11 questions to ask before sharing content on social media

A good post on Twitter or Facebook can lead to new followers (who might become customers); a bad post could spiral into a PR nightmare. Let these questions guide you.

Do-it-yourself marketing is not easy. There’s so much info out there, especially as pertain to the Web and your small business.

Social media marketing and the community building it naturally entails means sharing content with your community or prospective members of it. Share well and you have a vibrant, happy community that you can convert for sales, rely on to help you with your business, and count on during a crisis.

Share badly, and you end up in an echo chamber with no one but yourself.

Here are a few questions you should ask before sharing any piece of content on social media:

1. Will anyone in the community find this useful? Will anyone be offended by it?

2. Who (what segments of the community) will enjoy it? Pieces of content that you share in social media don’t have to be relevant to everyone in the community all the time.

3. What about this content will they enjoy?

4. How likely is the content to breed discussion and foster reaction?

5. Is the content produced by you or another source?

6. Does it fit into a framework that works in terms of sharing your content and that produced by others with your community? You don’t want to always share stuff you produce because you risk sounding like a blowhard.

7. If the content you are sharing is produced by you, is it “about you” (say mention of a sale, promotion, news article on you) or is it of use to a segment in your community?

8. If the content is not yours, whose is it?

9. Is sharing content from someone else going to help you become closer to its producer? This is important, especially in a PR/influencer relations context.

10. After you share a piece of content, how likely is it that others in your community are going to further share it?

11. How are you measuring the effectiveness of the piece of content you share?

Please add any more in the comments section.

Jackson Wightman is the founder of Make PR, an online course that teachers startups and small businesses how to earn media coverage without the help (and cost) of a PR firm.

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