Ever looked at a popular blog, seen how many hundreds of people have shared it, and thought to yourself: “Man, why isn’t that happening with my content?”
It’s something I’ve wondered a lot, too.
Social shares are a big deal.
When you think about it, a ‘share’ is a valuable social currency.
And although our audience shares the content we write, I want to significantly grow that number.
Good question. Let’s start there.
Why Do Content Shares Matter?
More importantly, how does getting more people to share your content grow your sales?
Well, for one, it’s unbeatable exposure.
There are plenty of people who have built their name by being talked about.
More exposure means more traffic.
If you have your sales funnel in place, that traffic gets funneled into conversions.
Being shared is also an incredibly strong form of social proof. One you just can’t manufacture.
Lastly, the potential growth of one share can be exponential.
It takes just one person to share it. Three people might see that share and each share it again. Then their followers might catch on. . . . you get the picture.
Suddenly, thousands have seen your content.
If you’re reading this, you probably want to know how to get more shares.
Unfortunately, there’s no formula, but there are a few tips that can help you amp up your content’s ‘shared’ number.
First, you need to understand a few keys to shareable content.
In my own quest, I decided to reach out to the experts and get their answers.
Combined, each one of these experts have hundreds of thousands of shares. Needless to say, they know a thing or two about getting content shared.
So I’ve compiled their answers and expert tips to give you (and myself) a great starting point.
1. Co-Create Content
James Scherer, Content Editor of Wishpond
James is the content editor of Wishpond, a platform that provides marketing tools to help businesses scale. As a content editor of the Wishpond blog, James says their primary strategy is to expand their reach by co-creating content with brands that share similar markets.
“One of our primary content strategies is to co-create content, and focus on building relationships with brands we love that have similar target markets.
One of our friendliest content marketers is dedicated to spending a few hours every day reaching out to other businesses and maintaining relationships we’ve built previously. We’re scheduling co-created guides, blog article trades, co-webinars, guest contributions, and more.
Co-creating content increases shares by doubling the newsletter reach (at the very least) of that content in its early days, which begets share counts which beget further sharing. Let alone the fact that many of the businesses we’re working with have substantial social media profiles or are run by/connected with industry influencers.
At its heart, this is about relationship-building. That’s something impossible to put a dollar value on. The fact that a influential content creator now knows and likes us on a personal level means they may think to include us in their next tool roundup—or refer us to a customer looking for something they don’t offer.
Making friends is never a mistake.”
2. Start a “Snowball Effect” of Shareability
Daphne Sidor, Senior Editor of Leadpages
Leadpages is one of the most-used tools for business owners and entrepreneurs. Daphne is the senior editor who has played a large role in growing Leadpages by publishing great content. She has a few tips up her sleeve.
“a. Be generous with links to other writers and entrepreneurs. If it makes sense for your post, bake in external examples of the topic you’re talking about and give the people who created those examples a heads up once the post is published. Encourage them to share the post on social media—in our experience, a majority of them will.
b. Start a snowball effect by boosting your posts on social media. Just a little bit of initial investment in paid social can lay the foundations for social proof that gathers more social shares.
c. If you’re writing about topics related to social media, work a mention of the specific social platform you’re sharing on into the social-share title. Posts that mention Facebook tend to get shared widely on Facebook, and so on. (You could even try setting different social-share titles for each platform to capitalize on this effect.)”
3. Don’t Forget About Your Email List
Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Journal is a huge blog that gets over 1 million views a month. They consistently publish great articles about search marketing from industry experts. Loren says that you should never underestimate the value of your email subscribers—and never forget to share your content with them.
“Email is sometimes one of the most overlooked content marketing platforms out there. But when you send an email, it’s not just a question of including your link in your email copy.
Plan out your Subject Line to be engaging and reflective of the content to increase open rates; add some sort of callout or urgency to your email to attract the list member to click on the link (Grant Cardone’s emails are a great example of this, sometimes they just say “Hey, read this before your competitors do!” with a link.).
At the end of the day, your email list is probably your most passionate audience, and they will share your material.”
4. Use Twitter to Find Influencers & Target Them
Neil Patel, Co-Founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics
Neil Patel is a serial entrepreneur known for his great content and insights on marketing. His sharing strategy started out simple: he scoured Twitter to find popular blogs, posts, and influencers and connect with them.
