• How to Produce Shareable Content and Social Media Posts

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Shareable content and social media posts are a terrific way to expand your reach and establish your brand as a trustworthy and recognizable business. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to start you on your way toward creating stellar content that is sure to inspire some serious sharing.

How-to-Produce-Shareable-Content-and-Social-Media-Posts-01Common Characteristics of Shareable Content

When we talk about content, we mean all the collateral that makes up your content marketing strategy. This includes your website, blog, customer communications, videos, podcasts, newsletters…essentially all original content created by your organization no matter where it lives. Here are the common characteristics of shareable content:

  1. Uplifting: Author Jonah Berger conducted a study wherein he examined nearly 7,000 New York Times articles to decipher why some were shared more than others. He found that articles which elicited positive emotions were more likely to be shared by readers than those that brought people down (Source: Entrepreneur.com).
  2. Takes a Stance: Content which people feel will communicate something about their own beliefs gets passed around quite frequently. People will share things that touch on issues they find important or that hold a belief similar to their own.
  3. Gives Incentives for Sharing: If someone stands to gain something by sharing your content, they’re more likely to do so. Even if it’s just more personal engagement with you or the perks of being a loyal customer— treat your engaged fans well and reward them for helping you to spread the word.
  4. Helps Users to Connect: The New York Times Insight Group found that 73 percent of people share to nourish and grow relationships they have with others on social media (source: NYT Insight Group).
  5. Is Scannable/Aesthetically Attractive: Content that’s easy on the eye or “scannable” will encourage readership. The design, topography and any photos or use of color also play a part in how shareable it is, so be sure everything is complimentary and situated desirably on the page.
  6. Informative: Content which holds everyday value for the reader is a major plus. NYT Insight Group also found that 94 percent of people shared content because it would be of use to others.
  7. Validated: When you post something on social media, how often do you go back to check the number of ‘likes’ it’s accumulated? Often, right? We all feel the need to be accepted and are more likely to share content that has already collected several likes or shares beforehand.

Tips for Creating Shareable Content

Take the elements above and tweak your content accordingly. In order to make your content more uplifting, use descriptive titles and vocabulary throughout your piece that elicit positive, emotional reactions. Aim to jumpstart a person’s curiosity!

Use Personas

Consider your audience and customize your content to make it relative to them and their interests. Create a customer persona and detail what this person would do in their spare time, which causes they may be drawn to, their demographic stats, fears and challenges and life goals. Through this exercise you’ll find ways to appeal to their emotions and also create content they’d deem useful.

Organize Your Content for Sharability

On the logistical side, you can make your content more shareable simply by the way it’s organized on the page. Be sure to use subheads and bullet points to break up text making the message scannable.

Use Sharing Apps

You can also use apps like Click to Tweet that make it easy for your readers to share your content.

Get Creative with Contests and Rewards

Encourage sharing by providing incentives like entry into raffles or product discounts. This is an area where you can use your own creativity to spark interest.

Shareable Social Media Posts

Like shareable content, social media posts that are shared most often have several common threads running through them.

Common Characteristics of Shareable Social Media Posts

  1. Is Short and Simple: The more concise a social media post, the better. People scroll quickly through their feeds and are less likely to read let alone share something that’s too long. A good rule of thumb as far as post length goes:
    Twitter – 71-100 characters
    Facebook – 40-119 characters
  2. Includes a Link: Attach a relevant link to your post. Directing users to more information on a subject or directing or to a useful site, resource, or tool will get more shares.
  3. Has Personality: This is social media. It seems like it goes without saying, but be sure your posts have personality and don’t sound like canned marketing material. Respond to mentions, engage people in relevant conversations and monitor hashtags.
  4.  Includes Images: Again, people are scrolling and a block of text alone isn’t likely to garner much attention or be very shareworthy. Include an interesting image with each post to catch people’s eye and entice some reposts.
  5. Uses the Right Medium: Each social media platform has different strengths so not all posts make sense for all platforms. Earmark content-heavy posts for Facebook but if the image is the story, use Instagram.

Getting on the road to creating content and social media posts that are routinely shared by your followers will help your business tremendously. With more businesses joining the social media fold daily, establishing yourself as a trusted voice and someone people want to pay attention to will help ensure your small business stays on people’s radar.

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