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social media how toWant more exposure for your website content?

Does your site make it easy for readers to share?

With a few simple tips, you can boost the appeal of your website content and optimize your posts for easy sharing on social channels.

In this article you’ll discover four ways to make your website content more shareable.

increase social shares of website content

Discover how to increase social shares of your website content.

Listen to this article:

#1: Optimize Images

Images and rich media are driving more results for brands than ever before, so it’s important that your images are appealing and shareable on social networks.

Keep in mind that images that look great on a web page won’t necessarily look good in a social post. To evaluate images, create a social post and add the URL of the page you’re evaluating. You can quickly see if there are any issues with the cropping, sizing or format of images.

website url posting test

Insert a URL in a post to test images for sizing and formatting.

If your images are cut off or too close up (or far away), you may need to revisit your image sizes. Square images look clean across all social networks, but what if you’re interested only in Facebook or Pinterest?

Every social network has a perfect image size for posts. If you’re interested in optimizing your images for just a few networks, look at the best image dimensions for just those networks.

Sprout Social’s guide to social media image sizes is a great resource because it’s constantly updated to include any design changes to the major social platforms. Just focus on what image sizes to use for posts on your top social network, and you’re all set.

pinterest image dimension recommendations

Image size recommendations for Pinterest pins.

Next, you need to evaluate the content of your images. HubSpot has a handy infographic of what a successful social media post looks like by network. It gives some great pointers on how to optimize your images for each platform.

For Facebook, your images should be simple and mobile-friendly. Again, test images by posting them and then looking at the posts on a smartphone to see how they look.

The Pinterest section of the infographic offers some great platform-specific tips, but the most useful recommendations are for color and saturation. HubSpot says images with dominant colors—such as red, dark green and pink—are more effective. The same is true for images with only 50% color saturation versus 100%.

These HubSpot tips are fairly universal, but if you’re interested in optimizing for only a single network, make sure you review that section of the infographic more closely.

#2: Fine-Tune Meta Data

After you’ve optimized your images, the next element to review is your meta data. For social media posts, the two most important pieces of meta data are the page title and description.

On Facebook, for example, the four things people see when sharing a web page are the image, title, description and comments from the person sharing the page.

website article posting test

The title and description in this Facebook post give the reader a clear idea of what to expect when they click through.

While you can’t control what people write in their posts, you can control everything else. Generally you want meta data to be as clear and concise as possible.

For titles, the shorter the better. Create titles under 100 characters (including spaces) to make sure they’re viewed in their entirety on social posts. I’ve found that titles with fewer than 60 characters work best.

Descriptions can be a little longer. Most brands use two to three sentences, but it’s best to keep descriptions under 250 characters (including spaces).

When writing titles and descriptions, it’s important to keep keywords in mind, as most social networks have their own keyword-based search engines. Using the right keywords helps you stay visible not only to the main feed, but also to anyone searching for the topic on that social network.

title search in pinterest for keyword suggestions

Type a potential page title in the Pinterest search box to see related keywords.

To find useful keywords, you can always use the Google Keyword Planner, but another underutilized tool is the search engines within each social network. Type your potential page title in the search bar of the social network (for example, in Pinterest, as shown below) and see what other words are commonly used.

#3: Add Share Buttons

You want to make your content easy for people to share on their social networks. Major blogs and publications excel at this, so before you start adding share buttons, take a look at how your favorite publications use share buttons to see what you like the best.

When choosing social share buttons, you need to consider which ones work best for your web page design. This article from Angie Pascale walks you through how to customize social share buttons for your site.

If you want all-inclusive plugins, AddThis and ShareThis are great options, but you can also get buttons natively from individual platforms, as Angie describes in her post. For example, it’s a good idea to get the Pin It button from Pinterest because it lives on top of the images on your site instead of just along the side or top of your regular content.

No matter what type of share buttons you choose, the three most important things to keep in mind are customization, prominent placement and tracking. While you can’t control what people say about your web page, you can give them a suggestion.

twitter share button text for huffington post article

The Huffington Post’s Twitter handle is included with posts shared on the site.

Twitter is especially customizable when it comes to share buttons. For example, the Huffington Post adds their Twitter handle to every post shared directly from their site.

BuzzFeed also does a great job with their share buttons, making them visible at the top of all of their posts. You might also notice their follow buttons are placed prominently on the right handle rail.

buzzfeed share buttons

BuzzFeed’s share buttons appear at the top of every post.

If someone is willing to share your content once, they may also want to follow your social channels to get more content. So make your follow buttons easy to find.

Whether you’re using custom shortened links, plugins or a custom tracking system, make sure you’re getting some kind of analytics on your social share and follow buttons. This can be a very simple test to see which pages on your site perform the best on social media.

I’ve found that engagement levels on brand pages sometimes don’t match the amount of times a piece of content is shared from the site itself. If that’s the case with your brand, you have an opportunity to optimize your content somewhere.

AddThis, for example, has analytics that will track all of your website’s shares and follows.

addthis share metrics

Use AddThis to track your shares.

