Social media is vital for successful digital marketing efforts. As a new online business developing an effective business strategy will ultimately help it excel and make money. Effectively use social media, and it can help a brand reach a lot of people online. It can also improve a site’s rankings. Wondering how to get people to share a brand’s content? Whether it’s blog content, an ecommerce site, or ebook, there are techniques to apply to get people to share content. Attend our free webinar training to learn how to get content out there on the web and check out 7 methods that prompt people to help get the word out:
Share the right way
Entrepreneur says it’s all about being creative and thinking about it before sharing it. Point out to your audience why they may think it’s beneficial.
When you're sharing others' content, be creative and put some thought into it. If you're hoping to get someone with a lot of followers to share your stuff, you need to stand out. Don't just put the title of their post as your lead comment. Take a line from the post or tell how it was beneficial to you or will benefit your audience. You're much more likely to get noticed this way, and you might even develop a mentoring relationship with someone you admire.
Make them laugh or cry
Social Media Today says it’s all about tapping into an audience’s emotions, which is why making them laugh or cry can go a long way. People want to relate to a brand, and you can connect to your audience by being authentic.
It's very difficult to get people to share the content you post on Facebook without making some kind of an emotional impact on them. No one really feels the need to share boring content. Would you? However, create a post that makes your readers laugh, smile or even cry, and your content is much more likely to go viral on many a Facebook newsfeed. It's a well known technique to inspire more engagement with online content, repeatedly put forward by many of the top social media monitoring companies such as iSentia.
Yes, you should be authentic, but Themezilla mentions how important it is to stay positive as well.
Nobody likes a Debbie Downer in their news feed. That’s what researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found when they tracked the sharing of more than 7,500 New York Times articles. People preferred to share articles with positive themes, and more than anything they wanted to share articles that “inspired awe.” We don’t recommend trying to put a positive spin on decidedly bad news stories, but we do recommend creating content that triggers strong positive emotions. Put a little sunshine in your readers’ days.
Create incredible headlines
Headlines are something we all can work on, which is why Themezilla recommends taking the time to work on improving your headlines and make them engaging.
We published an entire post about crafting engaging, clickable headlines a few months back because it’s just that important. Get the title wrong and you can kiss those clicks, shares and upvotes goodbye. But get it right—by building intrigue and focusing on the benefit—and you can render even the dullest content shareable (after all, 80 percent of people read only the headline, but that doesn’t stop them from sharing it with their friends). If you think you’ve got a winning headline, try running it through CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, which will analyze its word balance, length, sentiment, and more. We scored an 81 with this post’s title!
Ask them to share it
There’s also something as simple as asking your audience to share your content! Small Business Trends discusses why this simple tactic is effective.
If you want to encourage people to share your content, not only should you make it easy for them to do so with appropriate widgets, but you should also remember to ask. One place where I think the “asking” technique is very underutilized is with e-mail newsletters. Are you asking people to forward your newsletter to their friends who may find it useful? If not, why not? Your e-mail newsletter goes out to people who have taken the time to opt in to what you’re doing. These people have told you they want a closer relationship with your company. Use that to its fullest. Also, you may find customers are more inclined to forward an e-mail than to share something on Twitter because it’s just one extra click and a process they’re already very familiar with. Don’t force them to learn new tools.
Note that none of this is to say that you should randomly litter your Website with different sharing plugins and applications. Instead, find out how people are sharing your content and then make it easy for them to do that. Empower them to do that.
Constant Contact reiterates that telling people what you need them to do can help. Here are a few examples of how to do that below:
Ask people to share. It’s often as simple as this: Sometimes, people need to be told what to do. When you say “Please share this,” your fans often will. For example, you can post a piece of content (a status message, article, or whatever) and tell your fans “Share this if you agree.”
Talk about others
Your readers and customers will like the support and recommendations, which is why Entrepreneur mentions recommending and talking about others in your community.
If someone mentioned your name in a positive light in their post, would you share it with your community? Probably so. You don't want to go too far with this — name-dropping every other line or pandering to influencers. But, it's perfectly fine to use a relevant quote or idea from someone in your posts. As R.L. Adams, a top writer here on Entrepreneur, says, “Take action and stay persistent if you want to succeed and achieve your goals.”
(See what I did there?)
As well as recommending and mentioning other people in your industry, Themezilla also says you should offer helpful advice and tips through your content.
The same UPenn study also found that people were more likely to share content that was practical and actionable. The reason “How-to” articles often top “Most shared” lists is because people want to be recognized as helpful and knowledgeable. As the Times notes, “Sharing recipes or financial tips or medical advice makes sense according to classic economic theory: I give you something of practical value in the hope that you’ll someday return the favour.” Figure out what the most commonly asked questions are among your audience and create valuable content that answers or at least addresses those issues.
Create a connection
Connecting with an audience is also essential, which is why Social Media Today recommends working on this daily. To truly connect with an audience you must work at it and don’t expect the connections to happen overnight.
In an age of seemingly diminishing face-to-face contact and interaction, creating a connection with your customers in any way possible – including via Facebook – is extremely important. One of the best ways to foster a connection with users online is to showcase your company's charitable efforts. A recent New York Times study found that 84% of people share content they come across online that allows them to be supportive of specific charities and causes. For example, creating a post that brings awareness to the fight against heart disease can help create a personal connection with Facebook users who may then share your post to build further awareness. Not only will this allow users to show their support for the cause, but it will also promote the company to more and more people online.
Forbes also reminds us why consumers share content — they want to add value to their friendships and relationships with other people.
Consumers share web content because it adds value to their own sense of identity and their relationships with other people — not because they want to drive traffic to your website. This means that creating shareable content isn’t necessarily a matter of how you can provide utility for your readers, but how your reader can provide utility for someone else. Don’t create content just for your known audience. Create it for the people they connect with.
Have a sense of humor
Of course, it never hurts to have a sense of humor, which is why Forbes mentions how interjecting humor can help your business grow. You never know how it may help!
With so much web content being published and shared on a daily basis, you need to stand out not only in the extent of your expertise, but in the authenticity and humanity of your voice. Consumers share content with which they form an emotional connection, and humor is a relatively quick and easy way to encourage forming those connections. Humor isn’t necessarily the right approach for every industry, but this speaks to the importance of showing your personality. Allow your audience to believe that what they’re reading was written by a real, live human.
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