Do you have a content sharing strategy for your business?

Are you interested in discovering ways to leverage great content to promote your business and drive sales?

To learn how to build a following by sharing other people’s content, I interview Guy Kawasaki.

More About This Show

The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

In this episode I interview Guy Kawasaki, the author of the book Enchantment and the chief evangelist at Canva. His newest book is called The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users.

Guy explores how to build your social media following by sharing other people’s content.

You’ll discover how to create a consistent brand image for your company, develop a strategy for consistently sharing great content with your audience and leverage that content to promote your products or services.

guy kawasaki shares how to build social media following

Listen as Guy Kawasaki shares tips on how to build a social media following with other people’s content.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

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Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Content Sharing

How Guy got started in social media 

Depending on how you define social media, Guy was there at the very beginning with CompuServe forums. He says he was late to blogging, starting four or five years after it really took off, but gradually adopted social media much quicker over the years.

Guy joined Twitter six or seven months after it started, but was on Google+ six days after it launched.

ms-guy kawasaki-site-header

Guy has adopted social media much faster over the years.

Today, Guy considers social media as God’s gift, especially for entrepreneurs, because it’s fast, free and ubiquitous. It’s a great equalizer and makes it possible to potentially reach millions of people with just one tweet, image or post.

Listen to the show to discover why Guy says we’re in the renaissance of marketing. 

Have a consistent image and mantra across all of your social networks

Guy's mantra is 3 words: I empower people.

Guy’s mantra consists of 3 simple words: I empower people.

In Guy’s new book he talks a lot about the importance of having a consistent brand image across all of your social media channels.

Guy advises against adopting a different persona for each social media platform. It’s much too difficult to manage and will make people question who you really are.

You’ll hear Guy explore the importance of having a mantra for your business and provides some great examples.

Your mantra explains who you are and why your product, service or business exists in two or three simple words. It should go in the Bio or About Me sections of all of your social media profiles.

Listen to the show to learn how your mantra is radically different than your company mission statement or slogan.

The importance of the Incognito Window 

Guy explains that the Incognito Window is a feature found on all browsers, which allows you to browse your pages and your social profiles anonymously. This mode lets you see how a new visitor to your website will see it.

Many marketers will be amazed to discover that what they see on their own company’s website on a day-to-day basis is not the same thing as most people see when they visit for the first time.

Incognito window lets you see your site and profiles as others do.

The Incognito Window lets you see your site and social media profiles as users do.

The Incognito Window mirrors a different online experience that you or someone inside your company may not even realize exists because you’ve gotten past the sign-ins, cookies and gates, whereas other people have not.

Listen to the show to learn why the Incognito Window matters to your business. 

Guy’s content-sharing philosophy

Guy says there are two key components to his entire strategy. He believes the most important test of all of social media is what he calls the “reshare test,” which is: “Are you sharing something that other people will share with their friends and followers?”

You’ll hear how he relates tipping in a restaurant to a +1 or a like, or something like a thumbs-up. Whereas with a share, you risk your reputation if the experience doesn’t match the promise.

Guy believes that you should share and share a lot. He constantly curates and shares stories, videos and infographics that he believes others will find informative, interesting or entertaining.


Guy constantly curates and shares content he believes is informative, interesting or entertaining.

The second component is a higher philosophical orientation, which Guy calls the “NPR (National Public Radio) model.” You’ll hear why he believes they have earned the right to promote, and why as a marketer you should think of yourself like NPR.

Listen to the show to hear how Guy applies his content-sharing philosophy to his own content strategy. 

Optimize your content sharing

Guy shares 50 to 60 stories per day across all of his social media platforms and repeats most of his posts identically four times throughout the day.

An example of a photo Guy shared multiple times and received tons of engagement each time.

An example of a photo Guy shared multiple times, which received tons of engagement each time.

Guy challenges the notion that social media is entirely about personal, intimate, one-to-one, manual, unscheduled, unassisted contact. He is completely transparent about the fact that he automates and repeats his tweets.

Guy believes social media is a marketing platform and uses it as a business tool.

Listen to the show to discover why Guy shares the same content multiple times a day and how it impacts his engagement. 

Content-sharing tools

Guy is a co-founder of Alltop, a collection of the best RSS feeds sorted by thousands of topics and by publication. Alltop presents the first five headlines of the day from each source on one page.

You can mouse over the post titles to preview each story and decide if it’s worth sharing with your audience.


Alltop features the first five headlines of the day, organized by topic and publication.

With the NPR model in mind, you can share great content related to your business and position yourself as an expert. Over time, you will earn the right to promote your products and services.

Alltop helps you find great content from a variety of sources to share with your audience.

Listen to the show to learn what other tools Guy recommends to make content discovery and sharing easy. 

Leverage your community to sell your products

Guy and his co-author, Peg Fitzpatrick, crowdsourced their communities on their book.

Guy and his co-author, Peg Fitzpatrick, collaborated with their community to proof and critique their new book.

Guy and his co-author, Peg Fitzpatrick, turned to their social media channels to get help  proofing and critiquing their new bookThe Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. 

