Sharing content on blogs and social networks is today a fundamental opportunity to make your brand known and grow. Having a high number of shares is much more important than having many people following your channels. And it is the first parameter to be taken into consideration to evaluate whether what is published is interesting and involving.
If your shares are scarce, don’t worry, we will give you 5 ideas to rethink your content and make it irresistible to share.
Where Are the Shares Born?
The first answer that comes to mind is social media. And the facts confirm Facebook creates about 31% of shares, plus 10% generated by the sum of all the other channels.
Yet, surprisingly, social networks are not the most important sharing space. 59% of the shares come from emails, forum posts, and messaging apps. These are the so-called “dark social”; term created to identify those sharing spaces that cannot be directly monitored by web analytics programs.
This shows that the digital world is by its nature, apart from social networks, a space in which people converse and exchange information. Sometimes the sharing is between a person and a group, as in forums, other times it is from individual to individual: two friends who exchange a link on the best shoe stores on WhatsApp, a colleague who shares the latest news to another on the competing brand via email or Slack. In this case, the content’s visibility is minimal, but the possibility of conversion, in terms of clicks, leads, and conversions, is very high. Marketers can’t control much of these dynamics, but they can commit to creating relevant content that leads people to disclose their brand spontaneously.
The benefits of sharing are awareness, sales, and leads.
The benefits of sharing your content can be many:
- Improve the brand’s perception: people trust less and less what companies say directly and more and more what their friends share. When a company receives positive, spontaneous mentions thanks to direct interaction between users, it concretely improves its reputation.
- Increase leads: shares lead to a rise in traffic on your site. 31% of referral traffic is generated thanks to sharing and is therefore made up of highly interested users with a high possibility of conversion. Shares are excellent sources for obtaining leads because they are based on a spontaneous mechanism: the user who arrives on the site is already favorably willing to leave their data to stay in touch with a brand.
- Increase sales: 70% of people admit to being influenced in buying by what a friend has shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. This means that creating good content, which entices people to talk about it with their circle of friends, can translate into an economically tangible result.
Why Does Some Content Have Hundreds of Shares and Others Don’t?
A good content marketing strategy must include a constant publication of content that feeds your blog and social channels. But if no one shares and disseminates them, all this work is useless. What are the reasons why content has appealed from this point of view and goes viral?
- It’s useful in solving a socially felt problem at a certain moment.
- It generates an emotion (fun, tenderness, amazement), which people want to spread to their contacts.
- It helps to support the image that a person wants to give of themselves.
- Who shares it is a fan of the brand, loves its products, and supports it in everything it does.
If your content doesn’t respond to these four cases, maybe it’s time to review your editorial strategy. Where to start? We listed 5 tips for you.
#1 Control the Visibility of Content on Mobile
In 2015, mobile devices generated 33% of web traffic; and in the next few years, this percentage will grow further. More and more people will view articles and news exclusively from smartphones and tablets. The site hosting these contents will have to load quickly and be perfectly optimized to allow correct viewing. Therefore offers all the best conditions to encourage sharing. Brands that do not yet have an optimized webspace must act quickly if they do not want to lose contacts; 57% of users leave the site if the page loading time exceeds 3 seconds. A quick and effective solution is online systems for creating mobile sites. Without requiring special technical skills, they allow you to create a web page that is perfectly usable in all its contents and quickly catch up with competitors.
#2 Multiply Share Points
In addition to clearly visible content, all the interaction, comments, and social sharing buttons must also work perfectly on mobile. There is no need to put dozens of buttons for all the channels that the company has activated; the most relevant ones for its sector are enough. Where to insert them? The positioning of the social sharing icons at the beginning and end of the content is a must. If there are any particularly relevant quotes or phrases, you can insert the “click-to-tweet” button in correspondence, so people can immediately share them on Twitter. The images can be associated with the button for sharing on Pinterest, remember to give them a meaningful name, which on Pinterest will appear as a description of the photo. For example, the clothing brand Zara did, not only for all its products but also for the editorial images with seasonal trends.
#3 Give a Good Reason to Share
When creating content, the question that should be clear in mind is: why should people even share it? Brands usually neglect this point and create content about a product or service and don’t put themselves in the shoes of their potential customers.
There is no magic formula to create viral content, but there are elements that certainly work the most. For example, quizzes: always intrigue, and people easily share them to challenge friends and prove your intelligence. Posts with exciting or engaging images, even better if they are videos. And again, the lists with practical advice to solve a problem. To try to offer a complete picture of what works best in sharing, a study analyzed the most significant viral case studies of 2015. This table summarizes the results, that is the recurring elements that contribute to increasing sharing.
#4 Offer Premium Content
People love sharing interesting content, even more so if they offer something in return. It can be an ebook to download for free or a discount coupon. The ideal mechanic is to invite people who see the offer to share it with their potentially interesting contacts. The buttons for the various social networks and the possibility of forwarding via email must be inserted. A simple form can be inserted to increase leads, which invites you to enter your email in exchange for free content, thus enriching the contact database for future initiatives.
#5 Pre-Format for Social Media
Most of those attending a blog read only the title and the first few paragraphs of a post. To convince them that this is an interesting content to share, you have to play everything in the first few lines, starting with the title: it must be impactful and sufficiently mysterious. But also short, both for a question of greater impact and a technical question. At the time of sharing, to be fully displayed on Facebook, it must be below 100 characters, while for the description, the maximum allowed is 250 characters.
The same goes for images: they must be eye-catching to encourage sharing and must be pre-formatted for social media. In the sharing, they could be cut in a different format than the original one, and be less impactful. Thus, it is always better to test them in advance, by copying the URL of the page in a test post, to avoid nasty surprises.
FAQs About Increasing Social Shares
Social media is, without a doubt, the solution to increasing your brand awareness and visibility. When posted regularly on social media, your customers ”see” more of your brand. A big plus is that it’s a cost-effective solution to your marketing to reach potential customers.
The best times to post are between 10 a.m – 3 p.m Tuesday to Friday. The least amount of engagement on Instagram is on Sundays, and between late nights and early mornings.
The power of social media isn’t something to ignore for your SEO. Facebook is like a pool of high-quality backlinks and can increase your domain’s authority.
To Conclude, You Have to Think About Your Titles Carefully
The video for Adele’s song “Hello” has garnered over 500 million views in just a few days. The list of “51 Most Beautiful Literature Quotes” posted on BuzzFeed reached 9 million views and was shared by 1.4 million people. The color quiz published on social networks by EyeSocialEyes obtained 5 million shares between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
Even without reaching these records, small tricks like those we have recommended are enough to grow your shares. What will you focus on for your next content?