Building a strong social media presence can improve your brand awareness, increase traffic to your site, and eventually result in far more paying customers for your business. While there are many factors that play a role in determining the success of your social media strategy, none are as important as getting social shares.
Getting your content and posts shared accomplishes many goals simultaneously. First, getting shared is an indication that you’re producing compelling content, giving you a positive feedback loop. Second, when your content is shared, more, newer people are able to see your content, which leads to greater following numbers and greater traffic. Finally, getting shared often is a social signal that tells Google you are an authoritative brand, which helps your site rank higher in search results.
Obviously, getting lots of shares is the key to establishing a great social media presence, but it’s not always easy. Try using these seven hacks to get more shares from your social posts:
Posting information that’s never been seen before tends to get far more shares than regurgitated or repurposed content. Originality goes a long way here; one of the best ways to accomplish this is to do your own original research within your industry and post your findings on social media. If you don’t have the time or resources to perform original research regularly, you can capitalize on a new product, new service, or new offer from your company. As long as your audience hasn’t ever seen it before, you’ll retain the higher chance of attracting shares.
Written content can get shares, but visuals attract far more. Images and videos naturally draw social users’ eyes and make them more willing to share that content on their own profiles. Consider using a video as a platform for your content, or an infographic that summarizes your latest findings. Even if you’re just linking to a written onsite article, posting a related image in your syndication schedule will increase the total number of shares your content will receive. If you can’t afford to have a new image with every post, save your images for your most impactful pieces of content.
People love to laugh, and humor is contagious. When someone encounters a piece of content online that makes them laugh, or even crack a smile, they’ll want to share that content with their friends to make them smile the same way. While posting one-liners all day won’t do much for the authority of your brand, associating your otherwise authoritative content with a quick punchline or a wry aside can help propel it to get more shares. Also, don’t waste time recycling some other joke you found online. Come up with something unique to your story for maximum impact.
Novelty is valuable in the social sphere. People check their news feeds when they want to stay up-to-date, and if you give them information they didn’t already know or post something related to a trending topic, you’ll be far more likely to catch their attention. Post opinion pieces on recent industry news, or capitalize on trending topics and hashtags with your own original material. Showing that you’re up-to-the-minute with the latest information will showcase your brand as an authority, but more importantly, it will inspire people to share your material.
You must be careful with this strategy because it’s easy to appear like you’re simply pandering for shares or using gimmicks to improve your social standing. However, incentivizing shares with contests or special offers can be a valuable way to get your content circulating. For example, you could host a free giveaway to one randomly selected user from a pool of people who have recently shared your content. On a smaller scale, you could even make a post along the lines of “share this post if you agree that…”, which prompts certain segments of your audience to share your original post. In a sense, you’ll be asking for shares directly, but you’d be surprised how many people are willing to indulge you.
While visuals are important, the copy you use to lead into your post is also very important in cultivating social shares. With this strategy, it’s important to tease your audience. Give them a taste of what’s on the other side of your link, but don’t give away all the details. You probably see tons of shared posts on your personal news feed with phrases like “you won’t believe what happens next” following a basic premise. While such headlines are known as “click bait” and are generally frowned upon, the teasing technique they use in their copy is a well-established standard for attracting more shares.
The social media world is typically governed by rules of reciprocity, especially among leading influencers. As a general best practice, your brand should be regularly sharing content from other influencers and leaders in your industry. It’s good for both of your reputations. Since you’ll be doing favors for others, they’ll be far more likely to do favors for you. In effect, the more content posted by others you share, the more likely your content will be shared by them in turn.
Social media is a constant experiment. You’ll never be able to accurately predict exactly how one of your posts will perform until you actually publish it, but you can gather information about your previous posts and make assumptions accordingly. Work to continuously refine your social content strategy, and revisit the tactics you’ve found to be previously successful.