In what to some people feels like a few brief years, social media and its many variations has taken-over our society. It’s mind-blowing to think that there are people who don’t remember life before such social platforms as Facebook or its predecessors like MySpace. Now the list seems to grow yearly with new ways to share content found on the web: Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Google+, and Tumblr among many more all seem to be jostling for position in the market. Keeping track of all of them can be mind-blowing. What does a small business owner with limited time and other resources do?
The first thing to keep in mind are your goals: why are you on Facebook, Pinterest, or some other social media platform? If you are like most businesses on there, it’s to be found by potential customers and to direct them back to your website.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you gain as much exposure as possible is to make the content on your site as shareable as possible. This goes two ways: make people want to share your content, as well as making it easily shareable. In a nutshell, the 5 ways to get your content to go viral on social media are:
- creating quality content
- keeping your headlines short, interesting, yet still relevant to your content
- writing enticing meta descriptions
- including great photography or images
- making sure your content is easy to share
Create Quality Content
Between all the various sources of media coming at the typical consumer these days, whatever you’re pushing-out needs to stand-out. Boring or uninteresting information (or information no one would ever really need) are not items that are going to incite your fans to share with their friends and family. Examples on the web are myriad: one of my favorites is a blog that hasn’t been updated in a while for obvious reasons. Nothing says gripping reading like an update on the parking situation at the Calgary airport.
As we’ve explained recently, a headline can be the sole decider as to whether someone reads your content (try to remember why you opened this particular article, for example). Be sure to check-out our article on creating great headlines for more information.
Enticing Meta Descriptions
When sharing items to their platforms, many social media sites will pull descriptions of the page from the URL’s meta description. If your meta description is catchy or intriguing (and limited in the number of characters), you’ll be able to increase visits from both organic search traffic and your fans on social media. For a stiff description of meta descriptions, see Moz’s explanation.
Feature Great Images
The human mind processes images 60,000 times faster than text, so if you have one image in your content, make sure it counts. More than a few blogs we’ve written for our customers has gone viral and led to a significant amount of traffic to our site with the only difference being a particularly fantastic photo.
Make Your Content Easy to Share
This is extremely important. We recently tested making content easily shared on a handful of our customers and witnessed some great results. Just by having share options readily available to website visitors, we witnessed increases of up to 1,100%! This is also a good plug for testing and verifying the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. Our results seem to match much of the marketing industry, as well: a recent study by BrightTechnologies, an SEO platform, found that sites with social sharing buttons lead to seven times more mentions on social media sites than those that do not. After all that work of creating great content, don’t forget to go for the low-hanging fruit and make it as easy as possible for your fans to share with everyone and their mom. Addthis and Sharethis are two great tools to implement easy social sharing buttons on your site.
You now have all the tools you need to create great content to share on your social media sites. Enjoy all that extra buzz!