This is the fourth in our 5 part series on leveraging sharing for your business. If you haven’t already, read parts one, two, & three before continuing. Check back next week for the fifth and final part of the series.

Part 4: Distributing Content to the Masses

Now that your content is created and packaged, it’s time to distribute. Identify what channels you will be utilizing and distribute using the following guidelines.

1. Go where your audience is.

Facebook is a good place to start. However channels like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest should also be considered.

2. Don’t forget to ASK people to share your content!

Sometimes all you have to do is ask. If that doesn’t work, try motivating your audience with giveaways or incentives. Many companies successfully utilize this strategy through Instagram photo contests.

3. Optimize for your channel.

Package your content appropriately for its respective channel. How and when you post to Facebook will be different than Twitter. Knowing the various mediums and how to capitalize on your efforts with each one is imperative and requires trial and error.

4. Abide by the 4-1 rule.

For every 1 self-promoting post, share 4 non self-promoting posts.

5. Show your appreciation when people share.

When people share, make an effort to reward their behavior with a mention or like, and when people comment, leave a response.

6. Determine frequency.

Without a system or strategy in place, it’s easy to start off strong only to go radio silent. Just as ineffective, is posting intermittently with long bouts of silence in-between. The more you share the better your odds, so make it a point to post daily or bi-weekly at a very minimum.

7. Optimize your UX for sharing.

Make it as easy as possible for people to share content from your site with obvious share buttons or callouts. Also, make sure your links are appropriate in respect to the call-to-action. If you’re promoting a hot deal, land users on the product where they can purchase. Your readers shouldn’t have to think.

8. Rinse & Repeat

Just because your content didn’t catch on the first time around doesn’t mean it’s not worth sharing. Viral content typically takes up to a year to spread, and only with large amounts of luck and timing. However, don’t beat your followers over the head with the same story. Develop a catalog so you can repost items which may have been missed the first time around without sounding like a broken record.

Check back next week for the fifth and final part in the series where we’ll focus on analyzing your efforts.