8 Ways to Spark More Social Shares on your Content Fast
You have a blog.
But frustration has set in that has you wondering why your readers are not sharing your content. It’s a good question you’re asking and it’s even better that you are seeking ways to fix that.
The good news is that with the right moves on your part, you’ll actually have more readers coming to you! And I know that’s what you want, isn’t it? Let’s look at some ways you can make sure your readers not only love your blog content, but find it helpful to them. By acting on these strategies, you’ll find that it’s not as difficult as you might think.
So let’s dive right in.
1. Create a Clear Magnetic Headline
How many times have you come across an article and found yourself quickly skimming the headline and brushing over the intro? More than once, right? I’ll bet if you were attracted to the headline, you went on to read the intro. If the author still had your attention, THEN you went on to read through the body copy.
Well… the truth is that it’s the same for your readers. This means that your headline has to really stand out to grab your reader’s attention.
An essential part of drafting a good headline is that you know the type of audience you want to attract to read your blog. This way, when your ideal reader sees your headline, it will make them feel as if the article is just for them. Make it short, crisp and to the point.
While this may seem obvious, it is definitely very important. Without knowing the type of audience you want to read your blog you’ll end up writing blindly for any audience which will not do you much good. No one product or service on the market can possibly be targeted at everyone on the planet, but only to a specific targeted group of people.
A good example of this comes from an article written by Global Healing Center. This was their headline. Simple, but yet effective.
Notice the basic keywords in this headline, it doesn’t speak to all gardeners. What makes it most effective is the narrow focus to let readers know right away who this article is intended for and whether it will help them or not.
One thing to avoid at all costs is having a great headline, but an intro and body that doesn’t support your headline. You also don’t want to go off in a slightly misleading direction with your topic. Readers appreciate knowing what to expect based on the headline you give. So the simpler the better.
The Four U’s
This may very well be the easiest way to remember how to write powerful compelling headlines for your copy.
So what are the four U’s?
You want your readers to see that your headline speaks directly to their need, and that if they read the article, they will walk away with a wealth of information. People are interested in how they can better their own lives, not waste their valuable time reading articles for no good reason at all.
You don’t want your reader to think, this doesn’t benefit me, when in fact it will. And you don’t want them to see your headline, but struggle for a few seconds wondering if they should click through.
We’ve all seen much of the same old headlines on the same old topics. And sure, sometimes it’s tough to jazz up your headline without over doing it. But you know what? Creating unusual headlines that will pique curiosity can go a long a way.
Take a look at these headlines I have come across that stand out very well:
- A Little Mistake That Cost a Farmer $3,000 a Year
- Lack Time? Here Are Four Convenient Ways to Keep Your Dog Fit
- Why You Should Be Building Trust, Not Traffic
Readers are more likely to click through with a headline that is specific. Honing in on what specific questions your target audience has regarding the topic should help you. Have you taken notice of the fact that the most popular articles that go viral are those which have specific headlines and are packed with helpful content which support those headlines?
Here is one example we can learn from (Budgets Are Sexy):
How to Eat On Less Than $1/Meal
This site blogs about budgets. But within that topic, they have broken it down from a different angle to express the possibilities of eating for less than $1/meal.
The way in which you word your headline can make all the difference. “How to Eat for Less” or “Ways to feed Your Family on a Tight Budget” would not have had the same effect in the reader. This headline makes the reader think, “Oh Yeah, I can’t miss out on this!”
To create a sense of urgency in your headline, you’ll want to include words that speak of time.
- At Last
Readers need to be able to do what you claim is possible. For instance, you don’t want to promise readers they can make $5,000 working from home in 2 weeks if that is not realistic. Promising your reader something like this (if there is not the right foundation for it to happen) is one of the fastest ways you’ll lose their trust. And once that trust is broken, you can be sure it is very hard to get back (if that even happens). It needs to be practical and actionable.
Authority Nutrition published an article called A 7-Step Plan to lose 10 pounds in just one week.
This works well because it targets readers who are looking to lose weight more quickly as opposed to those who might not have a set time frame in which they want to achieve this goal. And these readers are very likely to click through fast as well. It’s a great way to engage the reader and refresh them by revealing a plan to achieve this goal with only 7 steps. The angle is also excellent because readers will find exactly what they are looking for. Not why they should lose weight,but how to do it.
You see the difference?
Chances are, if your headline is weak, readers wont even bother reading the rest of your article.
Are you wondering how to tell if your headlines are strong enough?
Here are 27 tools easy to use tools to help you. What’s even better is that some of these even generate the headline for you once you put in your topic.
