Checking the numbers of shares and retweets is something we do every day, and when the numbers are low – worse, zero – it’s difficult not to feel demotivated.
There’s no shame in admitting that.
We put a lot of work into our content – from honing our writing skills to content ideation to the actual writing. It’s only natural to want our work to be appreciated, and social shares are (just) one indication of that.
But why are your posts not getting any, or as much, shares as you expected? You know it’s not a matter of quality. So, what are you doing wrong?
Consider these following factors:
One, you have tunnel vision. You’re focused – that’s good – but maybe you’re too focused on one thing that you forget other elements. In this case, you may be throwing all your efforts into one social media platform and ignoring all the others which may bring you more shares.
Two, you are all over the place. On the flipside, your efforts may be going to waste because you’re trying to cover all your bases and spreading yourself too thinly, resulting in little to no impact at all.
Three, you’re not making yourself visible enough. You’re sharing your posts. You’re active on social media, but you’re not going beyond that. You’re limiting your activities to the platforms themselves and forgetting about the “outside world”.
Can you relate to any of these things? If so, then you have found the starting point where you begin to improve your social shares.
Let’s dive straight in, and look at ways to increase social shares.
Follow These 5 Techniques to Increase Your Social Shares
1.Make it easy for readers to find you.
Remember what I said about not being visible enough? Many a blogger thinks that tweeting regularly and sharing posts on Facebook, Google Plus, etc. are enough to build a reader base via social media. Sure, there’s some truth in that.
But what about people who are not in your network? What about potential contacts with whom you communicate only via email?
This is the first – and simplest – thing you can do: include your social media profiles in your email signature(s) and your business card (if you have one). More so, link your social media profiles. For example, include your Twitter and Facebook profiles on your Pinterest home page.
2. Check your social sharing is working on mobile.
In 2015, 75.1 percent of North Americans accessed the internet on their mobile phone (52.7 percent worldwide). You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that, if social sharing isn’t available or isn’t working on mobile, you’re *bleep*.
Most themes include social sharing options, so you don’t have to be a tech expert to set things up. And, it’s easy to check if sharing works. Go to your site using your phone and tablet, and test each button!
This is a matter of not being lazy, really.
3. Make it easy for your readers to share.
As harsh as it may sound, many internet readers won’t go to great lengths to share content. If they can’t find your sharing buttons in a blink of an eye, then you’ve lost a share. A share that could translate to a significant amount of traffic.
AddThis shares an effective practice: place buttons in prominent locations. Here are four practical things you can do:
- Prominent position – where readers can’t miss the button
- Top and bottom of the page – readers don’t have to scroll down to find the buttons, and if they get to the end of the post (without having shared initially), they can easily share without having to scroll back up.
- Near the content – avoids confusion as to what readers are about to share
- Don’t interfere with navigation – place the buttons where they can be easily seen and near the content so as to avoid confusion, but make sure they do not get in the way of navigating the site.
There are so many opinions about the location, design, and number of social buttons, but at the end of the day, the best thing to do is try different setups for yourself and see which one works best.
Pro tip: Don’t forget the buttons for your profile (not the post) itself. I can’t count the times I’ve visited a site wanting to follow them on Twitter with a single click and not being able to find the “Follow Me” button easily.
4. Identify influencers in your niche and where they hang out.
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork – you’ve made it easy for people to find you on social media, you’ve covered mobile sharing, and you’ve found the sweet spot for your social media buttons – it’s time to look at what your actual activities are.
First of all, do you know if you’re hanging out with the right crowd? That is, are you sharing your content where the people you want to reach are?
If not, then you need to change your strategy. You can share every single awesome post you have written, but if you’re not in the line of sight (or even in the peripheral vision) of bloggers in your niche and influencers, then you won’t be getting much out of your work.
So, find the right people. The people who are interested in the topics you write about and are highly likely to share your content if they get to read it.
How do you do this?
There are tools that will enable you to determine the people whose attention you want to get. The popular ones are Hootsuite’s Search by Keyword and Klout, Klout, and Buzzsumo. You can also try out GroupHigh and Keyhole.
The great thing about using these tools is that you can find the less popular (as opposed to the usual suspects like Neil Patel, for example) but still influential people who have considerable following although not as high-profile as the others.
5. Decide which social media platforms to focus on.
Now, down to the nitty gritty.
How many social media accounts are you maintaining right now? I’m sure you’ve heard the advice that you have to have a presence on all platforms. That makes sense in that you have more chances of reaching out to different audiences.
The thing is, what you want is to reach out to the right audience as opposed to more people in general.
The idea is to figure out which platforms yield the best results – highest social shares and engagement – and make them your priority.
First, consider your niche and start from there.
Instagram and Pinterest are excellent for image-intensive blogs. Examples are fashion blogs, food blogs, and similar lifestyle blogs. Twitter is great for links and generating discussion.
Facebook and Google Plus are a mix of both.
Don’t forget LinkedIn if you’re targeting professional networking and sharing long-form resources.
Next, go back to tip #4 – find the influencers and be active on those platforms.
Additionally, measure the level of activity of your followers. Do you get more likes and shares on Facebook as opposed to Google Plus? Do you get a lot of retweets and replies? Which platforms grow steadily in terms of followers?
Once you’ve discovered the most productive platform, allot more time and effort there. Choose the second (and perhaps third) productive platform and set aside time for it as well. Regularly analyze the number of shares, followers, and referral traffic.
If the numbers are going up (or at least steady), then keep at it. Otherwise, move on to the next platform and repeat the process.
Increasing your social shares involves some testing and analysis. Have the patience and tenacity to keep trying out new things until you find the “formula” that works for you.
How are your social shares? If you want more (of course you do!), then go through the tips above once again, execute them, and let us know how that goes.