Getting exposure to your website often begins with social sharing, but getting the ball rolling on shares can be difficult.
That's why it's important to optimize your existing social media profiles and content for quick and easy sharing. With the right optimization, you can take what you already have and make it more effective.
Here, we'll cover four easy ways you can make your own content more shareable.
Tune Your Metadata
When people are browsing Facebook, they notice the following things most often when evaluating a post with a URL:
- the description
- the comments
- the associated image
- the title
Although you can't control the comments (bummer, I know), you can control the remaining three elements.
It's a good idea to make your these elements succinct. Shorter titles are better, so you should aim for a title with 100 characters or less. Descriptions can run slightly longer than titles, but you'll want to keep them under 250 characters, including spaces. Most brands on Facebook restrict themselves to three sentences at most.
Note: Keep your keywords in mind as you write titles and descriptions for any of your social media marketing efforts. This is because they can help make your content more visible for people searching for those topics on social media networks and search engines.
P.S. Not sure what keywords will work best for you? Take a look at your biggest competitors to see what they're focusing on. While we use HubSpot as our primary keyword research tool, you may consider SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner or even make quick use of Google Instant to see what relevant terms pop up related to your business in the search bar.
Optimize Your Images
Study after study has shown images can do wondrous things for engagement and sharing.
However, it's important to remember that the images that look great on your website won't necessarily look their best on social media. Consequently, you should always evaluate images before posting them. In most cases, this can be done by adding the URL of the page you want to evaluate into a social post, which allows you to quickly preview if there are any issues related to cropping or format.
If your image gets cut off, or appears too far away, then you'll need to change the size of the image.
For Twitter, the optimal size for an in-stream photo is for 440x220 pixels. Facebook is optimized for 1,200x630, and for Google+, 497x373.
You'll also want to ensure that your content is completely mobile friendly by viewing your content on a smartphone after you've posted.
Give Your Readers a Reason to Return
If you want people to become aware of your brand and come back to your site, you need to keep your content fresh so that they have a reason to return and share again.
It's worth remembering that your competitors on social media sites aren’t always other brands in your industry. On the contrary, most of your competition for consumer attention comes from the thousands of publications and unrelated content that fills up a user's feed every day.
If you don't capture their attention and give your fans a reason to return, you'll quickly get lost in this flood of digital information.
Implement Sharing Buttons
The easier it is to share your content, the more likely people are to share it.
If you visit any major blog or online publication, you'll find that they have numerous accessible social sharing buttons. When selecting sharing buttons for your own site, it's important to think about which ones will work best for the design of your page. Social sharing buttons can be almost entirely customized to fit the appearance and overall tone of your site.
Also consider the use of individual sharing buttons, such as the “Pin It” button for Pinterest. Although the benefits of these buttons vary on a case-by-case basis, the Pin It button is particularly useful because it runs on top of your images rather than adjacent to your content, making it a relatively low-key addition to your site.
Regardless of what buttons you end up choosing, there are 3 essentials you need to keep in mind:
- Placement - it's worth studying where some of the largest news aggregates put there sharing buttons. For example, BuzzFeed places there sharing buttons just above their content, keeping them visible at all times. You might consider checking out some of your favorite news sites to see where they place their buttons before you start thinking about placing them on your own site.
- Tracking - You should always run some kind of analytics on your sharing and follow buttons, which can tell you what pages on your site are delivering the most in terms of engagement and sharing.
- Customization – as discussed in the Customization section above.
Increasing the rate with which your content gets shared requires persistence. However, with the right content tuning, sharing buttons, image optimization, and reasons to keep coming back, you'll be certain to produce results sooner than you think.
Start brainstorming ways you can implement these changes to your own content marketing strategies, and remember to keep track of your results!