Determining the correct amount and quality of social sharing for the application you’re building isn’t easy. What follows are my notes on three types of social sharers that might help you decide what types of folks to support. Thinking of how your app’s audience does what they do reveals the problem solving features you ought to create.
Whenever you can help people convey meaning then you’re adding value by enabling social sharers to form community. “Doing life” with others is a genuinely powerful and hopeful message that your customers will be elated to find as they connect the dots from your app to their social network.
Fundamentally social sharers are sending out small symbolic messages self-selecting from their entire audience funneling down to only those who recognize the meaning. From there it’s up to them to create future adventures together.
The Three Types of Social Sharers
Some will harshly misjudge these folks as bragging. In fact they merely strive to collect life-events letting others know something is happening or has recently happened. Proclaiming “achievement unlocked” and reviewing “bucket-lists” are commonplace for claimers. For them postings are also a desire to find others who will hold them accountable for follow-through of future events.
Creators Expressing a point-of-view with an eye towards controlling the way in which creators present an otherwise normal, real-world event, place, or thing. Controlling sharing in a way that allows interpretation of reality is a bonus. Editing allow them to convey additional meaning and point-of-view for something otherwise ordinary and common-place. These folks “make” because they are made to.
Connectors Publishing for connectors is a search for someone who went to, did, or likes a similar place, event, or thing. Seeking a connection these folks want to establish common ground extending the feeling of their shared experience. Possibly confirming a link with someone of a similar context with whom they can enjoy future travels and attendance is a bonus.
In each of these cases people are using your app to control and finesse reality. Sometimes it’s just a matter of simply reporting precisely how an event happened. Sometimes sharing is enabling them to convey how they felt about an activity in retrospect, or how it appears to them by applying their point-of-view with additional emotional context. Explore how your customers can creatively generate content.
My Personal Bias
I’ll say right now that this is all based on my personal observation and not in any way supported by scientific analysis or well-funded formal studies. I am simply a coder and not a strategist or consultant. I appreciate that you trust me but I insist that you verify everything.
Social Media Strategy
How do you apply social sharing with your application? I have absolutely no idea! I’ve never seen your project in action, but I bet you’re already imagining a short-list. Grab a Moleskeine and G-2 right now and furiously scribble down notes before you forget what you’re thinking.
I will say that if you think of what your app does best, its true value proposition, then think of how that helps these types of social sharers do what they like to do. If you can enable them to control their expression then they are going to love you!
Have a Think on This
Think about how you personally enjoy sharing socially. You probably exhibit one of the traits listed above. If you think of another category please ping me back on Twitter.
In the meantime have a coffee, consider this well, and do something awesome!