S.S.T.S. Share. Shareable. Talk. Search. Those are the elements required for promoting your blog. In Part I we talked about how to create a super sonic transport system to make your blog work for you. We began with how you share. Now we’re going to talk about how to get other folks to share on your behalf. You want to make your posts Shareable. This is what gives ‘wings’ to your super-sonic promotion strategy.
Share and share alike. We all know this old adage. But if you’re given an apple and no knife to cut it into pieces, it’s difficult to share. Similarly, if you share a blog post but offer no sharing tools, it’s not likely to be shared. People who read your posts have networks. You want to tap into them!
It’s your job to make it easy for folks to spread the good word. In Why You’re Not Getting Traffic From Social Media on Windmill Networking Lila Bulloch discusses the importance of providing a straightforward, effortless way for your readers to share from every page of your blog. With just a few social shares, the reach of your content can expand exponentially at an amazing rate! And there are a number of tricks and tools of the trade we’ll discuss below.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR POST SHAREABLE:
- Make sure to fully integrate user-friendly social sharing buttons. Remember the old adage: Out of sight, out of mind. Put them at the top of every post. Put them at the bottom of every post. (Here’s a nice example of top and bottom). And consider a “share by email” button. It’s still the number one way people share blog posts, followed by FB and Twitter. Some folks like a simple AddThis widget, which allows content to easily be shared across dozens of popular social networks. Of course, if you’re targeting only a handful of networks this may not be the right choice for you. For nonprofits, the best choices are usually FB, Twitter and LinkedIn, with G+ and Pinterest growing in popularity. For more actionable tips on making sure you’ve got the working share buttons you need, see Part I.
- Consider adding “ClickToTweet” into your blog posts to encourage tweeting (click to tweet). You simply use this free tool to highlight quotes within the body of your post that you’d like folks to share. That way folks don’t have to think about what they’re going to say when they share your post.
- Incorporate pinnable images where appropriate. People tend to share posts more when they have visuals. No budget for photography? Photos taken with smart phones work just fine. And here are some other tips on how to find great free pictures for your blog. When folks with Pinterest boards ‘pin’ your image to their boards it will create an instant link back to your blog. I happen to be a huge Pinterest fan, and believe this can be an incredible way to give your blog posts legs — especially if you have great visuals. Arts organization? Animal shelter? Saving the environment?
- Add in infographics to visually convey the content in your post. Infographics are highly shareable (and pinnable) and attract inbound links that help people find you when they’re searching for related content. For a great primer on how to create nonprofit infographics, check out Infographics: Should Your Nonprofit Hire A Designer or Do It Yourself! by Beth Kanter.
- Include videos in your posts. Like images, videos tend to be shared more than plain text posts. For a taste of the types of videos that tend to become viral, you can check out this site.
Don’t forget that to make a post shareable it must include an engagement value proposition that gets people talking! That’s why we talked so much about this in How to Create Nonprofit Blog Conversations That Engage and why we’ll be talking all about getting people talking about you in Part III of this S.S.T.S. Series. So stay tuned!
BOTTOM LINE: People trust word-of-mouth marketing more than any other source – and a whopping five times more than paid media! These are the findings from a recent study by Forrester research. That’s why getting your stakeholders to share your content is so important. It’s not only how people find you; it’s how they learn to trust you.
And once folks trust you, you’ll become their go-to resource. That’s what you want!
How do you make it easy for your readers to share your engaging posts? Please share any useful tips!
Image courtesy of Petal Pahlavan