AddThis also tracks your follows.

addthis follower metrics

Check your follower stats in AddThis.

#4: Give Visitors a Reason to Come Back

It’s important to keep your content fresh to give people a reason to keep coming back to your site and sharing more content. Check with a relevant online publication to see how often you should be refreshing your content.

Keep in mind that your daily competitors on social media aren’t typically brands in your industry. You’re competing against publications and unrelated brands for your customer’s attention. To gain an edge, you have to give your visitors a reason to share your content.

Coca-Cola created the brilliant Share a Coke campaign where they customized each Coke bottle with a person’s name on it. People were encouraged to buy Cokes for people when they saw bottles with their names on them.

coca-cola share a coke campaign image

Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign encouraged people to post their experiences on social media.

This campaign was not just a great way to boost sales though. The company encouraged consumers to post to Facebook or Twitter to ask their friends to look out for bottles of Coke with their name on it. Coca-Cola provided a clear reason for consumers to share the page, and the campaign was a huge success.

If you’re interested in more ideas for improving your calls to action, check out this article by Heidi Cohen.

Conclusion

I hope this article gave you a few new ideas on how to make your web pages more sharable and more compatible with social media platforms.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these tactics? What have you done to make your content more shareable? Please leave your comments below.

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  • Great post Greg and Social Media Examiner. It’s amazing the difference of reach by taking a few minutes to correctly optimize and crop your photos like you said for different social channels. Good idea to test them first before sharing.

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  • Hi Greg Miller,

    Nice post, I read from my favourite blog about the #hashtag techniques that is being used to differentiate our post search and also helps us for increase in social shares. You’ve seen that in Twitter that some post with the #hash tag specification has high attention towards audience, is that same is works in Facebook as well ..May I Know your thoughts on that ?

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    This is absolutely brilliant, Greg. Thank you for your in-depth analysis of a successful social post. In addition, thank you for connecting us to very relevant sources.

    Kitto

  • Tamika Hall

    Great post!

  • Great post!

    You may also consider adding videos to your content. A quick video can be easily shared. If you receive a great response, you can always film longer videos, e.g., training and events.

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  • You are very welcome. I love the Social Media Examiner readers. The are such a great group of people that are constantly looking to better their business.

  • Thanks for reading.

  • Thanks. And great tip, Amandah! We are actually working now on a process for deciding when is best to embed a Youtube video and when is best to embed something that gives you deeper analytics like Wistia. You may have just inspired my next blog post. Thank you.

  • Happy to inspire your next post. 🙂

  • crowie

    Great post Greg, currently rebulding our website at the moment and we are building in social media tools to enable us to capture the right size images, titles, text etc for the social media channels we want to feature on so great to read that we are on the right tracks. Have been using Addthis for a few years now and their analytics are great for seeing how people are interacting with our articles.

  • Samson Sundar

    What is your idea about guest blogging ?

    Samson Sundar

  • I believe on infographic rather than simple images. It is because, I have found the best result on my blog when I’ve updated infographic there instead of any other image.

  • treb072410

    Great post Greg!! The post is very informative and very useful.. Thanks for sharing..

  • Great to hear, Crowie! Keep up the good work.

  • Hi Samson, Not sure if I understand the question. I am a fan of guest blogging as long as the authors at least get some credit and are allowed to link back to their website. Hope that helps.

  • Hi James, Sounds like you are using a good testing method then. Facebook for example, will usually recommend using images with no text, but for organic results, this may not work for all brands. Staying on top of your analytics and constantly testing is always the best way to form a social strategy.

  • Thanks for reading!

  • #4 tops them off when you truly show value. Thanks for the simple list!

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  • I thank Greg Miller for such a well-written and detailed post. Enough of these guidelines from this post but I use, but there are a lot of things that I did not know and never applied. I think we will all this help. Thanks again for the post Greg Miller.

  • Thanks you Greg for this simple but effective masterpiece. When I optimized my images with name tags, I saw a significant change in my ranking. Also your images are searchable.

  • Good post really, i have seen so many times that a particular content goes viral own its own. To have impressive content isn’t enough, but we need to know the ways of being viral. Both the aspects are important in order to get more shares! Thank-you for your support, stay with us!

  • kiera

    Hi Mr Miller

    Greetings for the Day !!
    Thanks for the wonderful Article !!
    Yes these tips are very useful for our team , we have started doing all the things for our website and Facebook page, but still we are not getting as good result can you help us in this matter.

  • Yes, sometimes simple stuff do wonders.

  • Joseph

    how do i maximize the numbers of share button?

  • Later

    You can casually incorporate your social networking accounts to share it on all of them. You can use such paid advertising to promote your post if you have extra money or encourage your friends to share your posts also.

  • rhyslittle

    Hi Greg, we’re using basic share buttons on our site, but I’m not convinced about the effectiveness – https://despark.com/ – personally I’ve noticed big performance improvements when combined with micro-interactions but I’m also worried about over using them!