by jdn74 on October 9, 2011



UPDATE [12-22-11]: At some point in the two months since this blog post was written, Twitter got the message and corrected their #epiccontentfail.  Their case studies now sport a “Tweet” button.  :)

The above image is a screen capture of the beginning of a Twitter case study showcasing how Virgin America used Twitter to promote a one-day flight sale that became one of their top sale days, and simultaneously raised $50,000 for Stand Up to Cancer.  It’s an engaging win story that makes both brands look good, but something is missing.

The image is also a hyperlink – take a moment and click on it to view the full case study. See if you can find what’s wrong before I give it away.  Don’t worry, I’ll wait …

Are you back? Did you notice what was missing?

If you said, “Holy $#@!, Twitter doesn’t even have a “Tweet” button on its own marketing collateral,” then we’re on the same page. This discovery came about through some market research I’m conducting on the use of success stories by technology companies.  One of the data points I’ve collected is the extent to which tech companies are using social share buttons on their published case studies. 

I mean, why go through the trouble of interviewing a satisfied customer, writing up the story of how your company’s product or service has helped them, designing a nice layout, and publishing it to your website (or elsewhere) and then not make it easily shareable to the various social networks that your prospects and customers frequent?  Which part of free exposure don’t you get?

But nonetheless, there are plenty of companies not making this effort.  And this is despite the fact that research shows just how much content drives social sharing.  As I mentioned in my inaugural blog post, a recent study by AOL and Nielsen revealed that messages shared via social media outlets contain links to content about 23% of of the time. And that number jumps to 47% when the conversation is industry-specific.  If you dig a little deeper into their numbers,  you find that industry-specific messages sent via Twitter contain links to content 73% of the time.

More recently, a study from BrightEdge showed that sites with “Tweet” buttons are linked to on Twitter seven times more often than sites without them.

Now, in Twitter’s case, I can (sort of) understand there not being a “Facebook Like” button, a “Google +1” button, or even a “Linkedin Share” button on their case studies, since those companies are, to some extent, competitors. (Though honestly, most people are using more than one of these sites, so even if they are competitors, it seems ridiculous not to take advantage of the free exposure placing those buttons could provide).

But why is there not, at least, an ”Email” button? Not to mention the gaping oversight of not adding a “Tweet” button to their own customer success story …

Well, the only thing I can say to that is #EpicContentFail.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Elroy Bassham October 13, 2011 at 3:57 am

very nice post, i certainly love this web site, carry on it


jdn74 October 14, 2011 at 4:11 am

Thanks, Elroy!


Tricia October 13, 2011 at 7:35 pm

It’s amazing how easy it can be to overlook the major stuff sometimes when you get caught up in the details! One of the best suggestions I’ve come across so far, though by no means really my favorite thing to do, is a standard checklist prior to any publication. Some things need to be dummy proofed because we can all be dummies…


jdn74 October 14, 2011 at 4:14 am

Thanks, Tricia! I absolutely agree a checklist could help as a reminder. Though, at least to my mind, the whole point of content is for people to read it and share it, so publishing a page without share buttons is like publishing a page with content at all.


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