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12 Tips to Increase Social Shares

Without social shares, your content is potentially worthless.

You need to have eyes on the work, or else why even bother? It’s about providing value, right?

So again, if nobody sees it, what’s the point of creating it? There is no point. Good, I’m glad we agree.

Now, next to providing valuable and personalized information, content marketing guides also preach the importance of expanding reach.

What is reach? Essentially, the number of eyes who see your valuable content. And a great way to expand your reach is through leveraging your social media world.

The more eyes you have the more potential social shares. However, as with many things in this life, expanding reach and increasing social shares is much easier said than done.

But there are ways to make it easier done than just said. Learn how to expand your content’s reach with this easy to follow 12 step formula.

Whether you’re a brand, retailer, online personality, or just some regular old Joe Schmo, this formula will definitely inspire social shares.

#1 Spice Up Your Title

What do you like better?

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The Ultimate Guide to Delicious Organic Veggies Right in Your Own Backyard

You’ve only got a second or two to grab your reader. So grab them! If they aren’t even compelled to read your content in the first place, they definitely won’t be sharing it.

Try these tips for your next piece of content:

  • Ask a question.
  • Make a bold statement.
  • Keep it conversational.
  • Remember, the thesaurus is your friend.
  • Ask yourself – would I read this post, based on the title?

Here are some great fill in the blank examples.

  • You’re Doing _______ All Wrong, and Here’s Why
  • 13 Lies People Tell You About ________
  • Why Don’t People Care About Your _______ Campaigns?
  • The Ultimate Guide to _______ Your ________ 

Having trouble harnessing your creative luster? Give the Blog Topic Generator at Hubspot a try.

#2 Share on ALL Your Channels

Make sure you share your content on all of your channels. However, keep in mind each network is different and therefore requires a different way of sharing on each channel.

Include an image, and a paragraph summarizing your content. Also ask your fans a question. This encourages comments.

Include relevant hashtags, and tag industry leaders. Do searches for your topic, and include your link in relevant conversations.

Keep it professional. Only share your educational or newsworthy content. Don’t share personal anecdotes or opinion pieces. If relevant, include an image.

It’s all about the eye-catching visual. In addition to that, make sure the image source links back to your website, and the description includes a keyword rich and relevant statement.

#3 Write a Thought Provoking Opening Statement

Don’t make your opening line too lofty or self promotional.

Your content will get shared if readers feel like they can relate. Avoid being arrogant, dry, or too complex.

Remember, this isn’t a press release so try to shy away from plugging a business, product or service.

Here are some examples:

  • “Stop the presses, there’s a simple solution to _______.”
  • “You’re not ready to ________, and here’s why.”
  • “What is it about ______ that makes results so easy?”

#4 Stay Clear and On Point While Still Offering Value

Don’t ramble on, this isn’t a book report.

If the reader finds value in your content, they will share.Click To Tweet

If they feel like you didn’t put in enough effort, or on the contrary, tried way too hard, they won’t.

When composing the body, make sure to write in your brand’s voice. Appeal to your target demographic by using common industry language, and sharing viewpoints that these readers deem worthy.

Don’t know how to find your brand’s voice? Follow this four step process, provided by Harriet Cummings at Hubspot.

  1. Pin down your company values.
  2. Think about vocabulary.
  3. Consider the role of humor.
  4. Inform the whole company.

#5 Finish With a Thought Provoking Question

Not only does this encourage blog comments, it also encourages your readers to think.

This means your content stays in their mind. Once you’ve reached this magical place, the chance of them sharing or engaging grows exponentially.

  • Now that we’ve shared our thoughts, what do you think?
  • Do you agree or disagree? Is ______ really ______ ?
  • Got a better argument? Share your thoughts below.
  • Think we’ve got it all wrong? Tell us why.

#6 Use an Effective Social Sharing Widget

Studies show that social sharing widgets on the left hand side of, or top of the post, encourage the most shares.

If your widget is at the very bottom, there’s a good chance the reader won’t notice. Most readers tend to briefly skim even the most valuable content, so if they don’t completely scroll to the bottom, your content won’t get shared.

Check out these 12 best social sharing plugins for WordPress in 2015 provided by Blogging Wizard.

#7 Meet Colleagues to Make a List of Catchy Industry Buzzwords

Nothing is more valuable than a meeting of the minds.

Don’t rely on just one person to curate and create content. While it isn’t the incorrect way, it’s not necessarily the most effective. Even the most creative content marketers need a little inspiration now and again.

Try this tactic. Separate blog post titles into pieces and then sit down with your coworkers to make a list of catchy adjectives.

Then, jot down top industry related topics. Following this, think of new ways to make your content stand out from the competition. Maybe you want to make it more edgy, or possibly take a comical spin.

#8 Reach Out to Industry Experts

Sharing your content on social media is a great start, but don’t stop there.

Reach out to industry bloggers, and encourage them to share your content. Explain why your content is perfect for their readers, and what you can offer them in return for their share.

#9 Schedule Your Social Calendar Around a Post

Organic social impressions are at an all time low, so don’t just count on one tweet to drive tons of traffic. Schedule your social media posts for the week, and make sure they revolve around new content.

