What Makes a Social Media Post Shareable?

oneims-dev - April 30, 2014

Successful Social Media Posts

When your company posts to social media, one of the goals is to get your fans to share with the people who follow them. That increases the reachability of your post, and hopefully, increases your site’s traffic. It may even lead to gaining new fans or even customers. Of course, not everything you post will go viral, or even come close, but in order to aim for more “shareable” posts, it’s helpful to know some features of posts that people are more likely to share. Learning more about how to make your posts shareable increases your odds that they’ll go farther—and who doesn’t want that? So—what types of posts are most shareable?

Posts that Give

Posts that provide discounts, deals, or other enticing offers are often passed around early and often. Take, for example, the viral posts of people offering to give a sum of money to anyone who shared the post—if the poster won the lottery. Of course, that poster never has to give out money (winning the lottery is highly unlikely, and accountability is low as well), but people share the post “just in case.”

In a slightly different vein, however, if you’re offering a coupon code, but you only post about it on Facebook fans are likely to share it not only on their Facebook page, but perhaps on their other social platforms as well, so that people who might not be your Facebook fans but who would still be interested in the discount. Give your followers a way to save money or get something extra, and they’ll want to let their friends in on the good fortune.

Posts that Offer Advice

Advice, particularly the type that applies to just about everyone, is another shared feature of often-shared posts. Tailor this sort of post to your audience – don’t tell people who need IT solutions how to better craft marketing emails, for instance—that’s not what your audience wants. Offer universal advice – how to pass time in a traffic jam, tips for enjoying your job more, etc. Advice that most people can relate to or find value in will get shared more often than more specific tips will.

Posts that Inspire

People love inspirational quotes. For better or for worse, these seemingly contrived posts are, as it turns out, often thought provoking at the very least, and that’s why people feel compelled to click that share button. Don’t use this tactic too often, but every now and then, an inspirational quote or idea is a great addition to your strategy.

Posts that Amaze Your Audience

“You’ll never believe this!” type posts are, like inspirational posts, somewhat gimmicky, but that’s not to say that they don’t have their place. Amazing pictures, facts, and statistics are all things that will do well on social media, regardless of what they’re related to. Of course, it’s always best to make your content closely related to what your business does, so try and find posts that will amaze your audience in that realm.

Posts that Make People Laugh

Obviously, people love to laugh. Funny things will get shared, because your followers will want to pass the laughs on. With posts on a company social media profile, it’s essential to check and double check that the humor is not offensive in any way. You may not end up posting content that is as edgy as something you might post to your personal profile, but that’s ok—here, the goal is to amuse without ruffling anyone’s feathers.

Posts that Warn

Finally, posts that get shared are posts that deliver a helpful warning – against dangers that could affect anyone, not just a specific group of people. For instance, writing a post about new Facebook privacy rules, which affect everyone reading the post on your Facebook, is likely to do well, since it flips on the light switch that people need to be considerate of their online privacy. Other topics may include scams to watch out for, marketing failures that you can easily avoid, or things related to your industry that people are at risk for.

The key to making sure these posts are all helpful for your brand is to strive to only post content that relates to your business, your product, and what you do – unrelated content can be seen as gimmicky and may drive potential visitors away.

Taking time to ensure your posts are not only appealing and interesting, but have a hook that makes people want to share them with their friends or colleagues, is the secret to having successful social media profiles. Put in the effort to give your followers content they will truly enjoy, and the sharing will happen naturally.

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