Everybody reading this has asked for a recommendation from family or friends—we trust word of mouth. This is why word of mouth is one of the most powerful advertising strategies. Nothing converts into a sale better than a trusted friend recommending a product or service. Shares on social media are the online version of word of mouth. They are gold in the social media marketing world. Shares reach even wider audiences, and already have a trusted source’s seal of approval on them. We follow people who we find interesting, and are significantly more likely to look closely at a brand they trust—or vouch for. It is why affiliate marketing is so effective. Influencers are named as such because they are influential.
Work with Trending Topics
People on social media are more likely to read, upvote, like, comment, or share content that they find relevant. Google Trends is a really accessible tool that allows you to follow and analyze relevancy, so you can market and create accordingly. You can check daily search trends to see what is spiking; real-time search trends to see what is spiking at that moment; or simply search industry specific terms to see how they have been performing over the past year. Twitter makes it very convenient to see which topics are trending within specific industries. No matter the platform, with the right research, you can determine what conversations are happening and how you can enter them.
Ask Your Followers for Shares
Although very direct, this is a tried and true method for having your content shared. It might seem like bad branding, but if you look closely, most companies shamelessly promote themselves throughout their content. However, it is definitely not for everyone and if you think this will hurt your brand’s image, do not do it. With that said, pay attention to brands and businesses you like and watch what kind of content they put out. Usually, and your eyes might glaze over it, there is some form of “Share if you liked this,” or “Please like and retweet.” It is not as uncommon as one might think and loyal customers will probably help out—it is an easy way for customers to show their support and sometimes they just need a little push.
Disclaimer: This should not be done with every post and should be used sparingly. Nothing will annoy your customers more than constant badgering to like, comment, retweet, share, etc. their posts.
Use Hashtags, But Don’t Overuse Them
Hashtags are a great way to enter communities and conversations with your posts. Even on certain social media platforms like Twitter, hashtags are trending topics—conversations being had. Pick a variety of hashtags to incorporate into your posts. Especially, on Instagram, find 5-15 hashtags that your content relates to well. Any more than fifteen and you are pushing on excessive and it can look like you are trying too hard to drive shares and traffic; this will backfire and affect your brand’s image. Pick a few hashtags that have a larger following. Pick some that are a part of your business’s niche. Then, pick a few that are specific to your brand and keep these consistent across all of your posts.
Know Your Target Audience
It is vital that you know who you are reaching out to and how to connect with them through each platform. You won’t find a lot of younger generations on Facebook and won’t find a lot older generations on Snapchat. Instagram tends to be a middle ground, but even Instagram leans towards a younger consumer base. Do not waste your time advertising to the wrong audience. Do the homework and direct your resources accordingly.
The real secret that cannot be danced around with content that will boost shares is quality. There is no magical way to have your posts on Instagram or Facebook skyrocket in interactions besides buying bots—which will surely get you permanently banned on any social media platform.
At the end of the day, every piece of advice above follows under the same umbrella word of wisdom: well-made content will do well. If you create something engaging that people find thought provoking, they might share it. If you post something funny that makes people laugh, they might share it. Quality is the most important trick for social media and obtaining shares and overall post interaction.