Time to read: 3 minutes
Below are the top 3 theories I use to increase sharing on social media.
Whether “you” (yes YOU) are a business, an individual, a media company, or a community organization, the number one reason why people don’t share your stories on social media is…you didn’t ask them to. Ask your readers/friends/customers to share!
You can make a share “ask” in a variety of ways. A simple Facebook or Twitter sharing box on your site is an invitation. A short sentence at the bottom of an article with a call to action is appropriate sometimes (“Do you know a woman who could benefit from this article on breast cancer? Please share this life-saving information right now.”). A cute catchphrase could work (“You know you liked that…now why not share it?”
A second reason could be the content was high quality, but didn’t resonate with the reader in that I-wish-I-would-have-thought-of-that kind of way. Please refer to my super-sophisticated venn diagram below:
Often I’m asked why high quality content doesn’t get shared at the same rate as seemingly um, not-so-high quality content (here’s lookin’ at you, Mr. Kitty Cuteness). It might get viewed at a high rate…but why not shared? The answer is because the media has to feel like an authentic expression of the viewer’s personality and views to be shared. There are lots of interesting things we all read, but most of them are not precise enough depictions of our own viewpoints to want to share all of them.
Have you ever read an op-ed and immediately thought “Oh! I always thought that! I just never knew how to articulate it! I wish I would have written this article!”? Yes, you have. We all have. That is a very unique and exciting and super motivational feeling. When a reader is in this space, there is a higher likelihood that the reader will share — not simply because the piece was well-done, but precisely because the reader wished he/she had said it. The second best thing to writing a beautifully articulated article of your opinions and views, is sharing it on social media.
A third central sharing incentive is the social capital one might gain by bringing helpful information to their social networks. That’s worth a lot to an individual sharer. Don’t believe me? The weather is one of the most shared topics on Facebook. (“Don’t forget your umbrella today! It’s going to pour!”) It’s not particularly interesting, but it could be particularly helpful. It also draws people around a common, shared experience.
The next time you create media for social sharing, ask yourself if you have one of these three philosophies engaged. Measure clicking and sharing separately to see if you can specifically impact sharing.
‘Til next time.