100+ Bite-Sized Tips To Get You More Social Shares (And Traffic)
It all sounds so easy.
Create a blog, write some content and then wait for the traffic to magically appear in your analytics.
Then more time goes by, and still – not much happens.
Barely any traffic to speak of, let alone people sharing your content.
We’ve all been there, desperately wanting our voice to be heard by the masses.
But, what if I could show you how to get the masses sharing your content?
What if I could show you some quick and easy tips that will help you finally get more eyeballs on your content?
Would you give it a try?
Here are 100+ easy to digest tips to help you get started:
I can definitely see how social shares can be perceived as a bit of a vanity metric, and I wouldn’t disagree.
But, the truth is that they can do a lot for you.
Here are a few reasons why:
Leverage social proof to get better results
There are plenty of explanations floating around the web, but I quite like how Ed Hallen worded it on the Buffer blog:
Social proof is the concept that people will conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.
When someone visits your blog and reads a post that gets lots of social shares, it has a positive effect on how they perceive your blog and how important it is.
It can make people more likely to share your content.
The truth is that it works both ways.
For example, if you don’t get many social shares and those numbers are displayed on your blog – it can have a negative impact.
Your visibility may reach new heights
When someone shares your content, your name (along with your blog and/or brand) then becomes visible to a potentially large group of people.
People may not click on the link this time, but they may click on the next link that mentions your name.
The more people see mentions of your name (especially when shared by influencers), the more curious they will get over time.
The opportunity to generate more traffic for your blog can skyrocket
This is one of the main benefits.
The more shares you get, the more likely you are to get more traffic for your blog.
How much traffic will depend on how influential the people sharing your content are.
Your engagement can go through the roof
When you get more traffic, you will have more people reading your content.
This opens the door to generating a lot more engagement, for example; comments on your blog.
Twitters base of users is still growing, when they released their first quarter of 2014 results, Twitter confirmed an increase of 25% year-over-year [source].
Thanks to some of the tips below, Twitter makes up 59% of all social media referrals to my blog.
- Add a share button to your blog (using a tool that allows you to include your Twitter handle works best)
- Include ‘Please ReTweet’ at the beginning of your Tweet to generate as much as 4x more ReTweets (Hubspot’s study revealed this a while back, but it can annoy people – use sparingly and with caution)
- @mention influencers that you included in your content
- @mention any individual or company that you have included in your content
- Use a tool like Followerwonk or Manage Flitter to figure out the best times to post (lots of people have shared this type of data but it works best based on your followers)
- Use Sponsored Tweets (not officially through Twitter)
- Use Promoted Tweets (officially through Twitter)
- Use a tool like Followerwonk to figure out exactly what topics are most important to your audience
- Post a variety of content not just links (e.g. quotes)
- Post more often (within reason – tools like Social Oomph can help here)
- Sign up for Triberr and join relevant tribes (try creating tribes of your own and inviting influencers)
- Post better quality content
- Include trending hashtags in your tweets
- Optimize your hashtags (can be done easily with tools like Ritetag)
- Optimize your tweets (the more compelling the better)
- Engage more with your followers (cultivating relationships is key)
- Share other peoples content (not just yours)
- Share content that is controversial, shocking, or uplifting
- Tweet images
- Embed tweets in your content
- Add ‘Tweet this’ links next to quotes in your content (this can be done easily with tools like Click To Tweet)
Note: if you want to get more Twitter followers, check out this detailed post which discusses each tactic in more depth.
Out of all of the social networks that I currently use, Google+ has been the easiest to build a following on by far.
More than 25% of the worldwide internet users are now active at least once a month which makes it quite a force to be reckoned with. [Source]
Despite the rubbish that Tech Crunch has been spouting, G+ isn’t going anywhere.
- Add a share button to your blog (rather than a +1 button)
- Include a title in bold type using asterisks either side of your title, e.g. – *title*
- Include a sub title in italics by adding underscores either side of your sub title, e.g. – _sub title_
- Tag niche influencers in your G+ post (when relevant)
- Share infographics
- Stop sharing your posts directly with your circles – this usually gets you muted, good luck once that happens
- Create a targeted circle of people that want updates about your content – H/T to Mike Allton for this one
- Embed G+ posts in your content
- Create a unique post that adds value that cannot be found within the content on your blog – this post by Demian Farnworth from Copyblogger is a great example
- Run a regular HOA (Hangout on Air)
- Curate multiple posts into a single G+ post
- Ask your followers a question
- Keep a balance when using #hashtags
- Ask your followers to share your post
- Share your posts in relevant communities but avoid dropping links – add something to the discussion
Adding high impact visuals to your content is important and with Pinterest being all about the visuals, it’s an opportunity worth capitalising on.
While Pinterest isn’t the biggest social network, you can still get some great results, when you do things right.
- Add Pinterest sharing buttons to your blog
- Share your images on group boards (the larger the following – the better)
- Share your pins on other networks – a great example is how Rebekah Radice incorporates Pinterest links into her Google+ shares
- Use a service like Markerly or Shareaholic to add Pinterest buttons to your images
- Write more detailed image descriptions and ‘alt tags’
- Share images that are relevant to your followers
- Share images that are eye catching
- Share more original pins than re-pins
- Share your pins on multiple boards
- Share taller images (infographics work great)
- Ask people to share your pin in your description
Due to how Facebook’s algorithm works, it can be more of a challenge to actually get people to see your updates, especially if you are sharing from a Facebook page.
