The Art and Science of Getting Content Shared on Social Media Why any one post goes viral may always be a mystery but science and experience are revealing techniques for getting your content noticed and shared.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When excellent content fails to attract the readership it deserves, likely there were lapses in marketing efforts either before and after it was published. There is no guaranteed way to send your content viral but a few, reliable techniques boost the odds your posts receive well-deserved attention from social media users.
Related: How to Leverage Celebrities and Social Media to Build Buzz
Leverage influencers. You don't need to be a social media star to see your blog posts widely shared. You can depend on others who've nurtured loyal followings to amplify your content across Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
Before you hit "publish,' make sure you've quoted a few experts who have shared their opinion on your topic. When the story goes live, notify those individuals about your mention of them. They will likely respond with a "like,' tweet and share of the post that will reach many of their followers.
This is a classic win-win-win. You add credibility to your post by noting what an industry influential has said about the same topic, those experts lend their social media presence when they share your content and you develop great rapport with the individuals you quote.
For more tactical advice, here are four foolproof strategies for getting social media power users to share your content for you.
Related: How to Get Your Content Shared More on Pinterest
Turn off comments. Sonia Simone, co-founder and chief content officer of Copyblogger, recently decided to do away with comments on the Copyblogger blog. As surprisinging as it was to many readers, others embraced the change, believing it would lead to better content and conversations. So far, the experiment has proved successful.
Upon reaching the end of a post, the Copyblogger audience is encouraged to "take the conversation further" on Google Plus and Twitter. This has proved brilliant at getting readers talking about and sharing Copyblogger content. Judging by activity on Google Plus, the conversations could not get any better.
Engaged fans enthusiastically contribute thoughtful insights to the conversation and, more often than not, will then interact with you one-on-one.
Use language that clicks. The social media management app Buffer published a study that analyzed the most popular words used in viral headlines and evaluated winning headline strategies. Experiment with your headlines to see which words and phrases resonate with your unique audience. Soon, you'll have a list of what drives social shares.
Research conducted at the University of Texas, Austin, found Facebook users manifest their regular selves both online and offline. Content that speaks directly to who your readers are encourages them to share your post with people they care about as a way of publicly sharing a bit of themselves.
Related: A Benign Virus: Your Company's Content Shared Across Social Media