How to Boost your Social Shares
No marketer can ignore social media. As of early 2020, 51% of the world’s population is using one or more channels and spending a combined time of 1 million years on various platforms every day. That number has only risen thanks to the pandemic.
Social media platforms give you a great way to share your brand, vision, and products with the world, but you need a little help. You may have a lot of followers on your chosen channel(s), but there are many more out there who have never heard of your business. That’s why you need people to share your posts and help spread your business far and wide.
However, organic engagement with social media posts has been dropping for years. For Facebook, the engagement rate fell from 0.16% in 2018 to 0.09% in 2019, and on Instagram, the rate dropped from 1.73% to 1.6%. You can no longer assume that timely topics and fascinating content are enough to kick your post off to many different feeds and timelines.
It’s hard to buck the trend, but it’s still doable. There are tactics you can employ which will encourage more people to share your posts. Here are 7 ways to boost social shares and drive brand awareness.
1. Sharpen your graphics
Images drive shares, but there are a lot of them competing for eye space, so you need to sharpen your visual game. Most people use social media on their phones, so make sure that images don’t get cut off at the wrong point in the preview, any text on your graphics is legible on a small screen, and the user can zoom in and out easily. A social graphics tool helps you create attractive social media graphics that tick all these boxes, draw the eye, and entice the viewer to click “share.”
2. Include more video
Video is the top-performing content type, with social media users saying they are twice as likely to share video content than to share any other kind. Short videos are particularly popular today as people have short attention spans, and platforms like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, and TikTok all encourage video snippets. No one expects social video to be polished and perfect, which makes it even easier to shoot a few minutes of video and post it on your account.
3. Embrace emojis
Emoji use rose massively during the past year, with 1 out of every 5 tweets containing at least one emoji, increasing from 14.8% in August 2018. Emojis are becoming accepted even from business accounts and professionals, and even from people who aren’t Gen Z. Emojis help increase your posts’ shareability, because they shorten and break up blocks of text and make your content more easily scannable, without sacrificing nuance or dulling the message.
4. Respond to sharers
Simple good manners can make all the difference. When someone shares your post, say a quick “thank you” or just drop a reaction onto it. When customers get a response from sharing your content, they feel that your business cares about what they do and their involvement online. Remember that marketing is all about building a relationship. Responding to your sharers strengthens the connection they’ll feel to your brand and makes them a lot more likely to do it again.
5. Get the timing right
No one will share your social media posts if they don’t see them. The trouble is that every single social media platform is flooded with content that keeps pouring onto it all the time. If your post goes live at the wrong moment, it could easily get buried under a wave of later posts. Avoid this by using social media tools to identify when your followers are active on each channel, and then scheduling your posts for a specific time of the day or the week to make sure you don’t miss the window of opportunity.
6. Ride the trends
When your social media posts are relevant to the biggest trending topics of the day — or hour, or minute — it significantly raises the chances that people will share them onwards. Keep on top of the main trends that are relevant to your industry, and/or find ways to tie your brand into the biggest issues of the moment, so that you can produce interesting and timely content while interest is at a peak.
7. Make it worth the share
A cute meme might make a user pause their scroll and crack a smile, but is it valuable enough for a share? Users know that the content they share affects their own social capital, so they’ll promote posts that genuinely help, entertain, or inspire. Produce content that communicates useful information, shows a heart-warming story of kindness and giving, or brightens everybody’s day, so that people feel that they’ll be providing value themselves when they share it on.
Your social media posts can rise above the rest
It is possible for your social media posts to buck the trend of lagging engagement and drive shares, as long as you craft them well. By including emojis, video, timely content, and valuable information, posting at optimal times, refining your social media graphics, and engaging with people who do hit share, you’ll encourage your followers to share more of your content and boost your reach much further afield.