One of the biggest frustrations of bloggers (newbies and some old hands) is that they spend hours crafting the perfect content for their blog, they hit publish and then the crickets start chirping. No-one Tweets about it, no-one likes it on Facebook, no-one shares it on LinkedIn...
Social Media is crucial nowadays for helping you business and brand grow and you need to take advantage of social sharing. Blog content not only needs to be engaging and authoritative - it needs to be shareable. So how do you make your blog content more shareable? Read on:
1. Keep the design simple: Things are more shareable when you trim the fat. If you publish big studies or long article consider having them on a different template that excludes your categories and archives. Not only will this avoid distraction in the reader but allows the piece to breathe and the blog content fell less about selling your wares. Have a look at the recent piece of content by Dr. Pete about the Google algorithm history to see this in action:
2. Don't overdo the advertising: We now know that excessive advertising is going to impact your SEO via the Panda updates that have been rolling out this year, but excessive advertising will stop people wanting share your content socially. No-one wants to tweet out "Hey just found this great piece of content, just scroll past the 100 ads to see it". If you have to advertising on your content posts then keep it minimal.
3. Don't have 7 page articles: This has become popular over the last few years and is related to the advertising in point 2. Having to click through 7 pages just to read an article is bad for usability (although it can be great for ad revenue) and if something gives a bad user experience...guess what? It doesn't get shared socially. Yeah, I know Mashable and a bunch of other sites do it - but I/you am/are not Mashable! Get your content on 1 page.
4. Make your social sharing buttons big and obvious: This might sound like a no brainer but I see it time and time again. Make the them a decent size and make it obvious what you want people to do. Some of your visitors and going to be less tech savvy than other. signpost what you want them to do.
5. Make sure your content is relevant to your niche: Don't go piggybacking on the latest hot topic if it has nothing to do with what you do. It won't be relevant to your current readers and those who find you via this hot content are likely to smell a rat.
6. Make sure your content has a string headline: Stay away from cryptic or clever titles but make it catchy, don't allow it to be misleading and make sure it reflects the content. If you deliver on your promises then people are more likely to share it socially.
7. Spice up your content: Nothing makes blog content more socially shareable than ones that is peppered with extras. Add related videos, add images that are visually stunning, adding relevant links to other blog posts, add new data (try out Tableau Public for visualising it). There are so many free services for jazzing up your blog posts it is mind boggling - try them and use them. There are loads of blogs that are good at this but Social Media Examiner is pretty consistent. Check out this post by Phil Mershon, it has plenty of images to help explain the ideas of the post. Alternatively check this post by Rand Fishkin on the KPIs of Social Media. It has a bit of everything!
8. Know your audience: It is important to know whether your audience enjoys your posts. Runs surveys, ask questions - there are loads of cheap or free online options for getting answers from your visitors. Track which posts get more traction via social sharing (try Crowdbooster, Visibili, Bit.ly, Social Mention, TwentyFeet, SimplyMeasured and many, many more). Replicate what works and throw out ideas that have shown not to work. When all else fails ask yourself :
"Would I share this?"
9. Look after those who already share: If you already have some people that are sharing your blog content then take the time to thank them publicly via the service that they used. People share socially because of ego to make themselves look good, if you follow this up with a public thank you it increases the likelihood that they will share your content again.