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Hey, you! Yeah, you, the content creators at the back!
There’s something I need to tell you:
Creating any old content and expecting it to find success on social media is a fast road to frustration.
In fact, it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – it ain’t gonna work.
Nowadays? The content you create can’t just rely on being the Best of the Best of the Best, Sir! Rather, it needs to cater itself to the strengths and sharing habits of each social platform and the users that frequent them.
We know. It sounds like an overwhelming prospect. Sure, you’ve written the content. But how do you maximize its social media shares?
Today we’re answering that question with 7 tips that will help you optimize your content to achieve the maximum social shares possible. And all without a single cat video, .gif or Doge meme in sight!
Instead we’re covering everything from ensuring your content features social sharing triggers, through to timing the publishing of your post just right: tips that will give your content the opportunity to boost its social reach, harness the growing power of social signals, and increase your standing as an active part of the discussions happening within your industry or niche right now.
Ready to get started?
1. Mention industry leaders & influencers
This first tip is an invaluable one if you’re a new voice within your industry or niche.
Even then, this is still a killer technique whether this is your first piece of content, or your fiftieth!
But you’re probably sick of hearing us hype it up already. So what is this, exactly?
Mentioning influencers and industry leaders within your content.
It’s a simple addition. It’s easy to do. And beyond its ability to boost your content’s social shares – more on this shortly – it also offers a number of other benefits, too:
- It highlights that your business or site – and its content – is aware of your greater industry or niche and the conversations that are happening within it.
- All at once it increases your content’s practicality and believability, as you’re drawing on the thoughts, opinions and expertise of established figures.
Unsure on how to mention influencers in your content? Here’s 3 of the easiest ways:
This technique sounds great, right? We thought you’d like it.
Now comes the easy part:
Applying this technique to your content.
That’s right, we said easy, because this is actually really easy to do.
Here’s a few of our go-to ways of doing just this:
- Are you writing a practical guide, how-to article or list of tips? Mention ideas, concepts or strategies made popular by influencers or leaders within your niche.
- Have your own twist on a popular technique? Write about these with a mention of who you sourced the idea from originally.
- Those too complicated? No worries! A mention can be as simple as a link through to a piece of supporting or relevant content within the article you’re writing. Throw in an ‘[Influencer Name] explores this further in their [Article Name]’. They’re bound to appreciate the shout out just as much as the back link!
The search for influencers & thought leaders doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s how to find them:
So you know why you should be mentioning influencers and thought leaders within your content. Hell, you even know the best way to do so. There’s just one problem:
How do you find them?
Sure, Google’s first page of search results is obviously a great source of influential sites. Just as the likes of Buzzsumo, Alltop and MOZ OSE are for top content creators. But when it comes to finding influential individuals? Give these methods a go:
Track Down Top Influencers With Klout
- Open https://klout.com/home
- Sign in via Twitter, Facebook or Email.
- Enter a Keyword relevant to your content, industry or niche in the top-left search bar.
- Klout will present you with a list of relevant and related topics. Select one.
- In the right-hand sidebar you’ll find a column titled ‘Top Experts’. These are the users who have generated the most engaging content for a given topic in the last 90 days – the perfect candidates for including inyourcontent!
Find Out Who’s Most Active In The Conversation With Twitter
- Open twitter.com
- Enter a keyword related to your content, industry or niche in the search bar at the top of the page and hit enter.
- Twitter will present you with the ‘Top’ tweets and users for your given search.
- Browse through these results, looking for:
- Relevant users with high follower/RT/Fav counts.
- Users that actively share content.
- Tweets of shared content with a large number of Favs or RTs
Bonus Tip! Found a highly shared piece of content? Don’t stop there. Click on this tweet and take a look at the users who have Fav’d or RT’d this content. These are more than likely other experts on the topic that could be viable prospects in their own right!
2. Repurpose your content
The experts agree: content is king.
What they often forget to add is that it’s a demanding, time-consuming king that requires 24/7 attention if you’re going to keep it happy.
But why is this, exactly?
Because the content king – and users that consume this content – are always demanding more.
Sure, you may have a content schedule in place. A list of blog topics that stretches around the block. Yet in spite of this, it can still be difficult to keep up with the demands modern content generation places on you, your business, and your website.
‘But other sites,’ you ask, ‘how do they do it?!’
The truth is, they know something you don’t:
Effective content creation isn’t just about creating content, it’s about creating content wisely.
What do I mean by this? Let me explain:
New social networks pop up each and every day, but these don’t necessarily require new content. You see, there are many types of content out there! And just because a new channel arrives with a different format? This doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch.
That’s right! It’s often easier than you might expect to repurpose your content into a new format that fits these new platforms. Not only will you save time, but you open up a wealth of new channels, networks and platforms for you to become an active member of. Which, in turn, puts you and your content in front of a much larger audience!
Unsure of how best to repurpose your content? Give any of these 4 methods a try:
A piece of written content is fairly common, but it provides a wealth of possibilities far beyond its usual home on your site’s blog. Here are just a few ways it can be repurposed to provide even more social reach!
- Create a presentation that includes your major talking points paired with relevant graphs or graphics and share this on Slideshare.
- Cut out the filler and turn your post into a script that would work as a YouTube video.
- Grab out the most interesting information and turn this into an Infographic with Venngage.
- Compile relevant and related posts into an e-Book, and then throw in some bonus steps to incentivise the download process.
