If no one shares your blog posts on social media do they really exist? How can you get more of the right people to share your posts on social media?
This is part two of a series that accompanies the workbook ‘How to get the right people to read your blog’. You can download your free copy of that book here.
Last week we looked at the different ways you could test blog topics to make sure your readers wanted to read what you write.
This week we’re looking at the types of post you can write to get more social media shares
How to get more of the right people to share your blog posts
Why is it important to get more social media shares?
Grow your audience
If no one knows about you they can’t buy from you. By getting real shares on your blog posts from the right people you will be able to reach a diverse audience and build awareness of your business.
Getting people to know about you is the first step in the circle of trust. Once you’ve reached them you can start to build on that trust and turn them into customers.
Think about it, when you land on a blog post and there’s a big fat 0 next to the sharing button how do you feel? Does it make you think you’ve found the best possible information? Or do you think you might just go check elsewhere?
Right or wrong some people will judge you by your share count. (A fact I’ve had to face up to as I lost many shares when I made the switch to HTTPS recently). Every share you get is an endorsement, someone has liked or trusted your content enough to share it with their audience.
How do you get more shares on your blog posts?
Some posts get stacks of social media shares almost by accident. They’ll resonate with your audience and take off. Other posts get overlooked.
There are specific posts we can write that are engineered for sharing. Add one a month or quarter to your content schedule and you’ll start growing your share count and audience.
I’m including six of these blog post types below:
1. Guest posts
It’s both wonderful and annoying that some of the most popular blog posts on my site this year were written by guest bloggers. I was selective in who I asked and I got three amazing articles as a result.
It can be scary handing the keys of your content over to someone else even temporarily but there are advantages.
One of these advantages is that your guest blogger will also share your post, you’ll be building awareness with their audience. It’s almost as good as an endorsement, they are aligning themselves with your business.
Find out more about getting guest posts for your site here.
2. Influencer roundup posts
This type of post involves getting input on a specific topic from a panel of experts. Think of a question that your readers would like to know the answer to and find influential people to answer it for you.
Question selection is crucial here, find a topic that is both interesting to your reader and will encourage contributors to share stories.
More on creating an influencer roundup post here.
The first influencer post I created was about blogging mistakes. I asked some of my favourite bloggers to contribute and was delighted both that some of my favourite bloggers contributed and by the end result.
My second post was even more successful. For International Women’s Day I asked successful Irish businesswomen to contribute to a post about their morning routines.
The contributors shared the posts as did their communities. I got shares, traffic and kudos.
The International Women’s Day post was particularly successful. It expanded my audience of small businesses in Ireland, my key target market.
What sort of person does your reader find interesting? Who do they look up to? Who has the information they need?
Make a long list of these people and interview them for your blog. You can record an audio interview and transcribe it or you can send a list of email questions.
Recorded interviews tend to be more natural but transcribing is hard work. Email interviews mean less work for you but you are relying on the writing skills of your subject to make it interesting.
The benefit of this type of post is that your subject is likely to share your post too. If they are interesting to your existing readers you’re going to attract exactly the right new readers.
Find out more about writing effective interview posts here.
4. Curated roundup posts
I mentioned influencer roundup posts already but there’s another type of roundup post that can help you get more shares.
A curated roundup posts a collection of links to articles and blog posts related to a specific topic. For each link add a paragraph (or more) of your own commentary. Tell people what’s in the link and why it’s a valuable red.
When you share the post tag all the sites and writers you have linked to. They will be delighted to be included and many will share your post with their audience.
Here’s more information on writing roundup posts.
This is a dangerous strategy but if you are sure it will fit your brand it could be a sharing goldmine.
Do you have a controversial take on something related to your business or customers? If so write about it and you’re bound to stir up a storm.
That storm comes at a price. You are going to alienate some of your audience. The perception of you and your business could be permanently changed. If you’re going to pursue this strategy be ready for the reaction.
I talked about this once before in a video about swearing. Swearing can work well in marketing, but it’s not for everyone. I don’t swear because I don’t think it’s appropriate for my brand. Others build their brand on it and it’s proved effective.
Newsjacking, a term coined by David Meerman Scott refers to writing about a trending topic. Do you have a unique take on the new Star Trek series? Is there something you can add to the conversation about RyanAir?
By adding to an existing conversation with a new idea you will attract new readers and get shared.
Timing is everything with newsjacking. If you were considering a post on the RyanAir debacle you are a little too late. David Meerman Scott tells us we need to catch the story as soon as it starts to gain traction.
Keep an eye on the news and start thinking about how you can tap into the hot stories with your blog posts.
Are you ready to write a blog post that at least doubles your shares?
Choose from one of the six blog topics I’ve outlined above and go write with sharing in mind.
I’ll start a thread on the Small Business Bloggers Facebook Group. Come and share your shareable posts with us there, you might even pick up a few more shares as a result.