What do you call an email that pops up out of nowhere in your inbox from somebody that you don’t know giving you a link to visit? That’s definitely a SPAM. But what do you call an email from your friend telling you to check out the exact same link? That’s a friendly recommendation. Even though the only difference between the two emails might only be one line of text – the sender’s name, the difference in result is huge.
That’s why in the environment where you can’t really put a face to the name, trust is a very valuable currency. And that’s why the concept of word of mouth recommendation from friends that we know and trust is very powerful. Add some social networks to the mixture and the effect would be multiplied. That’s the idea behind TAF4Free.
Recommendation With Some Social Twist
TAF4Free (Tell A Friend For Free) is a web tool from SocialTwist which will allow you – as a web owner – to provide an easy way for your visitor to tell their friends about your site(s). TAF4Free allows your readers to contact people in their social networks as well as send emails to contacts in their address book.
But before you can use the tool, you need to sign up with SocialTwist. Signing up will allow you to change the configuration, view usage statistic, create and customize more widgets.
This sign up process also serves as the place where you can customize the aspects of your Tell A Friend campaign such as the size of TAF button, widget theme and the button usage. For example, I planned to use the TAF method for my WordPress blog, so I selected “Blog” from the drop down list.
Further customization appeared after I chose “Blog“. I selected “WordPress Engine Plugin“.
After finished with the setting up process, I clicked on the “Get Code” button. You can check or uncheck the first and third option boxes, but make sure that the second one is checked before you click the button.
Installing The WordPress Plugin
After I hit the “Get Code“, a download button appeared. I clicked this “Get It Now” button and the WordPress plugin was downloaded to my hard drive.
To install the plugin, go to the “Plugin – Install Plugins – Upload” menu from your WordPress admin area. Then click the “Choose File” button, locate the downloaded plugin, and click “Install now“.
The final step would be to activate the plugin. You can do this directly after installing it or later on from the plugin page.
Another Point Of View
So far we have seen the process from web owner point of view. Now let’s switch our perspective and see things from the visitor’s side. For example, you visit your friend’s blog and you want to share an article that you read to your other friends.
If the blog owner use TAF4Free, you will find the button at the end of the article. Hover your mouse over it and a list of available sharing methods will pop up. Click at the one that you want to use.
A pop up window will appear focusing to your choice of sharing method. Then you can continue with the sharing process. For example, if you choose “Facebook“, all you have to do is click on the “Share” button, fill in your login data, and the word is out.
Or if you choose “GMail“, you can fill in your user name and password before picking people up from your address book and sending them link to the article that you want to share.
TAF4Free makes it easy for visitors to switch between different sharing methods, so all they have left to do is finding worth sharing materials and share them.
Content Is Really The King
But everything goes back to the quality of your content. No matter how easy the sharing method is, nothing is going to work if you have no good quality content that people want to share.
If you give your reader top notch materials, the combination of your good content and TAF4Free will surely help you to spread the word about your website to the world. If one person recommends your web to some of his/her friends, and these friends do the same, you’ll have viral marketing working for you. Then you can stop worrying about getting readers to your site and focus on creating great materials.
What do you think about TAF4Free? Would you use it to help you spread the buzz about your site? Do you know other similar alternatives? Please share your thoughts using the comment below.
Image credit: See-ming Lee
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