So you've been working hard on your company's blog for months. You've been posting interesting, insightful articles, linking to great resources all over the web and even writing the occasional guest post for some added promotion. Everything's been going great so far, but then
Your precious articles are not getting shared enough and nobody's clicking your social share buttons. Major bummer!
Well the chances are it's not your fault. You see, when it comes to shareable content, there are some very clear-cut strategies that will boost social shares even for mediocre content, almost overnight. After combing through thousands of highly-shared pieces of content, we discovered 5 strategies that were being used over and over and which are contributing to some of the biggest online successes out there right now. Dying to know what they are? Here they are:
1. Don't Be On the Fence
There's an old saying that goes:
"If you try to please everyone you please no one".
This age old wisdom has never been more true than with the internet. When it comes to creating viral-worthy content, don't be afraid to take a strong stand on a topic you feel passionate about. Sure, it will probably annoy a small percentage of your audience, but the amount of feverish admiration, praise and most importantly, shares it will attract will dwarf any negative attention it receives.
You see, the problem is most people online today are watering down their message. They don't want to alienate anyone or ruffle any feathers. People want to be liked – it's just a part of human nature.
But it also happens to be one of the fastest ways to kill your business. So take the opposite stance instead. Be laser-focused on who you're talking to and flat out ignore everyone else. Uber-blogger Ramit Sethi is a great example of this in action. He openly admits that he writes long blog posts because he wants to actively discourage lazy, dumb readers from finding his blog.
They're simply not his target market.
2. Network Like a Beast
Let's face it, you need friends in your industry. And one of the best ways to get a ridiculous amount of shares without too much effort is to have a lot of friends, powerful ones too.
Let's use an interview for example.
Let's say you meet a blogger in your market with 20,000 unique visitors per month and a list of 6000 email subscribers. You offer them to be interviewed for your blog and they take you up on the offer. You get a great interview out of it for your readers and then, once it's done and posted up, don't you think your new blogger friend would like to share it with his readers too?
Of course he will. It makes him look good and it builds his credibility.
And when he does you'll get instant exposure to a potential pool of 26,000 people over the next month, and even more for many years to come. All from just a little effort to make a new friend and an hour to record an interview.
I'd say that's well worth it!
Then you just repeat the process. Get a small community of friends like this together and now you have a veritable army of promoters on your team with infinite potential exposure. This is how the big boys do it.
3. Build an Email List
Okay, so you probably didn't expect this one at all, but think about it. Who are the people most likely to share your stuff?
A: The people who get regular value from you.
B: Random visitors who don't know you at all?
Of course it would be your loyal followers that already love your stuff!
With an email list you have a platform of people ready to launch your content out into the world, powered by a flurry of tweets and Facebook likes. This initial push is often what it takes for a piece of content to get the kind of exposure where it will spread further on it's own steam. Without it, even the best content in the world will just sit in a dark corner of the net gathering dust with nobody ever seeing it.
In elite sales training programs junior salespeople are taught that listening is one of the most important skills to cultivate and is often the difference between getting a sale and losing it. I can hear you thinking:
"Getting shares on social media is not sales man!"
Oh really? Getting people to do anything is sales. Want to teach your kid to eat vegetables? Sales. Want to get your boss to give you a raise? Sales. Want to get your audience to share your stuff more? Definitely sales.
Sales is about persuasion and persuasion is all about getting people to take action by showing them what they'll get out of it. Let's face it, we human beings are selfish creatures. Very rarely will we do something purely out of the goodness of our hearts. And even then, when we do charity work or a favor for a friend, it's because it makes us feel good. Get what I'm saying? So here's how you use this to your advantage when it comes to social media
Give people what they want and they will share it more often.
Simple right? Start off by listening more closely to what you're audience is telling you. Are the posts you're sharing about SEO getting far more clicks than the ones about Linkedin? Then share more SEO posts silly billy! Are you getting emails thanking you for a post you wrote about online reputation management? Then guess what, that means people liked it.
So listen to your audience and give them more of what they want. It's simple, powerful and maybe even stupidly obvious. But I guarantee that your competition is not doing this nearly enough. So why not beat them at it?
5. Use Buffer
What's Buffer you ask?
Buffer is an ingenious online app that allows you to schedule the bulk of your social media posting in one easy to use platform. Let's say you subscribe to 25 blogs but only 5 posts a day are worth sharing. Do you really want to remember your passwords, log in and out, write up headlines, mess with links and then proceed to smash your followers across Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin with all 5 of these posts at once?
Of course not.
So instead what Buffer does is it automatically analyses the ideal time of day for you to share them all and then spreads them out evenly over the course of the day, all on your behalf.
But there are many apps that can do that right?
Yes, but most of them specialize in just one social media site, like Twitter for example. Not so with Buffer! Buffer can handle Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin with more to come. Plus it has really great analytics so you can see which of your posts were shared and how much.
It has an iPhone app, a browser extension for one click sharing/scheduling and most importantly, the posts in your social media profiles look handcrafted, like they came straight from you, not some dumb robot. It's compatible with Instapaper, Reeder, WordPress, Chrome, Opera, Zapier, Tweetcaster, IFTTT, Scoop.it and way, way more. Essentially it handles your social media for you so all you need to do is click on the stuff you like.
Pretty cool right?
So there you go. Implement these 5 tips and you'll be light-years ahead of your competition in just a few weeks.