With so much content floating around on the web, it’s all the more important to figure out practical techniques to share content and get an audience to spread it like wildfire. Effectively communicating with an audience comes from engagement and concepts like this help brands as they create their own content on their website and social media sites. The more a company applies tips to their social media and content strategy, the more likely they will get their audience to share their posts and spread the word. Wondering what strategies to apply to explode a site’s content share count? Join us for our free webinar training to get the scoop and below we give you 6 tips so you can get a headstart on knowing how to promote your content and in the process get plenty of social shares!
1. Add sharing buttons to your blog posts
It may seem obvious, but many people forget to add something that makes it a lot easier for an audience to share your content – sharing buttons! Quicksprout elaborates more on where you can place the sharing buttons and why they’re essential to have on your website.
Adding sharing buttons to your website: It might seem simple, but many sites out there have never bothered to test adding sharing buttons to their posts. In addition, there are right and wrong ways to do it.
If you’re a large enough company, it probably makes sense to hardcode these buttons into your site to minimize the effect the buttons have on your loading time.
Otherwise, there are many great options out there, both free and paid. Most have both a WordPress plugin and standalone code for any other website.
Here are 2 popular WordPress options:
The actual button design doesn’t really matter as long as the network it belongs to is obvious.
ii). Choose a good spot for the buttons. Unlike banner ads, having social sharing buttons in a predictable location is good.
As we saw earlier, most sharing happens at the beginning and end of articles. You should have buttons available at both the start and the end.
You can either put them under the title…
…and right under the post.
Or you can have floating buttons that stay on the side the whole time.
2. Figure out what your audience wants
Jeff Bullas provides critical advice, which is to figure out what makes your audience tick. In other words, you need to know your audience inside and out. A lot of this comes from understanding your industry. Know the trends, and you’ll be more likely to create content that’ll resonate with your audience.
As content creators, we all have ideas for posts that are tumbling around inside of us and just bursting to get out onto the page.
But does your content align with the needs of your audience? Is it the content your niche audience is looking for? Is it a topic they actually care about?
No matter how good your content is, your audience will not respond if they are not interested in it and it does not address their core problems. A little research now can save you a lot of frustration later at seeing your perfectly crafted post fail to resonate with readers.
Your goal is not to distract people from the content they want to consume but become the content they want to consume. The difference is subtle but striking.
So, how do you figure out what people want?
Start by looking at trending topics in your niche. Your greatest source of market research isn’t found in spreadsheets or white papers but in the mouths of people themselves.
Three of the simplest platforms to find this information first hand are BuzzSumo, Feedly and Google Trends.
3. Posts that break the news first
It’s sometimes hard to break the news first, but Forbes says if you can master discussing the trends first before anyone else you can show your audience that you’re on top of what is going on in your niche. You’ll also build your site by establishing yourself as a current and trusted website.
When you break news for your target audience, they will not just share it, but they'll also continue coming back for more content. When you are first in your industry news and you give your users valuable information that they aren't getting in other places, you are setting yourself up as a real and trusted resource.
There is nothing better you can do for your business then to show that you are trustworthy and that you can follow through with it.
Marketing Land also recommends keeping the most sharable content at the top of your blog. Fresh content that’s doing well should be featured so that it’ll continue to get shares in the weeks that follow!
If you want people to share, don’t make your headline do all the work by itself – pull the most irresistibly shareable stuff to the forefront.
Tease a link on Twitter by focusing on a curious statistic. Post a story to Facebook by highlighting an intriguing quote. Make sure the jaw-dropping data from that study goes into a Pinterest-perfect chart.
4. Use catchy headlines
Dull headlines have a hard time getting people to click on them. That’s why Post Planner recommends using catching headlines that are unique and prompt people to “click” on the post.
In the online space and even in print media, any content is initially judged by its headline.
It's the first thing people see or want to look at before considering whether to read the content. That makes the headline one of the most important parts of your content.
When writing for social media audiences, many writers tend to overlook this aspect. This may lead to detrimental effects as no effort is made to engage the readers with the headline.
This will ultimately result in low click rates if you get any at all.
In light of the above, it comes as an imperative to craft a headline that engages readers. In order to come up with such a headline, the following aspects should be considered:
Relevance – The subject of your post should be in tandem with the headline. This is to say, if you're talking about cars, your headline should be about cars and not bicycles. Don’t aim to use click-baiting headlines. These tend to attract people, but are out of context with the subject of your content. A disregard for relevance will disappoint your readers; which will result in losing them altogether.
Brevity – Your headline should be brief and concise. Shorter headlines have a more significant impact than longer ones.
Quantification – When writing your headline, make a point of quantifying facts by use of numbers. People are more inclined to click on headlines that have numbers since they tend to be more specific. They also enable the reader to know what to expect from the post.
Power words – The use of power words makes your post more intriguing. It makes the writer sound intelligent too. It also adds credibility to your entire post. Use power words like “Best tips, “Top tips,” to build trust.
You also want to use different headlines for different social networks. Various social networks attract different audiences, this means a standard headline won't work.
Create a unique headline that will resonate well with each of these social networks. A study by Buffer and CoSchedule found that certain words were more shareable on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
5. Be original
Are you creating original content? Jeff Bullas offers some sound advice by explaining how essential originality is. Stay true to yourself on your site, and you’ll create an attractive blog that people want to read and see more of around the web.
After you have identified the content your audience is looking for, don’t simply mimic what everyone else is writing about. That content is already being shared. It’s already providing value. If you write the same thing, there is no reason for your readers to share it.
So, once you’ve found your topic and researched it from multiple angles, you’ll need to find your hook.
What do you have to offer on your chosen subject that nobody else is talking about?
What new perspective can you add that no one else has added before?
What voice can you lend to the conversation that will have your audience captivated?
Originality can seem like a confronting goal, but there are many ways to make something out of nothing. One of the simplest ways to create original content is to find something that someone else in your industry has published and add your opinion to it.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, chances are you are an expert at something. Use your experience as the basis of your original content.
Takeaway – People love to be the first to share a new idea, solution or story. Creating original content will compel people to share.
6. Engage to get engagement
Forbes brings up a great point — to get your content shared, you have to be willing to respond by engaging back! Build relationships, and you’ll likely establish an influential audience who has your back.
Social media posts that users are interacting with — via commenting or liking — are more likely to be shared. This is a classic psychology principle, really.
Your posts that are getting more engagement are perceived as being more popular. Users today have a serious fear of missing out, known as FOMO, so they'll stop to read your posts and interact with them if they see others doing it, too.
And as Marketing Land reminds us, it’s all about adding value to someone else’s thoughts. Take the time to go the extra mile and get noticed by people in your industry.
“If you want to get on the radar of someone with a significant amount of followers, clicking the ‘Tweet’ button on their articles or posts isn’t going to get you noticed,” says Wayne Barker of Boom Online.
“Add value to see reciprocation. Use a quote from the post rather than the title. Better still, add your own insight – it takes 30 seconds.”
Wayne suggests checking out tweets by Anthony Pensabene or Gisele Mendez to see this strategy in action.
Are you ready to apply these strategies to improve your website? There are other tips you can try, and we talk about many more during our free webinar training. Register today and learn the secrets on how to propel your website to success!
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