If you have a social media presence, you need to keep your followers happy. The most common way to do so is to share content that is interesting to them. For those of us who have little time to manage our own social media accounts, this can be difficult.
None of us have time to go through all of the information we share. Most of it we skim and take some key points before determining if it is good enough to share with our followers.
Using Social Sharing Platforms Helps, But It’s Not Enough
One way to accomplish this goal is through the use of different online platforms such as Feedly and Buffer (I use both – and no, those are NOT referral links). Feedly helps find content based on keywords and publications you like, while Buffer schedules the content at various times on all your social media accounts.
Everyone is using these platforms so at this point there is a good chance your content has been put in front of someone who considered sharing it. In addition to everyday Joe’s such as myself, there are probably influencers who have read your content and considered sharing it.
But did they actually share it?
Well, that depends on you!
Make It Easy And People Will Share
Here is what I mean:
If someone likes your article but there is no share button, they will be less likely to share. After all, there are other places with great content that do have these buttons. If the button doesn’t automatically fill with useful content (e.g. only shares the link and no snippet), people will also be less likely to share.
What you need to do is make it so simple that people can click the share button and publish direct to social media without any changes. Or, make it so simple that they can copy and paste the pre-filled content into their scheduling software (Buffer, Hootsuite, etc.).
And think about mobile. No one is even going to consider sharing if they cannot do it with a simple click. You have to make it easy or you may as well give up on your mobile content marketing strategy.
So how to make it easier?
Plugins Are The Key To Easy Social Sharing
Now, there is a debate about whether to use social sharing buttons on your content. In the end, I am a firm believer that even if they don’t help, they definitely won’t hurt.
I use Social Warfare Pro (yes, that is a referral link), but there are plenty of others out there you can use to do the same.
Here is how I make it easier for others to share:
The screenshot above shows an article I wrote about link diversity. You can see that I placed social sharing buttons at the top. While this is a good start, it’s not enough.
Here is why.
When you click on the Twitter link to share the content, the dialog box that comes up only has the link. You will need to write your own content in order to share on Twitter. While some people will do this, I like to make it a little easier.
Social Warfare allows you to customize the text box so that the content is pre-filled. Here is what I mean:
Notice the difference between the above tweet and the previous one which was simply the URL to the page. The one above not only includes the link, but also adds a custom title, hashtags, and a mention of my Twitter profile.
Having things pre-filled not only allows you to control the message, but you can add what you want to make it more shareable. People are more likely to share content like this since all they need to do is login and tweet (or copy and paste into their social media scheduler).
Now, I’ve learned my lesson here. I still have older content that does not use the example I showed you above. As with many people reading this, we need to take time to catch up with all our content.
So no, I have not gone back and completed this on all of my old posts, but I am taking my own advice and slowly updating older content.
Look At What Others Are Using
The above example is only one way you can make it easier for me to share your content. If you don’t like that way, check out what others are using as you may find an easier way.
For instance, I love how Content Marketing Institute makes it easy for me to share their content. In fact, I share quite a bit of their content because of it.
Here is what they do:
In every article posted on their site, they use inline Twitter buttons with pre-filled content using a plugin from Click To Tweet. You can look at this article written by CMI founder, Joe Pulizzi, as an example.
You can see from the screenshot above that there are no social sharing buttons at the top of the article. However, they have clickable tweets within the article.
Above is a screenshot of the first clickable tweet. You can see it is already set up with a hashtag and mention of the author.
When you click on the “click to tweet” link, the above window opens up, populated with the content and link. All you need to do is login to Twitter (if you are already logged in, the “share” button would appear instead) to share. Or, you can copy and paste into your software for future sharing.
Above is a second “click to tweet” button within the same article. This allows for CMI to provide unique content for sharing. That way they get numerous different tweets about the same content.
And above is a third within the same article. You can see that this one even mentions someone talked about in the article.
From one CMI article, I can get multiple unique tweets to schedule at different times across various platforms. This is one of the reasons – other than the fact they have great content – that CMI gets a lot of love from me.
Final Thoughts on Easy Social Sharing
I’m no social media expert so I am not going to tell you how to get more followers. What I am telling you is that I have likely read your content and passed on sharing because I am a lazy marketer who wants you to make it easier for me.
Choice is yours, but I’ll likely share if you make it easier for me to do so.
What methods do you use to make it easier for people to share your content? What sites do you like sharing the most because of ease (just like my love for CMI)? Any plugins you would recommend for others?