Part of building up your audience is getting people to engage with and share your content. This means spending time creating content that resonates with your network and entices them to share.
In this post I'll go over some simple tactics to help you increase your social media shares.
1. Share Content More than Once
One of the best ways to get more shares is to share your content more than once. Use a different photo, and change the caption, but lead to the same article.
Getting into the habit of sharing content more than once also lets you get to know what kind of images, messaging and hashtags work with your audience, and can help determine when your audience is the most active.
2. Create Content that Adds Value to Your Customer
People won't care to share things that don't add value to their life. This can mean informing them about unexpected ways to use your product, or just giving them a beautiful photo to look at. In order to do this, you need to work out what matters to your audience, based on what activities they're involved in and what role your product plays, or can play, in their life.
3. Create "Snackable" Content
Snackable content is generally short, quick and easily digestible. Snackable content can include quotes, infographics, and stats.
Get creative in the way you present your information and find additional ways to frame and present your ideas in shorter forms.
4. Share Posts When Followers are Active
Figuring out when your followers are online and active is essential to getting the most impact out of each of your social media posts.
Use in-network analytics tools (like the new Twitter Dashboard) to help you determine when your audience is on. You can also use third party tools to calculate when your audience is active.
5. Provide Context in Headlines/Messaging
Your headline can make or break your content - research has shown that up to 80% of readers will decide whether or not to click through on a link based on your title.
Make sure headlines and messaging offer context into what the reader will get out of the content, use action and descriptive words to entice readers to interact with you. Never exaggerate the benefits of your post, or be misleading - that will only hurt you as readers won't trust your content anymore.
6. Make Social Media Share Buttons Easy to Find
Your follow and share buttons need to be easily accessible on your site. Popular places for these buttons are website headers, footers, or in sidebars, and your post itself should also include sharing options.
Another thing to remember is to clearly mark which buttons do what on your site. Confusion over what each button means can discourage people from sharing.
7. Add Sharing Buttons and Light Boxes to Your Website Articles and Posts
I use AddThis.com for the floating share bar you see on my blog. SumoMe also provides a slew of tools to make your website social media friendly.
8. Pre-Populate Share Messaging
The less work your readers and sharers have to do the better. Some social media share services will enable you to populate your own messaging and hashtags into shares. If your service doesn't allow you to adjust the captions, make sure you adjust elements appropriately to pull your post title and tag your handle.
And don't forget, the same goes for emails and newsletters as well.
9. Photos Matter
Try to include a good image in your post. Some platforms, like Pinterest and Facebook, will pull the post's featured image - and including images increases shares.
If you're using a photo to promote your content make sure the photo is sized correctly for the specific network you're sharing it on.
10. Try "Click to Tweet" Options
Click to Tweet lets you choose parts of your post that your reader can simply click on to tweet. I love this option because it enables you to pull snippets from text and is easy for the reader to use.
I use a plugin, but if your site isn't on WordPress you can try ClickToTweet.com or run Google search for click to tweet services.
11. Use Calls to Action
Take it back to the old fashioned called to action. Ask your audience (nicely) to share your post if they've enjoyed it. Include this messaging in landing pages.
12. Share Lifestyle and Related Content from Other Sources
Customers don't necessarily always want to hear about you.
Break up your posts with shares from related brands or lifestyle content - even if a piece of content that isn't yours gets a slew of shares, this still brings visibility to your account.
Lifestyle content can include quotes, industry stats, or images and videos that relate to your target audience. These types of images tend to get re-shared and interacted with more often that other more brand related material. Not sure what lifestyle content is? Read up and get some lifestyle content ideas here.
Increasing social media shares on your website, posts or campaign requires well thought out (preferably brand related) content that adds value, messages that entice sharing, and then making such pieces easy to share. I know, easier said than done - but it can be well worth the effort when you see the shares, and subsequent traffic, start coming through.
This post originally appeared on Dhariana Lozano's blog.