You can’t help but feel that little rush of jealousy when you see a just-average piece of content getting tons of shares, likes and tweets.
What’s that post got that yours doesn’t? Your content is stellar, your infographics perfectly designed. So why aren’t more people sharing them?
The secret of getting your content shared by more people isn’t always producing better stuff – sometimes it’s making better connections or just thinking a little differently.
Here are 15 strategies, tips and tricks that prove that point – use them to take your great content that extra mile.
1. Interview Influencers
In every industry, there’s someone whose opinion holds lots of sway – but how do you get on his or her radar?
An email interview takes up only a few minutes of your influencer’s time and gives you a chance to ask smart, thought-provoking questions that show you’ve done your homework to get to know them (you have done that, right?)
The resulting content puts your brand right next to this influencer in readers’ minds – and there’s a good chance he or she will share it, too.
2. Ask For Ideas
As you get started thinking about a new piece of content, “try asking for feedback from customers, influencers, and anyone else in your community (or who you want to be in your community),” suggests Mack Fogelson of Mack Web Solutions, who credits this tip to Rob Ousbey at Distilled.
“When you include them in the conversation… those people who provided feedback feel like they had buy-in because they’ve been part of the process,” says Fogelson.” This motivates them to share with their audience.”
3. Reference Others
Nobody likes an over-the-top name dropper, but it’s hard not to feel flattered – and share – when it’s your name being dropped.
“It creates a bond and positive feelings when they see you quote them or name-drop them,” says Aaron Friedman, who, perhaps not coincidentally, was one of Search Engine Land’s best-read columnists of 2012.
“Many articles I have written, the first people to share them and comment on them are the people who I have name dropped,” Friedman shared.
4. Share Strategically
Make sharing others’ content a big part of your social media strategy – and do it smartly.
“Eighty percent of the time, share stuff that other people have created that you think is really remarkable and would help your community,” Fogelson says. “The creators of the value that you’re sharing appreciate you sharing their stuff and are motivated to return the favor.”
5. Get Noticed When You Share
“If you want to get on the radar of someone with a significant amount of followers, clicking the ‘Tweet’ button on their articles or posts isn’t going to get you noticed,” says Wayne Barker of Boom Online.
“Add value to see reciprocation. Use a quote from the post rather than the title. Better still, add your own insight – it takes 30 seconds.”
6. Make A List
Everyone you have a relationship with – friends, professional acquaintances, your realtor – is a potential ambassador for you.
Make note of those who have some goals or interests that align with what you do and pay them some extra attention – with no particular favor in mind.
“A solid relationship built over time will mean that they may come looking to your streams for new and interesting content,” says Barker.
7. Form Alliances
Once you’ve got a strong circle of like-minded people, nurture those relationships by asking if they’ve got something you might share for them. When you need a little help, reach out to them, too. It doesn’t have to be a 100% reciprocal, tit-for-tat approach – you’re just helping each other succeed when it makes sense.
“We try to surround ourselves with like-minded, talented people. And our talented friends should be the first we think of,” Friedman says. “If they see you thinking this way, they will too.”
8. Join Communities
There are also ready-made communities you can tap into to grow your sphere of contacts and friends. The sheer number of marketing Twitter chats alone can help you get started plugging into a community, not to mention forums, Google+ Communities and more.
But remember: this isn’t the place to immediately go in hawking your latest infographic. Build up a little goodwill by hanging out first.
9. Ask Nicely
Social media is a noisy place – so much so that even your most ardent supporters can sometimes miss your latest news.
If you’ve produced something you know a specific acquaintance or supporter would want to hear about, it’s OK to give them a heads-up once in a while.
Blanketing the social Web begging people you barely know to share each of your new posts? Not so OK.
10. Write Guest Posts
Broaden your potential audience by blogging in more that one spot. Guest blogs are a great way to introduce your content to a new crowd, and the connections you make working with an editor on a guest post can also lead to a beneficial future relationship.
11. Reward Sharers
Finally beginning to see some new faces share your stuff? Respond thoughtfully to comments, and remember that a personalized thank you goes a long way towards starting a long-term relationship with your new fans. Better yet, check out their blogs and see if you can return the favor sometime.
12. Get Personal
The people who can help you spread your content have interests outside of work, and so do you – so show a little personality in your content and social media presence.
“Why not use it to help you make connections?” says Barker. “I have been cc’ing others on non-work-related content for some time, be it music, books, Back to the Future timelines and strange pictures. Don’t be afraid to inject your personality into all that you do.”
13. Get To The Good Stuff
If you want people to share, don’t make your headline do all the work by itself – pull the most irresistibly shareable stuff to the forefront.
Tease a link on Twitter by focusing on a curious statistic. Post a story to Facebook by highlighting an intriguing quote. Make sure the jaw-dropping data from that study goes into a Pinterest-perfect chart.
14. Make It Visual
It’s no secret people are drawn to visual content online, so give them what they want. Use more and bigger photos and visuals. Create Pin-able pullquote images to go with your posts. Add text to an image (like Marketing Land does, at right) to make it clear to users what they’re sharing or clicking on.
15. Use Psychology
Sharing is more about the sharer than the content itself. People share content for many reasons: to build a connection with someone, to start a conversation, to share their humor and more. Think through each new piece of content from the point of view of your potential sharer.
What tactics have helped you get more shares for your content? Add to my list in the comments.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.