15 Breakthrough Ways to Create Sharable Content

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15 Breakthrough Ways to Create Sharable ContenT

Businesses and marketers love social media. Jumping on social media websites is a way for companies to engage with their followers and loyal customers more effectively. A study by BtoB magazine reveals that an overwhelming 93% of marketers use social media for business. The big three tools for social media marketing are: LinkedIn (72%), Facebook (71%), and Twitter (67%).

Few researches show that 73% of online adults maintain an account on a social media platform. Even people above 60 years old are active on social media. The question is: how does a marketer get these people to click? With 2.5 billion different posts just on Facebook every single day, how does a marketing update or photo stand out? Social media metrics are not about the number of views, but about engagement—how many shared your content? How many were affected by them?

With a growing number of businesses trying to connect through social media marketing strategies, your content must be unique and relevant

With a growing number of businesses trying to connect through social media marketing strategies, your content should be so unique and relevant it would be a sin not to share it. This is the first step towards becoming an influencer and converting “followers” into brand advocates.

Here are 15 ways to spice up content and make them shareable:

80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule works for most social media platforms because it helps a marketer strike a balance. The rule suggests that 80% of what you share should add value to the lives of your followers and only 20% should be used for self-promotion. The 80% should be able to make them laugh, intrigue them, solve their problems, feed them valuable information, and so on.

Tell a story
The New York Times Insights Customer Group published a study called, “The Psychology of Sharing” and it uncovered primary motivations for sharing. The study found out that sharing is all about relationships. People share because they want to bring valuable and entertaining content to others, define themselves, grow and nourish relationships, and get the word out about causes they care about.

One way to build relationships is by storytelling. Humans make sense of the world through stories. For example, you don’t share an event by giving the facts; instead you tell a story like who you were with and how many bottles of beer you consumed. It is the same with marketing. Remember that yours is not a business connecting with consumers, but people connecting with people.

Go for “emo”
Another effective social media approach to drive traffic is to appeal to the emotions. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that emotive content gets shared. The top emotions were awe, amusing, moving, illuminating, inspiring, shocking, cute, sex, fear, anger, and controversial.

Notice that there are two sides of the spectrum: positive and negative. Conveying positive messages and stories make for an empowering brand.

List them down
Every year, Time magazine comes up with a “Top 10 of Everything” to cap a year. And every year, their lists get shared. Lists turn overwhelming information into bite-size ones. Starting with “Top 5”, “8 biggest,” or “10 greatest” lists will increase your site’s shareability. Who wouldn’t click on something like, “7 biggest lies of diet sodas?”

Teach them how-to
“How to have Beyonce’s body” or “How to get that Oscar look” will interest your niche. How-to and tips provide valuable and practical social media content that your followers can really use.

What’s the latest?
Try to stay current with your posts to make them more relatable. This makes your brand relevant. Social media marketers should stay in loop of events, trends, and seasons. When you are a retail brand and Valentine’s is near, tweak your content to something like, “Gifts that will make her say ‘yes’.”

Be controversial
Use controversy as a tool for content marketing. People feel the urgency to share when a post is controversial. Controversy incites reactions, opinions and comments. A photo with a headline that reads, “Cat torched to death in China” or “Lebron reacts to bashers” intrigue the readers’ minds.

Act to react
An on-the-fly Facebook post by Oreo during the Superbowl blackout received so much buzz. It read, “You can still dunk in the dark.” It was timely, subtle, and creative, and turned out to be one of the most powerful ads on one of the most expensive advertising days of the year. And they did it for free.

React fast to make your business look genuine and relevant. Be timely.

LOL is cool
Humor never fails. Humor creates an emotional connection with followers. People also think that sharing witty and humorous posts with friends make them look cool. Clean and industry-related humor gets you closer to your market; it shuns away intimidation and makes your brand a virtual friend. They may not remember the joke, but they will remember that they laughed.

Get the picture
A research published by Wishpond shows that pictures are really worth more than a thousand words; or in the world of Facebook, a picture is worth 120% more engagement. Photos get 53% more likes than text or text-link updates and attracted 104% more comments than the average post. It also showed that a website link with a photo results in 84% more click-throughs. A related study by Buffer also found that updates with images on Twitter received 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets.

For a photo to be more shareable, add powerful lines, commentary or text.

Ask a question
Giving your followers a chance to speak their mind will make them feel that what they think is important. Effective social media content should drive intellectual satisfaction by asking questions, starting a debate and gathering opinions. Even a question like, “Who wore it better?” never fails to increase engagement.

Go for the “awww”
Mostly anything with a baby, a cat, or a dog goes viral these days. Cuteness is the name of the sharing game. Get your followers to say “awww” and your job is done. Never underestimate the power of cuteness because posts like these make people feel good and spread the positive vibe.

Back to throwback
Use nostalgia to increase engagement. People love it when they are reminded of the things they used to do or shows they loved to watch. Fun memories increase social chatter and sharing of experiences.

Don’t give it all
A headline that reads, “You won’t believe what this old man did” or a post that ends with “Watch to find out” get a lot of views and click-throughs. Leaving something hanging entices the imagination. It makes people want more.

Call to action
Share buttons alone won’t do the trick. Make known your intentions and be clear that you want your content to be shared. Ask readers to share the information you gave to your friends. Remember that honesty works all the time.

Social is a way of thinking and feeling. Social media websites are tools; they are not the strategy. An effective social media marketing strategy should have the elements that attract the mind and affects the heart. Remember that marketing deals with real people with real problems, real emotions, and real aspirations. The trick is: make people’s lives better with every information you put out there.

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Aby League is a qualitative researcher and a writer. She is also an innovator and technology enthusiast. She runs the blog AboutPossibilities.com. To know her more follow @abyleague.