So you work hard to connect with your audience. You know what they like. You know what they need. You blog and your fans love your content. They want to share it with their friends, family and pets. Bottom line your content rocks and you know it.
So you have dreams of your readers sharing your rockin' content with everybody but the neighbors dog. You have visions of tweets and retweets, syndication and validation you're makin' your way to a positive ROI online. The web analytics reports show a positive trend. Unique visitors are increasing, bounce rate is down. Number of pages viewed is up and average time on site is higher than it has ever been.
However, this scenario has one issue. Although your content is getting read and your metrics are out the roof, it's not getting shared. The shares to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are dismal at best.
You just can't figure it out. You wonder for a brief second if maybe your audience isn't on social media. However, you quickly come to your wits as you know they are.
So what is the issue? Well, I'll tell ya! You are not making it easy for people to share your content. There could be a million reasons why this is the problem. Maybe the buttons don't work? Maybe the social buttons are too small? Maybe the links that auto-populate the tweets are incorrect.
The worst part is that you don't know why it's not getting shared. This tells me that you probably haven't even tested your own buttons. Not good my friend.
So enough of the pity retweet party. Let's get this share party started! Time to increase the ROI on your content, and leverage such to grow your audience, connect with new markets and give your fans something to rave about.
3 Easy Steps to Increase the Shareability of Your Posts!
Step 1: Test every share button and widget on your site. Confirm it does what you expect it to do.
Step 2: If you find something is broken, fix it pronto. Don't wait until next week. Fix it this week. You are losing potential leads, email opt-in subscribers and business. You can't afford to lose another week.
Step 3: Update your widgets if necessary. Are your share buttons, share bars or widgets outdated? For WordPress self-hosted blogs there are tons of widgets available that make it easy for your readers to share your content. I wrote this post several months ago which includes 50 of my favorite WordPress widgets. You can use it for starters.
11 Shareability Test Tips
1. Does the retweet button properly auto-populate the correct content? Verify the following:
- Link-Title of post
- Your Twitter handle
- a RT or via in front of your Twitter handle
2. Does the Facebook like button work? Test by liking one of your posts and sending it to your wall.
3. Does the Facebook send button work? Again, test it yourself.
4. Does the LinkedIn share button work? Does it successfully post to your status on Linkedin?
- Does it successfully post to LinkedIn groups when you select them?
- Is the correct content being shared successfully?
5. Are your titles too long? Make sure to leave room for retweets, your twitter handle etc.
6. Test your RSS feed button. Ensure it works properly.
7. Test your email share button. Does it send the email as requested? Does it send the correct content?
8. When you share the post are the number of shares, retweets, likes etc. updated appropriately?
9. Are the share buttons easy to find? If I have to look for them more than a couple second you should analyze if you have them in the right place.
10. Are the share buttons large enough? If I need a magnifying glass to find them, please get a larger widget or buttons.
11. Are the share buttons where I expect them to be? The user experience should be natural. Do some testing with a colleague, friend or family member.
I know this information sounds very basic to many. However, I encourage you to test your own share buttons. You might be surprised what you find!
Note: What inspired this post tonight was a visit to a couple of the top traditional media online sites such as Fast Company. I am going to write another blog post to summarize my experience as it's a whole other discussion in itself as to why so many of the big traditional media leaders have yet to fully implement basic social media sharing technologies to make it easier for their readers to share their content. My point is that it's not just you who is having difficulty keeping up with the latest share bars, widgets, gadgets & likes.
Are your posts getting shared? Have you tested your social share buttons and widgets? What tips do you have for others