There’s a popular website called The Chive that racks up well over 1.5 million unique views every month. It’s comprised of (primarily) photo galleries stocked with funny and often random images gathered from around the internet—all geared more or less towards men.
It’s a great time waster, but it’s also a wonderful study in re-using and re-purposing popular content.
While perusing their galleries over time, if you pay attention, you might notice that many of the more hysterical images get re-posted weeks or months after their first appearance. In fact, they’re typically re-used many times throughout the year in different “themed” galleries.
At first it seems somehow unfair. After all, considering the oft-given advice about creating original content, wouldn’t re-using the same content be cheating? What’s more, won’t followers and fans grow irritated at seeing the same pictures, posts or videos?
In short, no. It actually is a very smart content-sharing strategy that can easily reach more followers than you would have thought possible.
Don’t get me wrong: there is a fine line between rehashing the same boring stuff over and over again and using certain, very popular posts at calculated times and occasions.
In fact, the likelihood that the majority of your fans, viewers or followers saw the content the first time is actually quite low. Viewership odds–that is, the odds that a viewer will spot any particular or specific blog article or Facebook post–are fairly shallow and depend on a number of factors, including when the content was made available and whether or not the viewers were on your site (or their Facebook News Feed or Twitter Stream) right at that moment.
For example, it’s been reported that Facebook posts gain half their reach in the first 30 minutes of posting. Thus, there’s very little chance content will reach your followers a week later.
It was also generally accepted (after the results of numerous studies) that only about 20% of followers on any given social network might actually see a post. However, with recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm that percentage may have dropped to around 3%! So if the content is particularly good, why not find the opportunity to share it with the rest of the people that want to see it.
If the Information is entertaining or particularly helpful, and if you are using your social networks correctly, those who already saw it will quickly forgive you.
But, as always the content should be relevant and engaging. In the case of The Chive they re-use particularly funny images, videos and posts, not everything they’ve shared.
And the payoff? Well from personal experience it can be quite high. There was a case within the past few months in which the Facebook post of a local, small business I help went viral. The owner and I watched that week as the post reached 166,979 Facebook users, was shared 901 times and garnered 913 comments and 10,932 likes.
The business’ page doubled the number of Likes in a matter of two days as a result.
That was over three months ago and the post has since been replicated (twice). The results were nowhere near as impressive as the first time it appeared but still worth the risk of re-using the content: over 10,000 views both times, 200-300 Likes, about a hundred shares and the addition of a few dozen more page Likes. It was worth re-using.
Look back over the content you’ve already released in whatever channel you use, be it Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or something else. Identify posts that really seemed to be popular, posts that people raved about.
Then look for the opportunity to use them again.
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