5 Reasons Why I Did Not Share Your Content

In social media marketing, especially when you are new to the game and your audience still small, one very important goal is to get other people to share your content to their audience. When your audience is still small, you depend on others to help you reach a larger audience by putting your content in front of their audience.

Knowing this you should take every effort you can to make sharing your content as easy and enjoyable as possible. If no one is sharing your content, step back and take a look at your blog and ask yourself: would you share your content?

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This said, I am rather speechless at how often bloggers make it so hard for me to share their content and how clumsy their efforts often are with which they attempt to lure me into taking action. And in the end more often than not I did not share your content for rather mundane reasons.

Of course the most straight forward reason why I did not share your content is that either I simply did not like your content or your content is entirely uninteresting to my social audience.

But even if your content would be of interest there are multiple things that you can do wrong, which keep me from sharing your content:

1. I did not know it exists because you did not distribute itA large part of social media success depends on others to share your content. Here are 5 reasons why people do not share your content.

I have basically two ways of discovering blogs which I read and then share what I like. I have a couple of blogs I visit regularly and browse through their latest articles. Everything else I share are chance findings in my social networks. Some posts I find on Twitter, some on Facebook or Pinterest. If you are not already on my regular browsing list you should definitely be on social media if you want me to share your content.

The most prominent reason why I (and everybody else) did not share your content is because I did not know your blog exists. Before you can expect me or anyone else to share your content you have to make me aware of it.

So the truth is: you need to start with sharing and distributing your content yourself. Your job as a (young) blogger is not done with publishing your content. Before you can expect others to share your content, you have to share it yourself and get your content out there.

2. I have no clue who you are

Sharing your content means I trust you enough to share your opinion with my audience. And in order to do so, I want to know who you are. Again and again I am surprised at how many people contact me for various reasons and do not bother to tell me who they are.

Believe it or not sharing your content is a kind of recommendation. That is one reason why the famous people and the influencers get so many shares. Because people know who they are, they trust them and they trust their content.

Not knowing you and not being able to find out easily who you are, may well result in me not sharing your content – even if your content did speak to me and would have been interesting to my audience.

Make sure you have some easy to find information about yourself on your blog.

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3. Your headline sucks

Yes, I know, writing the perfect headline is a science. And I know even our headlines could sometimes be better. But between the perfect headline and a headline that stops people from sharing your content there is a long way to go.

I have seen articles simply titled “Social Media Marketing” – sorry, do you really think that headline works? I know it does not, and so I won’t bother my audience with it. A headline has to give some hint at what to expect in the content and it has to attract attention. In most social networks, the headline is more or less the only information people get before they click on the link (or do not click). A totally boring and uninteresting headline will kill your chance of getting shares.

Also, if your headline has nothing to do with your actual content, that will keep me from sharing, too. Do not try to deceive me or your audience with a catchy headline your post does not connect to. You may try to deceive me, I certainly do not want to play that game with my audience.

The other mistake is to write headlines, which are too long. I am very active on Twitter. A headline which is too long for tweeting and expects me to use my brain on how to shorten it so that it fits a tweet is definitely too much to ask for.

Headlines need to fulfill some basic criteria and that is: They have to make sharing easy. They have to make people curios about the actual post and hint at what to expect.

4. You do not provide share buttons

Sometimes I am rather shocked at how many “marketers” do not have any share buttons on their blog. Yes, that is a more wide spread problem than one would expect. And if you really think your blog posts are so great that everyone is wanting to share them so much, that they actually take the time to copy and paste link, headline and maybe even your Twitter handle into their Twitter – think again.

If you want people to share your content, make it as easy for them as possible. Share buttons on your blog is not an add-on it is a must. And you need to make sure that the share buttons provide a ready to share social media post. I have seen share buttons, which gave me an empty tweet – in that case, you can forget the share buttons, they are no use anyway.

Make sure you not only have share buttons, make them easy to find, too. I as a new reader to your blog need to be able to find them at first glance. If I have to hunt down your tiny and well-hidden share buttons, chances are high, that I lose interest before I find (and use) them.

5. You did not add pictures

There are many social networks that work only or at least better with pictures. It is no secret that Facebook gives link-updates with pictures more reach than the updates with no picture or a picture in the wrong format.

It is also no secret that many bloggers drive a hell of a lot of traffic from Pinterest – but Pinterest needs images and again these images need to fulfill certain criteria.

Of course you cannot provide an image for each and every network in the ideal format. But the networks that you yourself identified as the best for your purpose should be considered. If you want traffic from Facebook, create a picture in the right format. If you want traffic from Pinterest, read some articles on what kind of images work on Pinterest and create some images for your own blogposts.

Even on Twitter you get more visibility if your tweets have images, but it is not a must to have a picture to get people to tweet. However for Facebook and Pinterest having no pictures, which will work there, will certainly result in no shares – and no traffic.

