Whether you’re linking to your latest blog article on Facebook or posting your latest thought on Twitter, it’s clear that you’re sharing with others. And, while it’s easy for you to compose tweets and status updates, it’s more difficult to craft social media postings that have the potential to be shared and re-shared. Below are six of many ways that you can promote your work online in order to reach a bigger audience.
1. Write the Right Title
This is a vital step for those who share content. If you give your link an eye-catching title, more Web users will click through. The best titles create intrigue, interest and shareability. Take, for example, the website Upworthy.com. Its articles are notorious for having slightly vague titles, such as “The Next Step in Human Evolution is Creepy, Scary, and Kind of Awesome.” Imagine if this same article was titled something like, “Potential New Step in Human Evolution Discovered.” Sure, some readers, piqued by a personal interest in evolution, would still click through. But the original title appeals to a wider audience by capturing more of what this evolution will bring and will therefore draw more click-throughs from average Web browsers and science aficionados alike.
2. Share it With Content-Promotion Sites
Your existing social media following may not net you the number of shares you’re after. In this case, you can turn to other content promotion sites — Reddit, Digg, Pinterest, StumbleUpon — that gather, organize and disseminate content across the Internet in a way that’s easy to sift. There are etiquette rules to using sites like these, especially considering you’ll be posting your own work. If you don’t have the time to take advantage of promotion sites and you have the money, sites like Outbrain can tailor your content promotion plan to your target audience.
3. Keywords Are the Key
If a person Googles the information that your content covers, will they stumble upon your article? The answer is yes if your site has the right keywords; otherwise, the answer is no. Applications like Google Trends can help you to find the two to three keywords that are the most relevant in relation to the content of your piece. By inserting these keywords into your site, you will probably draw more clicks and views. And, as the popularity of your page increases, your rank will improve on search engines, which, in turn, draws more and more users.
4. It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask
This old piece of advice rings true even in the realm of social media. If you want your followers to share your work, ask them to! Simply tag on a “please RT!” to your tweets or a “feel free to share!” to your Facebook postings. If the content captures your followers’ attention, they won’t hesitate to help you out.
5. Time Your Tweets
There’s a science to sending tweets, and it’s not just the formulaic 140-character count of each one. Research has shown that users are more likely to retweet at certain times of day. For example, Twitter users who commute are most likely to be online during common commuting hours: between 7:30 and 10 a.m. and between 5 and 6 p.m. Certain days of the week are also popular: most retweeting happens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so if you’re looking to have your tweets shared more broadly plan to fire them out over the weekend.
6. A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Shares
Finally, a great way to enhance your social media shareability is by attaching a photo to your Facebook update or tweet. Especially on feeds dominated by text, a picture can make your posting pop. It also ensures that online viewers — notorious for having short attention spans — will get the gist of your post without having to read anything. The few minutes it takes to attach a photo will make all of the difference in your post’s shareability.
One company who has done an exemplary job of using pictures to its advantage is Havahart, which provides humane pest control to its clients. To spread the word, the company’s social media team often posts photos of the wildlife they work to remove from residential areas: deer, raccoons, skunks, etc. They even have photo contests for their followers who snap images of the pests that they’ve caught recently at home. By pepping what might otherwise be boring posts — not many people have an interest in pest-control tactics — with images and humor, Havahart shows just how easy it is to make your brand a shareable one.
What tricks do you use to get more social media shares?