While imitation is still the sincerest form of flattery, nothing beats the satisfaction that comes from having your content shared, forwarded or re-Tweeted. So why is it some anecdotes, blog posts or articles circulate through media circles like wildfire while equally interesting content largely goes unnoticed?
The reality is there’s no magic bullet that’s a surefire way to get people talking about your company. However there are ways to naturally inspire readers to pass along your content through social media channels.
Assuming you’ve got great content to begin with, here are five ways to refine and package it for optimal attention.
1. Metaphors and similes: As a grammar refresher, metaphors are implied comparisons between two unlike things that actually have something in common. For example, the phrases, “time is money” and “heart of stone,” are commonly used metaphors.
Similes compare two unlike things and use the words “like” or “as” to draw a comparison, such as “life is like a box of chocolates.”
Be creative and clever in introducing a new simile or metaphor to increase the chances of your readers retaining your message. Just be sure to test it out on a few folks before committing to it.
Remember, if you’re trying too hard to coin a new phrase or the metaphor seems like too great of a stretch, that’s a good sign you may need to go back to the drawing board.
2. Images and slideshows: Along with creating images in the reader’s head, you can also draw in readers and reinforce the message with captivating images.
Slideshows are another great way to get out your message in a “shareable” format. Why not try to tell your story in 10 click-through images or less? After all, a picture is still worth a thousand words.
3. Pithy headlines: One trick to writing punchy and memorable headlines is to write them last, after the story is complete.
You may also want to strive to keep your headlines under 140 characters. This way, your Twitter followers can more easily retweet your message without having to edit their name or your work of genius.
For the fourth and fifth ways, read my latest column for American Express’ OPEN Forum, “Pass It On: 5 Ways To Create Compelling Content.”