Once upon a time, the best way to get attention for your company was to get a celebrity — an actor, athlete, musician, etc. — to endorse your products and share information with their devoted fans. These days, though you need to create worthwhile content for your audience. Using influencers can help but influencers are more than just those people with their names in bold print on the front cover of the magazines. Rather, you’re more likely to find influencers on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, or among the millions of bloggers.
However, influencers can even be found on a smaller scale. An influencer can be the fashionista who always seems to have her finger on the latest trends in beauty or the mom who consistently finds the best deals on stuff for her kids.
In fact, anyone who shares content, be it via social media, email, or just word of mouth, can be an influencer for your company and help grow your base of followers and customers. That means that the more shareable you make your content, the more likely you are to grow your audience, increase engagement, and increase sales. Not to mention, there is also speculation that social sharing can also have a positive influence on your SEO results.
Given the importance, then, of your content being shared, how can you make it more shareable?
The Easy Stuff
For starters, there are two simple things that you can do to increase shares of your content: Ask people to share and make it easy for them to do it.
- Include social sharing buttons at the end of each post with a call to action directing readers to share with their networks.
- Include social share counters to offer some social proof that others are sharing your content.
- If you have visual content (an infographic, tutorial, etc.) add a “Pin It” button next to the visual within the content to make it easy for users to quickly share the content on Pinterest. That way, not only is it easier for the user to pin the content, but it’s also more likely that specific image will be shared, and not another image selected by the user.
One word of warning, though: Be selective about which social sharing buttons you offer. Choose a few that are most meaningful to your audience and your business, and don’t feel compelled to offer a button for every possible social network. This will only dilute your efforts, and clutter the page.
Now, The Harder Stuff
Adding buttons is the simplest thing you can do to make your content shareable. But unless you create content that resonates with your audience, it doesn’t matter how many buttons there are — it’s not going to happen.
For this reason, you need a very solid grasp of not only who your audience is and what they want, but also an understanding of why they share content. Analyze your existing content to determine what types are shared most often, what gets the most engagement overall, and what seems to resonate with your audience — and develop your content strategy based on that analysis.
While the specifics of your strategy will vary based on your audience and goals, the most shareable content does tend to share a few key characteristics, including:
Strong Graphic Elements
Content with excellent images get 94 percent more views than content without — and visual content is shared more often than any other type. Humans have a more emotional connection with images than other forms of media.
Since one of the most common reasons for sharing content is to give others a sense of who we are and what matters to us, it’s vital to have strong graphics. Not to mention, great visuals are also more effective on sites like Facebook and Pinterest, so put the time into selecting or creating great images.
We are naturally drawn to stories. Content that tells a story is inherently more compelling than other types, so grab attention and increase sharing by becoming a storyteller.
Humor isn’t always appropriate in every situation, but when you can use it, don’t be afraid to do so. Humor not only gets attention, but it reveals your brand personality to your audience and engages them. Not everything is a matter of life and death, so don’t be afraid to lighten up.
The truth is, there really isn’t a magic formula for getting people to share your content — if there was, everyone would use it, and every post would go viral. You can stack the deck in your favor, though, if you pay attention to what gets results and do everything you can to inspire people to share your stuff.