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6 Ways to Create Content Your Readers Will Share

The holy grail of social media is not “Likes” or follows, but shares.

And retweets, too.

After all, a “Like” or follow is specific to one person. A share or retweet gets you exposed to even more people.

How many? Well, if you consider that the average Facebook user has more than 245 friends (according to a recent Pew Research Center study), then sharing can help you reach as many as 31,170 people. That’s a lot of new prospects.

So how do you create content that people will share? Here are 6 tips:

1. Make it helpful. People love to be seen as a resource for their friends. If you can provide tips and information that will help them do that (even if it’s as simple as tips for managing the stress of the holidays, ways to be a better party host, or great parking locations near your place of business), then they will pass it along to their own networks.

2. Create a connection. Post content that will get people to form a more personal connection with your business or organization. A New York Times study last year showed that 84% of people say they share content that allows them to be supportive of causes. So why not show off your business’ charitable efforts?

Hello Bully, a Pittsburgh-based organization that seeks to rescue, rehabilitate, and repair the reputation of the American Pit Bull Terrier, has a built-in advantage given that so many people love dogs and pets. So it capitalizes on that by posting news about and photos of dogs, and it watches as that content gets spread far and wide, even beyond the Pittsburgh city limits.

Sharing this content lets supporters share their love of dogs with others and promote the organization’s cause at the same time.

3. Entertain. No one wants to watch or share boring content. Get people to laugh or smile (like the clips you often see being passed around from the late-night talk shows or Saturday Night Live) and you’ll see your content spread more easily.

4. Get people talking. One of the best ways to get people to share your content is to ask questions. When you do that on Facebook and someone posts a reply, it’ll show up in that fan’s Timeline that he or she commented on your Page or answered your question. And chances are good that a tweeted reply will be seen by lots of other people too.

Remember: It’s called social media. The goal is to get people engaging and interacting — with you, and with each other.

5. Provide an incentive. If your content is a special deal, you can incent people to share it with their social networks. Just add a little something extra — an additional discount or gift certificate, for example — that sweetens the pot for your customers who pass it along.

6. Ask people to share. It’s often as simple as this: Sometimes, people need to be told what to do. When you say “Please share this,” your fans often will. For example, you can post a piece of content (a status message, article, or whatever) and tell your fans “Share this if you agree.”

The bottom line

When you ask any small business or organization what their biggest driver of new business is, the answer is almost always word of mouth referrals.

In the context of social media, sharing is really just word of mouth enabled through technology. All you have to do is provide content that people want to pass along, and tell them how to do so.

With that in mind, why not share this article? Click the share link for your favorite social network on the left side of this screen.

What content that you post gets shared most often? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Comments:

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  1. Great suggestions. If you have a blog and link to someone’s post, you can also reach out to them directly to let them know and encourage them to share it with their social networks. When you do, you’re more likely to establish a new connection (and after all isn’t that what social networking is all about) and increase the likelihood that they’ll share your post with others.

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      Right back at you, Shawn. Great suggestion!
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Reply
  2. [...] 6 Ways to Create Content Your Readers Will Share…6 Ways to Create Content Your Readers Will Share MARCH 11, 2012 BY MARTIN LIEBERMAN 2 COMMENTS [...]

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  3. Just this morning at a networking breakfast, we were discussing how important it is to share content that is engaging. Your points here drive it home.

    Reply
  4. Great post, I have been searching for ways to bring traction to my content with more sharing.

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      Thanks, Marben! Glad you like it. I hope you find the success you’re looking for.
      Keep reading the blog to learn more tips.

      Reply
  5. Thanks! This information is really helpful for a small business like mine, with not a big advertising budget!

    Reply
  6. This is very helpful!!!

    Reply
  7. I love them all, except number five. Incentives are what you use when you don’t think people with share without one, I would recommend trying number six first, because human beings enjoy contributing to one another. If they like the content, they’ll share it! Read more about incentives at http://www.bmcdstudio.com/musings and tell me what you think!

