If you’ve been blogging for a while, spending loads of time creating new content, and are puzzled at the lack of social media shares, this post is for you.
Pinterest is the number one way people find their way to my website and it’s all due to my readers taking the time to pin my posts. If you’re hoping to generate a buzz on social media, here are 7 ways you might be squashing those shares before they even get started.
Share buttons are missing or confusing
So first, the most obvious issue – you don’t actually have share buttons, you have too many share buttons, or your share buttons don’t work.
SumoMe share buttons and the buttons that come with WordPress’s Jetpack work really well and are obvious but not obtrusive. To provide sharing points within your content use a platform like Click to Tweet or the Better Click to Tweet Plugin (free!).
You don’t need to include every sharing option possible – choose the platforms your readers will most likely use and include them on the side and/or at the bottom of every post.
Stick with only one set in each location – I’ve scrolled to the bottom of many a post only to find three different sets of share buttons.
Your content is unfocused
A post about your weekend, what you ate, what you saw, who you hung out with might be entertaining, but it’s unlikely it will provide enough value for someone to share it with their audience.
Think about it – people build trust and grow their following by sharing great content with their followers on social media. If someone you followed shared nothing but someone else’s random blog posts (probably someone you don’t even know) you wouldn’t keep following them for long.
Provide content that your reader’s social media followers will actually be interested in by writing valuable posts that focus on one single topic.
Your post title isn’t share-able
Readers should be able to share your content in two clicks. One click on the share button and one click to blast that post into social media.
Writing a non-descriptive or boring title, or a title that takes up more than 140 characters is a sure-fire way to make them skip promoting your post because they’ll have to spend time coming up with a better title.
Use keywords related to your content and generate a post title that is interesting and eye-catching.
Your photos are too small, boring, or completely missing
With Pinterest’s new smart feed, the better photos users pin (and the more re-pins and likes those pins garner) the more their boards and content will be seen by other Pinterest users.
So, if your blog images are blurry, boring, or missing the post title, readers might skip sharing your post altogether because it may damage the rank of their boards on Pinterest.
By providing users will beautiful images you’re making it more likely they’ll share your content and more likely those pins will show up in the smart feed.
You’re not providing value – inspire, entertain, educate
What exactly is the goal of your post and what value are you providing?
Shoot to create inspiring, entertaining or educational content, or even better, all three in one!
Creating content that allows readers to learn something and take action right away can make them excited to share so their followers can learn as well. Entertaining content, as proven by all the cute animal videos popping into my feeds, is always quick and easy to share and tends to receive an obnoxious number of re-shares.
You spend too much time talking about yourself
Super-sharable blog content needs to be more about your readers and less about you.
Yes, you should share personal stories, insights and experiences to help readers connect with you, but it’s unlikely they’ll find real value in a post that’s littered with I’s.
Honestly, unless you’ve spent years building trust and loyalty with your readers, people don’t care that much about you. They care about what you can DO for them, what you can teach them, and how you can help them.
Yes, they may prefer your blog over another in your niche, but only as much as you continue to provide them with content they find beneficial.
You haven’t created an emotional connection
Give readers that moment of, “I’ve felt that way” or “I’ve totally done that!” Get them excited, make them laugh, or even better, make them annoyed (people love to complain and bond over things that piss them off – whether they’re annoyed WITH you or AT you is your decision).
Writing a post that incites an emotional reaction highly increased the chances of it being shared.
The bottom line…
Make it impossibly easy for readers to help you promote your content, provide content they’re excited to share, and actually ASK them to do so, and they will!