5 Ways to Maximizing Social Sharing of Your Content
August 7, 2013 2 Comments
It doesn’t matter how great your social media campaign is if no one sees it; frankly, it doesn’t matter how great your social media campaign is if it is only reaching the same five or ten people. You need to get your content seen by as many people as you can.
To that end, here are some tips to get your content out there:
1. Create Engaging Content
It’s obvious, but it also bears repeating. If you want people to share your content with others, it has to be engaging enough to get them interested in the first place, and it has to be interesting enough that they expect their friends will also enjoy it. That means a few different things.
First, it means that you know what you’re talking about. If your content is useful to your readers, it will likely be useful to their friends or colleagues. For blog posts, that means knowing and speaking authoritatively on your industry. For tweets, that means connecting your followers to useful information.
Second, be original. That doesn’t mean you have to write only on topics that no one else has (that would be virtually impossible), but it does mean that you should tackle things in a fresh way. Provide different perspectives and approach issues from new angles.
Third, few things are worse than a wall of text. If you want engaging material, you have to learn to organize your content under clear heading and sub-headings. Use topic sentences and wrap each point up in as short a space as you can. The more easily they can follow your content, the more likely they are to pass it along.
Finally, loosen up a bit. Not everything you write needs to be formal—or business. Have a little fun, and you’ll find more people willing to follow your social media accounts. Tell a joke—about your own work, about your industry, about a current event. Everyone can relate to humor, so don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage on your social platforms.
2. Make Your Content Shareable
When it comes to social media sharing, people are lazy. This means, if you want your content to be shared, you have to make it as simple as possible. Don’t make your readers share your content manually. Make it click-a-single-button-easy. In this day and age it’s incredibly simple to download and install plugins to add “Share This” buttons.
You don’t need a button for every social media site out there; in fact, there’s evidence to suggest that people are lazy enough to skip sharing if you give them too many options. Identify and utilize the networks that are best for your niche.
Alongside making your content shareable, you need to boost your signal to make it more accessible to would-be sharers. When you’ve got a new blog post up, send out updates on your social sites. Use appropriate hashtags as well to allow people who are otherwise unconnected with you business to come across it on a thread they follow.
Don’t forget to do some sharing yourself. Don’t just throw your own stuff out there. Share the work of friends, colleagues, or people you admire but don’t know. You can even share to make introductions or build relationships.
3. Embrace Visuals
Pictures are worth a thousand words—except you don’t have to worry about a “tl;dr” scenario when you include a picture or video. If your post has at least one image, it’s 50% more likely to be shared than one without an image. People respond much more readily and viscerally to posts with images.
You needn’t even confine yourself solely to images related to your industry. You don’t need 18 pictures of quills on your blog. Have a little fun. Post funny pictures. Post pictures to get a serious discussion going. Post pictures to let your readers and followers know what’s going on in the world at large.
4. Remember that Timing is Critical
To reach a wider audience, you first have to reach your current audience. And they’re not always on when you post. This isn’t really an issue on your blog, and it’s not so bad on Facebook, but consider that the average lifespan of a tweet is around 20 minutes (and that’s actually being generous): if you’re not tweeting at the right times, you’re not going to reach anyone. While most research suggests posting between the hours of 1 and 4 pm, do a little research to determine the best time for your content to be released.
Another side of timing is finding the right content for the moment. That means paying attention to current events, to your competitors and/or fellow men-at-arms, and to the latest trends so that you can put in your 2 cents on a topic people care about right now. They’re much more likely to share something current than they are to share something other people were talking about months ago.
The last important aspect of timing is consistency. Don’t post sporadically; post on a regular schedule. Don’t tweet once one day and 14 times the next. It’s annoying and bound to get you un-followed. Don’t promise to post Saturday afternoon (an excellent time to post, by the way) and then not post until Tuesday. If people “know” you post at a certain time, that’s when they’ll visit your site—ready to share your content if it’s good.
5. Learn a Bit of Psychology
People use social media content to help establish their identities. They post it to their walls and say, “Hey, I like this thing. It says exactly what I would have said if I weren’t so busy doing X.” Or, they post it to a friend’s wall and say, “Hey, I like this thing. I figured since we’re a lot alike, you’d like it too.”
They’re looking to solidify relationships with those shares, and they’ll gladly engage with you if you let them. Everyone wants to belong somewhere, and if you continually share things that show you’re interested in and support the same sorts of things as your readers they’ll continue to come to you. Give them a community. Respond to their comments and engage them in a dialogue. This will keep your readers regularly coming back for more.
You need to remember each of these items to get your content out there, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to create a community around your content. You want your readers and followers to share your engaging content, so engage them yourself, and they’ll feel more inclined to share.
Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves long distance running and considers himself a health and fitness enthusiast. His interests also take him into the business world, specifically into social media, and one of his inspirations is Live Basil Pizza CEO Richard Schaden.