Here’s how to foster an environment where users have the ability and desire to share your content.
Blogs help brands tell their story, establish a voice and communicate their values — but as social media and content marketing have evolved, they’ve taken on a more social role. Gone are the days where blogs were one-way streets that merely pushed content to readers. Now, they must be shareable and hyper-connected. After all, the best way to gain new readers is through word-of-mouth and social media from your current ones. Below we’ve listed actionable ways to improve reader engagement if you’ve found they’re slacking on the social front.
It’s easy to miss out on shares if your social media strategy has gaping holes. Applying the hub and spoke approach to your content encourages users to promote articles more widely and consistently.
How exactly does it work? Imagine a bicycle wheel. In the center — which we call the hub — embodies the core message of a brand in the format of a long-form piece of content. The spokes represent the various ways the hub can be translated — from a blog post tackling one angle of the hub article to a tweeting a quote or a slightly tangential post. Each brand’s hub and spoke map should be unique, but should follow this format:
Designing the spokes is often the most time-consuming part of the process. Here are some spoke to help you get started:
The easiest way to increase shares is to make sharing easy for the reader. That means fine-tuning your website’s visual design to influence reader behavior. If readers simply aren’t sharing, try one of these suggestions:
There are an infinite number of article ideas in any subject or industry, but many brands just publish content about themselves. This alienates new readers not already engaged. Shareable content is relatable content — specifically, it’s something your audience is eager to learn more about. Brian Razzaque — CEO and founder of SocialToaster — put it best in an interview with us last year:
You need to be conscious of the fact that people don’t want to always share amazing deals or amazing ads. Once in a while they will, but otherwise they like to sharing things that are funny or meaningful or otherwise interesting. They like sharing videos and pictures and things that are relevant to them as it relates to their lifestyle, or the lifestyle that they want to have.
Where to start? Engage Magazine has a great discussion with expert content marketers about using storytelling to make content more relatable.
Producing quality content is the best way to get readers to click share. If you suspect your blog might need some quality improvements, take these steps to improve your odds of success:
Distributing content through social media can be a very powerful and effective strategy to spread your brand’s narrative. Success of this kind doesn’t happen over night though, and it won’t unless your strategy addresses meaning and function. It boils down to two questions: Can they share it? And do they want to?
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