They signed up dozens of people to read and make suggestions for their book before it was published. They even put potential titles and subtitles to a vote among their social media audiences. Then they credited everyone who contributed in the final product.

According to Guy, the benefit of crowdsourced feedback is the feedback itself. It doubles the quality of your books and empowers people to help promote it. Each contributor is personally invested in driving the success of your book because he or she had a part in creating it.

Listen to the show to discover the beautiful side effect of collaborating with your audience. 

Discovery of the Week

Do you always have your smartphone in hand? Would you like to make a cool first impression with your smartphone?

Have you heard of Case Mate? Case Mate offers a robust, completely customizable phone case for your iPhone 5/5S, 6, 6 Plus or your Galaxy S5. Its tough exterior protects your phone and especially your screen from being dropped. It lasts a long time and is absolutely gorgeous.


Check out Case Mate to create your own branded smartphone case.

Once you select your phone, Case Mate has a do-it-yourself interface to help you design your very own custom case. The site offers multiple layouts, fonts, colors, etc. You can also upload images from your computer or social media profiles and position them anywhere you want on the case.

Once you’re satisfied with the look, you preview and purchase. It’s simple to create and a great way to stand out from the crowd.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how Case Mate works for you.

Other Show Mentions

Discover Social Media Marketing World 2015

Today’s show is sponsored by Social Media Marketing World 2015.

We are super-excited about Social Media Marketing World 2015. It’s the world’s largest social media marketing conference. By attending, you’ll make connections with 100+ of the world’s top social media pros (plus 2,500 of your fellow marketers) and you’ll discover amazing ideas that’ll transform your social media marketing.

Hear testimonials from our 2014 conference speakers.

This is just a sample of industry experts talking about their experience at Social Media Marketing World.

Our guest today, Guy Kawasaki, will be at the conference and you will have an opportunity to meet him and speak to him in person. What’s also awesome is the number of leading women in social media who will be there too: Mari Smith, Ann Handley, Laura Fitton, Nichole Kelly, Chalene Johnson, Kim Garst, Gini Dietrich, Andrea Vahl, Ekaterina Walter, Pam Moore, Viveka von Rosen, Lynette Young, Peg Fitzpatrick, Sue B. Zimmerman, Susan Beebe and many more!

The response to this conference has been amazing. You just have to track the hashtag #SMMW15 to discover what everyone is already saying about it. If you don’t just want to network with amazing people, but also take your social media marketing to the next level, then this is the place for you!

The conference takes place in sunny San Diego, California on March 25, 26 and 27, 2015. Hundreds of people have already secured their tickets. Click here to check out all of the speakers and the agenda, watch our video and grab your tickets today.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on building a social media following with other people’s content? Please leave your comments below.

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  • I have an honest question to ask about this topic. How do we navigate the murky waters of copyright infringement and content curation?

    It seems that the internet has ushered in a new era of “open season” on art and digital media. Artists like Girl Talk freely sample work, sites like Pinterest cache and assimilate photographs (which are then reused by others without attribution) and numerous clickbait “news media” sites collect and curate content with the sole purpose of turning a profit from on the backs of other’s work.

    So how do we draw the lines between simply sharing a few things we enjoyed and creating an automated machine that consumes and shares only to profit personally. Some of these sites feel like a giant BORG cube piggybank to me. 🙂

    One example… someone uploads a video of their kid playing with a puppy. A dog food company takes it, adds their logo, embeds it into their Facebook page for viral engagement without attribution or asking permission… Is that ok? What if that dog company runs it as a Superbowl commercial, it goes viral and cuts the owners out of royalties. Were they just “sharing the content?”

    In the photo posted above… Is that Guy’s car in the photo above? Is it the couple’s that are walking by? Did Guy take this photo? If so, did he ask if it was ok to include the people. Did Guy give Social Media Examiner the permission to post it? What if I want to now take that photo and make a magazine ad out of it. As you can see “sharing” seems to be a slippery slope to copyright infringement.

    I’m not trying to take sides but would truly like to better understand this topic. I see this all the time recently and the topic has been on my mind a lot.

    I recently had a photograph that I took for a friend’s Christmas card show up in 100’s of Walmart stores. It was lifted from social media and mass printed inside their picture frames. Neither I nor the couple was asked for permission and neither of us received profit sharing, but Walmart and the company that is in charge of sourcing these types of photos certainly DID profit. What could we do? Sue Walmart?

    While I haven’t really made up my mind on where I personally draw the lines, I’d love to hear some thoughts on this. As in life, I’m assuming that we all need to live with our own morality meter when it comes to our brand and what we choose to share. Maybe it’s a Pandora box that can’t be closed. Maybe I’m missing something or don’t quite understand the guidelines. I look forward to learning more.

  • Craig,

    Great question! This is all about curating someone else’s content in a way that simply points back to the original source. For example, you go out and find a ton of great content on topic X. You starting promoting other people’s content on that topic by linking to it from your social channels. Everyone wins. The content creator gets traffic and exposure, the curator grows a following for being know as the person who discovers great content.

