To run a successful blog, you need two things: content and exposure. Content is no problem; you have plenty. You even have a regular set of readers. What you need, then, is increased exposure. How do you get more readers to share your posts?
1. Make sure your content is something interesting enough that users want to click and view it. This can primarily be done with an interesting title. When in doubt, study linkbait tactics.
2. Add a comment that further encourages users to click. For example, with numbered lists, a comment of “number seven blew my mind” can get you started. People will be curious what number seven is, even if they’re cynical with content marketing schemes.
3. Attach something graphical to your post with relative frequency. A compelling image does two things; it makes your post look more interesting to view, and it gives users something to anchor a share on Instagram and Pinterest.
4. Ask! Many users will respond to a simple request to like, share and comment on your posts. It may seem too obvious to be true, but it works. Ask and you shall receive.
5. Study your metrics. When you put any of these tips into action, record that you did so and what the result was. When you find something that works, do it more often. If something doesn’t, avoid it in the future.
6. Be active on social media. Don’t just use it to share your content; hold discussions and comment on brands you like. They will often return the favor.
7. Pay attention to the time of day you upload your content. Most of the time, your users will be online in the early evening and around noon. This can vary from business to business, so track the activities of your users and determine when best to post new content.
8. Determine what day of the week is best to share content. Is it better to share on a Monday, when your users are back to work and looking for resources? Should you hold off until Thursday, when the weekend is almost here and they want a distraction? It depends on your brand, so measure and decide for yourself.
9. Use different calls to action for different purposes. A simple call to convert may be effective for your revenue but less so for your shares. A call to share will get you more exposure, so measure if that will also increase revenues.
10. When you post a video, consider uploading directly to Facebook. Their video player may not allow external embedding or as much customization as YouTube, but it can bring in more engagement on Facebook itself.
11. Respond to comments promptly, particularly questions and suggestions. When you act like a normal user of social media, your brand gains a higher affinity with your followers, who will then see your content more often.
12. Consider using an account on Reddit to promote your content. Don’t try to hide who you are, of course; simply learn which subs to use to promote your content. Make sure you follow the rules or risk earning a ban.
13. Consider using a Tumblr account to share content and interact with fans you otherwise may never see. Tumblr is a young audience and it’s not heavily monetized, so it can be a great place to share content on a social level.
14. Post your content on industry-related bulletin boards and discussion forums. Again, as with Reddit, make sure you follow their rules about promotion and make sure you’re upfront about it.
15. Offer to write guest posts on other blogs that link to your post. Bringing in their audience will help you receive more exposure and more social shares.
16. Hold contests for products or promotions when a post reaches a certain number of shares. It’s simple and effective.
17. Don’t forget your keywords! You want your content to be picked up by Google for relevant queries. Sometimes your most devoted fans didn’t find you through social media.
18. Make an emotional connection. People are far more moved by emotions than by clinical thought. When in doubt, appeal to the emotions of your users.
19. Take the time to engage mobile users with mobile advertising. Just because you’re going for social shares doesn’t mean you have to avoid putting your content into actual advertising.
20. Don’t be afraid to schedule posts for release throughout the weekend or while you aren’t in the office to monitor them. Sometimes, just getting a post out there is better than silence for two days at a time.
21. Make sure your social media profiles are filled out and up to date. If they aren’t, users lose trust in your page and will be less inclined to share your content.
22. Start a legitimate conversation on social media, one that isn’t branded or advertising something. Just asking what your users think engages them in the discussion and they will generate a more favorable opinion of your business.
23. Study what your competitors are doing and see how it differs from your own strategies. You can often make use of some of the same techniques they use to promote your own content.
24. Pay attention to the images you use. Are they illustrating the subject or are they thematically connected? Are they colorful or drab? Are they sharp or blurry? This is especially relevant on Instagram.
25. Create your own Facebook app to help encourage shares and likes. Reading content through an app puts users in a different state of mind, where they are more likely to engage.
26. Share content that you didn’t produce. When you show yourself as active on social media, users will be more likely to engage with your brand and share your content.
27. Don’t be afraid to post the occasional informal emoticon, as long as it’s used properly. Misuse of social images can throw your reputation into question, but properly used emotes work to heighten engagement, particularly with younger readers.
28. Consider sharing your post in an email newsletter to your audience. Set it aside for a weekly or monthly digest, if your blog is fast. If it’s slow, you can get away with notifying users with each post.
29. If you use StumbleUpon for additional marketing, go ahead and give your post a thumbs up. This automatically indexes and shares it in their database. If someone else beat you to it, this gives it more support.
30. Share your post on LinkedIn. It’s not commonly discussed as much as Facebook or Google+, but LinkedIn can get you quite a bit of interested professional traffic.
31. Share your LinkedIn post with interested and relevant groups. Avoid spamming your link to groups that aren’t related to your subject, as this can get restrictions placed on your account.
32. Share and like your post on Facebook. This gets it started with Facebook’s social groups, and helps break the ice with people who don’t like being the first to interact with something. Don’t forget to ask for their opinion on your content!
33. Share and +1 your post on Google+. This helps get it indexed, exposes it to a new audience and gives it a new network to circulate through. Don’t forget to promote your Google+ post as well.
34. Promote your post through Twitter. Don’t forget to add a relevant hashtag or two, to bring in the audience of people viewing that hashtag. Tweet it again over the next couple days for added exposure.
35. Promote through Triberr. Triberr essentially presents you with circles of like-minded individuals, building an interested audience. Their focus is your benefit, as they are more likely than the average user to share your posts.
36. Add a toolbar that allows easy sharing on social networks. Add as many of the major networks as you can, but don’t include niche networks no one uses. Pinterest and Instagram are good; Myspace and Friendster are bad.
37. Make your content detailed. Six paragraphs of fluff provide no value to the users. Six paragraphs of analysis and statistics may be harder to make interesting, but they provide more value.
38. Make your content is actionable. Content should be something your users can actually use, whether it’s tips, promotions, resources or anything else of value.
39. Make your content evergreen. Useful resources users will come back to time and again are great share fodder. They also help with providing value for SEO purposes.
40. Make your content is timely. Content published as commentary after a current event is much more likely to be shared around than content published a week or more later.