Widely shared content is scarce. Looking for the answers we’ll always turn to the content itself. It needs to be more sensational, more revealing, more dramatic and more seductive. But it has its limits. As a brand we can’t all be like Red Bull. Does that mean you ought to be satisfied with just a few likes? No, by paying attention to certain things you will be able to practically have each bit of content shared widely.
Is it that important that content is widely shared? Yes, indeed it is. You’ll miss out and risk a lot when only a few people share your content. Less reach, less authority, less impact, no control regarding timing, inefficient deployment of people and means, less results…
That’s why I proposed a different approach: from sharing is caring to caring for sharing. What I mean by that is that you don’t need to wait for people to act (or rather: to not act), but to ensure that the amount of shares will be the result of a preconceived plan: a social sharing strategy.
Before I will show you how to get more likes I would like to get rid of a misconception. Our goal is not to create and produce content to get as much likes as possible. As content marketeers we want to meet the information needs of your target audience with desirable content which is useful and has a relation to the purchase or usage of your product(s) and or service(s). In content strategy- and creation the primary objective is therefore attractiveness and relevance. Sharing is – when done right – a great side effect.
84% of people share content because it’s a way to support causes and raise awareness.
However, with content distribution- and promotion sharing is a (sub) objective. Because by sharing you’ll reach connections or followers. Meaning more reach and reach is what makes the distribution- promotion cookie crumble.
For that reason, I’ll zoom in on the question how the encourage sharing at distribution and promotion in this article. In my opinion, it could be done by paying attention to the following four aspects: the springboard, the packaging, the poster and the promo team.
You could put up an article on your own website with a few tens of visitors daily. That is the low springboard. You could also put up an article on a platform with thousands of daily visitors. That is the high springboard. The higher the springboard you are jumping from, the more shares you’ll get. This causes the lever effect: extra shares ensure extra views ensuring extra shares ensuring extra views, etcetera. similar to interest on interest.
As important as reach, is the sharing behavior of the visitors on the platform you are publishing on.
There is not only a quantitative but a qualitative effect to the springboard as well. If someone shares something on say Adage.com, that share says something about that person: I keep up to date what’s happening in my field. I read Adage.com. It gives off a certain status. The adagio The medium is the message’, could be applied here. The better a potential sharer is able to profile himself with the article (and author), the bigger the chance that the sharing commences.
How can you ‘package’ your content in such a way that it’ll result in more shares? There are various options available. I’ll name a few:
Every piece of content needs to be promoted. The promo has been largely neglected in the content marketing world. Almost anyone finishes the job with a one-dollar-stock photo and a few lines of text in the intro. Is it a piece about content strategy? show some logos of social networks. Is it about cooperating? Show some shaking hands. Cliches.
Publishers on the other hand, know how to seduce people. Thus they will do everything they can to produce covers that will captivate people. Covers with authority which tell what it’s all about in just one glance. Publishers will go for covers with stopping power. And they need to. The competition is killing. The bookstore is bulging and people read less and less. The need to sell their magazines in order to survive.
That’s different with us. Our content contributes only partly or indirectly to our success. But haven’t we been declaring that brands have become publishers themselves? And what about the time lines, aren’t they some kind of kiosk where the audience looks through the things on offer and where they only pick what really interests them?
Because most content marketeers don’t want to pay attention to the promo, you should. That is at least, if you want to distinguish yourself, attract a larger crowd and not only make yourself more desirable as a brand, but establish yourself as thought leader as well.
Therefore, allow your promo to be upgraded. Call it a poster from now on. And know that the poster in itself is content as well. Make it snackable & shareable.
Often it is assumed that one who shares and the one consuming your content are one and the same. It’s possible but not a given. It’s interesting to divide these two types of sharers.
The people who consume your content, will only share if they deem the content shareable enough. If it has something in it for them. That means that you have to wait first to see what they think of it. The content has already been made and published and you won’t have much influence on it anymore.
There are also people who’d recommend your content with reasons other than the content itself. Those are your ambassadors or promotors. This people are worth their weight in gold and you need to get them in your promotion team.
Who are those potential promotors? For this you can look at those other reasons, to the interests people can have to share your content. I can think of five reasons:
All these people are eligible for your promo team. Check to see who you’d prefer to have in your team, seduce them to be part of it and make a sharing agreement with the ones who enlist. In this agreement you’ll write down what, when, how often and through which channels someone is going to share. This will make it clear how many shares you can count on.
Despite all good intentions, commitments and enthusiasm, reality shows that sharing is not set in stone. One will share, whereas the other only sometimes and the third just forgets to do it. Sharing is a hassle. That’s why it’s important to make sharing as easy as possible for your promotors, by using PostSpeaker for example. Start your free trail today, sign up here!