  • Thanks for the response Michael! I totally agree that simply sharing a link is TOTALLY different than curating (or repurposing) content so perhaps my comment is better discussed under the topic “Is it ok to embed someone else’s content into your platform?”

    Some will argue that attribution is always needed and some will say “Hey! If you uploaded this to the internet then anyone has the right to do whatever they want with it.” I think there are varying levels of this with no clear cut answer.

    I guess I was inspired to comment because this topic seems to be intertwined the the subjects of copyright, attribution, and permission from the author. Many people are starting to do reverse image searches and are horrified by what they are finding.

    Maybe I’m just being too sensitive, but I’m starting to feel that social media is creating a slippery slope to a “do whatever the heck you want regardless of outcome” landscape.

    As a graphics and animation professional, I usually have the ability to spot fake images and videos, but the accessibility and ability to change the truth is staggering… AND it’s happening on a massive level.

    Sometimes I feel like we’re on the receiving end of a giant game of “telephone” in which each version is distorted from the previous. As content gets shared (maybe not the core focus of this article) it’s hard to know what to believe any more.

    Sorry if this turned into a confusing soapbox post but I’m really trying to understand this better.

  • I agree with you and do not think it is cool to republish (the better word) other people’s content on your platform without permission.

  • Dan Messina

    Swayy, rss aggregators, reddit, google trends, buzzsumo, twitter lists, buffer, etc. are all great for content curating too.

  • Hate it when someone offers techniques that are just sales pitches!

  • Cheval John

    Guy Kawasaki is a God sent because he made it simple that it is not wrong to overshare other people’s content. That really put all of the social media “gurus” to shame. Thank you, Mr. Stelzner for sharing this interview. Mr. Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick are everywhere.

  • Thanks Dan

  • Marta – What are you referring to?

  • Glad you enjoyed the interview Cheval

  • Interesting discussion, I have really enjoyed this article and look forward to using some of the tools mentioned especially canva

  • Cheval John

    Thank you, Mr. Stelzner. It was a great interview. Hope you have a great weekend.

  • Great podcast filled with easy, applicable tips. Never thought about a mantra before but I have one now! Just signed up for Social Media Marketing World. Can’t wait!

  • Thanks for your feedback and congrats on making the decision to attend Social Media Marketing World!

  • Thanks for the value you just added. I would like to add more value to my followers as well and if I link back to your site or other people site if I understand what your saying its that it a win win for all.

  • Thanks Raymond

  • One content discovery/curation tool Guy mentioned in the podcast with Google name in it. I cant find which one was it, was it Google Trends he use? Or Google+ something… Anyone knows?

  • Alisa Conner

    I loved Guy’s authenticity and transparency in this interview. Thanks for another great interview Mike Stelzner. My favorite piece of this podcast was the attitude that you don’t have to do something the way everyone else is just because that is what is expected. In other words who cares what the “cool” kids are doing, think outside of the box. Nice to hear this message from someone who has been so successful.

  • Glad you found it useful Alisa

  • Thank You, Alisa! 😉

  • Toni

    Thanks for the clarification on Content Sharing. I need to do more research but it does push back the cobwebs a bit. Thanks

  • Pingback: The Top 100 Content Marketing Articles of 2014()

  • rayfilwong

    great post

  • Couldn’t agree more except the bit about 10% tipping. I am British, afterall!! I didn’t know I was intelligent but must be; I couldn’t really see the business benefit in Twitter when I first used it.

    We are a Full Service Web Design Agency and our mantra has always been; why reinvent the wheel! This applies to all our services and our Social Media efforts are no different.

    We are a small business and do not have the resource to write interesting blog articles every day. Therefore, to compliment the articles we do write, we use all our Social Media Channels to share blog posts that we think our readers will find of interest and will be useful to their business. Like Guy, we view ourselves as curators and are quite happy to share interesting posts. Although we could expand the posts in our own blog and, perhaps, add our own angle, why reinvent the wheel or take an underhand approach to writing our own articles. Over time, we hope that our followers appreciate some of the leg work we are doing for them and that we are a business that gives every indication they can be trusted.

    The part about repetitive tweets was interesting. Like many, I thought it was taboo to repeat but listening to Guy, as long as it is useful information that you are tweeting, then why not. Will give it a try.

    Thanks for the Podcast.

  • johnaberle

    Thank you, Craig Carpenter, for bringing up an important topic to all writers and photographers or content creators of any type. What hasn’t been mentioned here is “fair use.” While I’m not an attorney, I understand “fair use” to cover using excerpts for purposes of a review or critique. Naturally, that requires attribution to the author and your source material.

    As I understand Pinterest, when you pin, it automatically pulls in the site information for where the picture got pinned from. The issues though gets really sticky in my mind with the re-pins and re-shares – and the fact that most people on the Internet have no concept of copyright law or even think about the author’s / photographer’s / artist’s / musician’s rights.

  • I appreciate the contribution of author Michael Stelzner. Definitely Michael Stelzner have devoted a lot of his time to provide the information about Content Sharing. I’m not a professional web designer and I also don’t know much about SEO. I have a small business website and i want good ranking of this website. What are tips for mon professional people like me. Thanks