Savvy communicators have used the written word as a marketing tool for millennia. From ancient Babylonian tablets portraying Cyrus the Great as a magnanimous liberator to Martin Luther’s paradigm-shifting 95 theses nailed to a church door to Marx and Engels’ polemical Communist Manifesto, the written word has helped sway opinions and disseminate information since its inception.
But very few of us today write on behalf of kings, transform the moral world as we know it, or inspire revolutions. Most of us write to sell something. And there’s a lot of us; search engine optimization (SEO) has awarded countless wordsmiths what, for many, would have been a mere pipe dream – the opportunity to write for a living. But the democratization of marketing comes with a price. There is a staggering amount of internet content, and it’s becoming more challenging to stand out.
With this in mind, we’re sharing nine ways to optimize your social content to maximize social shares. There’s an ocean of content out there; make sure yours is a tidal wave, not a ripple.
1: Ask readers to share your content
The adage goes, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Simply asking readers to share your content will significantly increase engagement. You should also personalize your calls to action (CTA); write “please share these cybersecurity tips,” not “please share this article.” It may sound inconsequential, but HubSpot found that personalized CTAs perform 202% better than general ones.
2: Place CTAs at the top of the page
It’s painful to hear, but the average reader only makes it through 25% of a blog post. If you place your CTAs and social sharing buttons at the bottom of the page, there’s a good chance your reader won’t even see it.
3: Use images
The use of striking, relevant images can significantly impact your social engagement. “Visual content is not only easier and faster for the human brain to process, but it is also a great way to generate more views, clicks, and conversions.” HubSpot found that content with compelling images or graphics generated 94% more views than content without.
4: Craft Compelling Headlines
Your headline is the first thing people see, so it needs to grab their attention. Use action words, numbers, and emotional triggers to create headlines to pique curiosity and encourage sharing. A well-crafted headline can significantly increase click-through rates and shares. In fact, numbers with headlines generate 73% more shares.
5: Optimize your content for Mobile
Most social media usage happens on mobile devices. Ensure your content is mobile-friendly, with responsive design and quick load times. If your content is easy to consume on mobile, users are more likely to share it.
6: Leverage Influencers
Collaborate with influencers in your niche to amplify your content’s reach. Influencers can share your content with their engaged audience, increasing the chances of it going viral.
7: Capitalize on holidays and events
Holidays and events have long been a marketing opportunity for department stores and other physical retailers, but content marketers can capitalize on them, too. Crafting timely, relevant content that appeals to your target demographic will significantly increase your social shares.
8: Engage with your readers
As the last 80 or so years of pop music have taught us, quality content doesn’t necessarily beget popularity. Often, the personality (or personalities) of the creator(s) is more important. While you don’t need to meticulously cultivate an elusive, quasi-mystic image like Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin did, you do need to work on your brand. The best way to achieve this is by actively engaging with your readers; if they know who you are (and like you), they will be more likely to help you by sharing your content.
9: Ask your customers to share your content
If you’re writing for clients, ask them to share all the content you write for them on their social profiles. Similarly, ask as many employees as possible to share the content you have written on their behalf.
The written word’s marketing prowess has endured in an era awash with multimedia content. There’s more readable content today than ever before. Make yours stand up with the nine tips listed above.
Want to learn more about how to optimize your content? Check out this blog from our extensive back catalog.