7 Tips To Optimize Your Content For Social Sharing
Ignore the power of social sharing at your peril.
Social sharing is the traffic from one or more social media networks to your website or content. Optimal social sharing results from using these 5 key social sharing powerhouses (content creators, employees, influencers, community and DIY sharers) combined with social media advertising.
Social sharing has beat search traffic for the second time in 2014 according to Shareaholic data based on 360,000 websites using Shareaholic platform and 420 million monthly unique visits (although Shareaholic doesn’t disclose the raw numbers.) Social media referral traffic’s share almost doubled to 29.4% in 2014 while search traffic’s share decreased almost a third to 29.2% in 2014. This represents a significant shift in Internet user behavior that marketers have yet to incorporate into their 2015 plans. (BTW–This was a key social media highlight of 2014.)
As a result, social media feeds are your new homepage. You must create social content and make it attractive for social sharing.
Your key demographic: Millennials. 71% of millennials visit social media sites daily according to eMarketer.
Search accounts for 29.2% of traffic and 45.1% of advertising while social media accounts for 29.4% of traffic and 13.6% of advertising as reported by BuzzFeed.
Astute marketers will shift budget from search to social media to test the options before the marketplace matures and prices increase.
Be careful: Don’t interpret this to mean that you should ignore search entirely!!!
Instead balance your social sharing and search efforts to maximize your total reach. Also, work to associate your social sharing efforts with results as you do with search.
John Oliver: Example of how to maximize social sharing
To understand how to maximize social sharing through the use of content, let’s examine, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. In one season Oliver has built a 4 million viewer television audience for a paid cable show that’s greater than Bill Maher’s. Also Oliver has amassed a YouTube subscriber base of almost 1.2 million!
Unlike other HBO shows and traditional media, Oliver creates content aimed maximizing social media distribution. Specifically, Oliver:
- Features a long piece of content, namely over 10 minutes. As a veteran of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Oliver creates an in-depth piece of commentary on a meaty news issue. He regularly hits the millennial sweet spot of news commentary intelligently presented.
- Creates content for social media curation. Oliver creates his content so that it’s prime for social media consumption. As a result, the centerpiece of Last Week Tonight has become the focus of content curation for a variety of digital media entities in hopes that they can ride its viral coattails.
- Distributes the content via social media. HBO distributes Last Week Tonight’s key piece of content via YouTube (as well as other content venues). It’s important to note that social media distribution doesn’t need to be broad. (By contrast Fract.il’s found that Facebook trumped for social sharing. Here’s the full social sharing analysis with tips.)
- Asks his audience to participate and take action. During the long piece, Oliver generally asks the audience to do something. He assumes that they’re intelligent and Internet savvy. As a result, Oliver has quickly become associated with Internet topics like native advertising and net neutrality.
- Interacts with his social media audience. Unlike other television personalities, Oliver engages directly with his audience on YouTube and continues to create fresh content for YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knbw0gJHHBk
(BTW–Here’s how to create social content.)
7 Tips to maximize social sharing
Just posting content on your website or your social media page for that matter isn’t enough to propel your content to social sharing fame.
Rather you must take the time to study what works best for social sharing and apply it to your content creation and social media distribution.
- Design your content with the goal of attracting readers from social media. This means creating content that stands out in the social media feed. Consider what will make social media users click on and share your content.
- Tailor your content to meet the needs of specific social media platforms. Social content isn’t one size fits all. Nor is it content leftovers. Rather, plan your content by social network to maximize your reach by platform. Participants may use different networks for different needs.
- Maximize your millennial readership. Since millennials spend more time on social media and share more frequently, leverage the power of high social media participants, where appropriate. (Here’s more millennial data.)
- Make your content easy-to-consume via mobile. Facilitate consumption via social sharing with mobile-friendly content because participants tend to engage with social media via smartphones.
- Leverage your knowledge of your social marketing persona when buying social media advertising. Don’t just boost your posts. Let your marketing persona guide you to where, when and how your audience spends their time on social media. (For more information about Facebook advertising, check out Jon Loomer.)
- Engage with your social media audience and community. Social media isn’t just a platform for publishing content. It requires interaction. Plan to spend time and interact with your followers.
- Support social media with advertising. Adjust your advertising budget to reflect your specific audience’s traffic trends.
The bottom line: Create content with your audience and social sharing in mind to ensure that your content is shared socially.
Optimize your content for social media attractiveness but don’t ignore search.
What’s your best tip for maximizing social sharing?
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