And just remember, no matter how you choose to repurpose your content:
While content may be king, you can tame it.
3. Time it just right
In the online world, timing is everything.
In fact, even the best content will struggle to gain traction if no one is around to see it.
That’s why it’s crucial that you share your content at the right time.
There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to the best times to post on social media. In fact, the recommended times can vary wildly depending on your industry, niche, and the social network you’re using.
Some say the best time to post on Facebook is between 1-3PM. Others will tell you Twitter’s peak times are Monday to Thursdays, between 9AM and 3PM. As these stats highlight, finding the best time to post your content to social media is largely a matter of trial and error, though sites like CoSchedule have done their best to collate all of this data.
No matter what time ends up being best for you, it’s well worth finding. By timing the posting and sharing of your content just right, you’ll give it the best shot at the big time.
4. Share your content more than once
So you’ve found the best time to share your content.
But there’s a catch: it turns out there’s more than one ideal time to share your content. So, what do you do?
The answer is simple! Share your content more than once.
While you may be typing up your content in your home town, state or country, the world wide web is exactly that – worldwide – and so is your audience. Just because one time of day works for some, doesn’t mean it’ll automatically work for others.
By sharing your content more than once, you’ll ensure that:
- You’re reaching the largest possible audience.
- Users from various timezones across the world see your content.
- The Real World has a habit of catching our attention from time to time. Sharing again means you can catch those who may have missed it the first time around.
Before you re-share your content on social media, keep these 3 top tips in mind:
- Create a social sharing schedule to keep track of the content you’ve shared and reshared.
- Use a new snippet, visual and hashtag. This increases you chance of catching the interest of those that may have ignored it the first time around.
- There’s no need to set your alarm for 2AM just to re-share your post. Platforms like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck are great social automation tools that you can use to schedule your tweets for you.
5. Tailor how you share for each platform
There’s something important you need to know about social sharing:
No two platforms are the same.
It’s true. While they may all start to blend together – Snapchat followers are the next Instagram likes are the next Twitter RT’s – but the way they’re used, interacted with, and – more importantly – the people that use them vary wildly.
It’s highly likely you use more than just the one platform to promote your content. In fact, a recent survey shows that 84% of marketers use at least three social networks at least once a day. That’s why it’s crucial to effectively optimize how you share your content to best use the strengths of each social platform.
Image courtesy of The B2B Marketing Mentor
6. Use social sharing triggers
Your content may be the most share-worthy the world has ever seen.
In fact, users are sitting in their seats right now shouting ‘This content is so shareable!’.
But here’s the thing about the modern online user: they’re easily distracted.
It’s highly likely – 30 seconds from now – they’ll be shouting about ‘This adorable video of a kitten!’ that they’ve found instead.
That’s why your content needs to actively allow users to share.
Don’t believe me? Others have found that the addition of social sharing buttons can result in 7 times more mentions than those that don’t.
TL;DR? Don’t let them forget to share!
Integrating sharing triggers doesn’t have to be difficult. Try these 3 easy methods to do just this:
There are a wealth of plugins and addons available to the average WordPress site, which makes adding sharing functionality easier than ever. Here are a few of our favourite ways to do just this:
- Transform simple sentences into shareable content blocks.
- Add sharing buttons to the top, side, or below your content.
- This last one? It doesn’t require any plugins at all. Simply invite people to comment, reply and – most importantly – share! You’ll be surprised at how effective a simple call to action can be at getting people to share your content.
Bonus Tip! Starting to notice the shares rolling in? Add sharing numbers alongside your sharing buttons to highlight this fact. This is more than just a way to brag about your sharing numbers. It’s actually been shown that popular content is more likely to be shared, as it makes users who share it look good. So when it comes to social sharing numbers, don’t be shy. Flaunt them to your heart’s content!
7. Visual(ise) success
‘An image is worth a thousand words’.
Or so the saying goes.
With social media platforms like Twitter limiting you to a mere 140 characters, attention grabbing images and visual content can provide you with the secret weapon you need to stand out from the pack.
140 characters vs 1,000 words?
We know who we’d be betting on!
The outcome is almost guaranteed.
Note that we say almost. Because – just like any piece of content – just any old image won’t do. Instead, you need to target users with a variety of visual content that grabs their attention and inspires them to click, read and share.
Stand out from the crowd with these 3 easy ways to make your content visually interesting:
Visual content is a runaway train that just can’t be stopped. In fact, Buffer found that its tweets that included images received 150% more retweets than those that didn’t.
The message to content creators here, then? It’s clear: the use of visual content is a fast track to increasing your social shares. The stats don’t lie!
- Stand out from the crowd with custom header images created specifically for each of your blog posts. Why? Because blog posts with images receive a staggering 94% more views.
- Include exciting, relevant or interesting graphs or stat-based images when sharing your content.
- Generic stock images? Everyone’s seen them, so look to create a killer visual asset that stands on its own.
People Want To Share Great Content, So Make Yours Shareable
At the end of the day? It’s no secret: people want to share great content.
But even the best content in the world can still fail to find social media success if it isn’t written – and optimized – with sharing in mind.
By putting the above tips and tricks into action you’re ensuring that when you hit Publish, Post or Share, you’re giving your next piece of content the best shot at social media success and raking in the Likes, Favourites and FB <3 Reactions it deserves.
Guest Author: This post was created by Robert Kramers, Founder of Found. You can follow Robert on twitter or download the SEO book at www.found.co.nz.