If you've played the "follow game" on social media, you probably have a lot of followers but few social shares. People may easily follow you back, but they won't so readily retweet your tweets, re-post your content on their social feeds, or like your posts.
In order to receive social shares, you need to make your content shareable.
There are many ways to get more social shares on social media - here are five easy tips you can implement immediately.
1. Research Trending Topics
An easy way to receive more social shares is to research trending topics and create your own content based on those trends - so long as they're relevant to your audience. If Justin Bieber has nothing to do with your business, then leave that trend alone.
There are several tools, like BuzzSumo and PostReach, you can use to discover the trending topics within your industry or niche.
2. Make It Easy To Share
People are lazy sometimes - especially on the Internet.
Although it may only take a couple seconds to copy and paste the URL to your article on their social media account, people will be more inclined to share the article if it has social share buttons on the side or at the end of the article.
Make your content easy to share by adding social sharing buttons to your posts. If your website is on the WordPress platform, you can install a plug-in that adds the buttons for you.
3. Use Emojis
Emojis are popular online because they convey an emotion without the need for writing long blocks of text to express yourself. Many social media users have started to post updates and descriptions that are just emoji characters, ranging from one emoji to several.
If you use emojis sometimes in your personal life, then you should consider utilizing them in your social posts for your business as well. Even if you're a lawyer, CPA or financial services provider, it could work out in your favor - it can show your audience that you're not overly stuffy.
Of course, you need to remain professional too and never overdo the emojis.
4. Ask Without Begging
Asking for retweets and shares is straightforward and simple, and it has been shown through various studies that it can help increase social shares. The key is asking without sounding desperate or begging - if you're always asking for shares, followers will be annoyed with you.
You also don't have to be direct about it - you don't have to say: "Share my post on social media." You could say something like "Please share my post if you think others need to know this too."
5. Share Content When Your Followers Are Active
This is another obvious tip, but it's often overlooked by small business owners.
Timing matters on social media. If the majority of your Twitter audience is offline, they're not going to see your tweet. How can they convert if they never see the tweet? They can't, therefore, you need to use a Twitter analytics tool to determine what times of the day and days of the week your followers are most active, then plan your tweets to post during those times. You'll receive more engagement and social shares simply because you posted when your followers were on the social network.
This is true for Facebook and other social networks. Timing is everything.
Receiving social media shares increases your reach and can make your post look more valuable to others who see it on their timelines - people are more likely to click on a post with 100 shares than 0 because they subconsciously think there must be something worthwhile or interesting in the post with 100 shares if that many people re-posted it to their timeline. When they see a post with little engagement, they won't feel as strong a desire to click on it without the social proof, so boosting your share count can definitely be worth the extra effort.
This post was originally published on The Fried Side blog.