Whether you like it or not, the more social media shares you can accrue affects the overall success of your content marketing strategy. Even if your content is solid, fresh and strong, it doesn’t mean people are sharing it across their networks. However, there are several ways to increase social media shares of your content.
Social media has turned the way we communicate and share into something totally different than it was. We communicate and share much differently nowadays, and the amount of people we can reach is astounding. Even the way people use and manage social media marketing for business has changed drastically.
Why Social Sharing is Vital to Success
The number of users that continue to flock to social media is almost unimaginable. Matter of fact, recent statistics show us that from now through 2021, the number of social media users will rise from an already staggering 2.77 billion, to an even more impressive 3.01 billion.
This is why increasing social media shares of your content is critical. This is especially true if you are running a small business that does a lot of online sales.
Social media shares are just one important aspect of a solid customer retention strategy that can help you continue to grow.
Proper social sharing tools and implementing social share buttons in the correct format can be a bigger deal than you think. Let’s take a look at 15 ways to increase social media shares of content.
1. Know and Understand What Your Audience Wants
This is the best place to start. In order to increase social media shares, you need to first know and understand the content your audience wants. Most of us have constant ideas popping into our heads. While some are good, many are not.
However, just because you have good ideas for content does not mean your audience will want to share it.
You can create a top-notch, solid piece of content. However, if your core audience is not interested, they are not going to share. This is true no matter how good your content is created.
So, how do you find out what your audience wants? You might be in a situation where you know what they want, but your content is lacking. This is a different issue you will need to deal with. However, if you are a good content producer, you just need to find out what your audience is inclined to share.
Then there are certain tools you can use.
Some big social media and content marketing companies offer tools that allow you to narrow down popular topics. Things that are trending today may not be the same things trending next week. Tools like BuzzSumo, Google Trends, and Feedly can really help you narrow down exactly what your audience is wanting at any given time.
2. Originality is Key
Now you understand what your audience wants, it is time to put some content into play and get social media shares. There are a number of things you may want to consider when putting together a solid piece of content. Perhaps the most important is originality.
Here is the issue. At this stage of the game, your content is probably not going to be the first thing written or produced on a given topic. This is where you need to think outside of the box. Originality is key, as it will help your content hold more interest and will increase the likelihood of your social media sharing statistics to go up.
Chances are, you are an expert at something and can at the very least, offer an original take on a given subject. Your content doesn’t have to be over the top and overwhelmingly different. Perhaps something more original than the other run of the mil content that is already available.
3. Add Value to Content
In order to help the social media sharing process, you want to make your content as appealing as possible. A great way to do this is to add value to your content.
Yes, your content may be original, and you may be hitting on exactly what your audience wants at the time. However, adding even more value into the content is another key component of getting more social media shares.
There are some great ways to add value to the content you have created. Some of the best ones include:
- Outside Resource Linking
- Linking to Relevant Content on Your Own Site
- Photo Galleries
Adding this to your already strong content will only help drive traffic and interest to inspire more social media shares.
4. Create Catchy and Interesting Headlines
One of the best ways to grab interest immediately is to have a dynamic and interesting headline that makes the reader want to click. For this reason, it is important you spend a little extra time on creating interesting and eye-catching headlines that will convert.
Now, I am not saying you should create a headline that is somehow misleading or false. There is enough of that going around. But you do want to create a catchy headline that relates to your content and what you are trying to convey.
Try to address the individual by using terms like “you” and “your” not only throughout the content, but the title as well. This makes for a more personable experience for the user and will increase the likelihood of a click-through and also increase social media shares.
5. Use Visual Interest to Your Advantage
Attaching images to your post is always a good idea. You want to walk a nice line between too many images and not enough. However, using the visual interest that readers have can be a huge advantage. Plus, it just adds to the interest when the piece is shared using your chosen social media tools.
Yes, sometimes finding the right image can be difficult. This is especially true when finding images without copyright issues. Not to worry, there are a ton of great resources out there that you can use to find high-quality, royalty free images.
Using these resources and putting a little extra time into adding visuals will increase social media shares.
6. Post Content During Peak Hours
In order to increase the likelihood that your content will get the most social media shares possible, you have to employ a list of techniques. Part of this list is to post content during peak hours. This is to say that you want to post your content during peak hour times on social media networks.