Social@Ogilvy conducted a study which found that on average, organic reach for most Facebook pages had dropped to 6%. That’s crazy!
So after we get into some of the ways to specifically get more Facebook shares, I’ll talk through some tips to help you increase your reach. That will help you get even more shares.
- Share your content manually unless you use a tool like Post Planner that works from within Facebook (Facebook doesn’t like it when you use external tools)
- Embed Facebook posts in your content
- Have at least one image in your post
- Use eye catching images
- Ask people to share your post directly
- Optimize your copy – writing more engaging and compelling content will help
- Share a variety of content – try sharing relevant videos and images
- Write about trending topics
- Share only what’s relevant to your audience
- Share exclusive content that you don’t share on other networks
- Keep any text to a minimum – according to Buffer, the ideal length is less than 40 characters
- Share content that will invoke an emotional response
- Add call to action buttons – this won’t directly boost your shares but it will boost your click through rate which can lead to an indirect boost in social shares. Follow this guide to set this up.
I have used some of these tips to grow organic reach by up to 875% on rare occasions.
These results aren’t typical and while they weren’t ‘a flash in the pan’, I did replicate similar results, but you should never expect to get the same results.
And this was after the Social@Ogilvy study, which showed a steep drop in organic reach for most pages.
While these are all tips that will help you grow your reach, getting your posts seen means getting more shares.
- Grow an audience naturally – don’t buy followers (it looks cool but it will hurt your progress in the long run and people quickly notice the huge difference in engagement vs likes)
- Tag industry influencers in your posts when relevant
- Post more photos and video
- Share photo’s that are self-explanatory
- Share regularly
- Encourage engagement – the more people who react, the more people that will see your post
- Engage with others more often
- Keep the quality and relevance to your audience high – negative comments will have an impact
- Respond to comments on your post
- Ask questions in your posts and get people talking
- Avoid using external apps to share to Facebook – try Post Planner as an alternative, as it operates within Facebook
- Use promoted posts
I recently published a post where I talked about how to plan your blog posts better to ensure that you have the best chance of generating traffic. Read it here.
A number of the same tactics still apply and they are explained in much more detail, so it’s worth a read, but here is what you need to know:
- Write about hot topics before anyone else – otherwise known as newsjacking
- Promote your old (evergreen) content regularly
- Maintain a level of trust (people share content that looks trust worthy)
- Share content that solves your audience’s problems
- Map your content to your audience personas – I talk about this in more detail here
- Publish more detailed and higher quality content
- Run a giveaway using a tool like Rafflecopter
- How to and list posts can get up to 47% more shares [source]
- Publish a case study
- Publish a post that includes an infographic (people love to share infographics)
- Mention influencers in your content and tell them about it
- Use compelling copy in your headlines and make people curious
- Look at your competitor’s most popular content using BuzzSumo to identify which topics will resonate with your audience
- Stop writing dull content
- Write about causes that resonate with your audience
- Repurpose your content into other mediums – think about video, infographics and Slideshare presentations for example
How your blog is designed can have an impact, as evidenced by this split test on Upworthy.com, using Optimizley which resulted in a 28% increase in social shares.
- Remove unnecessary distractions from your site
- Add social share buttons to your blog – there are plenty of social sharing plugins for WordPress and services like Shareaholic make it easy to add them to any website
- Only add social share buttons for key social sites – too many buttons can decrease shares
- Hide your share counts if you don’t get many social shares and avoid negative social proof
- Add larger social sharing buttons
- Add share buttons to emails to your mailing list subscribers
- Hide exclusive content behind a share locker like WP Sharely – alternatively you could offer downloadable PDF versions of your content behind the share locker
The fun continues, because there are still more tactics we can use to help out content gain more traction using social media.
- Add an image when you share your post – make it vivid and emotive
- Share other people’s content and let them know about it – chances are they might return the favour at some point
- Ask your readers to share – this can be at the end of your content, on posts on social media platforms or in an email to your mailing list
- Focus on building a natural and targeted following that wants to hear what you have to say
- Use Triberr to network with bloggers in your niche – this works best for Twitter, but users can add other social networks too
- Share your content on niche social networks – for example, if you’re in the gaming niche try N4G.com
- Be active on social media – it’s hard to influence people without ‘being there’
- Ask your readers what they want to read using a poll or survey – Polldaddy.com can work well for this
- Promote your content through guest posting on authoritative blogs in your niche
- Share more often – sharing other people’s content as well as your own typically works best
- Email influencers, individuals or brands that you have mentioned and ask them to share your content
- Get people talking and ask questions
- Ask a friend to share your content
- Use a service like Markerly that will add share buttons when users highlight text or hover over an image
Over to you
A lot of the tips above will help you to get more shares in a short amount of time, but don’t expect the results to come over night.
Some of these tips require you to put time and effort in, and if you don’t see results straight away, keep at it.
These things can take time, but you can do it.
And if you only take a single tactic/tool away with you to implement – get on Triberr.
Do you have any tips to add?
About Adam Connell
Adam is the founder of Blogging Wizard. Previously Operations Manager for a UK based marketing agency, Adam now helps others to become more successful online. Get more from Adam on Google+.