When it comes to getting more traffic, attention and higher rankings, there is one concept that is starting to have a huge impact on those goals.
And that is Increasing the number of shares your content gets across social media.
That means if you write a post that gets 500 tweets, 100 likes and 40 +1s…and you do that consistently…you are bound to grow your traffic and your search engine rankings.
So, how do you get people to share you content across the social web? Here are 10 ways to do it:
Tactic #1: Making social sharing buttons very visible
Never force people to hunt down your social sharing buttons. Instead, make them obvious.
For instance, I use a social sharing plug in that allows my buttons to scroll up and down the post as people scroll through it:
The other place to include buttons is at the end of the article.
Tactic #2: Ask readers to share content through social channels
Most of your readers won’t read your content and think “I want to share this.” That’s why you have to encourage them to share it.
Even though it was a study of re-tweets, Dan Zarella proved that tweets that simply asked people to “please RT” generated 4 times as many RTs as tweets without the phrase did.
Unfortunately, too many people simply drop the social sharing bar plug-in at the end of the post and hope people will use it.
You have to tell them to use it!
Here are some other tips on encouraging social sharing:
- Test for the best location – I haven’t found anybody to tell me where the best location for the social sharing CTA should be…as it is probably going to be different for every blog.
- Boost social sharing numbers immediately – Nobody wants to feel like they are the first sharing your content, so get the numbers increased by sharing the content yourself and asking people to share it.
Tactic #3: Tap influencers in social content
Your social sharing numbers can get a jolt of life when a social media thought leader shares your content. They can even crash your servers.
But how do you even get these authority figures to tweet or post about your content on Facebook or Google+? You have to build a relationship with them.
Here’s how to gain the attention of these influencers:
- Post round-ups – Write a blog post once a month that gathers all the best content for the week…including a few content pieces from the blogs of these authority figures. Do this often enough, and they will notice you.
- Post lists on a specific topic – This is like the weekly or monthly round-ups except you are creating a resource or guide for a particular topic, like I did with my Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest or 100 Ways to Become a Twitter Power User. Include some of these authority figures in your list post.
- Interviews – Take the time to reach out to some of these authority figures and offer to interview them. Do your research and find a topic they haven’t talked about in a previous interview.
- Always link to them – Get in a habit of linking to these authority figures on every piece of content you write. The more links you send out, the better.
Go a step further and contact these people when you publish your content and ask them to tweet or share it every once in a while.
Tactic #4: Multiply your social sharing reach through Triberr
Triberr is a social site that leverages the strength of numbers by gathering like-minded bloggers together in a “tribe.” That tribe will get you a lot of benefits, including:
- Automatic social sharing – When you join Triberr, you join a tribe. And the system is set up so that the moment you post content, the members in that tribe will automatically tweet your content.
- Increase reach of your content – By joining different “Tribes,” you expand your network across these different audiences. For example, one Triberr member who belongs to 6 tribes has a reach of over 6 million Twitter followers. Talk about a boost in social sharing!
- More high-quality visits to your site – Each tribe is created to focus on a specific niche…so your extended audience will be focused on people who are like-minded.
- More comments – Because this automatic tweet extends your reach and drives higher-quality content to your site, you will naturally experience more comments on your site.
Tactic #5: Using Sponsored Tweets
If you have a budget for social sharing, then you can tap into the power of Sponsored Tweets. This is basically a platform that connects advertisers with high-powered Twitter users who sell their tweets.
You can be very selective with whom you work like choosing a maximum amount per tweet you are willing to pay and a minimum number of followers the Twitter users need to have:
Among those who are more famous you can advertise with are celebrities like Carrot Top, Bethanney Frankel and Kendra Wilkinson.
I wouldn’t recommend you do this on every post as that might get pricey, and you should only do this with relevant Twitter users. For example, you wouldn’t want to pay a celebrity to tweet about your blog post on SEO.
To learn more, check out their Code of Ethics.
Tactic #6: Using Facebook’s Sponsored Stories
A Sponsored Story is a post from someone’s FB feed that an advertiser paid to highlight in the sidebar, so there is a better chance it will get seen among their friends.
This sidebar is 240 pixels wide and will only show up in that FB user’s friends’ streams…meaning it won’t go public across FB. The idea behind Sponsored Story is to leverage your friend’s recommendation of your brand.
