Sharer-friendly social media content
You want to get attention; you have a website; and you want to get people to find you online and talk about how great you are at what you do. But how?
One of the easiest and most accessible ways to go about this is through social media. Social media is made for content marketing. And if you have content then the nest step is to learn how to make that content shareable.
It's hard to reach out one by one to get the word out about what you do. Networking is all well and good if you are looking for a small number of clients. But a better way is to use social media to find a network of contacts will will do this for you. The process works by finding an audience who will engage with your content and share it to all of their friends, who then pass it on to their friends with a re-tweet or a facebook share, who pass it on, and on...and on.
The theory is simple: your ten thousand twitter followers love your content and pass it on to their ten thousand followers, and soon your visibility multiplies. And there's no doubt that social media is a fantastic, low-cost way to spread your content, with virtually has no limit to the number of people you can reach.
But are you getting the traction you desire and deserve?
How's that working for you?
Sometimes the reality is a little different than our expectations.
Sometimes you tweet a link to your best blog article, one you have toiled over all week, and nothing. Just silence. Maybe a couple of tweets from your closest followers, but not the mass sharing you had hoped for,
Or maybe you go for a boost post or an advertisement on Facebook and the engagement is just dismal.
You have good content but you're not making it sharer-friendly. We've all been there and the reasons are two-fold:
The way you're presenting your content on your site isn't making it easy to share, and
The way you're posting that content to your social media channels is limiting the shareabilty.
But not to worry, there are some simple steps you can take to improve the shareability of your social media content; and the very first place to start making changes is right on your website.
Get your foundations right
Some people will share your social media posts directly on those platforms without necessarily going over to your site (twitter is one). But most people will see a link, click over to it, and then decide to share -- after they have read (or at least skimmed!), and enjoyed your piece.
You want to have the right foundations in place to make that content easy to share once someone is on your page, and we have three techie solutions to help you.
It might seem obvious, but do you have the right social media plugins on your wordpress blog to make sharing, liking and following easy?
If not, this is a super-simple change you can make today that will help boost your reader interaction with your content.
Plugins are the little buttons you find at the beginning, end, or at the side of articles, and they often have the symbol of the social media site they link to, and an option to share, like, or follow. (You can see them at the top and bottom of this article.)
Choose the networks where you want to engage with your readers (no need to activate all the buttons), and
Add your own profile links so that when readers share, they are also making a connection to your page or your profile.
You can stop there, but there is more to it if you do want to go deeper.
2. Optimise your plugin
Now you're set up with the infrastructure, you want to make sure that the placement of plugins, and the number that you use is optimised for maximum engagement and that all-important sharing.
Co-Schedule writer, Garret Moon, found that the placement and prominence of the buttons is key.
Many sites position buttons at the end of the article, but as we already know, most people won’t get all the way to the end of your article.
According to Moon, readers view your page in an F pattern – so the area of a webpage that users interact with most is the top left-hand side of the page. Placing your buttons on the top left side, or directly under the heading or subheading is a good move.
Secondly, he also found that the number of buttons has an effect on your content's shareability because it affects your website's performance, and, also, because it encourages engagement on the right channels (the right channels for you, that is).
Moon found that having too many buttons can slow down your site. And, because website speed is linked to better readability and SEO performance, having too many buttons will have a negative impact on your site's performance and discoverability.
In addition, social buttons that are rarely used give negative social proof to readers (if it has a big fat zero, it looks like no-one cares). Sadly, we all act a little like sheep when it comes to taking cues from what is in front of us (the phenomenon of the busy restaurant attracting more diners, while the neighbouring empty restaurant, while just as good, sits empty).
To guard against this, give readers the option to share only on your most active social media channels.
While it cuts off connection with other social pages, it concentrates interaction with the ones that are most used -- this makes your content look more engaging to people in the outer reaches of your network, who don't know you as well, and gives them the confidence to click through. And we know that some social networks (Facebook for example) judges whether to show your content to your fans, on how engaged they are.
3. Built-in tweets
And to put the final foundational piece in place, then you can make sharing as easy as clicking, by embedding pre-populated ‘Tweet this’ anchor links.
Services like click to tweet are one way you can install this functionality on your site. This one is a wordpress plugin so if you don't run wordpress, you'll need to ask your developer for advice on how to do this.
How does this work?
It works on two levels:
Firstly, it gives you the editorial decision on what you would like your readers to share. You pick the 'pull' quote that goes with the link back to your site, giving you complete influence over the message your reader is sharing on twitter. For experienced marketers and copywriters, we are giving the reader's audience what we know they want, increasing the potential impact of the share.
And, secondly, it makes the choice of whether to share or not share a lot easier for your readers. To come up with their own quote, or choose a highlight or a standout idea from your content, is a few moments effort and may discourage a time-scarce reader from sharing. This way, it is already prepared, and all they need to do is click ‘share’ and it's done.
So, now you're equipped with the know-how to optimise your site and your content for shareability, the next place to you is your social media itself.
And in part two of how to create social media content that gets shared, we look at how you can make it easy and attractive for people to share and re-share your content. It's all about understanding the social media channels and adapting your content to fit. Enjoy!
Written with love by,
Author Unlimited Editorial Team
If you enjoyed this article, then head right over and read part two!