Turns out that sometimes just omitting, adding, or changing certain words can have such a great impact on how your audience engages with your headline.
For example, I filtered the headline for this article through Sharethrough, and this is what came up.
All you need to do is put in the headline you would like to use, and it gives feedback and tips on how to develop a stronger headline.
Sharethrough also has a great tool you can download: “The 1,072 Words That Will Change How You Write Headlines Forever.”
These are FREE tools you can use to start making small changes in your business strategy that lead to big results that truly pay off. If you can develop strong headlines that engage your readers, you’ll soon see more readers viewing your content.
2. Keep Your Audience Your #1 Focus
Often times we can get so wrapped up with things like creating the best headline, how to market our posts, and even the juicy sales-y part of content marketing. After all, our goal is to get more sales, right?
But even before that, I want to help you to bring that other very important thing from OFF the back burner.
In case you haven’t heard, one of the best things you can do when writing your content is NOT focus on yourself or your business. The best way to position yourself as an expert while gaining your reader’s trust is to do just one thing.
Help your readers.
Don’t sell to them directly. People don’t want to be chased around by a bunch of sales people who need just one more customer.
Nobody wants others to think of them as just some walking wallet or credit card. People work hard for their money and even if they genuinely need your product or service, they need to be able to not only trust you, but find value in what you have to offer them first.
They also desire to be valued and respected as a person with needs, wants, questions and feelings. The quickest thing that can send your audience running the other direction is if you treat them like just another “paying customer” to help you meet your quarterly sales quota.
But don’t run! Please hear me out. I care about you and your business and that’s why I say this. It’s true.
So make an effort to value your customers more and not come off this way.
What Do My Readers Want?
Here are some things to think about while considering your readers and creating your content:
- What are their problems and challenges?
- What are they doing to solve this problem and why is it not working for them?
- How can I offer them a solution to this problem?
Think of your blog as a magnet that draws your target audience to your brand.
Let me ask you this…
Have you ever met someone who instantly turned you off for no other reason than they were so into themselves and their accomplishments? I have. These are the types of people who can ramble on for a long time talking about nothing but themselves!
What they have going on in their lives, where they work, what they did over the summer and even what they had for lunch! (silly, but sometimes true).
And in the midst of it all you wonder how you can ever carry on in a two-sided conversation with someone like that because they take no (or very little) interest in asking you questions or in finding out anything about you.
I say this because with all the drive to get more shares and leads for your business, customers can perceive you in this exact way when you fail to take a genuine interest in them.
The content on your blog should allow those that are new to your brand to get the knowledge they are looking for while giving you a steady platform that builds trust (and the opportunity to sell later).
You will discover that your business will grow even beyond just getting more social shares when you make the radical effort to keep your content focused on the needs of your readers.
How This Company did it Right
Check out this case study for Lenox, a B2B company that manufactures metal power tools and cutting blades.
I want you to see that not only was their content strategy successful but let’s see what they actually did:
- They designed a specialized persona for their targeted customers.
- They asked real questions to their customers to find which leads where qualified. They used this questionnaire (connected to a “points” system) to track which leads where warm or hot.
- They created content specifically based on the challenges they discovered their potential buyers were facing.
- They put in the work to restructure their website to include four categories at the top of the page that were highly valuable to their potential buyers.
- They also added a resource center housing specialized topics and an up to date blog.
While there are many small ingredients that go into a successful blog, you can be sure of one thing. If you’re not looking to discuss the problems your readers have and offer practical doable solutions, your blog will not see much success.
Additionally, be willing to do what is necessary to get to know your readers enough to find out what type of content would find beneficial.
You can do this by:
- Asking them in the comments section of your blog (“What topics would you like us to blog about?” or asking them more directly “What questions do you have?”or “ Where are you stuck?”).
- Ask your email list to take a survey. Feel free to reference these companies that provide customer feedback surveys: (Survey Monkey, Typeform, Zohosurvey, SurveyGizmo)
- Interact with your readers on social media (answer their questions and pay attention to their comments and questions).
More times than not, your readers will be more than happy to give feedback and will appreciate your company valuing them enough to ask and act on that information.
Honestly, your readers care more about themselves than about you, your company, and your products or services. If it does not benefit them, they lose interest. Keep this in mind.
But stay encouraged and remember that you should always be looking to improve and strengthen your content so that it always engages your readers, helps them with their problem, and hits the nail on the head every time.
3. Social Share Buttons
It goes without saying that if you want your readers to share your content, you must have social share buttons. Make it extremely easy to share. Remember that your readers are very busy so if your buttons are hard to find, it’s no wonder why you’re not seeing a higher level of share results.
