Note: Publicize is now auto-share and is part of Jetpack Social.
If you want as many people as possible to find your site and engage with your content, you need to make sure both that your content is shared, and that those shares encourage new people to visit your site. Cultivating brand awareness with shareable content on social networks has become a cornerstone of any great content marketing strategy. But in a world where so many marketers are already vying for attention on social media channels, how can you stand out?
The answer lies in optimizing your content for social media sharing, and also optimizing those shares to maximize clickthroughs.
Let’s review some of the tools and techniques that can help you do just that.
1. Add value using your content and social media presence
We’ve all seen social media accounts that are stuffed with sales messages and spam comments. The lesson to be learned from these sites is that your social media marketing strategy can be more successful if you engage with people by giving them something of value. To do this, you’ll need to try and establish credibility by ensuring that the type of content on your site is genuinely useful to people, not just click-bait.
Resist the temptation to make your own social media shares exclusively links to your site or appeals to buy things. The majority of your updates should not be sales-oriented at all: focus on talking about what you’re doing, engaging with other users, and sharing useful links to other relevant websites as well as things that establish your expertise in your industry. Stay abreast of current trending topics and hashtags, but deploy them adroitly to toe the fine line between professional and cringey!
Once you’re considered a valuable source, you may begin to notice an uptick in your retweets and share count because people find your content useful and interesting. In time, readers will learn to trust you, making them much more likely to visit your site, subscribe, and become customers.
2. Format your shares to capture attention
Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms are crowded with users. Every blogger and business is competing for attention. This means that you need to share your content in a way that grabs attention. Here are a few rules of thumb:
- Focus on shareable content formats – Include visual content and video with posts, especially on Facebook. Facebook‘s algorithm prioritizes content that is considered entertaining and interesting, so be sure to include stand-out photos and infographics that set your content apart from that of competitors.
- Invite a response – Instead of sharing a link to a new post with a plain title, try posing a question or asking people for their views on a topic. Calls-to-action like these encourage people to join conversations and share their viewpoints. This interaction is extremely valuable, as it helps to establish relationships further down the line.
- Respect your audience’s time – Keep your updates short. Don’t assume that everyone is reading your tweets or posts. Edit your titles and links to make them short and snappy. Remember that it’s your content itself that’ll do the heavy lifting when it comes to SEO; search engines are nowhere near as interested in individual social media posts as they are in quality blogging, so there’s no downside to being concise.
- Mix it up – Avoid posting updates that are too similar. Share a mix of photos, videos, text, and links. Try varying the lengths and the times of day when you post.
Trial and error is as necessary here as it is with any aspect of digital marketing, as it helps you determine what works on which social networks. Observe which of your posts are shared the most, and identify what they have in common. Then respond to your audience’s feedback and give people more of what they want.
3. Share during rush hour
Your potential audience is global. They also use social media at different times of day, and on different days of the week. Some people check Facebook when they first wake up; and others browse Instagram on their weekday commutes. And some people sit up all night refreshing the LinkedIn jobs page. This makes the timing of your social media posts ripe for optimization.
So try changing up the days and times when you’re sharing content. Using a tool like Jetpack’s Publicize, you can automatically share content to your social media channels. All you need to do is link your social media accounts to your Jetpack site, and then activate the sharing tool.
You can combine this capability with the built-in feature for scheduled publishing in WordPress, and share your content at a later time. Choose a date and time when you know your followers will be online. You might find that you get better results if you share posts at the same time each day, or perhaps that varying share times is more effective. Test what works and be ready to change your approach if you’re not seeing the results you want.
If you have a Jetpack Premium plan, you can also re-share older posts, which can still interest fans who haven’t already seen them. This has the potential to attract new visitors as well. You can re-share posts immediately, or schedule them to be shared at later times.
To do this, go to WordPress.com for your Jetpack-enabled site and find the posts you want to share. Use site stats to identify your most popular posts and begin with those.
4. Make it easy for others to share your content
You’re not the only person who can share your content. In fact, shares by your readers and followers can be considered affirmations that your content is valuable and worth reading.
Make it easier for anyone to share posts that they enjoy by adding social sharing buttons to every piece of content. Activate these in the Jetpack settings menu and they’ll automatically be added to every post on your site.
Doing this will simplify sharing and might connect you with new readers who follow your readers on social sites. For example, imagine that Betty uses your social share buttons to share your post about the “Best Winter Stew Recipes” to her Facebook page. A handful of her followers see Betty’s shared post. They trust that Betty would only share reputable, valuable content with her friends. So, they click on her post and are redirected to your website. These individuals might not have seen your post or website had Betty not shared it with them in the first place. Multiply this by however many readers your blog might normally get and you can see how this can snowball. Every one of your readers has the potential, in their own small way, to become an influencer.
A clear social media strategy can boost readership
Be more strategic with your social media sharing by using the tips above, and you’ll be on your way to getting more engagement, more shares, and new readers.
Which of these social media strategies has worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!