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When and how bloggers can share old content

RE-share blog contentSt. Louis social media manager, Mike Allton (@Mike_Allton) shares some great ideas for those lawyers who have been blogging for a while in his post “Should bloggers and businesses share old content?”

Seems like a silly question, doesn’t it. I mean, if a piece is old, that means it’s already been shared and people have already read it, so it probably has very little value or interest later on, right?

Wrong, says Allton. Look at what typical businesses and bloggers, like me, do.

As each new blog post is published, they’ll share it to social networks and use it to interest and engage their current set of followers. As the weeks and months go by, the business will gain more and more followers on social media, but none of these new followers will have seen the posts shared before they started following the business.

Why not share your old content on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn? Your new followers, which far out number those of a few years ago, have not had the opportunity to read the content. Heck, assuming what you are sharing is of value, these followers will share it with their followers on social media.

You cannot re-share all types of content. A blog post on a timely topic of five years ago is no longer timely. Your content needs to be “evergreen” in nature. The content needs to be of interest and of value over the long haul.

Lawyers often have evergreen content when they answer questions to common legal concerns. ‘Guides’ and ‘how to’s,’ which are very valuable to clients and prospective clients, are perfect for re-sharing.

The bottom line, as Allton says, is to make sure the content you’re resharing is still interesting, accurate and relevant to your audience.

Rather than just share an older post’s title, change things around, per Allton.

  • Use a different title / description. While the title of the article on your site and in the share preview will always be the same, when sharing to social networks, your tweet or update description can say whatever you want. Maybe a question as the title answered by the information in your post. It’s also a good way to test what titles attract more attention.
  • Use a quote from the blog post. I regularly pull the money line from posts I tweet. They can be more catchy or offer more info than the title of a post.
  • Share an image from the post or a different image. Images are becoming a big deal on Twitter now that images are incorporated right into the Twitter stream. If you usually share your blog posts as links with a link preview, consider sharing an image sometimes instead, just always remember to insert a link to the blog post into the description.

Be judicious in re-sharing your content. You don’t want to get known as someone who recycles their content every couple months. You’ll get know quickly as being “all about you.”

Focus on your audience and the value they are receiving. Would sharing the content be of interest or of help to them now? Is some of your content so old that a good portion of your audience has not had the benefit of reading it? Then sure, share it again.

I have thousands of posts going back ten years in time. There’s a lot of valuable information in there for lawyers and law firms new to blogging and social media. It probably makes sense for me to re-share some of it. Heck, more than half of my posts have never been shared on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn – those social media/networks did not exist.

I have not re-shared my blog posts. But Allton’s idea is a good one, I’m probably going to give it a try.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Lydia.