Let me point you to a plugin I would recommend.
This plugin is free for the basic package with the option to upgrade. It is compatible with WordPress and has earned a 4 star rating.
Social Warfare offers you sharing buttons to some of the most common social media platforms such as:
- And more
Another great benefit worth mentioning is you’re given several options as to where you want to place your buttons on your content page. You can choose to either place them above or below the post, manually, or you can have floating buttons throughout the body of your content that looks kind of like this:
One of the nice things about this feature is it makes it extremely easy for your readers to share your content and it kind of serves as a reminder. As they scroll down the page, the nice thing is that when they read something they find helpful and they see the buttons, they’ll be more likely to share.
Social Warfare also has the Click to Tweet feature which allows you to have quoted text from you content that your readers can click on and tweet on Twitter. So essentially what you can do is place your most powerful text in these boxes, and readers will be more likely to share it.
4. Share Old Posts
You mean share and promote old posts? Why?…
There is just one answer. Because it works! Sharing your old blog posts can help increase your social media shares for these reasons.
- Your posts (even if it’s old) will meet new readers each time you share them on social media. Especially as you get new followers. And you never know who will see it. Content travels a lot faster through social media than it does through any other avenue online.
- Life happens! Even your most diligent and faithful readers will miss a post from you in their social media feed. Bad for you-and bad for them. Re-posting old content will allow them to find and read those posts.
- Simply put, you have to keep promoting your content to help increase the number of shares. It’s more of a continual strategy and not an isolated event.
Tip: Make sure to update your older posts before sharing them. Your readers will be more likely to share content that is updated. This will also work in your favor when it comes to credibility. You are an authority in your niche. Re-posting out dated content will only cause readers and potential customers to take you less seriously.
Tip: Elna Cain has written a great article that breaks down how to get more traffic from older posts. Her readers have shared this article over 600x! So go check it out here. (note that this method only works for Genesis themes)
Social media is definitely a golden place to make sure your re-sharing your content since 72% of all online adults are on Facebook (which is 62% of all Americans!).
If you are looking for ways to really increase the number of shares on your content and gain new exposure, make sure that you don’t overlook that places right at your finger tips
- LinkedIn groups
- Facebook Groups
- Your email list
If you’re strapped for time (like many business people are), I’v got great news!
You don’t have to spend hours trying to do this on every social media platform out there. Try these tools to help you:
You’ll have the ability to schedule what and when you post on automated dates and specific times of your choice. This will help you save time while taking the steps you need to increase exposure by getting your posts out there often.
5.Integrate Expert Interviews and Quotes
I’m sure you already know that one of the biggest ways to get more shares VERY quickly is to include interviews from experts in your niche.
But not just any quotes…
Your post needs to stand out, which means you must go the extra mile to get fresh quotes. So in this case, you don’t want to simply Google old quotes and weave them into your content. It’s alright to do that at times, but you want to actually interview expert authority sources who are well-known and have a large following.
When others see that you’ve interviewed these sources, they will be eager to read what they have to say. It also makes your credibility and content shine that much more.
There is also a huge level of curiosity about what successful experts actually do. Be it blogging, eating healthy, exercising, running and managing a business, saving money, or even raising kids.
While you don’t have to interview multiple expert sources, you’ll find that it’s highly effective in gaining a larger following. Words of wisdom, advice, tips, and other golden nuggets coming straight from the mouth of a highly influential authority figure will get you readers interested quickly.
Interviewing multiple sources and designing a content piece around their answers is referred to as a “roundup post”. This is mutually beneficial for both you and the expert because it gives them more publicity and exposure too. It peaks more curiosity in the reader and is often irresistible.
This post at BloggingTips.com is a great example of that.
Newbie bloggers and those who jumped in years ago would not hesitate to read this article because they want to know what those best tips are. And who better to learn from?
We can see that it’s an all around help for those who want to learn and avoid making many common blogging mistakes.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you interview your sources:
- Think about what the readers would like to know about. What are the questions that have not been answered before?
- Try approaching the topic from a different angle
- Ask open-ended questions the source can expand on ( try to avoid questions than can only be answered “yes” or “no”)
- Ask hot topic questions in your niche
Expert interviews are a great way to diversify your content, as long as it’s not overdone.
6. Visual Content
If you have blogged for a while, then I’m sure that you know the importance of keeping your readers engaged with images. Because a blog without engaging visual content is like listening to a movie with no pictures. It sound like a great movie but it’s… um, still very BORING.
Without images, you loose your reader long before the half way mark.
