Update: In this post I mention making the custom urls is a bit cumbersome so I’ve made this simple online tool to help (experimental so if it doesn’t work let me know ;)
Previously I’ve highlighted the quantifiable value in embedding social media in the marketing strategies for courses. This focused on the benefits of including social media buttons such as Facebook Like and Twitter Tweet buttons in course information pages to enable your audience to ripple information around their social networks.
This advice obviously goes beyond course information and the same techniques can and should be used to get other parts of your institution’s message out. In the post I also highlighted that there is still as much value in enabling people to emailing information as there is in using emerging techniques like Facebook and Twitter. This is testament in the number of press releases and event information messages I still get in my inbox.
Whilst reading a press release I got emailed last night I wanted to share the information with my network on Twitter but I hit a couple of barriers. The release was a full page and as I was having my tea I didn’t have the time or effort to summarise the information into 140 characters and have the hassle of copying and pasting links from the email to my mobile Twitter client.
So what’s the solution. For a start I’m wondering if we are reaching the point where press offices should be including a 140 character summary (with shortened links) in the release notes. I’m also wondering if organisations should be including hyperlinks for prefilled messages for the main social media sites, which when clicked take you to directly to Twitter, Facebook et al. with the status update already filled in for you to submit.
|Share on Facebook1||Tweet This2||Share on LinkedIn3|
|Unofficial how-to on Facebook Share||Twitter’s NEW Web Intent||Share on LinkedIn Doc|
Update: Made a share link generator for these 3 services
1Facebook has an option to include custom text but it’s overwritten by the link page title
2Whilst Twitter have been announcing things like personalised search and picture hosting they forgot to tell developers that they were switching the way status updates are prefilled via url (I picked this info up from here). So far I’ve spotted Google Reader’s Sent To option and Eventbrite’s Tweet This Event in their confirmation link are broken
3 When testing this link as a draft post it didn’t work, but I’m guess it was because this post url wasn’t live
You’ll notice in the support documentation they mention information in the links has to be encoded. I used this online encoder to format my link data.
Adding these custom links to emails is obviously fiddly and add yet another thing to do (to make it easier I wrote this online share link generator tool ;), but I think if you are keen to get your message out then it’s worth the effort to make it easier for your readership to amplify what it is you have to say. Something you might consider if you want to evidence a return on investment is add some extra data to your shared url to track your campaign. So you’d have one link in the body of the email and a slightly different one that gets shared. You may have to delve into the Google Analytics manual for this one, I’m also not sure if parts of the url will be stripped out when shared. Still worth considering.
BTW last night when I asked:
Is anyone adding 140 character summaries to press releases yet?View Tweet
Ben Martin @contentmotion said:
So your homework is to find out about PitchEngine and tell me if it’s any good or if there is a better alternative ;)
PS I’ve been emailing folks I know with this post (email is not dead) feel free to use this canned text: