Social media is the perfect platform for sharing content, but how do you ensure the content you create actually gets shared? What is it about content that makes people like it and shares it, or just skim past it?
Even if you’re creating content that is interesting and insightful, people may not share it with their friends. Just like you don’t share everything you see and read with your friends, your audience is also not sharing everything they read.
Content that is shareable has a lot in common. Here are a few tips to help you write highly shareable content.
Keep It Short
Content that is brief is highly shareable. It’s easy to understand and digest – that also makes it easy to share.
There’s a reason you see very few 5000-word essays being shared on social media: people just don’t make it through the content. If people don’t get to the end, they lose interest. No interest means no sharing. Content that isn’t digested easily is not shared easily.
- Summarize Content. Whatever you’re writing about, see if there’s a way you can shorten it up. Better yet, see if what you’re saying can be said with a picture. Anything you can do to make your point in fewer words will help the content be more shareable.
- Bite Sized Chunks. Break up your article or content into smaller chunks. Just like this article uses subheadings and bullet points, your content should be able to break down the main point into smaller, easier to read content bites.
- Write Good Headlines. A headline is the ultimate short form copy. Five times as many people read headlines as opposed to the actual article. There are plenty of ways to write effective headlines, but your main goal is to attract attention and entice people to read on.
Make It Visual
Great shareable content is extremely visual. Even if your article is almost entirely text, just adding a picture to it will make people share it. People are a lot more likely to share a photo than a text post on social media.
Visuals will make your content easier to understand as well. If the content is easy to understand, it’s easy for people to get the point and shares it. Finding a way to visualize things like large numbers and complex problems will go a long way to making your content easily digestible.
- Pictures are Worth 1000 Words. A picture is understood and enjoyed almost instantly. You don’t need to spend a lot of time with a photograph to get it. The time investment is small. This article has about 1000 words in it – so to soak it all in is more difficult than an image. Not everything can be said with an image, but just adding images to content will make it more shareable.
- Pictures Are Powerful. It can take a lot of work to create the words that deliver the same emotional response as a picture. If the content your writing is showing pain, any image that can help elicit that feeling will help greatly.
- Words on Top of Pictures. You’ve seen motivational posters your whole life. Like it or not, those are shared in massive numbers. It’s just one of many tips to boost engagement on social media.
- Infographics. These bad boys get shared no matter what the topic. It’s a fantastic way to illustrate everything you’re trying to say into one giant visual. They’re usually easy to understand and share. They’re not always easy to create, but when you can, they add a lot to the sharing process.
Write for the Platform
If you want your content to be shareable, you need to ensure the content works on the platform. If you try to do the same thing across all platforms, you’ll run into all kinds of engagement issues. This doesn’t always mean changing the content on your site, just changing how you present it on each platform.
Each platform appeals to different demographics. This handy social media cheat sheet will help you see where people are spending their time.
- Facebook. Make sure there’s a photo. No matter what your content is, articles, podcasts, lists – all are more likely to be shared when a photo is involved.
- Twitter. Hashtag heaven – make sure your content takes advantage of the hashtags on twitter. It’s a great way to insert your content into a larger community and have it shared around.
- Pinterest. It’s all about the visuals. The text just doesn’t work here without a picture. People share almost exclusively based on the image attached to what you’re sharing – so attach an image.
- Instagram. Pictures, pictures, and more pictures. Sensing a theme here? Instagram is all about photography, but if you can create great visuals with text, this can be highly effective.
Creating shareable content is not always an exact science, so it’s good to latch on to what others are sharing. Follow groups that are doing a good job at it – like these businesses that are killing it on social media. Don’t steal their content – mimic it.
By following the trends and seeing what works and what doesn’t, you’ll be able to effectively insert yourself into the conversation people are already having. Some shareable content isn’t about the actual content so much as the topic being covered.
By mimicking others, you’ll be able fake-it-until-you-make-it. Once you find your voice, this will be less important.
- Trends. Following those on social media that are being shared can help you notice trends. Oh, it’s national dog day? Get some dog content that relates to your business and shares it.
- Events. National news events are a great way to get content shared. The stock market crashed? Here’s how you can use your business content to save the economy. Relate it any way you can.
- Patterns. These will emerge as you follow what’s being shared. Especially those in your niche. Do pictures with people in them get shared more than those without? What about pictures vs. video? What memes do you notice popping up in your niche? Watch for patterns, and mimic them.
Being shareable on social media is just about creating great content. All the tips and tricks in the world won’t save you if your content isn’t’ very good. Start with good content, and employ all the tips above to give it the best chance of success.
This article is written by Norman Arvidsson. He is an independent author who writes with the purpose of sharing his experience with others through his articles. He considers personal growth as the main goal in his life. You can contact him through his social networks or visit his educational blog.