Every piece of content you create has the potential to be shared … just as long as it’s something worth sharing.
With that being said, there are certainly ways to encourage your community to participate in the social element of your content.
You can use real-world data pulled from analytics & gut reaction to community feedback to craft the right type of content for your audience (that still does wonders for conversions and not just there to entertain).
The following are a few ideas to help you get started with the “basics” of share-worthy content:
Pander to their interest (and format)
Once you have a ground understanding of what your community enjoys, in terms of your content, you can begin pandering to their interest to increase the chances of them coming back for more. The easiest way to do this is to pay close attention to your share, comment, and page view count for your popular posts (generally shown if you have a widget installed or within your analytics tool). Take a look into the topic you covered, if it hit a trend, and its feedback – then use that information to create relevant content to that topic (which can be linked to from the popular post, too!).
Leverage comments and feedback
Take a look at the comments or email feedback you received from some of your posts as they will certainly tell you some unique ideas for your next post. You’ll often find many individuals pulling out key details that you have covered which means there is an expressed interest in going deeper into that information. Set a base limit to how much interest warrants creating a new post and you’ll be cranking out fresh, share-worthy content in no time!
Add rewards for participation
To go a step further in participation you should consider using gamification elements such as badges, reward systems, or built-in toolbars that allow for community reaction right on the page. Rewards will keep visitors coming back for more because it gives them a sense of value since they have an active voice within the community; this, in turn, encourages social shares.
Take a hard stance on a beloved topic
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion even if it’s a beloved topic within your industry. There is a sense of white washing particular topics because many individuals get into an “echo chamber”, of some sorts, when the popular opinion swings one direction. Take the alternative stance and share your thoughts about the matter – you may lose a few readers but you’ll also pick up a devoted group of followers because you’re honest and front about your thoughts.
Shake the industry standard
Of course, you could go the professional angle and use expert opinions and insights to shake the foundation of an industry by releasing information that’s not readily shared. For example, you could get on the inside of a major business and publish big news well before it hits the public (as long as it’s within legal boundaries); doing this makes you a very powerful news source which will have people actively sharing because others have to play catch up.
And … do the promotion, too
People will, of course, share content that’s worthwhile but it doesn’t mean they will simply based on your hopes that they will – you must get the ball going by sharing it to your social feeds and even running promoted campaigns to extend its reach. Work the angles, play the “game”, and you’ll have content spreading like a virus across your community (and the market, at large).