As more and more people join Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, bloggers are increasingly trying to get their content shared and it in-front of more people. And why wouldn’t they? A post is perceived as higher quality when it’s coming from a friends than from anywhere else.
So how can you increase the social reach and shareability of your posts? Here are a few tips:
Create good content.
First and foremost it’s about good content. No one likes the same content they can find everywhere else, or content that is self-indulgent.
Create unique content that informs, educates and/or entertains. Be different, be you, be successful.
Text is great, but pictures are what most people will notice first. Add compelling graphics and/or videos to compliment your content. Try to create, or find, media that will act as a magnet and pull people in.
Avoid generic stock photography though as it’s been overdone and can act as a deterrent.
Make it easy to consume.
You could have great content, but if it’s one giant block of text, it’s going to be hard to read. Formatting is important, even the spacing between paragraphs, or lines, can make it hard to read. Consider using more white space, short paragraphs, bullet points, bolding and sub-headers.
It’s also a good idea to get the opinions of others. You may not see how others perceive your content.
Write for people.
You’d think this would be an easy one right? However, a lot of new bloggers get so caught up in keywords and marketing that they forget they are talking to people.
Write content like you’re talking to a friend or a prospect. Blog posts are not press releases and they shouldn’t be written that way.
Make it easy to share.
Sharing content isn’t hard. Most users who want to share content will do so, regardless if you have a specific button for their social network or not. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t encourage them by adding a few buttons for the biggest social networks that your content fits in.
Twitter and Facebook are the most popular at the moment, but don’t forget some of the other social networks if your content is a good fit in them.
Connect with your network.
There’s no harm in asking someone to tweet or share something. If you have friends, or colleagues, on Twitter, ask them for a favor. Asking others to promote your content isn’t bad, just don’t ask them to promote everything. Asking for favors works best when it’s done once in a while, otherwise people tend to get annoyed.
Link to others.
Sharing is a two-way street. If you use quotes or data points from someone else, link to them. Cite your sources, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because that shows that you’re a sharer too.
The biggest thing to remember is don’t compare yourself to others. If you think that you should get just as many shares as someone else, you’re wrong. The internet isn’t fair, it’s a popularity contest and just because you add a Twitter button, doesn’t mean you’ll get dozens of re-tweets.
Judging any content based purely on a number of shares is like judging a car just based on gas mileage. Sure, it can be used as an indicator of quality, but it’s only one small piece of the puzzle; and is that piece what’s most important to you? Is a Smart Car better than a Ford Fusion?
If you want to increase the number of shares your content gets, chances are you need to change what you’re currently doing. That could be by writing better content, formatting it differently, or adding additional sources. If you don’t think you need to change anything, then ask around. Chances are, others will see your areas of opportunity more clearly.