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      I don’t disagree with you about incentives, Barbara. As you say, if people like the content — and it’s good — people will share it.

      But sometimes, it’s all about the type of content you’re talking about. In the case of a deal, adding an incentive sweetens the pot for the sharer. After all, who would take $20 off when they could get $30 off instead? And if the goal is to get more customers, then it’s important that people share your deal.

      Reply
  8. Thanks for the great ideas. I will try these to help my business grow. i especially like the 3rd idea, making it fun to read. I know keeping it simple is also good. I already do incentives and they work. Thanks for the help————————Mary Begue

    Reply
  9. [...] When readers share and retweet a post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other social media site, they are exponentially increasing exposure for the company, blogger, or marketer who produced it. Martin Lieberman of Constant Contact Blogs suggests a number of ways in which content creators can guarantee that their posts are share-worthy. [...]

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  10. [...] audience in mind, and it provides a valuable service or a good user experience, it will be seen, shared, and found. Don’t worry about Google’s algorithm. Focus on delivering the best content [...]

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  11. [...] 6 Ways to Create Content Your Readers Will Share | Constant Contact Blogs. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

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  12. Thanks for the tips. I’m glad to see I’m doing many of the right things, some tweaking will help.

    How to develop your Spiritual Gifts.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sedona-Creations/147810132000763

    All about Reiki.
    http://reiki.sedonacreations.com/blog/

    SedonaCreations.com
    Michael

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      Glad to hear you liked the article, and that you’re doing things that are working for your business.
      Wishing you continued success!
      Thanks for reading/commenting.

      Reply
  13. [...] 6 Ways to Create Content Your Readers Will Share [...]

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  14. Hey James, I was referred here by a client who asked me what I thought, and first bliush response was this: good solid info, if it is lacking in a bit of depth.

    I do not mean to drop in here and trash your post, so please don’t take any criticisms harshly. But I would like have a conversation about the changing nature of content.

    I think, for example, that a significant part of your (or my… “our”) community wants more meat on some of their content. What would you say to that? How are you, responding to demand for more meat by your clients’ clients?

    Our post is over here… http://newcontent.ca/richcontent/

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      Hey Ted. Thanks for the comment.

      We write about content all the time on our blog, and intended this blog post to be a quick overview of the subject. If you keep reading, I think you’ll find the depth you’re looking for in other blog posts.

      That said, I’m always up for a conversation on the changing nature of content. I’ll get in touch with you off the blog to set something up.

      Thanks!

      – Martin

      Reply
  15. [...] (The math behind this concept is relatively simple but very exciting, as featured in a recent Constant Contact post. A typical Facebook consumer has around 250 friends. When they share your post or link, you [...]

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  16. Martin, this is a wonderful article! My husband and I run a home-based fitness business where blogging is an important part of sharing who we are with the world. Your simple and direct points will certainly help us work smarter! THANK YOU for sharing :)

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      Thanks for the comment, Katy! I’m so glad this article helped you.

      Reply
  17. Martin, I’ve read enough meaty post about what I HAVE to do, what I NEED to do. I was overwhelmed and way over my head. You’ve put it simple, easy to accomplish. THIS is doable. Thank you. I’ve got the humor part and it works, now to get on to some of the other suggestions. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading. …..PJ

    Reply
  18. […] 6 Ways to Create Content Your Readers Will Share: This short and sweet post by Martin Lieberman of Constant Contact reminds us that the holy grail of social media is not likes, but shares and retweets. Social sharing is the tech version of word-of-mouth marketing that drives new business for a brand. […]

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  19. […] just hope that readers will share your content – politely ask them to share it. Since nobody likes to be the first, get the ball rolling and share the content […]

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  20. […] It may not need to be said…but we’ll say it anyway. Everyone likes being entertained! Think about how many things you’ve shared on your own social sites. Was it boring? We didn’t […]

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