Why Isn’t Your Facebook Content as Shareable as a Super Bowl Ad?

Last night, like many Americans, I did my patriotic duty (pun intended) and watched the Super Bowl.

I consider myself a casual football fan (except when my team is playing — we’ll get ’em next year, Patriots), so I tend to get more excited each year about the commercials, and look forward to seeing how advertisers will outdo themselves.

Last night’s commercials didn’t disappoint, what with the reappearance of Ferris Bueller, a sequel to the Star Wars–kid spot from last year, CareerBuilder’s wacky business trip, a funny vampire-themed commercial, and a spot featuring Jerry Seinfeld, to name just a few.

Of course, you probably saw some of the ads before they aired during the big game. That’s because marketers released them early, hoping for some extra buzz.

And it worked: The more notable ads have been all over Facebook and Twitter as people watch them and then instantly share with their friends and colleagues. (I’m guilty of doing exactly that with the Ferris Bueller spot.)

Wouldn’t it be nice if the content you posted to Facebook was shared just as often and enthusiastically as those Super Bowl commercials are?

It could be, but chances are good you’re breaking one of these 5 cardinal rules of social media content:

1. Your content isn’t helpful. Always remember what’s going through someone’s mind when he or she sees content: “What’s in it for me?” If you can provide tips and information that will help your fans (even if it’s as simple as great places to park near your event venue, or food preparation tips the day before a holiday), then your fans will more likely want to share that information with their own networks.

2. Your content doesn’t create a connection. If all you do is talk about yourself, and how great your products or services are, then no one will care about that. Instead, share content that will get people to form a better 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?

For example, when one of my favorite businesses, In a Pickle, decided to paint its walls pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, it shared photos of the team doing so. Dozens of people liked, commented on, and shared the photos, including me.

3. Your content doesn’t entertain. No one wants to watch or share boring content. Get people to laugh or smile (like the most shared Super Bowl commercials do) and you’ll see your content spread more easily.

4. Your content doesn’t get people talking. You don’t always have to have all the answers. Why not ask your fans to share their thoughts? One of the best ways to get people to share your content is to ask questions. When you do that 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. Remember: It’s called social media. The goal is to get people engaging and interacting — with you, and with each other.

5. You didn’t ask for a 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.”

When it comes to getting your content shared on social media, you don’t need the multimillion-dollar budget of a Super Bowl advertiser. You just need to provide content that people will want to pass along.

Speaking of which, why not share THIS blog post? Click to share on your favorite social network. And let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment in the space below.

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