It’s a question every marketer has asked themselves at least once since implementing social media into their content strategy; how can I create content my customers will share?
There is no step-by-step guide and the answer often varies depending on your target audience, but there are several standard practices that can seriously boost your number of shares. You don’t have to limit yourself to one of these practices either, in fact a number of them work best in combination with others.
Here’s how to create content your customers will share on social media:
Engage > Sale
Creating social media content that pushes your product or services is often ineffective; people skip over it and they almost never share it. Nonetheless, you still need to sell your brands product, which is why you should make it your goal to engage your audience. Engaging your audience establishes a relationship of trust, which in turn leads to shares and sales.
If you know your target audience, you know what interests them and what doesn’t. Use this knowledge to your advantage, take their interests and create content around it. Your audience will share your content because it’s something they enjoy and it will then be picked up by others who enjoy it, and so forth.
Emphasize Visual Content
Studies are finding visual content to be the most effective form of content marketing, with visual centric apps, Instagram, SnapChat and Pinterest increasing greatly in usage in 2015. Additionally, research has even found that Tweets containing images receive 18 per cent more clicks, 89 per cent more favourites and 150 per cent more ReTweets.
Simply put, by creating memes, photographs, infographics and videos, you’re substantially increasing the likelihood that your content will be shared.
Tap into emotions
All brands have information they want to deliver to their audience and social media is an excellent platform for doing so, if the content is created accordingly. To have your social media content shared, it must provoke emotion.
A three-month study conducted by Jonah Berger found that of 7000 New York Times articles, the content that received the most shares elicited ‘active’ emotions, such as happiness, excitement and awe. Berger’s study also pointed out that ‘deactive’ emotions, such as sadness, resulted in lower shares.
Ultimately, if you want your content to be shared on social media, make sure it’s positive and fun.
Make Helpful Content
People have a lot of questions they want answered, some of which your brand might have the answer too. Creating content that helps your audience is one of the quickest and easiest ways to increase social media shares.
Create a ‘how-to’ article, make a list or even just share your knowledge. Take it one step further by adding visuals, or creating a video for Vine or an image to post on Instagram. For example, as mentioned in a previous article, the Lowes Fix in Six campaign; Lowes uses Vine to create content that helps customers with common home and lifestyle issues.
Whatever you choose, brainstorm questions you are able to answer ahead of time and answer them before they are even asked.
Similar to the point above, consumers also enjoy answering questions, especially if they’re fun. Creating content that asks the audience their experiences or thoughts on a topic practically calls for interaction and interaction will lead to shares.
Take for example, this simple yes or no question Starbucks asked its followers on Twitter. This tweet received a large number of shares because Starbucks’ customers enjoy the product, wanted to share their thoughts and see others. It also incorporated a visual, as recommended above, and relevant hashtags.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) June 12, 2015
Creating content your customers will share on social media, isn’t the easiest task, but it doesn’t have to be a hard one. By using one, multiple or all of the tips listed above when creating your content, you can increase the number of shares your content receives.
Aside from that, it never hurts to include a call to action, as a simple reminder at the end of your content, in case your customer accidentally missed the share button.
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