make sure you’ve read it in its entirety.

The reason is a simple matter of representation. By sharing content, you effectively tell the world that you want to be associated with it; you express tacit approval of what the content says.

That approval can lead to issues if the content clashes with your brand. Suppose an article, while discussing your company’s industry, also argues against choosing your particular line of services. Suppose it was written 10 years ago, and its info is embarrassingly out of date. Or, worst of all, suppose it’s actually a sponsored post written by a competing company. In all those cases, sharing the article will only undermine your social media image.

Since you can’t know if content will accurately represent your business without seeing all of it, you’ll do your brand a huge favor by scrutinizing before you share.

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