There’s two main reasons you might want to share some content on your Facebook Page:
- Sharing content created or re-shared by someone else. (Why might we want to do this? It might be relevant to our visitors; it saves us having to create some content ourselves on a slow day; sharing it might show we support or endorse the owner of the content.)
- Sharing a page of your own website or another of your social media accounts. We’d do this to try to make our Facebook fans engage with other things we do, buy our products, and so on.
It’s a simple thing to do, but there are pitfalls! First off, the how-to. Here we’re Thirsk Community Library and we are sharing a Carol Drinkwater author event posted by local bookshop White Rose Books. This is for reason 1. above – it’s interesting to our audience, and sharing it demonstrates support of a local business and colleague.
Now, researching Carol Drinkwater’s books on the library catalogue and putting a link into our post just adds a little aspect of “what’s in it for me?” Libraries and bookshops are perfect partners, not competitors. The library benefits if people borrow books, and the bookshop benefits from informed event-goers who might be more likely to make a purchase having tested the water first.
Here’s the final post:
Now for the pitfalls!
What happens if you give no context in the top part? If you’re unlucky, some platforms won’t even pull through what you’re trying to share. See below, a different post: one a screenshot from mobile (Android) where I’ve no idea what was being shared on Grumbler, and, knowing Grumbler, I might be slightly concerned about clicking on it with children present. While it’s an excellent resource for a lot of things, there’s no particular need for the library to promote it – also, depending on the privacy settings, things shared from groups don’t always show up properly.
The other image, exactly the same content (note the date and time is identical) shows the link we’d originally intended to share, this time, displaying properly in Chrome on a PC. However, we’re still referencing Grumbler, and Joe who shared it to Grumbler in the first place, which is distracting from what we’re trying to achieve (namely, being generally pro-Hambleton and sharing good news about our area).
The solution here would have involved a bit more work. Two choices:
- Go to Hambleton Today’s Facebook page and share the link directly from there, or;
- Find a different source for this news story entirely (perhaps one that helps us somehow or with whom we want to build a relationship).
Here’s some of the process, which includes:
- finding the content we want and from whom we want to share it
- sharing it on, and as, our Page, and
- deciding whether to include the original post.
I started off here by searching for Hambleton Today in the top bar.
Having decided to just share the article itself, and take out the Hambleton Today Facebook post (we can schmooze them another time) all that remained was to add a personal touch. Here I decided to throw a little good humoured shade Orkney Library’s way (since Orkney was voted first best place to live in the survey). Also, Orkney Library’s social media is famously very good, with an excellent sense of humour. So there’s an outside chance they might respond. I’ll keep you posted if this goes viral 😉