Everyone wants their content to go viral. It's the dream! But is that something you can really do on purpose? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure: If you want your content to be shared, there are several strategies you can employ.
Keep in mind that just because you have high traffic to your website, blog, or social media channel doesn't mean that your content is actually being shared. And sharing should be a top goal, as it immediately amplifies your audience – for free.
Below are eight ways to pump up the shareability of your content.
1. Post About Trending Topics
People love topical content. If something big is happening in your industry space, in the news, or even in pop culture, you'll want to jump on that bandwagon and reap the benefits. If you're not sure what's trending on any given day, you can head to Twitter or Facebook and look at their trending topics in the sidebar. If you can somehow tie your content to a timely event, the more likely people are to read and share it – and quickly.
2. Play into Social Validation
Humans have a desire for approval, which can often lead them to follow the masses. As Forbes puts it: "Social validation is a psychological phenomenon where one or more passive individuals follow or conform to the actions of others within a group." In marketing, this tendency can lead to a chain reaction, where if one group of people like or share something, other groups will follow suit. In fact, Entrepreneur.com reports:
In a study titled “The Power of Likes," it was found that people were 32 percent more likely to up-vote a pre-liked comment. This need for validation makes popularity infectious.
One way to cash in on this trend is to make your sharing buttons prominent – and include share counts next to them – so people can easily share your content and see how many times others have done the same.
3. Make 'Em Laugh
Who doesn't love a witty meme or beautifully sarcastic post? It's no surprise that funny content is king, as most of us interact with or share something that makes us laugh almost every day. So while you probably take your company and business very seriously, that doesn't mean you can't let loose and exercise some humor online. The more laughs you get, the bigger the chance that your content will be shared.
4. Create Easily Readable Content
Ain't nobody got time for super-long, dense posts. Chances are, if someone sees a content page that's all long paragraphs with nothing breaking it up, they won't spend too long there. As our attention spans continue to whittle away, writing scannable content is increasingly important. This means using things like subheads, bullets, and lists to make your content easier on the eyes and quickly understood with a quick glance.
5. Let Your Opinions Loose
People like to share content that shows who they are and what they believe in. It's even been shown that consumers want companies to take a stand on social issues. But if you're not quite there, you can still take a stance on something happening in your industry. People who agree with you will likely share your content to illustrate their view on the subject, allowing your content to spread even further. And even if people disagree with you, it provides the opportunity for some healthy debate and engagement.
6. Be a Valuable "How-To" Resource
Think about how many times you've done an internet search for how to do something. This kind of content is always in high demand, so it makes sense to take advantage of your expertise. By creating instructional content that breaks down complex processes, you'll put your stake in the ground and declare your company the expert on particular subjects – creating shareable content along the way.
7. Beautify Your Content
The aesthetic appeal of your content is important. Adding eye-catching images and compelling video can really boost the shares on a post. This also goes hand-in-hand with #4, as images and video will help break up your content and make it easier and more engaging to read. When creating graphics, make sure they're bright, clear, and original.
8. Look to Followers for New Ideas
Running low on content ideas? Look no further than your comment sections. Comments on and discussions about your existing content may help spark some inspiration for future posts. The best part about this strategy is that you're definitely creating content that your followers are interested in – keeping them coming back and sharing.
As long as you're creating interesting, important, inspirational, or funny content that's well organized, you're on the right track. Look at your posts with a critical eye and ask yourself if they're something you or your friends would share. And, of course, make sure you're using metrics to track your likes, comments, and shares so you can continually improve your content.