The efforts you invest in a blog are returned only when it has views. And you get ROI-generating views once you have sufficient web traffic. But if you rely solely on search engines to bring you traffic, you will be disappointed.
You have to make sure that your blog content gets shared across multiple platforms to attract sustainable web traffic and achieve appreciable views.
And while sharing your content from your own social profiles is a great idea, you have to reach a broader audience to see real traffic and incredible interactions.
To make sure that your readers share your content with their friends and consequently increase your exposure and clicks, you have to create content that’s so irresistible that your readers can’t help but share.
You have to make your content shareable.
In this article, we will show you how you can create a blog post that’s worth sharing. But first, let’s talk about why you need to focus on increasing your shares.
Why should you care about getting more social shares?
When your website visitors share your content on social media, more and more people get to know about you. If your content is good, an increasing number of people begin to trust you as a thought leader, and you are likely to experience a spike in social engagement.
But if all of these reasons are not enough to convince you of the importance of social shares, here’s a bunch of more reasons as to why you should care:
Provide social proof
We have talked about social proof in another blog and have mentioned how social proof compels people to convert.
Social shares provide you with social proof, which validates your business in the eyes of its prospects. When people see that thousands of people share your content, they immediately think of you as a value provider.
And in an age where 54% of people turn to social media when researching products, people coming across your content and noticing the high number of shares can prove to be highly profitable for your business’s bottom line.
Track the success of your content strategy
48% of marketers use social shares as a metric to track the success of their content strategy.
Because social shares can reflect the value of your content, if your content succeeded to compel a large number of people to share it, that means you must have done something good. However, if it fails to garner an appreciable number of shares, you need to optimize your content strategy.
Share increase engagement
You know, beyond an ounce of doubt, that you need to engage your social media followers to get them through the conversion funnel.
Social shares can help you drive engagement. How? Let’s explain with an example.
Say that you have written exciting content and manage to get a couple of social shares on it. Now, the friends and followers of the people who have shared your content come across what you’ve written, engage with it, like it, and may as well share it.
Do you see how one share can trigger a chain reaction and generate increased engagements? Now imagine the engagement and reach of your content if a single share is multiplied by a thousand!
This was a made-up example.
Now, let’s consider a real-life case study in which a brand experienced exceptional engagement and awareness metrics along with social shares.
Heinz, a food processing company, launched a new product, five new flavors of beans and to promote it, they created a Facebook quiz named “which bean are you?”Since people enjoy taking these silly quizzes, and Heinz offered a goody bag for people who shared it, therefore, their Facebook quiz quickly generated 10,000 shares.
Along with the massive number of shares, they also got 22,000 likes and reached around 11 million people.
We suppose we can attribute the likes and reach in this case study to the massive number of shares.
Do you think the quiz had reached that many people or generated such likes had it not been shared 10,000 times, to begin with? We don’t think so.
Get your message across
In a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 82% of the respondents admitted they ignore online ads.
In an era where online ads have become invisible, social shares help your content and hence your brand name be seen by people who matter.
When your content generates more social shares, it does not only drive brand awareness for you. But since people are more inclined to check out the things shared by their friends, the number of web visitors is also likely to increase.
Increases web traffic
9/10 marketers believe increased web traffic is one of the benefits of social media.
Social shares can help you tap into the 3.5 billion huge social media crowd and bring some of it to your website.
In this way, your website sees growth in visitors, and you have a more significant number of leads to drive through your sales funnel.
Social media strategist, Rachel Beany, tackled the challenge of increasing her client’s web traffic and sales by leveraging social media. She focused on creating compelling LinkedIn posts, and as a result, managed to improve the website traffic by 800%.
Steps you can follow to get more social shares
The folks at OKDork conducted research in which they found that only 10% of the 1 million articles analyzed had over a hundred shares. And it got worse when they discovered that the articles with more than 10,000 shares formed only 1% of the group.
Here are a few tips that can help you create content that avoids the unfortunate 89% and ranks in the better-performing 11%:
1- Get more readers
Before you can start getting those shares, you have to make sure there are a good number of people visiting your website and reading your blog. Because readers will ultimately become sharers, right? Right.
If you have a healthy amount of readers already, feel free to skip ahead.
But if you need help building your website traffic, here’s what you should do: email marketing.
Here’s what marketers think are top benefits of email marketing:That’s right. Email marketing, with an appreciable conversion rate of 15.11%, is the best way to attract more visitors to your website and generate leads.
We have already written an insightful blog on successful email marketing, so we won’t go into much detail here.
Just remember, whenever you publish a new blog, inform your email list subscribers of it. In this way, you will have a wider distribution of content and better chances of increased traffic.
But wait. Where do you get email subscribers from?
You can either ask for an email address when people are exiting your website. Or, you can use pop-ups asking for your visitors’ emails, in exchange for something valuable, like a case study or an ebook.
2- Choose a relevant topic
Say you are a sports enthusiast. Will you ever consider sharing a post from, say, Kylie Cosmetics? No. Because that won’t be relevant to your interests.
Therefore, you have to focus on creating relevant content so that your target audience has a reason to share it on their social handles.
Apart from creating relevant content, focus on following the trends as well.
Cashing in on trends can help you ride the high wave and tap into the masses talking about a particular topic at a given time.