If interesting and relevant images are absent in your blog, you won’t be able to hold your reader’s’ attention for very long at all.
65% of people are visual learners, so it is critical that your blog post has a good amount of visual content that will help your readers follow what your saying.
Let’s explore some of the methods you can use to enhance your content.
These days people’s attention spans are very short.
So your content will be so much better if you but in this extra work.
There are a number of places you can get images for your blog. Lots of them are free and still are very high quality. There are plenty out there that can be used legally for commercial use. Find out if any of these sites might work for you:
There are literally thousands of pictures you choose from. You can also edit and create you own custom blog images. I have personally used Canva and Flickr and I like them both. Canva offers you design options for specific purposes which is helpful.
But there are many others, so try them out and see what you like.
One thing you must remember is to pay attention to the copy rights on the photos you use on your blog. Some of the pictures you will find legally belong to the owner and cannot be used without their consent.
Others are free for you to use under the conditions that you give proper attribution to the owner of the photo and link back to their site. As long as you do that, your good to go!
Tip: This video explains how to know which photos you can use for commercial purposes and which ones have certain restrictions.
Each video serves a different purpose and all videos are not created equal. The key here is relevance. So don’t just plop any video to your page to fill the space.
It should give you readers that “aha” moment. Or you could think about it as the “icing on the cake”.
These should give you some ideas about what you could use for your videos:
- Case studies or testimonials
- Break down of your product or service (how it functions, size, durability, how to assemble, materials used for your product, and any other important features)
- How-To Tutorials
- Or any other helpful information in regards to the topic you are writing about
Step 2 applied this. The hardships they faced in their business was that conversions rates were small compared to what they wanted to see. Some of the larger priced toy items in the store didn’t all have shelf models for shoppers to see. Then, too there were more than 200 available toys online for customers to buy. But you know what the problem was?
Customers wanted to see what the toys looked like set up that they were about to buy. They wanted a breakdown of the features of the item they were about to spend over $100 on. Large toys can often look a lot different out of the box than it does when just viewing a picture of the item.
Step 2 created videos for the product descriptions and, features, and with children using the toys. And, you’ll never guess what happened. They saw conversion rates spike up to 174% for those that viewed the videos!
As you see, this is a powerful tool used to give your readers the information they need. This approach is not direct selling, but soft selling (by providing you readers with any information they need to make an informed purchasing decision).
But you’ll also notice that Step 2 didn’t just create a video and upload to YouTube only. They placed it directly on their website, right where potential buyers would be looking for most information about the product. It would have been far less likely for any potential buyer to go digging through YouTube videos looking for more information about the product since it is far less convenient.
For you this means placing high quality, relevant videos into your content.
Infographics have become popular and wide spread in the online community and are a fun and creative way to convey data, statistics and facts to your readers.
Make sure that you have double checked your facts before creating and sharing. I encourage you to make your images sharable on social media as well.
Cite your sources for your infographic. And when you do, make sure your sources are up-to-date. Keep a good balance between the visual content and the words you use. You don’t want it to be too wordy.
Your screenshots can really come to life and serve you well when you use tools to annotate them. I use Evernote for taking screenshots and for annotations. It is my go-to tool and is so easy to use. You have no idea.
Screenshots are particularly great to use when your breaking down your content into steps or creating a “How-To” post. It can help the reader follow what you are explaining when they can see the steps your taking and try it themselves (real time).
7. Encourage Your Readers to Share
It may seem a little weird, but yes…
It helps to remind you readers to share your content.
In the midst of busyness, the last things you want to happen is for your reader to move on to something else before sharing what they’ve read.
By customizing a message at the end of your post near your social sharing buttons, it encourages readers to think about what they’ve read and gives them one last opportunity to spread the word through social media, so I encourage you to do this. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just simple and friendly.
You could say something like:
“If you’ve found this info helpful, share with your friends”
“If you liked this article, give it a thumbs up by sharing it with others. Thanks!”
And if you really want to stand out, create a more different message that is unique to your company style, tone, and brand.
To Sum Up
Using the tips we’ve gone over in this article can help you engage more with your readers. We see that adding more value to the content aimed at helping you readers will in turn help increase the number of shares you get on social media.
Your audience is seeking a brand that can help them and one they can trust. Then they will be more likely to share your content due to the way you have helped and related to them.
Your company will not go wrong by focusing more on your readers, but instead see far more results. By finding out more about your audience and what information they find valuable you can take your content strategy to another level by tailoring it to their needs.
Just remember, if you want your readers to share your content more on social media, they first have to find it valuable enough to share.
Implement these powerful strategies right away, and see what it does to increase your social media shares.