We all want better ways to promote our blog and get more traffic, links and shares.
But what if you (or your company’s) primary goal is just to get more social shares to your blog, so you can increase your share of voice in the social media sphere?
Here are 17 proven ways to get more social media shares for your WordPress blog posts.
1. Write emotional headlines
When the folks at CoSchedule set out to learn what made a highly-shared headline so shareable, they found that it all comes down to something called the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score. Headlines with a higher EMV Score are likely to be shared more than posts with a lower EMV Score.
Based on that, they created a tool called the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer that assesses how a group of words follows these emotional harmonics, and how likely they are to elicit an emotional response from a reader.
You can use this tool to determine the EMV score of your headline. For comparison, most professional copywriters’ headlines will have 30% to 40% EMV Words in their headlines, while the most gifted copywriters will have 50% to 75% EMV words in headlines.
The folks at Upworthy, who write extremely shareable headlines, suggest that people share when they are experiencing strong emotions such as anger, or more specifically, happiness. All the studies report that there is strong evidence positive/happy emotions are better at encouraging shares.
Tip: Taking a stand on a controversial issue makes it more likely that your content will get shared, by both, those who agree and disagree with it. The reason is the same as above – because controversy evokes feelings of anger or happiness, depending on whether you agree or disagree with the blogger.
2. Write expanded list posts
According to the same study by CoSchedule, list posts are the most likely type of post to be shared more than 1,000 or 100 times. A study by Moz and BuzzSumo also found that list posts achieve much higher shares on average than other content formats.
In addition, they reported that long form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares than shorter form content, and that opinion-forming journalism and research-backed content gets a large number of shares.
Brian Dean hit the nail on the head when he recommended writing expanded list posts (ELPs), which are list posts that are longer, more well-researched and more thorough than short list posts.
3. Write in the second person
The CoSchedule study also found that content written in the second person is far more likely to be shared than content that comes from a first person narrative. Using ‘You’ and ‘Your’ is better than using ‘I’, ‘Me’ and ‘My’.
4. Create interactive content
Formats such as entertainment videos and quizzes are far more likely to be shared than linked to, according to the Moz+BuzzSumo study. Some quizzes and videos get hundreds of thousands of shares.
5. Use social sharing plugins
It’s no use creating great content if you make your readers jump through hoops to share it. Have your sharing buttons in their view at all times, using a floating share bar like the one created by the SumoMe plugin.
It creates an elegant share bar with a cumulative count of your shares, providing more social proof to readers who want to share your content.
Also use the Better Click To Tweet plugin to encourage your readers to post short, snappy excerpts from your blog posts. Make it easy for them to share and they most likely will.
I also recommend using the Revive Old Post plugin to infuse new life into evergreen content from your blog by sharing it automatically to your social media networks.
6. Use hashtags
Hashtags boost the discoverability of your content, that is, they make it easier for people searching for content on a specific topic to find your content if it is related to that topic. But there’s a science to using hashtags, as this article on Buffer notes. They found that:
- Tweets with one or more hashtag are 55% more likely to be retweeted. Tweets with hashtags get twice the engagement of tweets without. When you use more than two hashtags on Twitter, engagement drops.
- Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.
- On Facebook, posts without a hashtag fare better than those with a hashtag.
7. Post visual content
According to Patricia Redsicker on Social Media Examiner, photos are the most engaging type of content on Facebook, with a whopping 87% interaction rate from fans. She also recommends sharing high-quality photos that interest your target audience.
8. Add social media metadata
Make sure your blog posts look great on all social networks by implementing social media metadata, like Facebook’s Open graph markup. The easiest way to do this is to install the Yoast SEO plugin and optimize the social settings for Facebook, Twitter, Google and Pinterest.
9. Reach out to influencers
Getting one extra influencer to share your article has a multiplier effect, according to the Moz+BuzzSumo study here.
But before you ask a favour from an influencer, you need to give. Start by referencing the influencer’s content in your blog post, and then send them a heads up about it. Share their content with your social network and mention them when doing so.
Read my post for more influencer marketing best practices to follow before you ask an influencer to share your content with their followers.
10. Join Triberr
According to Neal Schaffer, Triberr is a platform for bloggers to assist each other by mutually sharing blog content on Twitter. It aggregates the RSS feeds from all members of a “tribe” and then allows you to automatically or manually post them into your Twitter stream.
Triberr can help you get greater reach for your blog posts by having your tribe promote it in their Twitter stream. The idea is that your tribe supports each other by retweeting each other’s content.
11. Ask your followers to Retweet your posts
Sometimes, getting more shares is as simple as using a call to action in your post, asking your followers to Retweet or share it with their networks. Data from Hubspot states that tweets including either “Please ReTweet” or “Please RT” are more likely to get retweeted than tweets without those phrases.
12. Make your shares look good
According to Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, social currency is one of the reasons that people share content. It’s all about people talking about things to make themselves look good, rather than bad.
Give your followers the kind of content that makes them look good and they are more likely to share it. One of the reasons that inspiring quotes get so many shares is because it makes the sharer look wise and good to their following.
You can also help your readers look smarter to their social network by letting them share snippets of facts and data from your blog using the Better Click To Tweet plugin.
13. Share on Fridays
Research published in the Social Intelligence Report says that the most comments, likes and shares occur on Fridays. In fact, 16% of shares occur on Fridays.
According to the Social Media Examiner, “these findings are consistent with Facebook data published several years ago, showing that the Happiness Index on Facebook spikes on Friday.” So it might be a good idea not to ignore the weekend when scheduling your content.
14. Share on Pinterest and Facebook
Another surprising thing the CoSchedule study found is that among headlines shared more than 1,000 times, Pinterest commanded an astounding 90% of total shares.
This is why you must make Pinterest a part of your social media strategy and share your posts in appropriate categories or boards on this network. Facebook also ranks up there as the most popular network for social sharing.
Reddit has also been proven to be a social platform through which you can generate traffic. If you want to learn how to drive traffic from Reddit, read this post.
15. Use gated content
If you give away premium content or discount coupons on your blog, you can use a gating plugin to increase your social shares.
In this post, Alicia Thomas recommends that the quality of your gated content must be higher than what you typically give away for free on your site.
Some WordPress plugins you can use to gate your content or discount coupons are:
16. Use humour in your blog images
Using humour or popular memes in your blog images can make them more shareable. However, make sure the images you create have some connection with your blog post content or they will not get you the shares you want.
17. Interview other bloggers
Join a blog network like MyBlogU and reach out to other bloggers to interview them. You can either publish individual interviews or a roundup post. When you publish a post with their contributions, they are more likely to share it with their network.
Do you have your own ways to get more social shares for your blog? Please post them in the comments below.