You can use social media tools to help you with social listening and stay informed of what your target audience is talking about.
Then create content on what you know your prospects will be interested in, and the shares will come easy.
Playstation, a gaming console brand, has a blog to talk about relevant news and stories that its audience might be interested in.
Check out the engagement on the blog post, even though it is barely a few days old at the time of writing.If PlayStation hasn’t convinced you of the importance of relevance, this case study will.
Porch, a home improvement brand, wanted to improve their visibility, and for that, it teamed up with Fractl to drive traffic to its website.
Fractl created content relevant to Porch’s audience, solved their problems, and resonated with them.
As a result, they attracted 20,000 monthly visitors, 37,000+ social shares, and more than 3500 mentions.
Do you see how relevant content influenced shares?
3- Create a compelling title
61% of the consumers say that they have purchased a product after reading a blog post about it. But to make your consumers read the blog post and then take action – share it or buy from you – you have to get them through the door first.
Given that 8/10 people only read the headline, you have to make sure it is a good one that compels them to click through and read your content.There are a bunch of best practices for writing compelling, “click-worthy” titles. We are listing some of these here for your convenience.
Title length is most important because longer titles are at risk of being truncated. The ideal title length is up to 56 characters.
However, the folks over at Backlinko found that titles with 14-17 words generated 76% more shares than shorter headlines.
Try and write a title that summarizes the entire article and tells the reader exactly what to expect.
Example of such titles:For example, when writing about compelling blog titles, instead of going with the title “blog titles”, try and come up with something like “3 tips to help you write compelling blog titles.”
Notice how we have used a number in the example title above? That’s because titles that start with a number (an odd number, to be more specific) tend to generate higher clicks.
Moreover, Backlinko also found in their study of 9 million headlines that the ones ending with a question mark attracted 23% more shares.
Write headlines that are action-oriented and contain an emotional trigger. For example, “23 unbelievable statistics about social media” or “This is the saddest thing you’ll see on the internet”, like people at Buzzfeed are known to do.Finally, never promise in the title what you can’t or won’t deliver in the article. Experiment with different headlines to see which one works best and then stick to it.
4- Focus on creating long-form content
As opposed to what you may think, long-form content – content exceeding 2000 words – performs better than its short-form counterpart.
It not only generates 9x more leads but also offers better SEO performance, garners greater engagement, and delivers more value than short-form content.
This is why 54% of bloggers claim that they have seen good results with content exceeding 3000 words.
So, aim at writing long-form content, which packs a lot of value within it. So that the reader reads it, finds it useful, and shares it on their social media.
If you think all of this is a fad, here’s a case study to prove all of what we have said above about long-form content.
AZ family dental, a dental clinic, created four long-form articles to boost their website performance. One of these articles, titled “21 famous people who had cosmetic dental surgery”, received 140 social shares and more than 4000 views.Notice how the title starts with an odd number and has the word “who”?
So, it’s time to put your research hat on and get to churning out longer content. But remember, never exchange quality for quantity. A 500-word valuable and informative article is a zillion times better than 3000 words of fluff.
5- Increase content readability
The good news is, if you deliver value, people will be more likely to share your content. The bad news is no one reads the entire blog. Most people just skim through it.So, you have to pack value in a way that even skimmers don’t miss it out.
You see, a person spends 37 seconds reading a blog. That means you have to deliver value within this time. And to do that, you have to make your article easily scannable and highlight the informative points.
Use large headlines and shorter paragraphs to make your content skimmable. Try and use bullet points because they make the content easier to read.
Finally, optimize the readability of the blog post using tools like Grammarly and Yoast SEO.
Here’s the readabilty of this blog:
Promote your content
Once you have created a shareable blog post, the job isn’t done. Now it’s time to promote it. How will people know that you have done a fantastic job unless you tell them?
Share your blog post across all your social channels.
But make sure to add a catchy caption along with the blog post when you share it on social media and include a sneak peek into what the article offers
Check out how Brian Dean’s social engagement changed when he started writing powerful captions for his blogs:
6- Use social share buttons
You’ve done everything to get your readers to share your articles. But if there are no social share buttons on your blog, how do you expect them to share it?
Don’t forget to include share buttons for your social media handles so that your readers have a way of sharing your articles with their friends.
Try and make the sharing process as frictionless as possible. Make sure your social share buttons are not stuck at the beginning or end but move with the scroll. So the user can quickly locate them.
That’s how Neil Patel’s social share icon’s move with the scroll:Include a compelling caption that the readers can use as they share the blog, and make sure that the colors of your share button match the colors of each platform so that users can identify it quickly.
Activate a share counter once your shares hit an appreciable amount to leverage social proof.
And, to give your shares a head start, ask your friends, family, and followers to share your content on their social handles.
Blogs are your business’s valuable investments. To make sure that they serve their purpose and generate an ROI, you have to leverage social shares so that your blogs reach a broader audience and become a source for increased web traffic.
A piece of content becomes shareable when it offers something valuable to the user. So, pack a lot of value in your content and make sure that the title you use reflects it.
Pay special attention to your blog’s readability, and don’t forget to add social share buttons.
As a final note, don’t forget to track the performance of your blog posts, so you can find out what works and double down on it.