Basically, what happens is someone posts something about you, your blog or brand…you catch wind of that mention…and then you pay to have it show up in the Sponsored Story spot.
You can use Sponsored Story for a number of Facebook user activities:
- Likes – When someone likes your Facebook page, you can pay to highlight that “Like.” The nice thing about this is the “Like” button will show up in the Sponsored Story so that people like it immediately…thus driving up your social shares.
- Page post – You can sponsor actual posts that Facebook users publish. These will show up in the sidebar with a “Share” button to generate even more “Shares.”
- Page post “Like” – If someone “Likes” a Facebook post in the last seven days, you can also promote this to a Sponsored Story.
- Blog “Likes” – You can also promote “Likes” that originate from your blog or website.
- Apps – If a Facebook user shares a story using your app, you can promote this action too.
Again, since this is a paid way to promote social shares, you won’t want to promote every single like or post. Be strategic with which content you want to grow in social shares.
Tactic #7: Create a social sharing-worthy brand
I’ve spent years and lots of money promoting my brand so that when people see my name, my blog or one of my companies, they think of someone who is influential on the Internet.
In other words, my brand shows people that I am an authority. Here’s how I grew my brand…and how you can too:
- Create detailed and heavily research posts on your blog – I’ll talk more about this below, but it’s enough to say that your strategy is to give your followers content that they want and love. It should always be useful and valuable in their eyes.
- Share content and interact across the social web – Give your followers great information that helps them solve their problems and entertain them. Mix business with fun.
- Comment on other blogs – This means to read, share and take the time to engage not only with the author of the content, but his or her followers as well. Choose a few blogs at first. Ideally they should be popular ones.
- Attend and speak at conferences – You can’t spend all your time online! Get offline and travel to conferences to meet influential thought leaders. Buy them drinks and dinners so you can pick their brains and exchange links.
- Grow your social networks – My best recommendation for you is to focus on growing one network, then moving to the next. For instance, you could focus on Twitter, Facebook and then Google+.
When you build a brand that people know, recognize and trust, your own social sharing numbers will grow as well. It takes time though, so be patient.
Tactic #8: Leverage your personal social circles
And once you have that social sharing-worthy brand, your own network will grow and allow you to use it.
If you want to increase your social sharing numbers, then you need to take the time to promote others. And as you promote others, even if they already have a huge following, they will notice you and be happy to do you a favor if you ask.
This could be as easy as emailing them and asking them to write a blog post about you. Or you could tweet them and ask them to “share” the content. If you’ve laid the groundwork over the years, then more than likely they’ll do it.
Tactic #9: Bribe your followers
You can easily increase the likelihood of your content getting shared if you pay off your followers. But how do you do this without going broke?
Give away free content.
Well, not just any free content. I’m talking about white papers, ebooks or podcasts…content that you have to download. Here are some ways I like to bribe followers to share my content:
- Offer links – Choose a few power Twitter users, Facebook fan pages or Google+ thought leaders and ask them to share your content. In exchange, you’ll create a post telling people who shared the content. Keep in mind…these don’t have to be super stars. These can be people who are in the same tier as you are, so that the exchange is pretty even.
- Put a Cloudflood button on your site – This service by Viper Chill will make people share the content before they download it. Once they share it, they can get the free content. Create a cloudflood button here.
- Run a contest – Run a little competition among your followers to see how many people can share your content across the social web. The winner gets a prize and a link.
Tactic #10: Produce content that’s worth sharing
I saved the best for last because increasing your social sharing numbers starts with creating great content. I’ve written about this so much that it’s worth sharing some of those posts. I hope they will help you create content assets that people will want to share without you having to nudge them.
Here are seven:
- Neil Patel’s Guide to Blogging
- How to Write a Blog Post
- A Quick and Dirty Guide to Your First Guest Post
- The Neil Patel Guide to Writing Blog Posts
- Forget Blogging as Usual: 5 Outrageous Tips for Super-Sized Attention
- Your How-To Post Will Fail If You Don’t Use These Techniques
- The 10 Golden Rules to Attracting Authority Links
Increasing the number of shares your content gets across the social web is a numbers game. It’s a game that the 10 tips above will help you play and win.
And when you start winning that game, a number of things will happen: you’ll get more traffic, more attention and higher rankings in the search engines, which will be a nice reward for all of your hard work.