Everyone wants their content to go viral. You may have a dream of millions of visitors pouring into your website to look at your awesome content or blog post. Sadly, the reality is that, for most people, content doesn’t go viral. It is extremely rare especially for someone just starting out, despite the fact that people on Facebook were sharing a whopping 4.75 billion bits of content each day as of May 2013. And that number is much higher now.
Still, there are certain techniques and strategies you can use to make sure your content gets read by someone other than yourself. There are many more than can fit into a simple blog post, so don’t be afraid to look around for more ideas. However, to get you started, here are a few tricks that you can use with your content to get more shares across social media.
Write the Content People Want to Read and Share
To get shares on social media, you have to write content people will want to share! But what kinds of posts or articles get a high share count? There are a few popular choices:
- Write long form content. Longer posts with loads of information tend to get shared more on social media. People love to read epics. However, if you post to Medium.com, keep in mind that the posts that get the most engagement tend to usually take between four to six minutes to read. So if you’re writing about 1,000 words, you’re well within that range. It’s not too short, where people might think you don’t have any useful information, and not too long, for people who may be pressed for time.
- Create listicles. A listicle is an article that is based on lists. If you follow any music publications, you’ll know that they do this all the time with articles such as “Ten Overlooked David Bowie Songs” and “Five Nirvana Bootlegs You Need to Hear” and such. The only thing more popular for shares than listicles are infographics, so writing them is a good way to get shares.
- Conduct group interviews or “round ups”. This one is almost elementary. If you write a blog post using quotes from other bloggers you’ve contacted directly and interviewed, they will more than likely share the content with their followers.
- Write on topics that are trending. If something current hits, you can leverage the popularity of that topic to get your content shared more. If something has just gotten really popular, people will read and share your content to pass the information along to others. Currency is the key to getting shares.
Don’t forget to write a grabby headline. Obviously, you don’t want to get labelled as “click bait”, but your headline is perhaps the most important piece of writing you’ll do online. Only 20 percent of your readers will read beyond the headline, so it just goes to show that you need to grab people’s attention if you want to get shared.
Contact Influencers to Pass Around Your Posts
If you want to get closer to going viral, asking people who have high authority social media accounts with a lot of followers is a good way to get your content out there. But it’ll take a little bit of homework.
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Research all of the influencers who are working in your specific area of expertise. Then write the content that they like sharing. Quote them if you can. Make sure the content is of exceptionally high quality, and don’t be scared of writing longer posts. When you’ve published the piece, contact them through e-mail or on Twitter to let them know you have a post that they may be interested in. Most of them will probably share it with their followers if the post is up to snuff.
Put Social Sharing Buttons on Your Content
There are plug-in tools out there that will add this feature to your website or blog. These are important: you’ll want to make things as easy as possible to share. While some bloggers advocate putting these buttons at the top of your content, especially if you want people to see how high your hit count is, the truth is most people will only click on them when they’ve finished reading your article. So consider putting them right at the bottom of your posts.
Use Images with Your Content
The stats bear this one out. Facebook posts have 53 percent more likes with photos. Tweets are 94 percent more likely to be shared if they have a photo. Most posts that get shared have pictures with them.
Remind People to Share
This is probably the simplest technique, but one that often gets overlooked. People sometimes need reminders to pass your content around. If you use Medium.com at all, you’ll know that some users put a call to action paragraph or sentence at the bottom of their posts, urging people to click on the little green recommend icon to generate more visits.6 Guaranteed Ways to Get Your Content Shared. #contentmarketing #speaking Click To Tweet
That can help: on Twitter, for example, tweets that specifically ask followers to retweet them get 51 percent more retweets than those that never do, and doing a similar thing on Pinterest can get your 80 percent more shares on that site. So don’t be fearful of twigging people’s memory and asking them to do what may seem obvious: share information.
Don’t Forget to Share, Too
Generosity goes a long way online. If you share other people’s posts and content, they may reciprocate. So don’t hesitate to share a really good article that you come across.
There are other ways to get shares on social media. What are they? If you have any ideas, feel free to leave a comment in the section below.