More

There is a lot of advice out there on how to get more shares for your blogposts including tips on how to get in touch via email and asking for shares. But before you turn to the more difficult forms of gaining shares, make sure you get it right on your end. You can spend a lot of time building relationships and connecting with people, if you do not provide shareable content, you will not succeed.

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This article was proofread and edited by myself with the help of Grammarly. If you are blogging in English and cannot afford a professional editor, Try Grammarly Now! It rocks.

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  • http://robynwilliamswriter.blogspot.com.au/ Robyn Williams

    Great article and It makes me happy to know I am covering off on all but one: the headline. BI am trying my hardest to learn the magic that underpins this mystical wizardry. I guess it comes with experience????

    Thanks for the great insights :). Looking forward to your next post. ????????

    Robyn Williams

  • http://www.patronguru.com Patrongurucom

    I found this article very revealing! I will definitely take these tips into consideration. In fact, the part where you said “I have no clue who you are” has inspired me to post my about page on twitter so that people can get to know me! Again, thank you for this wonderful insight!

  • Ianuarius

    It was a good post and made a lot of sense. Thank you.

  • Cat Lam

    Insightful. Thanks you guys!

  • Bella Giles-Smith

    OMG, this has been a huge help with my social media marketing knowledge. thank you.

  • Shana Haynie

    Good post. I just wanted to add that there are two ways to think about writing your headline. There’s the SEO version (where if you were trying to rank for “social media marketing,” that would be a fine title for your post and the accompanying URL slug), and the social media version.

    Typically, you should write one title (the actual H1 tag) for SEO purposes and then write a more human-related sub headline, which you will use for social sharing.

    I use a free tool from Co-Schedule callled the Headline Analyzer to help me write better social media headlines: http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer

    • Joseph

      It doesn’t work well. Sorry to burst the bubble on this concept, but my highest rated blog posts with tens of thousands of hits ranked the lowest on this analyzer. I have no confidence in what it is peddling, other than it is someone’s made up way to scam google

      • Shana Haynie

        Regardless of whether or not the headline analyzer is a scam is not what’s important. What matters is remembering that what you end up calling your blog post and what you tell people it’s called can be two different things.

        I have a blog post called “Marketing Mistakes” with the URL slug “marketing-mistakes” because that’s what people search for. But for social media and human purposes, the post is called “Epic Marketing Fails: How to Alienate Customers, Lose Sales, and Get People to Unsubscribe.”

  • http://www.accidental-blogger.com Lori Nelson

    Exactly! I completely agree with all of your sentiments. (and thank you for providing a pin – this is going straight to my board 😉

  • Joseph

    Good content and one thing that will stop me from sharing content is popups that load before the content and prevent me from reading it or take me to some link that I have no interest in/or want! I will click close so fast on these sites, it would make your numbers spin upside down.

  • Dorothee Racette

    I am picky about the content I share. In addition to the points Susanna mentions here, turn-offs for me are blunt advertising (your blog post is about your book with a link to Amazon), advice that comes across as arrogant or superior, and boring listicles on topics that have been written to death (crap about 8 things successful people do or BS about some millionaire).

  • http://www.barbsbooks.com/ Barbara Radisavljevic

    I do not share content for exactly these reasons, I read some good blogs, some even written by friends, that do not have pictures that are shareable to certain sites, such as Pinterest. The buttons will create a share, but it isn’t ideal. I use my Buffer and Pinterest browser extensions to pick the best photos to share, so if there are any images at all that are large enough I can usually make a well-written post shareable. My own posts aren’t perfect and I still have a lot to learn, but I do try to use images of the proper sharing sizes and use headers and images to break up text to make posts easier to read.

    I think many people don’t realize how their headlines will appear in Twitter when readers use share buttons. I rarely use share buttons except for StumbleUpon, since I like to be able to edit a tweet or Facebook post before it is published. Headlines are important. It’s hard for a blogger to keep the balance between being clever and having the right keywords to get found and properly define the subject.

    I have an online friend who has some useful content, but it’s full of sentence fragments. It doesn’t seem to matter to her. I have pointed out as kindly as I knew how that she should write in complete sentences and I’ve even given her information on how to to that, but it doesn’t matter. She isn’t willing to change. So I don’t share her content. Some typos can slip through both visual and computer checks, but consistent disregard for proper usage does keep me from sharing.

    I do love to share content, but it does have to be content I think my audience on social media will find engaging. Everyone won’t always like or find useful the same things I do, but I do hope many in my audience will like most of what I share or be able to interact with it if only to disagree.

  • http://www.twirp.ca/ Anita Kirkbride

    I agree with all of these, and I would like to add poor grammar. I will not share something if it is full of typos and bad sentence structure. If I have to read it over and over to make sense of it, I just can’t share it. To be completely honest, there have been a couple of guest posts on this blog that I would have liked to share, but couldn’t because of this.

  • http://www.truly.life Truly Life

    Good pointers to keep in mind when sharing & promoting content..

  • http://www.truly.life Truly Life

    Good tips on how to have one’s content shared..