Thursday, January 20, 2011

Top Techniques to Maximize Content Sharing

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Top Techniques to Maximize Content Sharing

If you’re trying to get your content shared on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, here’s a list of tips to increase your chances of retweets and shares.  And if you know others, please add them in the Comments!  [Credit to Dan Zarrella for his many posts and webinars from which many of these best practices were derived.]

Your Blog posts

It all starts with your content. Follow these guidelines to create posts that are well-suited for sharing: 

Twitter and Facebook are two of the top places to get your content shared. StumbleUpon and possibly LinkedIn are also good candidates.

  • Use short, provocative headlines with relevant keywords.
  • Be positive or inspiring. That’s the kind of content people like to share.
  • People link more when the post title indicates it’s an analysis, opinion, etc.
  • Among other words that get hits, “new blog post” works. Your followers want to know when you have a new post.
  • People don’t like to read something that is part of a series or that they can get elsewhere or will see talked about all over. Posts should be unique and usually stand-alone.
  • People want to share interesting and novel content. They like to be one of the first to share in their social circle.
  • Post your blog posts around 7am on a Mon, Tues, or Wed to maximize viewing and sharing.  (People read the most around 10am, but people looking to share content look for it earlier in the morning.)
  • If you want more comments, don’t be afraid to ask for them in your post. It works!

On Twitter

  • Make your tweets short enough to allow the text “RT @[your handle] “ to be added. Shoot for 120 characters. This makes it easier for people to RT.
  • Avoid technical terms and jargon in your promotional posts/tweets.
  • Once you’ve built up a loyal follower base, feel free to request that people RT links, etc. Requests to retweet, comment, etc. work
  • People prefer tweets that are well-written and don’t use a lot of abbreviations, etc.
  • If applicable, use words like insights, analysis, and opinion. Posts with these words get more views and links.
  • Promote new blog posts around 10am weekdays, especially Monday. Repromote on Thursday/Friday.
  • For best retweeting, use headline-like tweets, correctly punctuated, with few or no abbreviations, and written with a noun and in the third person. Incorporate the following words when feasible:
    o You—“You may find this information valuable”
    o Please—“Please share or forward if you like this post”
    o Retweet—“Please retweet.” Don’t request retweets too often, though.
    o Post—“This is my latest blog post”
    o Blog—“A new post from the Practical Media blog”
    o Free—“Free instructions for how to…”
    o Media—“Our partner was in the news media with its latest project”
    o Help—“Can you help spread the word”
    o Great—“A great article about land development in Washington state”
    o 10 (or other numbers)—“10 tips on…,” “the 5 steps to…”
    o how to—“how to get your project permit through”
    o top—“Top techniques for…”
    o check out—“Check out the news about…”

On Facebook

  • Post no more than once a day.  For maximum sharing, post every other day.
  • Write posts to a lower reading level. People read and share content written to a lower reading level (6th grade).
  • Avoid jargon. Technical stuff doesn’t do well on Facebook.
  • Post or re-post important items on the weekend for maximum sharing.
  • People prefer posts that are well-written and don’t use a lot of abbreviations, etc.
  • Generally, the best time to post on Facebook is morning, before the noon hour, and in the early evening, for posts to appear on people’s walls.
  • Include a picture (thumbnail) with your link to posts. People click on and share links with graphics most frequently.
  • For video content, mention in your Facebook post the word “video.” Posts that mention “video” get higher links and sharing on Facebook.
  • If applicable, use words like insights, analysis, and opinion. Posts with these words get more views and links.
  • Watch for comments on the weekend. Facebook users comment more frequently on weekends. 
  • If your post includes photos, mention in your Facebook post the word “photo.” On the other hand, posts that mention “photo” get higher comment rates. For example, saying something on Facebook about a photo will get more comments than saying something about a video.
  • Use posts or headlines with numbers, when feasible, such as “You’ll find 5 great tips on permitting.”

About the Author
Neicole Crepeau is a tech industry veteran with experience in usability, information architecture, marketing, and content. As the Online Strategist at Coherent Interactive, she develops social media strategies and does social interaction design and mobile app design. @neicolec on Twitter

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