If you see your content getting more shares as usual, continue to post it on social media.

The BufferApp blog preaches the importance of prioritizing a social calendar. Planning out your social media posts creates consistency, allows for time sensitive content, involves others, helps you build an archive, and enforces a healthy sharing ratio.

In a content marketing time crunch, and don’t have time to plan? Check out this post from Erik Devaney over at Hubspot, How to Create and Launch a Content Marketing Campaign in 5 Hours.

#10 Do a Follow Up Post

Follow up on your original post with a part two.

If readers missed the first piece, this a great way to capture their interest. Link to the original post in your follow up.

It’s almost like getting a second chance, all while still offering value. If readers caught your first piece, they’ll be eager to read the follow up.

#11 Include Your Most Popular Posts in a Weekly Newsletter

Most blog owners also have an exclusive mailing list of people that are interested in their content.

Don’t leave these loyal readers behind.

Once a week, or even just once a month, send out an email that includes links to your most popular posts.

#12 Rewrite Popular Blog Posts From Last Quarter

If it was popular once, it will be popular again.

As long as the topic is still relevant, this is a great way to engage new readers. Especially if you’re blogging on a daily basis, old content will quickly get pushed down.

If you rewrite a popular post, you squeeze every last drop of engagement out of that topic.

Ready, Set, Go!

Give this 12 step formula a test run, and let us know how it works!

Chances are, you will see social shares double, and maybe even triple. More social shares means more eyes on your content, which ultimately leads to a larger, qualified following.

Still feeling a bit unsure, and looking for more direction? Here’s 12 Simple Tactics to Writing Viral Articles That Spread Like Wildfire.

How’s your social sharing game? Ever had anything go viral? Or maybe you can’t seem to get a single thing shared on any social network. Let us know in the comments below!

About Kristen Vanstrom

Kristen Vanstrom is the Director of Content Management at Slick Text is a top text message marketing provider, and offers innovative solutions for mass, yet personalized text communication.

9 thoughts on “12 Tips to Increase Social Shares

  1. The one thing your shooting instructor did not tell you is: For best results, use a shotgun loaded with buckshot. Guaranteed to obliterate the target. But if that is too extreme for you, then your three rules should get the bullseye.

    • I like that idea, use a shotgun loaded with buckshot analogy Mark…One piece of content numerous targets, I presume? Awesome.

      I love the Weekly and Monthly targeted recap of the great content that others have liked to your subscribers Kristen. Gonna try that for sure. I like sharing my content daily…Hootsuite is a great tool for scheduling. Twitter ..ha super fast so if you let your one share on twitter be all…you wont get far! Loves this article, met my expectations for sure.

  2. Hi Kristen,

    You’ve got really useful advice here. I especially like #1 – the title – and #12 – rewriting popular posts.

    I’ve spent so much time with clients, convincing them that titles like “Cook healthy food for your family” just isn’t a zinger. And it takes time to walk the fine line between creating compelling headlines that tug the reader’s emotions and sounding sales-y, pushy and over the top.

    And I do recycle a lot of my posts – some going back way before the past quarter!

    Also #5 – I’ve had to learn this technique for guest posts. It’s expected!

    Re humor … I do stand-up comedy and have done improv and I think humor can be very, very tricky in marketing. It’s fine to be upbeat and naturally light-hearted, if that works for you and your market (i.e., skip this tip if you’re a funeral director or a forensic accountant).

    I’m going to work on #10 and as for #11 – many people (including me) use a blog post as content for an email message to their list. I’d also mention that you can repost your content to LinkedIn Pulse and other places that allow repurposing.

  3. I thought this would be another boring article on social sharing, but the clarity of your suggestions has me eating mud! 😉 LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE each one of them!

    By the way, I understand the implications of a ‘shocking’ headline, but never have the patience to test different options – lol


    I am no expert, but one thing I would add to this ah-mazing list is to share your content more than once, especially on Twitter since even a blink of an eye is not as fast as its stream! LOL

    Thank you

  4. I love #2, actions on sharing on all of your channels. Too many times do people ‘set it and forget it’, and doing a little extra work can make a huge difference!

  5. Thanks for the positive feedback, glad everyone enjoyed this post! (So far anyways haha) When it comes to content marketing, I’m all about taking targeted, calculated action. General, generic, blah content is so boring, so this post was a great example of what to do! I myself follow these twelve steps, hopefully you will too.

  6. Great post Kristen,
    People will willingly share your posts if they found it really good. You can’t afford not to use a good headline of cause, this is the first and one of the most important factor that will guarantee the success or failure of your posts.

    Also, incorporate interesting stories within your post, doing this very well can really boost shares and engagement. Its also advisable to use empathy while writing, if your readers can truly see their inner selves through your writing then, they’ll happily share the hell out of the post.

    Finally, use relevant images within your posts. Study has shown that image updates and quotes gets higher engagements in social media than normal updates especially when they’re really amazing.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Then, jot down top industry related topics. Following this, think of new ways to make your content stand out from the competition. Maybe you want to make it more edgy, or possibly take a comical spin.

  8. So I should always remember…The title should be the first thing that I should worked out.To spice it up and appear as enticing as it is
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