Five Steps to Creating Shareable Content
Social media likes are one thing—and, in their own way, likes are a type of currency. But shares are where it’s at; a share will organically generate outreach for your post. One person shares a blog or social media post, and then another, and another. This happens behind the scenes, building brand awareness, expanding your digital footprint and data trail. And it’s easy! All you have to do is create content worth sharing.
Quality over Quantity. But Also Quantity.
The Internet is logjammed with tips on how to create shareable content—much of it is helpful, some of it is ambiguous. The ambiguity lies mainly in generalizations, like, “Just post good content and watch the sharing commence!” That’s great, but what constitutes “good content”?
It’s about quality. That’s a no-brainer. Audiences want to share content that is both instructing and engaging, something of value to themselves and their social media network. To create this type of content, start by doing your homework. Who is your audience? Who is their audience? What type of content are they already sharing? Who are they already following? Once you’ve gathered the answers to these essential questions, you can begin to generate relevant, actionable, and potentially shareable content.
By posting any type of content online, you’re engaging in a rapport with your audience. The key here is to engage in the type of back-and-forth rapport (you post, they share; they post, you share) that will establish a strong and ongoing relationship.
There’s a lot of digital content out there. About two million blog posts are written every day. Worldwide, there are almost two billion Facebook users. Twitter? 316 million. All of these blog writers and social media users are generating and liking and sharing content, constantly. How can your posts stand out in the crowd? One way is to give them an attention-grabbing title. So, how do you come up with these magical titles? Read on!
Start small. First, you’ve got your general topic pretty much nailed down. From this general topic, you can come up with a few more specific working titles. Working titles are whittled-down, helping guide your blog post in a more precise direction.
Okay, so you have your working title. Now play with it. Make it fun, punchy. Test titles with bold and strong language against more conservative and direct titles, and juggle the two. And it doesn’t hurt to brainstorm. Second opinions are valuable; don’t waste them.
Again, there’s no shortage of rules out there. Choose the ones that work for you and your audience.
SEO Is A-OK
Although clarity is key with blog and social media posts, SEO optimization can be a huge plus. But, be careful: Trying too hard to optimize and your titles or posts will sound awkward, as if automatically generated by some SEO-optimization platform. Remember: People love to scan titles on Twitter, through their RSS reader, or otherwise, and in order to take the next step and click-through, the title needs to be short, succinct, and interesting.
Insider tip: Keywords work better in searches when they’re placed at the beginning of a title.
In order to include effective keywords in your blog or social media titles and posts, do a little research on your potential customer base: What are they typically searching for? What problems are they facing, and how can you help inform them of solutions? Now you can pepper in relevant keywords and, in effect, become more searchable.
Keep It Simple (and Useful)
Shareable content is simple content. The blogosphere and the world of social media work in tidbits and clickbait. Think in terms of elevated listicles filled with valuable content. The title grabs the reader’s attention, and a simple introduction ropes them in. It’s advisable to keep your introduction short and sweet, powered by meta-type key phrases and actionable prompts.
Also keep in mind: People respond very well to lists. They’re busy, and the quickest way they can absorb and internalize interesting and valuable content, the better.
Title and introduction need to grab the reader’s attention, no doubt about that. But it takes more than a snappy title and succinct intro for a post to be truly shareable. Toss in some interesting and eye-popping images, infographics, videos, charts and block quotes to shake up an otherwise text-heavy spot. These visual treatments, of course, must be accurate and relevant. Deliver content that offers solutions to your readers’ problems, useful and creative (read: out-of-the-box) information that can garner shares and valuable comments.
Note: Always read the comments. They’re your barometer for blog and social media success.