3 Secrets to Getting More Social Shares… Without Turning Off Your Readers

home-office-569153_1280-300x181  If you’re on top of your marketing game, you should be in the habit of sharing each new post your write on the social web. If you are not seeing the results you want on social media because you’re not getting many likes, shares and comments, then you’re doing something wrong. As social media consultant Ann Tran states “We cannot take a shortcut to learning social media, just like you can’t shortcut your way to being an expert in any other job or industry”. Using social media correctly requires learning what works well and what doesn’t.

Yes, social sharing can go far in helping you succeed in marketing your business. But you need to know what prompts your readers to hit the like button, leave a comment and share the content you post. You also need to know what annoys your readers so they don’t continue to ignore you. Here are 3 secrets to getting more social shares without turning off your readers.

Use High Quality Images to Stand Out

It’s very difficult to stand out from the never-ending stream of text-based content that’s on the web today. But because people are drawn to images, adding images to your posts will improve your share rates — that is as long as those images are of very good quality, relevant to your topic and include a message that draws attention. As content marketing specialist Jayson DeMers states “When implemented properly, images can complement and enhance your content, catch the interest of new readers, and improve your  chances of getting found through organic searches”.

Even though signing up for an account at site offering high quality & unique stock images does cost money, it would be money well spent because most everyone else is using those run-of-the-mill, boring photos they find for free online. Whenever possible, add a call-to-action to the image itself as this is a great way to raise your click-through rates.

Share Your Content When Your Audience is The Most Active

Timing is everything they say as there’s a best time to make that commute across town, to hit the gym and to eat a meal. Timing affects how people behave in their day-to-day interactions whether we realize it or not and the same holds true for social sharing.

If you are in the habit of posting to social media when it’s convenient for you, the chances are you’re missing most of your audience. So what’s the point? There are best times and days of the week to post on all the social platforms. For instance, generally the best days for posting on Facebook are Thursdays and Fridays while the ideal time for clicks and shares tends to be between 1pm and 3pm. There are many useful tools out there that analyze your followers to discover when you should be posting.  Once you know when to post, come up with a posting schedule and stick with it so you’re consistent.

Create Curiosity with Your Titles/Headlines

Your title/headline is the first thing people see and judge your content by. If it’s too revealing, they’ll ignore it. If it’s too vague, they’ll be annoyed and click away and if it’s too specific, they’ll feel they don’t need to click and read further. Your headlines need to peak the curiosity of your readers so they will want to read your content. Of course, in order to make people curious, you first need to establish what your topic is and then come up with an alluring headline that entices curiosity. Try to use words and phrases like “exciting”, “secret”, you won’t believe” and “surprising” to draw people in.

Of course, it will take some practice and fine-tuning to get your headlines right. If you need inspiration, take a look at some of the headlines used by Upworthy, Buzzfeed and Viral Nova as these sites boast having many headlines that went viral.

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