Does it come as a surprise that on average a piece of content gets less than 8 social shares? Of course, that includes all the crappy pieces that you would never share, and it also includes all the great pieces on blogs no one knows about.
But still there are more reasons if your content does not get many social shares – and there are many things you can do to optimize your content for more social shares.
Image Source: BuzzSumo
1. Have Share Buttons
I am currently working on building a social audience with some clients from different niches. To build their still small social accounts while they do not have enough own content, we are using a lot of content curation. That means I visit a lot of different blogs on different topics. And I am still surprised how many blogs do not even have share buttons. Even many blogs that obviously have the intention of making money do not provide share buttons.
That is wrong.
Instead of one click to share a piece of content, without a share button, I need to copy a link, write or copy a text, add an image and a social account of the blog owner – that is so much hassle that I often do not share the content, even though it is good.
If you want social shares: provide share buttons.
2. Make share buttons easy to find
Some blogs do provide share buttons, but they make it hard to find them. Sometimes share buttons are above an article, sometimes below – and sometimes in the top right corner. Sometimes there are share buttons for different social networks in different places, so if I found a button for Pinterest I am still searching for a tweet button.
You do not believe me?! It is the sad truth.
What is the best practice? Take a look at the marketing blogs. Many of them have a list of buttons on the left side, and they slide as you scroll so that wherever you are in the article, you always have the buttons right there in plain view.
3. Make sure the social media update is perfect
Ok, you have share buttons – but are they really usable? Often when I try to tweet, either the tweet text or the link is missing. Rarely the social account of the blog is mentioned, and there is no shareable image.
If you want more social shares, make sure the share buttons provide the optimal social media update:
- For Twitter: A tweet text, a link, and your Twitterhandle
- For Pinterest: An Image with optimal size and a description that mentions the most important keyword for your content
- For Facebook: at least one image in the optimal size, a headline and a teaser text that inspires curiosity
4. Publish great content
With the mix up between SEO and content marketing, I sometimes get the feeling that content is published far too much with Google in mind instead of your audience. If you want people to share your content, you need to create content that is of value to your target audience – to PEOPLE.
It is not the word count or the number of keyword mentions that makes content great. It is the value it provides that makes people like and share your content.
5. Provide images for the major social networks
In today’s social media world where some of the major social networks like Pinterest and Instagram are totally visual, and even networks like Twitter and Facebook receive multiple times more views and shares if the update includes an image in the right format, adding a picture to your content is a must.
A great idea is to provide a branded image. That way, especially when you are using photos each share of your image also gets you some branding effect.
For Twitter, you can even go a step further and set up a Twitter summary card. This way if someone tweets your content, the tweet will still show with an image plus a headline and teaser text.
Getting your content shared is only one part of social media marketing success. Learn the complete process of social media marketing success with our ebook “The Social Traffic Code!”
6. Share your own content
If your website or blog does not have a huge audience to start with, you can easily give your content a headstart, by sharing it on your social accounts. If you do not like your content enough to share it, why should others do it?
Image Source: CoSchedule
CoSchedule found that over 77% of people share their own content less than three times. Why is that? Is your content „old news“ after a couple of days? If your content is still relevant, why do you not share it again, … and again?
7. Promote your content
You want your content to spread? You have to promote it first. If no one knows your content exists, no one will share it. It is that simple. Make sure you use every channel and audience that you have to give your content the head start it deserves.
Do you have an email list? Send your content to your subscribers – they have subscribed, they want your information. If your content is good, letting your email subscribers know about it will be appreciated.
Image Source: CoSchedule
We already told you in #5 to share your content on your social channels, but there is more you can do: Why not share it with StumbleUpon or mention it in a discussion on Reddit? These options will need some thoughts and community building, still these networks can drive lots of traffic and some of these website visitors will share your content.
8. Ask for shares
You want shares? Ask for them.
It is a proven fact that you will get more of what you want people to do if you simply say what you want. Simply add a Call-To-Action like „Please Retweet“. This can easily help you receive up to 12 times more retweets.
But you should not only ask your social audience to share your content: Also ask your newsletter subscribers to share your content. Or simply add a call-to-action to your content: „If you found this interesting, please help us spread the word and share it!“
9. Mention other people
You mention influencers or people from your niche in your content? Let them know. Simply adding mentions of other people to your social shares can help you get on the radar of the people you mentioned. Some will appreciate your effort and share your content.
There is even some content that is created with this option in mind: Influencer lists, blog lists, interviews – all of these types of content can easily help you get this content shared by influential accounts. Believe me; this will give your content a tremendous boost.
(don’t mention unrelated accounts, that is spam!)
10. Write better headlines
Did you know, that only 2 out of 10 people will actually read your content, while 8 out of 10 will read your headline? IF your headline is boring or uninteresting, your content can be the best there is it is still likely to fail.
Image source: Quicksprout
Most of the time, the headline is going to be the text that used in the social share. If that headline fails to inspire curiosity, a share will not get you any traffic.
11. Provide additional share options
Sometimes one option for a social share is not enough. There are various options to offer your audience more options to choose from
- tweetable quotes with ClickToTwets
- a second image for Pinterest
- Mini-infographics as shareworthy images
12. Use a share-for-share tool
There are some tools that give you shares in exchange for shares of other people’s content. Thus, if you tweet some updates and content from others, you will receive tweets in return.
- CoPromote is a service that offers this share-for-share principle for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.
- ViralContentBuzz gives you tweets, Facebook shares, and Pinterest shares.
There are other services like this – take a look and try if this works for you.
Never forget that success in online marketing rarely comes without hard work. In order to get more shares of your content, you have to make sure, that you reach an audience in the first place – and make sharing easy and fun.