I had to take a hiatus from blogging in order to finish the manuscript to my upcoming book “SHiFT! Harness The Trigger Events That TURN PROSPECTS INTO CUSTOMERS,” in time in for the publisher keep their May 15th release date. Now that it’s finished let’s get back to the Top Seven Ways to Sell More by Using Social Media.

Remember, the person with the most popular answer to my question at the bottom of this blog post wins $3,000 in Trigger Event Selling services.

The #3 way to sell more by using social media is to harness word of mouth by using a content sharing tool like AddThis or ShareThis. The reason you want to use one of these tools is because your content is more likely to be shared when you give readers the convenience of sharing without having to leave your web site. The more convenient you make it for people to take action, right now, the more likely they are to, not get distracted by something else and, finish what they started doing.

I started out using ShareThis but readers had to click on the button in order to activate it and my experience with e-Commerce in the late 90’s told me that requiring people to take just that one extra mouse click reduced the likelihood of action – The statistic was that you lose people at the rate of 50% for every click you force them to make.

I moved to AddThis when the Trigger Event of noticing a competitor using something that did not require the initial mouse click caught my attention. I moved to AddThis right away and in my first week I had twice as many people use the AddThis functionality – via mouse over – than I had with ShareThis.

About a week later I received an email from ShareThis validating my perceptions and my experience. The email said

After conducting extensive tests with select partners, the findings indicate that allowing the button to open on-hover increases sharing activity by 50% per page view compared to the current no-hover option.

Once I started using AddThis I went through the process of customizing the button so the most important sharing options (email, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, and Facebook) were shown on the left – in order of importance – putting the next most important ones (Favorites, WordPress, Delicious, Reddit, and PDF Online) on the right side, and customized the header.

I selected the order based up on a report on how people share content and what Active Conversion (my marketing automation and sales optimization service provider) told me about which sites generated the most inbound traffic. The interesting thing is that a few weeks after I switched to Add This, ShareThis came out with the same functionality. But at that point I had already switched and had made the investment of customizing the AddThis button and I was no longer motivated to spend time on the problem.

So this month’s question is what other sharing tools can be used, or how can they be used, to maximize social word of mouth?

Win $3,000 worth of Trigger Event services by submitting either a great example of, or great idea on, how to use a word or mouth tool like AddThis or ShareThis to maximize the sharing of web site content.

To win the $3,000 prize you must get the most votes for your answer. This month there is also a second prize of $1,500 to the person who gets the second most votes for their answer. Answers are submitted by commenting on this blog post.

Answers are voted on by clicking on the button that appears at the end of each answer/comment. Winners are announced the last Tuesday of the month – February 23rd – so voting ends at Midnight (MST) on Monday February 22nd.

Answers/comments need to be approved – to avoid spam – which typically takes just a few minutes. Contact me by phone (+1.403.874.2998), Skype (Craig.Elias), or this contact form, if you don’t see your comment approved within a few minutes of posting it.

Use the AddThis button below to Tweet , Stumble!, Digg, and email your friends so you get the most votes, because the voting system I use does not allow you to vote for your own answers.

Good luck & have an EVENTFUL week!

Craig