In order to know what peak hour times on networks are you can use HubSpot. They have an in-depth look at when is most ideal to post on each network. However, here is a quick breakdown of peak hours on major social media networks.
Facebook: Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm – 1pm. Between 3pm and 4pm on Wednesdays. Between 1pm and 4pm on Thursdays and Fridays.
Twitter: Between 12pm and 3pm Monday to Friday. 5pm – 6pm is also a peak spot for them on Wednesdays.
LinkedIn: Between 7:30am and 8:30am, 12pm, and 5pm – 6pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Pinterest: Between 2am and 4am and evening hours, every day of the week. Saturdays between 8pm and 11pm are also peak hours.
Just keep in mind that these are merely averages. The times may be different depending on your own industry as well as the target audience. Keep an eye on your own analytics to determine exactly when your audience is ready for content.
7. Content Should Be Easy to Read
This seems like a given, but many writers and content producers actually don’t take into account what “easy to read” means when it comes to content and structure.
Long sentences, long paragraphs, no headings, no subheadings, these are all things you want to avoid. You actually want all of these things in your content as it makes it easier to read and interact.
Remember, lists, images, bullet points and of course images are all things that will drive traffic to content and keep the reader interested. An interested reader increases the chance that they will share your content across their networks, effectively getting you more social media shares.
8. Share Content Multiple Times
This is difficult if you are in charge of news related content, as news stories come and go very quickly. However, for evergreen content, it is ideal to share it more than once, on all social media channels, at different times.
Of course, you can switch the headline ( the social sharing tool part of the headline) and maybe even create a new graphic or picture. You can even update certain content when needed. The point is, sharing it over time is a great way to increase social media shares.
9. Use a Solid Social Sharing Button Platform
This is important. Obviously, the social sharing platform you choose to use may be due to a personal decision and taste. However, there are certain platforms out there that are head and shoulders above the others.
If you are a WordPress user, then you know there are a ton of options available just by searching the plugin repository. That being said, below is a list of what I consider to be some of the best social sharing tools available.
Remember, no matter which social sharing tool you choose, you want to keep in mind that it needs to have the ability to do certain things. It needs to be fully responsive, customizable, give you the ability to add buttons in different areas, allow you to add and subtract the social share buttons you want and auto display when needed.
10. Social Share Buttons Should Be Easy to Find
Believe it or not, sometimes websites have social share buttons that are not exactly easy to find. This could be due to a configuration issue or due to the fact that they have put sharing buttons in places that are not accessible via mobile.
The places you want to have your social share buttons for easy access and sharing include:
- Content (Above, Below or Both)
11. Click to Tweet
A very popular option has become the “Click to Tweet” option. You will see more and more solid content producers using this within their posts. This basically allows your reader to take snippets of your content and Tweet it out directly from the article.
There are several good plugins that allow this, so search them through Google or the search engine of your choice. You can also go directly to ClicktoTweet.com for more about what they do and their free way to do this.
12. Use a Call to Action
Don’t think you are above creating a call to action. If you want your content shared, then ask. Directly ask your audience to share your content. Use a call to action style link or button and of course be nice about it.
You can include these types of calls to action in landing pages and other spots of your site.
A call to action is still a very popular and effective method to get people to do something you want.
13. Always Include “Snackable” Content in Your Rotation
A great way to increase social media shares is to create and include snackable content into the rotation. This type of content is a key element to your marketing strategy.
As attention spans decrease, consuming media in bite-sized pieces becomes more favorable.
And that is exactly what snackable content is…short content that is quick and easy to read. Quotes, short videos, infographics and stats are all perfect examples of this. They keep people interested without taking up too much time.
14. Share Related Content From Outside Sources
This may not seem like a good thing to do at first, but actually, it only serves to build your audience. If you share related content from outside sources that are high-quality, it shows your audience that you respect good work sources with authority.
This increases the chances of visitors sharing your content as well because they will relate it to you knowing what you are talking about in your chosen niche.
15. Be Patient and Keep At It
Remember, it takes a lot for a great piece of content to come together and to generate buzz and gain social media shares. Sure, sometimes content goes viral more easily. But that can be due to a number of reasons.
Keep at it and over time, you will develop a great routine for building content and blasting it out over social media. This will definitely lead to more social media shares.
Implement Your Own Social Media Sharing Strategy
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Utilizing the 15 tips above for increasing social media shares is a good start. What else do you like to do to help increase sharing and social engagement on your content?