8 Types of Blog Posts Guaranteed to Get Social Shares
Logic suggests that the best way to get social shares is to produce content that people like to share. But what kind of content is that?
Because shared content is so reflective of the sharer himself, it’s important that the sharer is supremely confident that the content he’s sharing properly represents his thoughts and beliefs. This is why content that’s simple and to-the-point is best—the sharer takes on less risk in sharing because he’s more confident that the content is saying what he thinks it says.
Some content is just more shareable by nature, because it’s easy to digest and flattering to the sharer. Here are 8 examples of such types of content:
Everyone loves a good list. Something about a number in a title awakens a subconscious urge in all of us to find out what’s on that list. What are 9 Must Have Elements of a Successful Homepage? Now you have to know. And your like-minded friends will probably want to know, too.
Beyond the curiosity factor, lists are well-organized by nature and easily skimmable. They also suggest that the author has performed some amount of filtering and prioritizing, which saves the reader the trouble and makes the author look like an expert on the topic.
- 5 Ways to Stop Competing on Price
- 3 Website Elements Which Need Constant A/B Testing
- 5 Email Marketing Elements to Test and Optimize
The sheer quantity of information available on the internet can be exhausting. Anytime you can sift through everything that’s out there on a particular topic, compile the most important resources, and bake them together with some nice context, you’re saving your readers valuable time and making them feel like they’re getting more bang for their buck. This is the concept of “content curation.”
To ratchet up the credibility of your curated content even more, consider giving it a title that further solidifies the idea that readers will get all of the information they need right there. For example, WordPress SEO: The Only Guide You’ll Need.
How Tos are great because they’re usually basic tutorials or step-by-step guides, and therefore naturally easy to read. Similar to lists, information is laid out in an organizational concept that is familiar and comfortable to readers.
Also, readers can usually tell exactly what they’re getting from the title of a How To. Titles are critical for sharing, since people often must decide whether they want to read an article based solely on the title that pops up on their Facebook or Twitter feeds.
- How to Have Influencers Share Your Content
- How to Create a Facebook Landing Page in 3 Easy Steps!
- How to Create Content That's Worth Reading
For an extra hip twist, try writing your How To backwards, targeting the exact opposite of what your audience wants. For example, Distil wrote about how to lower your SEO rank, and USA Today published an article on how to lose a client in 7 easy steps. These reverse How Tos demand our attention and tap into our fears by suggesting that we might be doing things wrong and not even knowing it. They’re also great for sharing because the person who shares them is perceived to be one step ahead of the rest of us.
Interviews with High Profile People.
Interviews are great for two reasons:
- They add variety to your site’s content.
- They drive new traffic to your site, since your interviewee is likely to share your work with his followers. He’ll want others to know he’s worth interviewing.
You can pursue either a traditional person-centric interview, where you ask one person several questions, or a topic-centric interview, where you ask multiple people one specific question. For example, this article from Skyrocket SEO compiles answers from six different experts on one question regarding link building.
The most influential players in our industries are like celebrities to us, so we’re automatically interested in what they have to say. Interviews with such people are also very shareable because they’re great conversation pieces—if my friend Joe and I have talked about a certain high profile person in conversation before, the chances that I’ll send Joe an interview I found with that person are higher.
- Pro Interview: Busting Writer’s Block and Becoming a Better Writer
- Real People, Real SEO: An Interview with Rand Fishkin
This is the strategy of incorporating a positive portrayal of certain people or companies in your content to pump up their egos and ultimately encourage them to link to your content. Similar to interviews, egobaiting strategies can help you get on influencers’ radars and tap into their armies of followers. Here’s a great article from Point Blank SEO that describes how to get the best results from this strategy.
- Who are Klout’s Top 10 healthcare social media ‘influencers’?
- 8 Twitter Powerhouses you Must Follow: They actually communicate with the little guy
Everyone loves success stories, especially when we’re trying to succeed in the same way. Case studies illustrate how specific strategies have worked for certain people or companies, and how the same strategies can work for the reader.
Careful titling is essential here, and concrete evidence of the success should be allowed to speak for itself. For example, no one wants to share (or read) a case study called How SEO Worked for Me, but something like How a 3 Month Old Website Received 958,373 Visits from Google is guaranteed to rouse some tweets and likes. (Think about how many articles you’ve seen with titles like “How I Lost 25 Pounds in 2 Weeks,” rather than “How I Lost Weight Quickly.”)
Information that Challenges Popular Belief.
There’s plenty of information out there about how good SEO strategies can benefit your company, but what if you saw an article about how SEO is a big fat waste of money? People hate it when they discover that something they’ve believed for a long time might actually be false, and they’re always eager to reassess their beliefs in light of the new information. Often, authors who employ this strategy use clever titling to draw readers in, but then write content that isn’t quite as controversial as the title suggested. If your goal is to generate social shares, this strategy can be pretty powerful, since sharing relies so heavily on effective titling.
When we think we’re pretty well-versed in a topic and then find out that there are hidden gems of information lurking just under our radar, we feel sort of panicked, and we’re strongly motivated to fill that knowledge gap. Think of any article entitled “What You Don’t Know about X,” such as this one on what you don’t know about content curation and SEO. Even if it turns out that we do already know all the points discussed in the article, we’re only relieved that our expertise on the topic has been confirmed, rather than critical of what the title promised us. Similar to the reverse How To’s, sharing these types of articles makes us look good to our peers, since we uncovered these secrets first and are therefore on the cutting edge.
When you’re working to build the number of social shares you get on your content, experiment with a variety of content types to see what appeals to your audience most. If you use WordPress, you can employ a plugin like Social Metrics to track how many and what kind of shares your posts get in one place, which is great for trending.
And finally, if you want people to share your content, consider just asking them. The results might surprise you.