I have just read an article
by Sarah Pavey of MindTools about the need to set rules for communications within companies & groups to make interactions efficient. It makes lots of good points about this very important subject.
But one point I disagree with. For me short thank you emails are very worthwhile for a number of reasons
- they acknowledge that the recipient has seen the mail. As the article points out, depending on the recipient you may not be sure that they will read your mails swiftly, and the thank you puts your mind at rest
- They show appreciation and we all need appreciation. Even a thank you for something small can boost our feelings of positivity
- They build the relationship and team feeling. This may be in a trivial way, but strong effects are constructed from many small actions
- Saying thanks reminds you of how you rely on others.
- It takes only a few seconds and saying thanks has a positive effect on you as well as on the receiver.
Although I am often swamped by email, I would gladly add another ten small thank you emails a day – and I will try to send them as well.
One impressive feature is that they have analysed 1,000,000 (one million) published pieces which enables them to pull out many significant results.
Even though they took the samples from their databases, which are likely to contain popular content, it is striking how the vast majority of content receives hardly any shares and no links.
A second finding is that in most cases there is little or no correlation between links and shares. The most shared content does not necessarily gather the most links, and vice versa – content which is linked from many external sites is not necesssarily shared by many people.
Two important points should be considered in thinking about findings
- Quantity is not everything. Certainly it is good to have content shared or linked. However the key is who is doing the linking and sharing. If you are in a niche market (e.g. selling to large corporates or to consumers with a specialist hobby), you may not ever receive a large number of links or shares. Instead check to see if those who are linking/sharing are the key influencers or prospects in your market. They should be your target and if they are few, you can research what they do share and link in order to create content that appeals to them
- Shares are most often done on entertaining content, which may have a short life span, while links often point to research or insight which has lasting value. You need to decide which type of content is most relevant to gain the recognition and consideration of your audience. It might be either or both – the content plan must be aligned to your goals.
The report contains much more information about what content receives the most shares and links and the content that can garner both. For this you should read the excellent report for yourselves.