Are “Clicks” Really Equal to “Shares”?
This seems to be a perplexing question a lot of marketers are asking today. Clicks do indicate an action, as does a share, does it not? The answer can be more complex than just looking at the action of clicking and sharing.
Sure, both require that your hand reaches out and moves that mouse and ‘press’ a button on the screen in front of you, but that’s about where the similarities end. That’s where the complex task of weighting the different actions comes into play for most marketers. What is the value to my organization between a click and a share?
What’s a Click?
It’s a click on a link in a search engine results page (natural listings, paid or display). It’s a click on an image that promises amazing results. Its as easy as “liking” or “thumbing up” or “favoriting”. For the most part, there’s little ‘personal investment’ when it comes to clicking. We are not ‘giving something of ourselves away’.
A Click is a very easy action to do …. and then forget. Do you really want to be just forgotten?
You Can Be Tricked Into Clicking
Click here now to win! Hurry & Like Us to Enter the Contest. Favorite This Post And We’ll Donate $1 To XYZ Cause.
We’ve all seen the enticements, we’ve all likely been tricked into clicking. It’s very rare we go beyond that action of doing exactly what the ‘draw in’ asked us to do – click on the search result, liked their page, favorited the tweet or post. After that, what did you do? Where’s the true engagement, and what was the value. With a click, it’s very hard to determine.
Sure you can measure – more over – just count the times the click happened and that’s great to be able to count that, but what was the value of that action? A click of a like on a facebook page is as measurable by counting as a hit or pageview to a website’s page. Without context or value applied, they are just a number that the CSuite is going to say “so what?” to.
You Can’t Be Tricked Into Sharing
On the other hand, the act of sharing is much more valuable because it indicated that you’ve been perceived as valuable. It leads to recommendations, brand reach, conversions and customer loyalty. All metrics that any marketer, brand manager or C-Suite level executive wants to see more of. The act of sharing though can’t be “tricked” like the act of clicking can.
Sharing involves giving a piece of ourselves to our friends. It could be knowledge, it could be time, it could be something else we value – perhaps our phone number, our email address or other identifying information. Regardless of what we’re giving up when we share, there has to be some reward, some value for the individual at the end of the action, that invokes them into the process of sharing. That’s why it can’t be ‘tricked’ like a click.
Measure the Acts of Sharing
Sharing isn’t merely pressing the “Share This” button and launching it into someone’s Facebook stream for their friends to see. Sharing means the person is sharing something they perceive valuable. To get a white paper a person perceives as valuable, they could share their email address, which they don’t regularly share because they feel that personal information is valuable to them.
They could share their opinion in a comment on a blog post or an a post on your Facebook page. They can share pins on Pinterest, ReTweet on Twitter or decide to share their exercise information from their latest workout within and your application. In some form, they found value in what you provided, enough to share a part of themselves with you, or with their audience.
The act of sharing is more of an indicator that your are succeeding with your digital marketing strategy than a click, because unlike a click, they are more likely to remember they took the action and come back for more.