Spam Or Education: What Kind Of Content Are You Sharing?

Amar Sheth
Amar Sheth
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Everyone, including yours truly, advocates for sales professionals sharing content to their social networks. But is it worth it?

From a LinkedIn perspective, the early trickles of evidence indicate a resounding yes! Let’s look at the data that supports this philosophy.

Random Sharing = Random Results

First, let’s establish some of the top objections sales professionals have when it comes to sharing content regularly.

I Think It’s Spam

While a common objection, it’s largely not accurate. Sure, if you share content 30+ times/day and are constantly pushing information for the sake of it, then I can see why people would call it spam.

But, if you’re sharing strategically, at the right times of the day, with the intention of educating your network, it’s not spam. It’s your attempt at truly informing the network with your thoughts and views.

Consider the image below, recently published in The Times Sales Performance Report: compared to 2-3 years ago, buyers are 57% less dependent on salespeople in the decision-making process.

How is your buyer educating themselves without you? Think carefully about this, and how you share the right mix of content that supports the value—and urgency—of your solution.

When was the last time you made a big purchase without first Googling it? From this point of view, content can be anything but spam, but the choice is up to you.

The Content Won’t Be Seen by Anyone

People are afraid that social media viewers ignore their feeds. While true in many respects (especially if you’re sharing pure product information or sales pitches!), there are cases where we do find the information on our feeds relevant and helpful.

When it comes to decision-making, not all content is created equal:

Take this into account when deciding what to fill your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook feeds with.

Remember, we’re not trying to educate the entire world in one shot, we’re trying to educate over time.

Optimize Content Sharing With Insights

Now, let’s review the data LinkedIn provides us as users when we do share content.

Exhibit 1: Generate Awareness for Your Message

This screenshot reveals the data for a piece of content I shared in the first 3 hours or so.

LinkedIn is showing us who is looking at our content, where they’re from, what companies they belong to, location, etc. It even starts to show you which degree of connections are viewing this content the most (first, second or third degrees).

Exhibit 2: Let the Message Drive Visitors to You!

Before showing you the screenshots, first consider the main driver of why people visit your profile and what these people do.

If you share the right kind of content that pertains to your customers, it’s safe to assume that’s the type of people you will attract to your profile over time.

All signs point to content sharing driving the types of people that visit you.

LinkedIn has started to share this data with us. Although it’s not fully obvious (found generally in the notifications if you’re lucky), I would recommend everyone bookmarking this link and visiting it often.

This is a quick snapshot of which top companies’ visitors to my profile are coming from and which job functions they largely represent.

As you’ll see, this data can help us create and share the right type of content that’s important for our audience.

But I also believe the data paints a picture of opportunity, allowing us to determine the audience we want to speak to.

Right now, 22% of visitors to my profile are sales professionals, but if I want to turn that into C-Level executives (hypothetically), it can be done by shifting to sharing content that appeals to them.

The Bottom Line

Content sharing can be spam or it can be educational; you decide.

But one thing is for sure: it can help spread awareness of you and your message to your network like never before. It can also help you stand out to people outside of your network.

Secondly, this awareness can drive up views of your profile, allowing others to learn about you, your brand, your company and more. It’s up to you to capture those insights, and use them to drive sales conversations. 

What’s been your experience with content sharing? Share your thoughts with me on LinkedIn by connecting here or tweet me @AmarSheth.

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The Ultimate Guide to Social Selling