This came up recently with a client. Although it may seem obvious as I spell it out here, I believe we often lose sight of the fundamental concept that drives social media: people want to share. They share articles, pictures, videos, opinions, ideas, jokes. They share our content and come back for more.
I often hear people talk about how to build audiences without mentioning sharing. Or else they are attempting to make something “viral” without understanding why it would be shared.
The magic of sharing is that when it works, it is enormously successful at building audiences. Effective knowledge dissemination builds audiences, and and large audiences facilitate knowledge dissemination.
The point of all this is not only do you have to have something worth sharing, it has to also be easily share-able. Make sure your web site supports your social media efforts. Just look at TED.com for a fantastic example of content worth sharing, made easy to share.