Understanding Social Shares and How you Can Drive Interactions

Kestrel Lemen

In a past post I referred to using two separate mind sets when developing your email marketing program. The first: the Deanna side is the empathetic side, where you develop your messages based on how your target audience is thinking and feeling. The second: the Data side is based on hard data recorded from contacts and what logically must be done to produce results.  The art and science if you will.

Let’s talk about a social media marketing interaction where the Data and Deanna mindset can work together. 

Someone shares content from your email campaign out to their social channels

Your Deanna mindset will be thrilled that your contacts have shared your content! But not surprised, you understand your audience and you know what they think is interesting or enticing enough to share. You have been monitoring your social channels and really understand what social media is. You also realize that when people feel valued for the actions they take they are more likely to repeat those actions in the future. So, rewarding those who share makes a lot of sense.

Example: Let’s say you’re a fashion retailer, and have loads of social followers who may not be buyers, but love your products and constantly rave about them. You also have noticed that those who are interacting with you on social and email, are very engaged and have high open and click rates. You recognize that the thing they are most interested in sharing is news about the product. For this spring you do a huge share with your network contest that introduces the new looks for spring. These new looks can’t be accessed through the web site, they are a ‘sneak peek’ for your email subscribers. This makes your email subscribers feel valued, and that they are ‘in the know’. Sharing this kind of content comes naturally to this audience.

Your Data mindset understands what motivates an audience by reviewing past open/click/conversion behavior. You have tested sharing links in different locations, with different calls to action. You have the data that supports what will be a successful and sharable message. You’ve also seen that messages that have a higher share rate see more traffic to the site, thus resulting in more sales.

In this same example where you are a high end fashion retailer.  Your Data mindset has seen a trend with your email audience: they have huge open/click rates around the announcement of a new line. So during a social sharing campaign around the new release you utilize the data you already know to place the share links in an optimal place with a strong and proven CTA.  After the messages go out you look at the sharing analysis and identify who has shared, and how many views each share got. Create a list of those who received a large amount of social views. This group could be influencers and you will want to send them a very special thank you as they could be the ones sharing more in the future. Develop messaging for your influencers and send it out (I would suggest some kind of incentive, it’s likely to be a small list and it’s very possible an incentive will influence them to share more in the future). Then develop a basic thanks for sharing message and send it out to everyone who shared (suppressing the influencers list).


  • Understand your social space: who is your audience and what are they doing
  • Review your past message metrics and see what is driving people to share
  • Test different share link positions and calls to action
  • Decide what type of message makes sense for your audience to share
  • Reward those who share, we want them to do so again in the future!
  • If you’re the data geek on the team, pair up with a Deanna to make sure that your offer is compelling/enticing enough. If you’re far away from the data, make sure that you compelling offer is getting the appropriate attention (Through measuring repsonse rates, etc). Use this as a good opportunity to work with collegues to put both your mindsets together. 

Keep track of those who get a large number of views from their shares, these are your influencers and maybe a special list you want to send to exclusively in the future. (Little story, I had a client do a sharing contest once, we found that one contact was able to get 2,000 views… umm WOW… Yes we definitely want to keep an eye on that contact and handle with care)

What do you think of the Data Deanna mindset theory? Are you using one more then another? Let me know what you think!

Kestrel Lemen
Marketing Strategist at Bronto