“I would first go to search.twitter.com, and put in some of my competitor’s most popular blog posts.
I would look and see who the most popular users are, network with them, and then ask them to eventually tweet out my article.
The easiest way to do this is to start following these popular users. Then, create conversations. Eventually, ask for a tweet.”
5. Make Your Content “Easier” to Share
Arnie Kuenn, CEO of Vertical Measures
Arnie Kuenn is CEO of Vertical Measures and author of the award winning content marketing book, Content Marketing Works. His 5 go-to tips ensure readers can share your content with ease.
“One of the best ways to grow your shares is by simply making your content easier to share.
I am still amazed at how often I see this overlooked by even the best known, most socially active brands.
Here are a few tips:
- Make sure your title tags and meta descriptions are set up correctly. After all, this is generally what gets posted to social media. Is this how you want it shared on social media? If it is all borked, too long, or missing, people won’t share.
- Make sure you have Open Graph and Twitter cards enabled and set up correctly. Have you selected the best image as a default?
- Enable something like “Tweet this” within the content—this really works.
- Share your latest content internally with prewritten text for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. At Vertical Measures, we never require anyone to share anything, but we make it very easy for them if they would like to.
- Lastly, don’t forget to ask for shares! Asking for a retweet or share on Facebook can increase your shares by 40% or more.”
6. Just Ask
Derek Halpern, Founder of Social Triggers and Blog That Converts
Derek Halpern is a trusted voice on everything from marketing to psychological triggers that influence prospects to buy. His tip? Sometimes just asking people to share your content works.
“Instead of relying on a share button, ask people to share your content.”
Derek’s tip is short and sweet. What he’s getting at is what he’s written about in the past on his blog. He advises you write content for a specific type of reader, and then go out and email a copy of that blog post to those readers.
You could even go simpler and message influencers on Twitter who are likely to be interested in the subject of your content.
7. Cite Other People in Your Content (And Tell Them About It)
Devesh Khanal, Founder, Growth Rock, Co-Founder of Grow and Convert and Wordable
Devesh is not only a serial entrepreneur, but also the co-founder of one of the industry’s most read blogs—Grow and Convert. He says the secret to shareability is citing other people in your work, and then telling them about it—while remaining non-pushy.
“When you write a post, try to find many places where you can cite someone else’s work.
There should be plenty of opportunities, since very few articles are truly original, and even those are almost always built on previous work.
When you cite these other people, send them a short email before you publish. Say something like, “Hey, I’m writing an article on this and am citing this piece you wrote, just wanted to give you a heads up. This is the angle I’m taking on the piece. Let me know if you want to see a draft.”
Don’t be pushy, make them feel like a collaborator. Some will offer to give feedback.
Then, when you publish, send it to them. Don’t ask for a share, just send it. Many (if not most) will share it, and more importantly, you’ll build relationships with them.”
8. Great Content Images Drive Click-Throughs
Sean Work, VP for Inbound, Crazy Egg
Sean Work is the VP for Inbound Marketing at Crazy Egg—one of the most trusted heatmapping tools in the industry. He says you shouldn’t ignore the value of your images in getting click-throughs from prospects.
“Image selection is probably the biggest driver. Just like how the right video thumbnails can increase click-throughs on video views. Spend as much time crafting the perfect featured image as you do creating your tweet or post update text.”
9. Give Them a Reason to Share
Dave Schneider, Co-Founder of NinjaOutreach
Dave Schneider is co-founder of NinjaOutreach, where they reach out to influencers. He believes you need to give people a reason to share, then hand the content to people you want to read it. [Update – Dave no longer runs these websites, but can be found at lesschurn.io and daveschneider.me]
“If you want people to share your content, you have to ask for it, or give them a reason to share. Such as a quote with a click to tweet or with a social share bar.”
10. Identify the “Lead Domino”
Sean Kim, CEO of Rype
Sean is CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He details his unique framework for precipitating shares by putting out content that captures the attention of the influencers your target market follows.
“One of the most useful frameworks I’ve always found helpful in business (and life) is identifying the lead domino.
When it comes to growing your audience, the trick is to put out content that would capture the attention of influencers that your audience follows.
