How to get more people to share your content
Every minute of every day, people share a whopping 1.3 million pieces of content on Facebook. So why is it that no matter how much content you create, or how exceptional it is, the only person who ever seems to pick it up and share it is your mother?
The people and brands that excel at social media don’t just produce consistently great content, they also know how to optimize it, promote it, and get it in front of the right audience. We don’t have a magic formula for making your content “go viral,” but we do have a few tips for making those links a little more enticing—and today we’re going to share them with you.
Make sharing easy
In an age when there are literally thousands of social media plugins available, there’s no reason to make readers work to share your content. One of the simplest and most popular ways of making posts easy to share is adding social sharing buttons to your site. You can choose to display only a few select social networks or a whole slew of them. If you write in 140-character soundbites, you can even take Neil Patel’s advice and add tweetable quotes throughout your posts.
Master the art of headline writing
We published an entire post about crafting engaging, clickable headlines a few months back because it’s just that important. Get the title wrong and you can kiss those clicks, shares and upvotes goodbye. But get it right—by building intrigue and focusing on the benefit—and you can render even the dullest content shareable (after all, 80 percent of people read only the headline, but that doesn’t stop them from sharing it with their friends). If you think you’ve got a winning headline, try running it through CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, which will analyze its word balance, length, sentiment, and more. We scored an 81 with this post’s title!
Nobody likes a Debbie Downer in their news feed. That’s what researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found when they tracked the sharing of more than 7,500 New York Times articles. People preferred to share articles with positive themes, and more than anything they wanted to share articles that “inspired awe.” We don’t recommend trying to put a positive spin on decidedly bad news stories, but we do recommend creating content that triggers strong positive emotions. Put a little sunshine in your readers’ days.
The same UPenn study also found that people were more likely to share content that was practical and actionable. The reason “How-to” articles often top “Most shared” lists is because people want to be recognized as helpful and knowledgeable. As the Times notes, “Sharing recipes or financial tips or medical advice makes sense according to classic economic theory: I give you something of practical value in the hope that you’ll someday return the favour.” Figure out what the most commonly asked questions are among your audience and create valuable content that answers or at least addresses those issues.
Model good behaviour
Remember the Golden Rule from grade school? Well, it still hasn’t gone out of style—especially on social media. If you want people to share your content, the best way to do it is to engage in the act of sharing yourself. Get to know some of the other people in your niche, comment on their posts, and share their content. Once you’ve established yourself as an active member of an online community, you’ll begin to attract attention to your own content, and if you’ve played nice, you’ll no doubt get some comments and shares from other authors. Just remember to stay humble and appreciative when that happens and don’t let success go to your head!