Share threads. They sound like a simple, helpful way to get your content in front of more people, right?
And, isn’t that what blogging is all about, traffic?
While you want traffic, you want to do it the right way, and unfortunately, using share threads may ultimately cause more harm than good.
You are new to blogging and are going about your day when you hear of others doing share for share threads. Your curiosity is piqued because if others share your content, that will mean that you will get more traffic. More traffic means you can make money! WAHOO!!!
But, before you click over and join the thread train, you need to know a few things. Joining a share thread may not only not help but could lead to other issues as well.
WHY PIN AND SHARE THREADS ARE NOT A GOOD THING
You are forced to share content that isn’t in your niche
When it comes to what you share on your social channels and with your readers, you need to be sure it makes sense. It should be what is in your niche. If you are in a share thread and you are a travel blogger, why would you want to share articles about the latest lipstick trends? You wouldn’t.
And this goes for the other people in the thread. If they blog about something unrelated to your niche, they too can’t share it, but when you are in a share for share thread, you may be forced to share something that makes no sense.
But, Tracie, why can’t I share this for me personally?
You can, but putting this on your personal Facebook page is not the type of share they are asking you for. They want the share to be on your social channels. And, if you pin this on Pinterest, it would need to be on a secret board, which means it will not get any traction and is not helpful to the group.
You can hurt your reach
Yep. Share threads can cause harm to your social profile engagement. If you share something on Facebook that is far removed from what you usually share, no one will click, like, or share. That signals to Facebook that you are not contributing good content, and as a result, they will lower your reach. The more you share things people are interested in, the more they engage, and you benefit.
Pinterest does this, as well. Let’s stick with the travel blogger. If you pin all types of travel content on your site and then suddenly pin something about lipstick, you may not get engagement. People follow you for your travel information and so will have no interest in that lipstick pin. Once you get lower engagement, Pinterest can pull back on the other things it shows as you are not a good curator of content.
Social channels can penalize you
One thing many bloggers do not realize is that social channels monitor how you share content. When it is being forced or as if you are trying to beat the system with shares, they take note.
For example, when you are in a Facebook share thread in a Facebook group, the social media platform can tell where it originates. They can see when there are many shares from a group and the type of post from which it originated.
Facebook can also see others having their content shared as well. They can see the circle develop and read that as trying to inflate your reach unnaturally. Your content can get lower views as a result.
You can also see this on Pinterest but a larger scale. Pinterest watches shares and repins. When it sees 10 or 12 people all pinning content for one another, they read that as attempting to get fake engagement.
They don’t just lower your reach; they can flag you as spam and shut down your account. It has happened to many people, and so you certainly do not want this to happen to you.
If your Pinterest account does get shut down, for this reason, you can appeal the decision by emailing email@example.com and ask for them to reinstate your account. It may take a few emails (be kind and email every 4 – 5 days), but it should come back for you. Then, be very careful about what you pin the threads in which you partake.
Small sites can hurt large sites
If your Facebook page has thousands of likes, it is natural that small sites want to get featured on it. After all, that will give them a new audience. The thing is that the larger site has to be careful about what and how they show it.
Facebook wants people to share good content but not use their page to help grow another in any way. If a page with 100,000 followers shares something from a page with 500, Facebook may lower the reach. It can be seen as you trying to use your reach to grow another’s page.
You spend more time sharing than you earn
I am big on the best return on your investment. When I talk about this in blogging terms, that means money. Let’s say that the average time you spend participating in a share thread is one hour. You’ve shared everything in the group and are now waiting for others to do the same.
Just because they share does not mean you will get more traffic. You may get another 5 – 8% for the day, but what is the value of that traffic. Did you make a significant amount from your ad network or see an increase in sales? If not, then you just spent two hours on something that made you little to no money. It was not a good use of your time.
You may have to share articles that are not well-written
We’ve all seen the titles and clicked on them just to land on a page that had little to no content or was poorly written. No one wants that. Not me. Not you. And especially not your followers.
When you are in a share thread, you may end up sharing an article that falls below what you would generally promote. Doing so can make you lose trust with your readers. They follow you because they love what you say and share it with them. But, if you start passing along articles riddled with grammatical errors, lacking in content, or just filled with fluff, you lose credibility.
THE TIMES A SHARE FOR SHARE THREAD WORKS
I am not saying you should never participate in these threads; you just need to make sure that you do so in the right way. There are many successful threads online; you just need to ensure they work for you.
Stick with a deep niched group
To ensure that what you share is on topic with your niche, you want to be a part of a share group with others who blog about similar topics. For example, if you blog about budgeting, it could make sense to share something on saving for retirement. That is in the same niche topic – money.
Schedule your pins
When you go through a pinning frenzy and share several pins from others, and they do the same, that is what can potentially flag your account. If you want to share other people’s pins — as long as they make sense for your account — schedule them.
Scheduling other people’s pins over the next week or two will slowly drip them out. That will reduce your chances that Pinterest sees you using your account to try to help boost the engagement of others.
Finding Share Threads
I run the Blogger Education Network Facebook group. I don’t do share threads for the reasons listed above. Some groups allow for share days, such as Blogging Newbs and Blogging Babes Collective. As with most, shares are only allowed one day a week and are limited to a single thread.
There are, of course, others out there. If you find one, make sure that you are spending your time doing the right things and share threads that may not bring the traffic and income you need.
It may seem that a share group is a perfect way to get loads of new traffic, but it may not. You have to know what you are doing and make sure you use them in the right way. And, even then, most share groups are not worth the time it takes to participate when it comes to the traffic you receive.
If you want to experience real growth, there are many more successful ways to increase your traffic. Just remember that it all takes time to get the traffic you are craving.