Most business managers know the benefits of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, but how do you create content that gets retweeted, repinned or shared? “Going viral” is a phenomenon that can take a post from mediocre to having more views than “Charlie Bit My Finger” in a matter of hours.

Anyone can throw content up on a blog, website, or social media page and hope for the best, but making it engaging, valuable to your audience and above all else, shareable, can be a challenge. So what makes content shareable as opposed to content that sits there and gets little exposure? We are breaking it down into our top five steps for mass appeal!

Appeal to the Eyes

Humans are visual creatures, and content that gives your audience something to look at can quickly become shareable. Some social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, are perfect places for posting a photo or video, but try incorporating more visual appeal into other online platforms as well. For example, incorporating graphics into blog posts can engage readers and hold attention better than simply putting words on a screen.

Creating custom infographics or unique visuals keep content fresh and inviting.

Making sure the overall look of your content is accessible and looks nice no matter the device (computer screen versus cell phone) is also important. Basically, the more pleasing something is to look at, the higher chances your audience will want to share it with others.

Appeal to the Mind

Visual appeal increases your content’s chances of being shared, but also drawing your audience in and appealing to their mind and emotions is key.

  • Keep content short and concise to increase readability.
  • Try making lists instead of writing blog posts that resemble a short novel.
  • Vary your content by not just selling to your customer constantly.
  • Post meaningful and engaging things that get your audience to think, appeal to their emotions, or make them laugh.
  • People love sharing things that seem mysterious, make them feel something, or use humor.

Appeal to Your Audience’s Schedule

Part of content sharing involves posting at the right times in the right places. It’s like the old adage, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” You could have something amazing to say or show, but if you miss the time and place your target audience is online, your chances of being seen decrease.

For example, if you are a restaurant and you post a delicious-looking photo of your dinner special on Instagram, but you post it right at dinnertime, you’ve probably missed the sharing boat. That post would have been better served a couple hours before when people are thinking about dinner plans and reposting while tagging friends to join them.

Appeal to Their FOMO

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is real. The word was actually added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013! In the social media world, especially, people may experience FOMO when they see content that is getting a lot of buzz, mainly in the form of comments, and they don’t want to miss out on the conversation. If your post is the subject of a lot of chatter and generates comments, people will stop and read. Creating content that could spark a conversation is a surefire way to get your content shared.

Appeal to Them – Period

While there are several ways to create engaging content with shareable appeal, there is nothing wrong with flat out asking your audience to repost for you. According to a study conducted by the New York Times, there are specific reasons people share content online. Forty-nine percent of people said they share content to inform others about products or encourage action. Sixty-nine percent of people share content on social media because it allows them to feel more connected and involved in the world.

So, if you have a post, for example, that promotes a product or encourages an action of some kind and you asked your audience to share and repost, there would be some who would feel inclined to do so. Likewise, if your post makes a reader feel more connected and in the know and you ask them to share and repost, there would be several who would comply. Knowing why people post content and appealing to these reasons by asking them to repost definitely increases the chances of your message being shared.


About the Author: Misty Hickman

Misty Hickman is the CEO of Blue Cricket Media and Chief Coffee Drinker. She is passionate about marketing and loves helping businesses grow into great success stories. She has more than 10 years working with an IT focus in the multifamily and education industries and truly enjoys working one-on-one with other CEO's to grow their business and increase ROI. You can find her on Twitter to hear about her latest adventure, favorite coffee bars or bragging on her amazing shoe collection.

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