For example, if you are building an audience that cares about fitness, identify the top influencers in that industry, and pay attention to the type of content they share on social media.
Then, start building a relationship with these influencers. When the time is right, show them your content and see if they’d be willing to share it with their audience.
Many will say no, but if you identify the right influencers, all you need is one to gain momentum!”
11. Create Viral Content
Nirav Dave, CTO & Co-Founder of Capsicum Mediaworks
Nirav Dave is the Co-Founder & CTO at Capsicum Mediaworks, a Web Design & Development Agency based out of Mumbai, India that specializes in all things Web Design & WordPress Development. He Worships WordPress and Loves to read anything and everything about this exceptional CMS.
“My tip to increase social shares is to create viral content like infographics or explainer videos. These types of content are interesting, informative as well as visually appealing and help capture the attention of your audience, leading to more likes and shares.
Also, make it easier for your readers to share your content by incorporating social media buttons on all web pages and posts. Adding a ‘Click to Tweet’ box to your blog post is yet another method that has been quite successful in increasing user engagement.
If you are part of a Facebook group, then sharing your article on the group can also help you increase your social share count. Just make sure to post only relevant articles that you know the group members will enjoy reading.
Lastly, to boost social shares, post your content on all relevant social networking platforms (Pinterest, Quora, LinkedIn, Instagram) and not restrict yourself to the most popular ones (Facebook and Twitter). This will help you garner more brand visibility, leading to more traffic and a higher social share.”
12. Keep your Audience’s Needs in Mind
Marcus Svensson, Head of Growth of Albacross
Marcus Svensson is responsible for the Growth of Albacross with previous experience as a founder and background in Mathematics from Stanford. Albacross is one of the top lead generation tools in Europe today and growing with hundreds of new companies every day. For best lead generation visit albacross.com
When creating any content, you should keep your audience’s needs in mind. Do you know what your website visitors want to read/watch/listen to? Not sure? Then you definitely need to investigate that. Knowing your prospects is tremendously helpful when it comes to any business’ success, not even mentioning the content share.
Another tip to make your content more shareable is using the right tools, which make it easy for users to share your content. It’s not always about the quality of the post or image, but about making your content accessible. Thus, it’s a great idea to create a shareable image to go with your articles and to use different apps such as Shareaholic to make them easy for people to share.
13. Engage with Fellow Social Media Users
Jimmy Rodriguez, COO of 3dcart
Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO & Co-founder of 3dcart, an ecommerce platform for startups. As an e-commerce influencer, he’s focused on helping retailers succeed online by developing strategies, actionable plans and customer experiences that grow and improve conversions.
One of the best ways to get shares, or any kind of social engagement, is to engage with fellow social media users. Whether it’s your followers or other influencers in your space, simply show genuine interest in their content and do them the favor of liking or sharing their content, this will put you on their radar. Most people will be happy you’ve done so and reciprocate those efforts next time you share something. Do the same thing when someone likes or shares your content and you will earn a more loyal and engaged following. Social media works a lot like the real world, if you want engagement, you’ve got to be engaged!
14. The Secret to Increasing Social Shares
Matt Ackerson, Founder, AutoGrow
Thought I’d jump in here for the last tip.
The secret to growing your social shares is picking one of the tips above and putting it into action.
If you don’t have time to do it right now, bookmark this article and add a task to your to-do list for a specific time and day next week.
It’s possible the tip might not work for you, but you won’t find out unless you’re willing to risk failure. So take action.
For instance, here are two things we’re doing here at AutoGrow to grow our shares right now.
First, like Derek Halpern mentioned above, we’re creating a simple system for reaching out to people who we think would be interested in our content and willing to share it.
Second, we’re redesigning our blog. It’s accumulated some dust so we’re going to brush that off and revamp it. The goal is to put more focus on the content and provide readers with a streamlined experience.
To paraphrase Seth Godin, ideas that spread win.
So, if you are looking to generate leads from your content marketing, you want to make sure people share it.
Implementing these tips from the experts should get you more shares.
Shares should translate to more traffic, and traffic to leads.
And as long as you have a well-designed sales funnel, you’re bound to get more conversions.
Keep me in the loop about how it’s going. I’ll make sure to do the same. (:
Which tip did you find the most valuable for growing content?
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused,