The Surprising Words That Get Content Shared on Social Media

Do you want more social media traffic?

Did you know that the words you use within your content could drastically affect how much social media traffic you get? For example, if you want more Facebook traffic, then using words like “when,” “tell us,” “submit,” “deals,” and “discounts” can help you get more shares, likes and traffic to your site.

On the other hand, if you use the words “contest,” “promotion,” or “coupon” on Facebook, you’ll actually get fewer shares and likes and less traffic.

In order to help you determine what words you should use and what words you should avoid using on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, I’ve created an infographic that breaks down desirable and undesirable word usage on each of these social media platforms.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

The Surprising Words That Get Content Shared on Social Media

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


You may not believe that changing a word or two can affect social media traffic, but it really can. Just look at sites like Upworthy.Β They’ve done extremely well because of their titles.

If you are looking for more social media traffic, combine the words you see in the infographic above with the headline ideas within this blog post.

What other words can help you drive more social media traffic?

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  1. Nice infographic. Now, when we are here talking about social sharing and stuff then what do you think about services like HootSuite? Are they worth investing (if buying the premium pack).

    – Vikas Kumar

    • Nate Worcester :

      Vikas – HootSuite and one other tool where actually recommend in Neil’s guide “Double your traffic in 30 days”. You can get it by signing up to his newsletter.

      I haven’t started using it myself but it seems like it would be a great way to manage all of your account.

      • Hey Vikas,

        I am using HootSuite and I can tell you this.. hootsuite is one of the great tools…

      • Beth Lawlor :


        Hootsuite is great, but can be glitchy. We use it for our SMM services, but have to tweak and double check a lot to make sure images post, etc. But if you’re looking at using it just for your own SMM you would probably be very happy with the service. I also really enjoy Buffer. I use it to keep my Twitter feed loaded with good content. The Chrome extension makes it easy to share good articles (like this one!) while you’re reading.

        Thanks, Neil, for another fantastic article! πŸ™‚

    • Vikas, I think they definitely are worth considering because they automate the process.

  2. Enstine Muki :

    I’m quite active on these networks Neil and I’m happy this information has come right on time. I never thought these words could mean differently. I’ll put this to work from today and monitor it closely

    Thanks for creating another huge infographic

  3. It’s actually surprising that people on facebook dislike contests so much. On the other hand, everybody likes winning so that part definitely makes sense.

  4. Kumar Gauraw :

    Hi Neil,

    Great infographic and obviously we have seen these words working. However, one question I have for you:

    I heard that Facebook recent update about “Like/Comment/Share” bait type posts saying that they have algorithmic changes in place now to make sure such posts do not get promoted prominently anymore.

    What do you think will be impact of that update on some of these techniques for brand pages?

    Thank you!

    • Kumar, I think they will have the same affect. People really need to focus more on content that has a purpose and that serves a specific intent.

  5. Parmveer Singh :

    ‘Words Matters Every Where …. Since We Think in Words’

    Very useful post Neil Sir.

    In my view, whole internet marketing is ‘marketing with words’, if we could master them, we’ll win the game.

    Thanks for a very timely post…. since currently I’m doing research on the very same topic but bit differently … πŸ™‚

  6. Hah, I honestly doubt that something like this could work. I mean changing a word and getting more traffic and shares?

    Sounds a bit weird to me but I will definitely need to test so I can be sure.

    I’m only bit concerned how I’m going to keep tracking all that content and their difference in shares on Social Media.

    But it’s worth trying, I hope.

    Keep rocking Neil


  7. Farcas Gelu Danut :

    Wow! Nice infographic! I love your website!

  8. Brandon Halliburton :

    Take for sharing this infographic! Are these words you would use as hashtags?

    • Brandon, definitely. I would consider catch phrases and words that are popular as very hash worthy πŸ™‚

  9. Cheryl Gregory :

    Love ALL of your info graphics and share with my list. Keep up the great work! It’s so helpful.

  10. wow.. I’m planning to create facebook campaign ads when this news letter arrive in my inbox.. thank you πŸ˜€

    I dont have much experience in facebook, but I notice something ; all of my best article share result in facebook come from article title start with number such as ” 3 best plugin, 5 interesting place to visit,” etc. I believe some word in title somehow could give me better traffick result .

    I definitely gonna try this one too.. I hope you guys undertand my english πŸ™‚

    Thanks Neil

  11. Very helpful words to keep in mind, especially since I’m not the most savvy with social media πŸ™‚ Will be sharing this helpful post! Have a great one Neil -Iva

  12. Abhishek Tavasalkar :

    I am very much glad, this post was put up as infographic.

    This really made it more interesting to read.

    Thanks for the article. Would try and implement what’s written here.

  13. David Smethie :

    Great infographic Neil. I just put the code on my blog and noticed that the Courtesy of Quick Sprout link isn’t working. When I looked at the code, I noticed you forgot to add your URL.

    Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

    Just wanted to give you a heads up, and as always, thank you for providing such great content!

  14. Bennie Bullock :

    The infographics are great when I am sitting at my desk. When I am using my phone then not so much.

  15. Anyone else having trouble viewing the infographic on a smartphone?

  16. Nikhil Waghdhare :

    Great Infographic Neil,

    These words are really powerful and we must have to use these words in our promotion strategy.
    Thank you for these great infographic Neil…….. πŸ™‚

  17. Interesting, Neil!
    LInkedIn clearly likes more real results than fluffy promises πŸ™‚
    This shows a good advice for business-targeted audience!

  18. Kamila Gornia :

    This is genius, Neil. Thank you. The tid bit about contests verbiage is especially helpful as we are running several right now and are about to craft and schedule some posts. Thank you!

  19. sherman smith :

    Hey Neil,

    It’s funny how one or two words can either help you generate more traffic and keep you from get a lot of traffic at all. It goes to show what little things can do for you and your success! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Matthew Kaboomis Loomis :

    Hey Neil,

    The infographic looks great on my iPhone. πŸ™‚


  21. Hi Neil,
    Really good infographic!
    Do you think that infographics can help in traffic from Google? I know that they get linked a lot, so Does this linking would help rank better even when an infographic does not please Google?
    And one more question,
    What’s the best way/software/service to make an infographic?
    Thank You!

  22. I totally agree with Facebook list πŸ™‚

  23. Bhavesh Patel :

    I see another great info-graphic from you. I appreciated this Neil. Nice infographic. Now, when we are here talking about social sharing and stuff then what do you think about services like HootSuite? Are they worth investing (if buying the premium pack). I have just one question dude. πŸ™‚

  24. Vaibhav Singh :

    Is this really you Neil ?? Kind of New look…liked it. Well i want to ask one question which is off the topic….where do you create this type of images??

    Thanks for the article

    Have a nice day

  25. Amazing Infographic Neil, I never seen Such a Creative Topic like this. Words affects a lot in Social media.

    First of all I personally try this Information in my Linkedin Account. I hope I will get positive response by implementing this “Words” Strategy.

  26. Harsh Wardhan Singh :


    You really know where exactly to hit. I mean your blog topics seems very targeted and titles are very catchy. Thanks again for another informative post with an amazing infographic. I am going to embed this in my blog. However, it seems like you have missed something. In your embed code the link to this infographic in Courtsey is not given.


  27. You have explained a small thing in a beautiful manner. I have used some of the negative words in my contest on facebook but in my next contest I will keep in mind while doing.

  28. Hey,
    just read this, great idea and super interesting but how did you validate that one word works and anotherone doesn’t?

    And what about other languages … is it the “meaning” of the word, so it would be transferable to other languages just by translating or is there also an issue about sound, background, culture?!

    Would be interesting to know.

    • Kat, I think it’s pretty applicable to any language. You just have to capture your audience’s attention and move forward from there.

  29. I sure will try this but translated in Slovene language, will see how it goes? Thank you for sharing your great work.

  30. Jan, glad you liked it. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  31. Hello Neil! I have to ask….have you seen this, but with words in spanish?

    By the way, I love reading your material. Thank you very much for everything you write πŸ™‚

  32. Arun Kallarackal :

    It is quite hard to believe that usage of some words can have drastic change in the outcome, when it comes to social shares and promotion. But then, it is a fact! πŸ™‚ Using the words given in the infographic in the post title will be good strategy, like you said.

