Half of a blogging strategy lies within the sharing strategy. Great content doesn’t matter if no one reads it. This article will provide tried and true tips to boost blog sharing and traffic. The focus is on making the effort of writing count with shares, writing solid, attention-grabbing headlines, and encouraging sharing across all social media platforms.
Sharing is important, but why?
- It’s free marketing.
- Social media pushes content rather than requiring an automated system to promote content.
- Limiting posts to a single account does not encourage growth.
Utilizing social media as an extension of a marketing strategy guarantees more viewership to posted blogs. With each share, the reach increases by the number of followers on the other side of that share. For example, a single business account may have 1000 followers. Sharing to that account will reach 1000 people, should everyone see the post. However, if one of those 1000 followers with another 2000 followers re-shares the post, the reach increases to 3000 potential views, and so on. It requires zero effort from the original poster, because other people are doing the work, and generating traffic back towards the original post. As more people return to the original posting account, these people may become followers and grow the first reach.
However, how does a business encourage others to share their posts and links? Keep reading!
These Are the Top 5 Pieces of Share-Worthy Strategies You Should Consider
- Social Integration
- Email Marketing for More Social Attention
Starting with the content, the elements to consider when developing the body of a post include the following:
- Sufficiently cover the topic at hand with a comprehensive look at various points and perspectives. Longer is usually better. In fact, studies have shown longer posters receive more traction and make a bigger impact
- Stir up a strong emotional response, positive or negative, awe or anger, sentiment or repulsion. The intended audience requires consideration. It will turn followers and readers away if the reaction is out of alignment with business intentions.
- Provide useful and meaningful information for readers. Consider any questions the readers will have. Quora is a reliable resource to research those questions. Cater to the direction of the content to cover the most pressing informational needs.
- When people share links and posts, they are sharing as a direct representation of themselves. Think about the posts you use to represent yourself or your company. Your readers want to appear knowledgeable and intelligent when promoting others’ opinions, insights, or services as their own.
- Include graphics that resonate with the audience. These keep readers engaged and provide them with more content to share.
When considering graphics remember:
- Use graphics as much as possible, but keep these relevant. It detracts from the main point of content if the graphics and the topic are not in alignment.
- Create visual media for key pieces of material, such as image quotes, technical screenshots, infographics and include videos wherever possible.
- Show examples of main points. For example, if the blog is about caring for your new puppy, show pictures of puppies (this will get shares!).
- Include pull quotes to highlight the main points of the blog. A pull quote is a little piece of wisdom from the blog meant to be shareable out of context. These are perfect for twitter. Pair these with a graphic to call attention to the quote. See how we are using pull quotes, graphics and “Click to Tweet” functionality below, and in this post 25 Genius Social Media Inspirational Quotes
Headlines are the first points of “contact” a reader has with an article or blog post. People often share an article based purely on the headline without even reading the article. Strong headlines are almost more important than well-crafted content. Here are some best practices for cultivating headlines:
- Spend time mastering and perfecting the art of writing a headline. Invest in headline writing sessions. Set a goal for each article written to write at least 20 to 30 headlines. The more headlines you write, the better your headlines become. Then pick the best headline for your blog and the rest you can use for your social posts.
For example, we have tested the following headlines for this post and picked the one we like the best.
- What makes a great blog post to go viral on social media
- 5 blog post strategies that go viral on social media, guaranteed!
- Guaranteed blog post strategies that will go viral on social media
- Top 5 methods to make your content go viral on social media
- Not so easy ways to make your blog posts go crazy on social media
- 5 genius ways to make your blog posts go insane on social media
- How to make your blog posts go viral on social media with a little effort
- Why do people share your content by just reading your headlines only?
- You should apply personal knowledge and incentives for developing headlines. Use experience to determine what drives clicks and interactions with blogs and articles. Take these practices and apply to writing business headlines.
- Pay attention to websites and blogs that garner a lot of shares, clicks, and likes on social media. Note how these sites write their headlines and emulate the practice. Use different styles and variations to come up with 25 different headlines per article. These sites don’t have to be strictly professional sites. Think of headlines that draw your attention. For example, Prince Harry and Meghan Pregnant with First Child! Or, Six Ways to Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte, Even Better than Starbucks! Look at Buzzfeed, look at People magazine, look at silly cat videos and see what draws people to view and share.
- Here are 4 Killer Headline Types and Strategies for more information.
3. Social Integration
Social integration is a huge part of engaging with followers and generating shares. This is blogging 101. Here are a few best practices:
- Keep social icons at the top and/or the bottom of each blog post to allow people to click and share with ease. (Sticky social buttons are even better!) Keep these messages linked back to the sharing account, so when a reader clicks it automatically connects to the desired social platform for simple posting. How do you do this? You should set up your social buttons to not only include the headline and link to the article but also include your social handle at the end to link directly back to your social account so that readers are directed back to you along with the post.
- Link to both business social sites and the main blog. This practice drives traffic in both aspects allowing you to grow your social audience and also web traffic.
Not entirely sure how to get visitors to use the social sharing buttons on your blog? Offer your visitors something free as a trade for social share or shout out on Twitter.
If you have a WordPress-based blog, install Social Locker, this allows you to get followers and tweets in exchange for accessing locked content. It’s free, easy to install and can be a great boost for growing your social audience.
To test it out, you can go to Amberd Design Studio’s blog where they offer free invoice templates, scroll down the page and you will see the Unlock the Download section, you can either Like or Tweet to unlock the content.
5. Email Marketing for More Social Attention
Email marketing isn’t going anywhere. It is still the best way to reach people with information about your business. Because of this, email is an excellent way to encourage social sharing.
- Use email to develop further growth. Emailing for shares is another straightforward way to reach a broader audience and encourage engagement.
There are a few tips to doing this well:
- Reach more people in fewer steps. Use your current audience to expand your reach. An email requesting a social post or share can result in network growth.
- Let people know when a post references or quotes them. Businesses love free press and will be very willing to share a positive source of marketing associated with them. When a business shares, the main source benefits.
- Reach people via Twitter. Tweet or DM specific targets who will enjoy reading your blog. This targeting needs to be intentional, however. Wasting people’s time with spam messaging will not garner growth, but will turn people away long term. Hitting people who are specifically interested in the topic at hand, though, will drive quality traffic and result in quality shares. For example, if there is another company or influencer who is blogging a lot about food, and there is a new blog on an up and coming restaurant, make those people aware, and see how they respond.
Bringing it all together
After developing a plan of action for sharing and distributing your blog material, it is essential to further develop that strategy with execution practices. Who will do the work? Small businesses may not have the resources to implement the necessary workload. Outsourcing the process is a great way to act on the developed strategy. Not everything requires outsourcing, but a few pieces of the process are more cost effective to deploy beyond your company.
- Hiring a full-time graphic designer is costly, but freelancing out a few designs here and there for articles will save money and enhance posts.
- Loading a post to the blog is time-consuming, but simple. Redistribute this responsibility to someone outside the company for an hourly rate.
- Social posting is another time-consuming job. Some tools save time, but an outside resource is a good option for this as well.
A Few Things to Remember
Don’t waste your effort writing a fantastic blog only to let it fall by the social wayside.
- Match the time and effort spent on content creation and put time and effort into growing a following through social sharing.
- Think quality over quantity when it comes to posting content. People remember quality, and people share quality.
- Practice, practice, practice writing headlines that generate shares and likes.
Put the summation of these tips into practice and notice a change in blog traffic and followers. Good Luck!