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  • Wednesday 14 October 2015

    10 Effective Tips on Creating Shareable Social Media Content

    What makes content go viral on social media? Is it the shock value or is it relevance? Think about why you remember some posts and not others, and you will see that there is no simple answer. If you have a definite purpose for sharing content other than sheer exuberance, then you need to know how to create effective social media content that suits your needs. Here are some tips to which you should pay attention.

    Target your audience
    Social networks are geared for particular types of people. Some prefer one social network over another. When you are creating your content, you have to identify your target market so you know what social network will respond more readily to your posts. However, more importantly, you should know your target market thoroughly. You should know their habits, needs, wants, prejudices, and psychology. In other words, you should know where the buttons are so you can push them.
    Write stuff they want to read
    If you know your target market, you can create content that they will read. You should still keep in mind your purpose for posting (brand awareness, content marketing etc.) but make sure that it is a good fit for your audience. It should offer useful advice, interesting information or entertainment.

    Aside from utility, you should strive to get your audience to make an emotional investment in your post. Encourage them to participate in the conversation and to air their opinions. Respond promptly to them and always conclude with an open-ended question. It keeps them coming back for more. You will get more shares that way, which is what you want.
    Keep it bite-sized
    Create several short posts as opposed to one long chunk. You can overwhelm your audience, if you give them too much information in one helping. Some important information of what you want to say may also get lost in the crowd. Isolate one or two ideas, expound on it in detail and lead them to check your next post for more information. It is easier to digest and remember, and, more importantly, it is much more shareable.
    Make it visual

    Content is not just about what you say, but what other people see. Pay close attention to how your post looks; it should be easy to scan and follow. People have a tendency to abandon articles that look too hard to read. Avoid long paragraphs; it should have no more than three to five sentences. Lead off with an interesting visual or break up long entries with an illustration. Giving your reader’s eyes a break will keep them engaged.

    Use high quality language
    You may have something really important or valuable to say, but may not have the skills or time to put a great article together.  They say the mark of a good leader is the ability to delegate. For example, you target Australian women for your marketing campaign and you have a difficult time choosing the right words that would appeal to them. You can outsource content creation at Australian writings to native speakers and professional writers to ensure that you are turning out high quality work. You may also write the content yourself and contract an expert to edit and proofread your content. 

    Encourage sharing
    You want your content to get as much exposure as possible. That is the whole purpose of social media marketing. You can make it easy for your reader to share your excellent article with their friends by providing them with a Share button. You can even encourage them to do so by offering incentives such as giving them freebies for sharing.
    Provide a sharing platform
    There is nothing easier to create than a post that gives your audience a chance to share their own accomplishments or experiences. Solicit them to submit photos or videos of their creations, travels, families, and so on. You can make it a contest of it if you want, but it is not always necessary. People enjoy attention, and take every opportunity to get it, even for a little while. When they tag your post or share it so their friends and family can see it, it gives you more exposure.
    Engage influencers
    There are people who have the credibility and ability to sway public opinion. As a social media marketer, one of your most important tasks is to identify these individuals and get on their good side. Persuade them to share or endorse your content by following them, quoting them or otherwise stroking their ego. At the very least, avoid antagonizing, contradicting or challenging their opinions. They can either make or break you, so tread carefully.
    Build trust
    You can also become an influencer in your particular niche, if you build a relationship with your audience. Many people engage in social media to get expert advice, so a good way to build trust and rapport with the audience is to provide them with what they need. You can give troubleshooting advice or point them in the right direction to solve their issues. Cultivate a personal approach when answering questions or inquiries so that you appear friendly and approachable. Avoid the temptation to pitch to them at every opportunity; this can harm your credibility. Always provide objective advice; they are more likely to believe you when you do make a pitch.
    Tag away
    Do not hesitate to tag other people in your post, even if they are not influencers, if they posted something you can connect to your business. Most people find it flattering, and very few will pass over content that specifically mentions them. It will encourage them to like, comment on, or share your post. Tagging is also a good way to get the attention of potential clients if they are already looking for your product or service.  It gives you a foot in the door, and you are doing them a service besides. Nothing is more satisfying than mutual satisfaction.
    Creating content that will make a splash on social media is not easy. There are flukes, of course, but in most cases, it requires patience, careful study and a sound strategy to build a presence that can positively affect your business. If you follow the tips given above, and get professional help when you need it, there is no reason why you cannot create content other people will share on social media. 


    Stephanie Norman from Sydney has been a content marketing specialist and professional writer for 4 years already. She writes business, creative, and academic content as a freelancerYou can follow her at Facebook and Google+.


    Sifiso Nkwanyana

    Author & Editor

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