Any content can be made shareable. It’s creating shareworthy content that presents the real challenge. You grow your exposure by creating shareworthy content so your posts need to stand out in the overwhelming abundance of information on the average person’s newsfeed. The goal is to educate, inform, and inspire - engage the reader in some way. Show human truth in the hopes of resonating with other people’s personal truths so they are motivated to share your content.
Why People Share
Sharing is often, subconsciously, motivated by some personal benefit. People will share content that helps them express an opinion or emotion. They share content they think will help them be heard and understood in some sort of self-validation effort.
You need to establish an emotional hook, push readers’ emotional buttons – create excitement; offer humor, so a viewer wants to make someone else smile or laugh like they did; play to people’s fears, especially obscure phobias; tap into sadness (but in a good way). Create content that creates a strong emotional response but be sure to aim for positive emotions of the more complex variety – make people think.
People share posts that are thoughtful or thought provoking. They share useful information intended for use by either the individual sharing or someone he knows. People also share to connect with others professionally, to show themselves as knowledgeable or informed.
A recent survey on “The Motivations for Sharing on Facebook” by the Fractl team asked 2,000 frequent sharers what they share and why. The following is a visual representation of the responses:
Know Your Target Audience
What types of things are they sharing? Aim for similarly formatted content.
What do they value? What do they consider high-quality?
What do they consider relevant? What are their needs?
Understand why and how your target audience uses various social platforms and use that information to guide your content – likes, hashtag trends, pictures shared, retweets, etc.
What motivates them? What makes them feel something…anything? Know their secret fears, their pain points.
Lists – they are easy to read; they provide highlights; create a list of the best or worst of something (or be different and give the “The middle 8 reasons to…”).
Data – numbers are trustworthy; they can be represented numerically or visually; statistics provide patterns, trends, and insights to what is happening.
Share what experts say – credential provide social proof; post a question and answer session with a particular expert in a relevant field; ask the same question to different experts and then compare and contrast their responses.
Headlines can make or break a post – they should be enticing or peak curiosity; include an interesting statistic; include in the title “how to” do something.
Images – post crisp pictures that elicit an emotional response; create infographics; show unexpected things that make someone stop scrolling to say, “Wait, what?”
Problem solve – give actionable advice; tell how to do something step by step; provide a bulleted list of proven strategies for someone try; create teachable moments.
Put a new spin on an old topic.
Offer quizzes with shareable results.
Provide real world examples, stories, and personal experiences.
Post things in the right place at the right time – post messages that align with seasons or holidays; trending topics in news, sports and entertainment; or beginning and end of the week messages.
And don’t overlook the meme culture – people share memes that are relatable, images in which they see themselves or someone they know.
It goes without saying it is important to make shareworthy content shareable with social sharing buttons. Be sure the buttons are easy to locate and clearly presented. Also, consider just inviting people to share something; make it a call to action button.
Creating shareworthy content extends your reach beyond your regular followers. Plus, Google will increase the value it places on your content as you garner more shares and mentions. When you get down to it, the motivation to share digitally is an individual reaction and varies from one person to the next. Educate, edify, and enrich – leave the sales pitch at home. Do your best to raise eyebrows and make someone pause mid-scroll.
For guidance in creating shareable content and all your other digital marketing needs, contact the experts at Strategy Driven Marketing today.