So, you find the perfect post for your Facebook page. It’s funny and relatable with a great picture and irresistible call to action – your audience are definitely going to want to share it. It’s going to reach thousands of people and place your brand in front of a whole new set of leads and potential customers.
So, you schedule it for the perfect day, at the perfect time, say a little prayer to the social media gods, then sit back and wait for the magic to happen.
Then the post goes live and… nothing. Maybe it needs another few minutes before it goes viral. So you check back again in an hour and… still nothing. No interaction whatsoever.
It’s time like these when social media feels like a Dark Art or just plain old potluck. You can spend hours crafting the perfect piece of content which falls embarrassingly flat then the very next day, put zero thought into a post which goes instantly viral.
How Do You Get People To Share Your Content?
Although social media marketing can at times be trial and error, there are certain actions you can take to create content that is ‘share-worthy’ and guaranteed to stir more interaction. But before explaining how to compel your audience to click that all important share button, it’s important to understand why this metric, in particular, is so important and what impact Facebook shares can have on your social media activity and brand as a whole.
The Impact Of Sharing
Shares matter. As marketers, shares on Facebook are more valuable than a simple like, click or comment and are a much more definitive indicator of how well your content resonates with your audience.
This is because shares require more of a physical effort on behalf of the user (ie, more clicks than a ‘like’) and makes a statement to their Facebook friends, family members and acquaintances, telling them that they support, agree with or like your content enough to have it feature on their profile.
Shares matter from a practical standpoint too; shared posts are much more visible as they are more often featured on Facebook Newsfeeds, as opposed to when you simply like or comment on a post, which just shows up in the Recent Activity section.
Having a high engagement level on all your posts will significantly improve the overall reach of your Facebook page as it will inform Facebook’s algorithm bots that your page is relevant and interesting and should be seen by more and more users.
How To Increase Your Shares
1. Know Your Audience INSIDE OUT.
This is an obvious point which is key when carrying out any marketing activity, but when it comes to social media success, it is especially vital that you know exactly who your audience are and what they want from you. As Facebook is a personal platform, your audience needs to feel connected to your content on a deeper level in order to share it.
Look closely at your Facebook Insights to gain an overview of your social audience profile. If you find that your audience is primarily female, age 30-45 from England, then create content which is specifically targeted to this kind of person and no-one else. Targeting multiple groups at once makes it very difficult to create meaningful content.
Use your Insights tool to determine the kind of posts that typically get the most interaction – is it videos, memes or long informative status updates? This is the style of content that your audience wants above all. Facebook Insights will also give you an idea of which time of day is best to post to reach the majority of your audience.
2. Always Add Value.
With billions of Facebook updates being shared daily, it’s increasingly important that your content stands out and is worthy of a click. The best way to do this is to ensure that every piece of content you create adds the value of some kind to your audience.
Value will mean different things to different audiences. To determine what value is to your following, look again to your Insights tool to find your best performing content. Identify the common characteristic within this content – is it informative, is it funny, is it a detailed ‘how to’? If your audience is more engaged with your lengthy, information based posts, this is what value means to them.
You can also determine value by looking at your competitors and other Facebook pages which are popular among your audience. Engage in social listening to track conversations and be sure to look at forums and the comments sections of popular blogs and websites too, as this is where your audience are airing their opinions and are a great source of social market research.
3. Think Social, Be Inclusive and STOP SELLING.
Content marketing is a lot like a first date – if you do nothing but talk about yourself the whole time, there won’t be a second date. To have success on social media, you have to be social and give engagement to get it back. Use inclusive language in your updates and write posts that create conversations, rather than read like a monologue. Ask questions, ask for feedback, ask for suggestions. No one goes on social media to be sold to, so avoid the common Facebook marketing mistake of feeling pressure to be overly promotional with your content.
The businesses that see the greatest financial return on their Facebook efforts are the ones that foster a solid relationship with their audience that builds over time and naturally converts them from followers to customers.
4. Make Sharing Easy.
It’s no secret that the internet has made us somewhat lazy. We now live in an age of instant gratification where we can get anything we want online within minutes. So, if you want people to share your content, you need to make it is simple as possible for them to do so.
This means adding big, bright social share buttons to all of your content so that people can share easily from your website straight onto their Facebook Newsfeeds.
A good rule of thumb is to ensure that it takes no more than two clicks to complete the entire sharing action. Any more than that and you are going to significantly decrease your potential shares.
5. Share It Yourself.
If you don’t love your content, no one else will. So be your own brand ambassador by sharing your own business posts on your personal page. It helps increase the reach of your post and shows your network of connections that this piece of content is ‘share-worthy’. Encourage your employees and long-time followers of your brand to do the same.
6. Find Influencers.
If a celebrity or notable person happens to share your content, their followers, who respect and admire them, will be likely to do the same. Identify the key players within your industry and reach out to them with your content. Depending on their following and notoriety, they might not share it for free. It might be necessary to form a partnership or engage in paid sponsorship, as content amplification and promotion may be one way in which they make a living.
However, niche bloggers with a small but highly engaged following can be just as effective as a Kim Kardashian level celebrity. And if your content is good quality and genuinely beneficial to their audience, they will usually be happy to share it.