Looking for more reach via social shares?
By making a few adjustments to how you create, publish, and post your content, you can increase the likelihood that others will share it more often.
In this article, you'll discover six tips to help you maximize your social shares.
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#1: Research Trending Topics
It pays to do your research ahead of time. Having a better understanding of what successful content looks like in your industry increases the likelihood of it being shared.
Use a tool like BuzzSumo to help identify top shared content.
You can search for top shared content pertaining to a topic or keyword, results sorted by overall shares.
Alternatively, you can search by domain to view top shared content specific to a website.
You get a comprehensive breakdown of shares per social network, which helps you decide where to focus your efforts.
PostReach is another great tool to measure content performance across each social network. Simply enter an article's URL in PostReach and run a free report.
In addition, you can also run a total share breakdown report.
For further exploration, you can view detailed Twitter share activity.
You can plot Twitter activity across a share timeline.
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You can also see which users most retweeted the article and view your overall reach through sharer audience sizes.
Finally, you can zero in on specific sharers and potential influencers with a detailed inventory of sharers provided at the bottom of the report.
Keep in mind, the purpose of this research is not to duplicate existing content, but rather to identify popular topics in your niche and add something new to the conversation.
Make it your goal to go above and beyond top shared content.
#2: Make Sharing Easy for Blog Visitors
Your audience is more likely to share content when it takes minimal effort. If your website already receives regular traffic, take advantage of the potential social shares by designing your most popular content for easy sharing.
An effective approach is to implement social buttons on your website. If you operate a WordPress site, there's plenty of useful plugins for one-click sharing buttons, including Social Pug.
The way your content reads can also encourage social engagement.
Have a great tip to share in an article? Post a share button directly below your article, as demonstrated by Brian Dean of Backlinko.
You can create a unique call to action using ClickToTweet. To start, enter your desired text in the text box and click Generate New Link. Make sure it includes a link back to your post.
You can embed the code in the appropriate part of your content.
#3: Provide Context in Headlines
There's a strong chance your content is being snubbed if your headline fails to grab people. It becomes increasingly important to hook your audience with a headline, as online attention spans continue to dwindle.
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Social audiences tend to favor snackable content; bite-sized pieces that quickly convey their intent. BuzzFeed articles are essentially engineered to take advantage of this trend: easily consumed and shared. They further entice the audience to read the content by addressing them individually. For example, you'll encounter dozens of instances of “you” and “your” throughout.
What else goes into a headline worth clicking? Conductor analyzed user preferences and found that users tend to gravitate towards numbers, personalization, educational resources, and questions. When shared, a well-crafted headline functions like a status update, in that it will summarize the user's opinion or awareness of a subject.
Want your best content to receive more shares across social networks? Start thinking about your headlines in a social context.
#4: Capitalize on Visual Interest
Attach images to your posts to help them stand out and benefit your social efforts.
Invest resources in quality images to maximize post visibility. Some stock photo sources are free to use, provided you meet the terms of their licensing agreement.
While stock photos provide an option, you may prefer to create custom images that better showcase your brand. Don't have a graphic designer on hand? Use tools like Canva to create images to accompany your post. You can choose from premade templates that can easily be customized with text. It's perfect for adding taglines that complement your attention-grabbing headlines.
You can begin by signing up for a free account. After logging in, click on Create a Design and choose a design. The Social Media Posts section may be a good place to start.
Many of the templates are free. Select a template to start work on a custom image.
Next, click the text to edit.
It's easy to craft something that complements your headline whenever possible.
#5: Prioritize Your Social Outreach by Network
Audiences vary greatly across social networks and accounting for their unique demographics helps you prioritize those relevant to your business.
- Facebook has the largest total user base. Users are more likely to share content that affects them personally because their networks typically consist of friends and family.
- Twitter has the second-largest user base and skews younger. It primarily functions as a news source and a real-time conversation hub for trending topics.
- LinkedIn consists of working adults and industry professionals seeking networking opportunities. It's the ideal network to demonstrate thought leadership and provide detailed product information.
- Pinterest has a large female user base with traffic predominantly attributed to mobile devices. It remains a popular source for more “consumable” shares, including recipes and crafting guides.
- Google+ still remains active and is considered a hub for tech-savvy individuals, such as frontline developers.
#6: Post During Peak User Hours
Want to give yourself the best chance possible for social shares and engagement? There's a certain window of time you'll want to target. Posting during peak hours greatly enhances your ability to attract shares and other meaningful engagement.
According to HubSpot research, the ideal windows of engagement are as follows:
- Post on Facebook on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 1:00 PM, or between 3:00 and 4:00 PM on Wednesdays or 1:00 and 4:00 PM on Thursdays and Fridays.
- Twitter is typically used at work and at home, but mostly during downtimes like long commutes and breaks. Post to Twitter from 12:00 to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. Also possibly 5:00 to 6:00 PM on Wednesdays.
- Professionals use LinkedIn, most often during work hours, but not all day. Post to LinkedIn early in the day (7:30 to 8:30 AM), or lunchtime (12:00 PM), and finally near the end of the day (5:00 to 6:00 PM) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
- Pinterest skews to female users, who are most active in the evening. Post new content to Pinterest between 2:00 and 4:00 AM and evening hours every day. Also, Fridays around 5:00 PM. Finally, the best time to post to Pinterest is Saturdays between 8:00 and 11:00 PM.
It's important to note that there's no universal posting window or one-size-fits-all approach. Engagement is shaped by many factors, including social network, region, goals (clicks vs. shares), and how audiences interact with the social network overall. You'll ultimately want to experiment with your own content to find out what works best for your business.
Winning more social shares for your content means winning over audiences.
You'll need to put in the effort to create the type of content people want to share. With great material in place, you can leverage creative opportunities to promote it and generate more exposure.
Time to get to work!
What do you think? Can you use these tools to drive more social shares? Please let us know in the comments below!
Hourglass photo from Shutterstock.
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