How to Get More Tweets, Likes and Other Shares on Your Blog Posts
by smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
- Created: July 5, 2012, 1:03 pm
One of the questions I’m frequently asked is how to get more traffic to your company website. I always mention blogging as a key technique, of course. You set up a blog as a section of your website. You publish compelling content on the blog. People come to the blog to read it. While on your blog they can learn more about your company, and may jump over to other sections of your site to check out your products and/or services. And if they are impressed by your content, they may share it with their circles of influence, leading to more people visiting.
However, blogs present a chicken-and-egg situation. To get people to see and read your posts in the first place, you have to somehow make them aware of your blog. In other words, blogs can bring you more traffic, but you first have to get traffic to your blog!
That’s where social media can play a huge role. Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites are excellent for raising awareness of – and developing an audience for – your blog. So then it becomes a question of how to get more people sharing your blog posts more frequently. In other words, how do you get more tweets, Facebook Likes, Google +1s, Pinterest pins, Stumbleupon stumbles, and other social shares? Here are seven tried and true ways:
1) Create share-worthy content - This sounds basic, but do not skip over this point. Without content that is interesting and worth the reader’s time, your blog will never really grow. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes: who wants to share a boring article that tells you nothing new or of value? For inspiration, check out these 36 blog topic ideas. Tip: If you don’t like to write or don’t have time, hire a freelance writer or see if one of your staff is a good writer and has an interest.
2) Make content shareable – Make it EASY on readers to share your content. People are more likely to share if it takes just a click or two while still on your site. Put a small number of sharing buttons on your site for each post (top, bottom or side – just make them obvious). Two good choices for most small business blogs are the official Twitter tweet button and the Facebook Like/Share button – but you may need to experiment to see which social venues your audience frequents. Tip: Don’t offer too many sharing buttons. When people are overwhelmed with choices, they tend to click away without sharing. Four is a good number; 14 is too many. Or use a single sharing service that opens up to multiple choices, such as Add This or Share This.
3) Become a sharer – Share every one of your own posts on social media. There is nothing wrong with that, provided you don’t limit your social activity to promoting your own links exclusively. It’s a good idea to share the posts of others, too. At first this may sound counterproductive – after all, aren’t you promoting competing posts? But you can gain much goodwill by sharing others’ content. Think of it as a form of networking. Tip: When you share someone else’s posts, try to call the person out by using their Twitter handle (as in RT @[Somebody]) or mention their Facebook profile, etc. You are more like to get their attention and they will probably check you out (and your site), too. See also: Six Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Small Business Tweets!
4) Increase the amount of content you publish – The more blog posts, the more chances to be shared. That’s simply a matter of numbers. Unfortunately, the majority of small business blogs do not publish content frequently enough. It’s hard to build an ongoing audience when you publish infrequently – quite simply, people forget about you. Set a goal to double the current frequency of publishing. If today you publish once a quarter, make that twice a quarter. If you publish twice a month, try to increase it to four times a month. Tip: Don’t go overboard. You’re not running a news organization. You don’t have to publish nearly as often as big news blogs like Mashable. Once or twice a week is a decent goal.
5) Network with those who have small to medium follower circles – If you are trying to attract the attention of those on Twitter via sharing their content or engaging with them, don’t focus on Twitter accounts of celebrities or news organizations with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. They are getting hundreds of mentions an hour and the likelihood they’ll even notice your mention is slim. Network with people with smaller followings, who will notice and want to network back with you and share your content. Tip: Try to find like-minded people or those in similar industries or who fit your customer profile. Remember, the average Twitter account has well under 500 followers; don’t obsess over high follower counts.
6) Pay attention to the details – Make sure your sharing buttons are properly configured and actually work. Try them out periodically yourself. Even if they worked OK to begin with, sometimes there’s a change that breaks them. Make sure that Facebook and Google+ buttons are configured to capture the image from the post – an image calls attention to the shared item. For Twitter buttons, set them up to include your Twitter handle. Tip: Stay under 140 characters and leave room for “RT @[yourhandle]” in Tweets. If people are forced to rewrite your message to make it short enough to retweet, it reduces your retweets.
7) Find optimal sharing and networking times – Engage with people when they are most likely to be online and on social sites. That’s the best way to call attention to any tweeting or conversing you do. Sharing posts at 2 am on Saturday morning is not, for instance, an optimal time. But 1:30 pm Eastern on Wednesdays may be. Tip: Don’t blindly follow a statistic about the best time to tweet that you found on the Web. Experiment until you find out what works for your market – your experience may be the same … or different.
For additional reading, see:
About the Author
My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 6 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.
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