Do you want to create posts that people can’t wait to share? Are you looking to increase your social reach?
How you create, publish, and promote your content will directly impact the chances that more people will share it more often. In this article, you’ll learn 15 tried and tested tips to help you maximize your social shares.
1. Create Something Worth Sharing
Let’s get straight to the point here. If you want people to share your content, you need to give them something worth sharing. The New York Times did a fascinating study a few years ago on the psychology of social sharing. It revealed that people want to connect to other like-minded people and they want to support issues they care about. Above all they want to share content that will be useful for those others in their network.
Take Action: An easy way to receive more social shares is to research trending topics and create your own content based on those trends — so long as they’re relevant to your audience. Use a tool like BuzzSumo and PostReach to discover the trending topics within your industry or niche.
2. Curate Relevant Content
Content curation is the process of finding and aggregating information about a specific topic, synthesizing it to be most relevant to your audience, and sharing it in an easily digestible manner. Curation can deliver many benefits including, establishing thought leadership and credibility, increasing visibility and driving social shares.
Take Action: Set up an account on a content hub like Scoop.it and share content directly from there.
3. Grow Your Online Followers
The more people who follow you, the more you can amplify your content and increase your social shares. The key here is to find followers who share your interest and will be most likely to share your content.
Take Action: Use a tool like Twitonomy to search for people and conversations to to follow. Add social icons to your email signature to encourage people to follow you online.
4. Don’t Just Add To The Online Chatter
Before you post something, stop and ask yourself would this pass the re-share test? Why would I want to click on this information? Or share it with my family and friends?
Take Action: Hootsuite recommend you set up an editorial process for your posts. To help you they have prepared a handy flowchart, along with a list of questions to aid you with the vetting of your social media posts.
5. Add An Image
Add an image to all your online posts — even those that aren’t obviously visual. People connect more emotionally with images than text, and in an increasingly crowded digital landscape, when our minds are attracted more readily to content that draws our eye, images can break through the online content clutter. The aesthetic quality of images encourages engagement and shares — research has shown that a tweet or a Facebook post that includes an image draws more attention than a text-only update.
Take Action: SumoMe makes a great tool that allows your readers to easily share your blog images via Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
6. Write Better Headlines
A good headline frames your content. One of the ways to make your content more shareable is to write better a better headline. This requires lots of practice. Upworthy recommends you write out 25 headlines before you choose one you will use!
Take Action: Research from CoSchedule has found that headlines with more emotional value tend to get shared more with others. The Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer is a free tool from the Advanced Marketing Institute that you can use to calculate the EMV of your own headlines.
7. Follow The 80/20 Rule
We all know those folks who only tweet you when they want you to read, comment or re-tweet their content. Don’t be one of those. Don’t get a reputation for only being interested only when you want something. Posting content that focuses solely on your own offering is sure-fire way to turn people off.
Take Action: Follow the 80/20 rule — post 80% non-promotional content to 20% posts with calls to action for your own content.
8. Become A Go-To Resource
Develop a deeper understanding of your followers. What content is most relevant to them? What kind of information are they looking for? What questions can you answer for them? Ask them and then create that content for them.
Take Action: Become the go-to resource that people follow for advice and your followers will be eager to share this helpful advice with others.
9. Maintain A Consistent Posting Schedule
You need to post consistently to stay in front of your audience’s eyes and keep growing. On Twitter, the average lifespan of a tweet is 18 minutes. This means that the more you post, the more of an opportunity you have to get seen. The one thing to consider though is recent changes to Twitter where they will not publish the exact same content. When you want to share content multiple times you need to come up with different text and images for each update.
Research on blog promotion tactics conducted by OutreachPlus found that more than 40% of businesses share new content on Facebook only once.
Sharing your content just once won’t send you significant traffic because most of your audience won’t see it; instead, create a social sharing schedule for both new and evergreen articles and establish an optimal publishing frequency to extend the reach of your content — Outreach Plus.
10. Post When Your Audience Is Online
To optimise your social media reach, it’s useful to know the best times to post your updates so they reach your audience when they are online.
Take Action: If you search for optimum posting times, you will find many guides online. They vary in their advice, so it’s always a good idea to do your own testing to determine the optimum times for your own particular audience. Make sure you track the data, experiment with other posting frequencies, and compare the results to get a truer sense of when your audience is online.
11. Make It Easy To Share
By making it easy for visitors to your site to share your content, you increase the likelihood that they will take this action. Make sure your social sharing buttons are clearly visible. Check out this advice on the best position to place share icons on a web page.
Take Action: Click to Tweet is a free tool which generates one-click tweet boxes or links that can be shared through your website, your blog, or via email.Use it to increase social shares and highlight quotes, stats, and key takeaways for your content marketing.
12. Post To LinkedIn Groups
Post links to relevant group discussions on LinkedIn, but don’t spam. Only post if you feel you will be adding value. Start by weighing in on popular discussions, by responding to comments, providing your own insight or asking questions to generate additional comments. If the discussion takes off, you can then share relevant content you’ve created.
Take Action: Find and join relevant industry groups on LinkedIN
13. Leverage Hashtags
A hashtag (#) is a popular way of creating and monitoring a conversation on social media. While most often identified with Twitter, posts can also be tagged on Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Facebook. Use hashtags to identify real-time opportunities for engagement in news and events, identify current trends and key influencers. There are a number of hashtag analysis tools at different price points. Most will allow you to try out a limited search for free, but for more detailed results, you will need to sign up to use the paid features.
Take Action: Don’t over-use hashtags on Twitter. Research shows that tweets with more than two hashtags actually see a drop in engagement.
14. Repurpose Your Existing Content
Repurposing content simply means taking one asset and reusing it somewhere else. By re-purposing content you have already written, you can expand the reach of your content and attract new audiences.
Take Action: Identify your most popular content through your blog analytics tool and by using Google Analytics. You should aim to repurpose any content that consistently performs well. Check out my previous article for 13 creative ways to repurpose your digital content for ideas.
15. Don’t Ask For Re-Shares
Finally, not everyone will agree with me on this point, but asking for re-shares can come across badly, especially if you do it all the time. If you post great content, then people will re-share what you post.
Take Action: If you do ask for shares, make sure it is something that will be highly relevant to your followers.