There are three types of mainstream media online. Paid media, owned media, and earned media. Owned media are media assets that you or your company owns including websites, blogs, and so on. Paid media are media assets that are obtained through external investments such as display ads, sponsorships and paid searches. Earned media are media assets that are built through word of mouth, buzz, viral shares and so on.
From these three types of media, earned media is considered one of the most powerful as it carries the most weight and credibility compared to the other two. Some marketers even consider earn media as the holy grail in marketing – the peak of all your marketing efforts.
Why is this so? This is because consumers trust friends more than they trust brands or paid ads or even celebrity brand ambassadors.
Let me ask you this, who you would believe? A logo behind a brand or people you know? I’m sure you would pick the second and you shouldn’t be surprised that you’re not alone. According to a survey done by Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Meanwhile, only 36% of consumers trust completely ads on social networks. That is a HUGE difference and surely marketers must now tap into these 92%.
While earned media is tough to build, there are tools out there that can help you increase earned media. More importantly, these tools are built to help you increase what is defined as measures to capture earned media – such as shares, retweets, pins, +1′s, etc.
Here are my 9 recommendations for tools to increase earned media.
1. Click to Tweet
ClickToTweet allows you to create personal messages, quotes or any text messages that can be embedded on a website or blog to be tweeted out when users click on it.
How can this tool help? Rather than readers only being able to share only the one headline or title of an article using the retweet button, ClickToTweet allows readers to choose headlines that stand out for them as they read the article – be it part of its content, a relevant quote they remember, or even something that relates to their life.
Testing this on my blog, I have found some readers preferred to share quotes and facts mentioned in articles rather than just the headline.
For example, let’s use the facts we stated earlier.
92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.
2. Pay with a Tweet
You have a new site and you’re looking to increase traffic and shares – so what can you do? You could consider using Pay with a Tweet. This unique tool allows you to give away a digital product only when users share on Twitter or Facebook. This will help increase awareness about your page and reach the audience you might otherwise have not been able to.
There are a couple ways to go around using this tool for your benefits.
- Install only pay with a tweet on your site.
- Install both pay with a tweet and an email subscription.
That way, for those who are afraid to tweet, they could consider exchanging their email address instead.
3. Raffle Copter
Raffle Copter allows you to create and organize giveaways which you can then embed on your blogs or websites.
What this tool does is help you increase shares on social networking sites. Users who participate in your giveaway and wants to stand more chances of winning would have to share to earn extra entries. This gives them an extra incentive and motivation for participants to compete for your giveaway – while at the same time increasing your brand exposure.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Buffer. If you have not used it, you’re probably missing out on one of the best ways to schedule tweets. Using buffer you’ll be able to spread your tweets across multiple hours and times without spamming your friends. Buffer comes with a great analytics that will help you determine if your tweets are effective.
According to a study done by the Buffer team, users who used it saw an increase of 200% of clicks on links and doubled the retweet rate. If you’re not using this, you’re definitely missing out.
Socialbro is one of my favourite Twitter management tools. They have one of the most complete management tools that can give you great insights about your overall Twitter marketing efforts and more. With Socialbro, you can do many things such as find out more about your followers, their location, find influential users, find the best time to tweet and more.
What this tool can do for you? Well based on Socialbro’s algorithm, it will determine the best time for you to tweet. If this doesn’t appeal to you, the good news is you can directly connect Socialbro to your Buffer account to ensure that with Buffer’s scheduling prowess and Socialbro’s accuracy your account will be tweeting only on the most optimal hours.
As much as there have been many studies out there on the best possible time to tweet, I believe that each account will differ in terms of optimal timing because of the different demographics that is within your audience – so my suggestion is getting a tool like Socialbro to cater specifically to your account would be a much better way of understanding optimal times.
While the building relationships is the key to increasing earned media, marketers today cannot overlook maintaining relationships to maximize its potential. Maintaining relationships on Twitter can be a little daunting and messy. That is where Commun.it comes in. Commun.it is an excellent Twitter relationship management tool.
This tool can do wonders for you. It gives you a list of your Twitter users who are influential, have retweeted you and engaged with you. This essentially provides you with a hitlist of users that you can target to further build your relationship with.
For an in-depth read, I recommend you read Kristi Hines’s article about Commun.it on Social Media Examiner where she covers a more detailed review about what it can do.
7. Viral Lock
Viral Lock is a WordPress plugin that locks your page from being viewed until a user shares your page. While ‘Pay with a tweet’ is only for Twitter and Facebook, with this tool readers are able to pick from Google+ too.
Just like how ‘Pay with a tweet’ works, this tool is great when paired with giveaways and promotions will motivate and incentivize your audience to share your content.
8. Digg Digg
Digg Digg is an all in one social sharing plugin for WordPress. Its my favourite share toolbar. Why? It allows you to display a floating social share buttons instantly without knowing how to code.
What I like about this tool is that it supports many different share-buttons such as Twitter, Buffer, Google +, Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit and more. This allows you to customize your social share buttons that fits your niche or business. Often overlooked, this tool allows people to pick where they would like to share your post or article to. Definitely a must use for all blogs.
If you’re looking to increase share on your blog, use this!
Some of you might already have your favourite social media management tools and you might not want to add and adapt another social media management tool. In that case, Tweriod would be the right fit for you.
Like Socialbro, this tool will help you find optimal hours to tweet based on their algorithm. With Tweriod you’ll be able to connect the recommended times to your buffer account as well.
Quick Tip: As both Tweriod and Socialbro uses different algorithms, both would recommend different times for you to tweet. I recommend you experiment with both to find out which fits your business better.
As we enter into a new era of communication online, earned media will play a more important role. Earned media will be the media that separates a strong brand with others. This is because earned media isn’t something you could build in a day.
What do you think?
Have you used other tools that can help increase earned media or social shares?