Content that spreads is content that works. When your readers pass along your blog posts and images, they’re essentially marketing your brand. This not only amplifies your influence, but also does so in a way that’s efficient and makes the most of your time.
So to get the biggest return from your social media presence, you have to ask yourself: “How shareable is my content?”
To help answer that question, run your content through the checklist below.
Is It Legitimately Useful?
When it comes to contagious content, you have to think practically—Is this information useful? Ask yourself how your content will help your audience. Will it solve a problem, answer a question, or demonstrate how to do something new? Will the reader come away from it, having been helped in a specific way? Here are a few examples of content that fits this description:
Studies & Research
Cold, hard data are the sorts of things readers find fascinating—and when you present data in an interesting, easy-to-follow format, they are especially compelling. Consider the following examples of content that makes data useful:
“Infographic of Infographics”
This infographic from IvanCash.com showcases a variety of information about infographics, from the countries where they’re popular to the style of fonts most often used.
“How to Choose the Healthiest Greens”
This infographic from Greatist.com presents nutritional data about lettuce greens in an attractive image that’s easy to understand.
Social media networks love a good do-it-yourself (DIY) project. From home improvement to website design, projects that include clear, actionable instructions spread fast. Consider these examples, which provide specific information readers can use:
- How to Make a Wood Sign: The Homespun Happenings blog shows how to make a custom wood sign, featuring the quote of your choice.
- How to Make the Ultimate Media Kit: Shareaholic developed a guide for bloggers that shows how to make a media kit.
- Business Guide to Facebook: A comprehensive guidebook is another form of a “how-to” piece. This example from Mashable provides abundant resources about using Facebook for business.
Is It Inspiring?
Pinterest has given new power to the world of motivational quotes, particularly when those quotes are paired with images. People love to share images that evoke an emotional response and/or make a statement about what they believe. So make your content more shareable by featuring it with inspiring images like the ones below:
(Image source: studio t)
(image source: CreativeSomething.net)
Is It Relevant?
At its heart, shareable content goes back to knowing your audience. What are your customers talking about? What do your readers find interesting? Join the conversation your audience is already having, and you are instantly shareable. Check out these examples of brands doing this well:
Whole Foods Market: On Twitter, Whole Foods regularly posts recipes, cooking tips, and nutritional info. Below is a summer grilling tip posted in early July. This brand knows its audience cares about food and caters to that interest area with highly relevant content.
Target: As a lifestyle brand, Target posts more than products to its Twitter feed. Here, it shows seasonal relevance by simply Tweeting a hammock beneath a summer sky.
Looking at the checklist in this post, does your content fit the bill? Are your blog posts and social media updates useful, inspiring, and relevant? What other characteristics do you think make content shareable? How might you put these tips to work in your online efforts for more shares?
This is a guest article by Shanna Mallon