You’re hitting your flow, blogging up a storm about your company’s latest updates, intriguing industry news, and your most noteworthy musings. You hit the submit button, knowing your loyal readers will be eager to share your latest post with their friends and send that fresh knowledge out into the universe.
But when you check all your social media channels the next day, it’s like your post was never published. There was not a pin or a tweet or a Facebook post sharing your content. How do you get your readers to take the next step from reading your posts to sharing them on their favorite social media platform?
Try these tips to encourage your readers to start sharing and caring:
1. How do I share?: As your reader is reading your piece, they'll be at their most motivated to share your post at key moments, such as a particularly strong point or quote. When they're ready to share, how easy is it for them to find whatever tools are available to do the sharing? Do you have buttons embedded in your posts, or are you relying on your readers to do a little copy and paste action? (Hint: That might be too much work for them!) You want to make it as easy as possible for your readers to spread the word to make sure they follow through on that urge to sing your praises on social media.
- Make them: Adding sharing buttons to your blog posts is easier than you may think. Learn how on Squarespace and Wordpress. Don’t use one of those platforms or want a side of analytics with those buttons? Try a too like DiggDigg, Shareaholic, or AddThis.
Place them: Make your buttons obvious and easy to find. Your audience may be determined to share your posts, but that determination may also run out after 2 seconds of searching. We suggest placing them in the top/left side of the page, for instant notice, but test this with some folks who haven't seen your content yet and see how long it takes them to figure out how to share.
2. Be quotable in fewer than 280 characters: When readers feel the drive to tweet, they often skim posts for small, but mighty, bytes of information to send to their followers. What are the punchiest lines in your post? Highlight quotes with quote boxes or even just bold text, or add “click to tweet” buttons to make it supes easy. It’s a subtle, yet effective way for you to say “this is a valuable piece of info!”
Sidenote: With Twitter’s new 280 character limit, you have a little more wiggle room in making your noteworthy musings as tweetable as possible. When thinking through your most notable quotes, try to pick ones that are fewer than 240 characters or so, to give your readers some wiggle room to add their own comments. Check out this tool to add your own “Click to Tweet” button to your posts.
3. Picture perfect: When choosing a perfect graphic or image for your blog post, what is the one image size to rule them all? Correctly sizing images for social media is no easy task with each channel having a different optimal image size. Why can’t all the social media platforms just get along?
Before we get to sharing, first of all, make sure your images are sized appropriately for your blog on desktop and mobile. Here are some (hooray!) best practices to follow.
Next, to decide what the best size for your images should be to encourage social sharing, consider what channel is most important for your goals. Is it key for your content to reach your peers and colleagues on Twitter, or are you gunning for more traffic from creative entrepreneurs on Pinterest? Decide which channels are the most important and size accordingly using a guide like this one.
4. What’s in a name? Remember when we talked about how to master the art of a blog post title? Well, it’s more important now than ever to encourage people to share your posts on their social media channels, because your headline is one of the first things a new reader on Facebook will see. Craft headlines that are specific, keyword-friendly, and intriguing to drive engagement. Review our tips to write the perfect icing on the cake of your already amazing post and check out this headline template for some inspo.
5. Check out the nitty-gritty: Have you ever shared a link on Facebook, only to find that (GASP) there was no thumbnail image? Or tried to post the perfect tweet that didn’t pull an image from your blog post, even there definitely was one there? Welcome to the world of Open Graph tags. Learning about Open Graph tags can help you control the way your article looks when it's shared, from the image to the title to the description that Facebook will pull from your blog. If you are using a platform like Squarespace or Wordpress, your Open Graph tags are created for you. Is social media not pulling the right info? If your solution isn’t found in a plug-in or nuanced Google search, you might need to call up your favorite web dev bestie. Open Graph tags are found in the header of your website, so get ready to do some coding.
It's a little bit of work upfront, but you're already working hard on those posts! So give those babies the best possible chance to reach as many eyeballs as possible.