    The words to avoid also have been noted by me. Will try to steer away from them whenever possible and make use of the alternatives instead! Looking at the list of overused words on LinkedIn, I just couldn’t agree more! These words are so overused that almost all users, at one point or the other, might have used some of them!

    Nice infographic! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    I found the link to this post on Kingged.


  33. An unusual selection of words – some of them feel like an anomaly in terms of what you’d expect from social media. The competition ones in particular. Still, “Best” is one you’d expect to be in there. I’m surprised a number wasn’t in there, “10” specifically. The amount of Top 10 lists out there is beyond belief.

  34. EngageWP_Ren :

    Awesome article! Personally, I think everyone is so immune to the same old cliche marketing talk (i.e. strategic, innovative, etc.) that those words are a turn off most of the time. They are for me because they seem too sales-y. I want helpful, interesting content, not sales pitches.

  35. Social media sites are much important than it was in past.I do hootsuite for my sites and it’s really an effective tool I must say.Anyway such a great infographic you made here Neil sir.Would you mind to reveal which tool do you use to create such awesome infographics?

  36. I have witnessed a situation where one of my friend landed awesome shares by using pretty optimized words in his status on Facebook. We were competing each other, but he blowed up with amazing results by using right words. Thanks for sharing this pretty awesome thing. I am going to print it, and pin it on my board.

  37. I am starving for social media traffic since facebook has updated its news feed algorithm. Do you recommend any method which will boost my posts reach Neil?

    Looking forward to hear from you.

    • Ryan, I think getting great content out there is your best bet. I started getting a ton of traction once I started blogging more, personally.

  38. This was awesome article for newbies who are starving to get social media referral traffic for their blogs.

    Thanks for sharing.

  39. Belinda Summers :

    I mean we should NOT take for granted these little details.

  40. Prakash Yuvaraj :

    Hello Neil ! Great infographic. Thanks for the Article . Please Write about Google Double Click . Thanks

  41. David Kley :

    So, I started using this guide, and guess what? It actually works! I mainly use Google+ and twitter, but using this guide made more people engage with what I had to say. I also think that since this guide makes you think more in depth about what you are typing, your overall posts are better targeted at users.

    Great article Patel. Been using this info for about 2 weeks now, seems to work great. Going to try the facebook words next.

    • Neil Patel :

      David, glad you found it helpful. Please let me know if you need any help with anything πŸ™‚

  42. Lakhyajyoti :

    Another great infographic. I must say it is very useful for a newbie like me. Thanks for the share, Neil.

  43. Jual Mukena :

    Social media sites are much important than it was in past.I do hootsuite for my sites and it’s really an effective tool I must say

  44. John Frusciante :

    Thanks. Was looking about how I could drive more traffic from social media sites onto my blog and this article would definitely help me out mate. πŸ™‚

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  51. Another great post – thanks so much Neil. You are quickly becoming my go-to resource for many content marketing and general content-related questions. I just moved into a new marketing content role and there is a bit of a learning curve. Keep up the good work! Thanks

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  55. Just came across this article linked from a search engine watch article. We’ve started doing Social Media marketing and using these ‘words best practices’ have been tremendously helpful to us. Thanks neil!

  56. I am an avid reader of you Neil. I’m going to try the social media trick for my movie blog. Wishing you all the very best and thanks for the tips! In right hands, these are golden nuggets.


  57. Nishant singh :

    Neil Patel sir,

    First of all i will say thanks for this article. This was awesome article for newbies who are starving to get social media referral traffic for their blogs.

    Thanks for sharing.

  58. Haiming Jiang :

    Content is the king and all the words you use actually matter. Yes, the use of certain words will have a great impact on your fan following and this is what people should be aware of if they want to drive traffic to their website. I’m an SEO expert at and I have experience with content, so I can safely say that while writing the content it is important for a person to take utmost care because the content can either make or break the deal.

  59. I will implement Facebook Strategy for my Business Website !
    Thanks a lot !

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