In order for someone to hit the ‘like’ button on your post, or share what you’ve written in a tweet, you need good content. Of course, you cannot rely on good content alone. You have to grab someone’s attention from the very beginning.
Beyond writing an awesome post, it’s mostly about captivating your audience and making it easy to share your content. If you can’t do both, engagement suffers. Your post needs to be structured in a way that makes sharing so easy it is almost inevitable. Naturally there is only one place to start, and that is your title. You have to begin with a title that screams, “Tweet me!”
No One Reads What They Share…
Most people will never read your entire article. Studies show most engagement occurs somewhere in the middle. Go figure. People read differently online. They scan. It’s not their fault. Everyone argues quality over quantity, but that doesn’t change the fact that online publishing is a numbers game. Publishers sell traffic. They need page views and impressions. The more they publish, the more traffic they get. More traffic = more money. How much time people spend on a website directly impacts how much money that site makes. In fact, companies like Chartbeat record and analyze this data in real-time. Farhad Manjoo wrote an epic post on Slate that broke down exactly how people read online. The case study even used data that was gathered from their own site. The study was able to conclude that only 50% of people that clicked on the post actually read it halfway through.
I’d recommend you read the post, but statistically speaking half of you won’t take the time to read past the halfway mark anyway. That is why you must make your content easy to share. Most readers won’t make it all the way through, so you want to give them plenty of reasons to share your content before they end up leaving your site.
How To Create Content That Gets Shared On Social Media
Want your content to resonate with readers? Of course you do, but if you read this far you know that your readers aren’t reading everything you write to begin with. Frankly, I’m a little surprised you’re sticking around. Since you made it this far it’s time I teach you how to turn the tables to your advantage and take content marketing to another level.
A headline that sizzles is a headline that gets clicks
Want more clicks and shares? Stop stuffing your title with nothing but keywords and think about what drives people to action…
People are motivated to action through emotions. If you can pique their curiosity, instill fear or discontent or give them pleasure they will move to your rhythm. There’s something else… it’s called “the takeaway”. The object is to craft a post that can communicate a message that appears to only focus on a very small segment, while at the same time appealing to many.
Think about the following example title…
25 Ways To Obliterate Your To-Do List
What if we tweaked it just a bit…
25 Ways To Obliterate Your To-Do List (For Busy People Only)
Has anything really changed? The title communicates the same thing, but adding that little extra reaches directly to the core of someone overworked and looking for a way out. Let’s face it: someone looking for a way to kill off their to-do list is busy. Adding the takeaway adds exclusivity, which can help drive higher CTR.
Say more with less, embrace white space
Keep it short and sweet. If you want people to share your content you have to make it easy to read. What you have to consider is that most people only scan the page when they’re reading. For this reason you’re better off keeping your paragraphs short and to the point. Use plenty of headings, short paragraphs and imagery to communicate your ideas. It will make your content easier to digest. Brevity works.
Make sharing as easy as can be
You’ve seen it above and you no doubt see it laid out before your eyes below, politely waiting to be tweeted. In fact, I’ve gone the extra mile and packaged it up quite nicely for you, if I do say so myself. Sometimes you just have to put everything out there in the open (or smack dab in the middle of your article). A well placed call-to-action will increase engagement. It can do miracles for social shares, subscribers, downloads — and let’s not forget sales. You just have to do a bit of testing to find the sweet spot. And if subtly still hasn’t worked on you, can I get a tweet or what?
If you know your stuff, talk with authority
You don’t have to be considered an authority to talk like one. When you know your industry, understand your market, and know what you’re doing: you are an expert.
Build a secret cabal of influencer ninjas
I assure you that I am neither ninja, nor dirtbag. This isn’t about gaming the system. What I am proffering is to lock hands with fellow bloggers and influencers in your space. It’s not rocket science. Talking to people will always produce better results than waiting (and hoping) someone shares your freshly published post. Join groups like Inbound.org or Triberr to find like-minded individuals who want to amplify their content. Help them. They help you. Badda bing. Badda boom.
Write epic content
Who wants to read the same regurgitated tips and advice all day? Stand out. Be proud. Strut your knowledge. If you want to see success in business, it’s time to make it happen.