Social signals are now in the top five factors used by search engines in determining the ranking of your content. Social signals like votes up and viewing stats encourage further social media sharing of your content and thus indirectly improve the ranking of your content based on the number of views. Knowing how social signals work and how they can influence your search engine results is essential for anyone trying to implement an efficient content marketing strategy. In this article, we’re going to look at three things that can make your content more socially active.
Web Design for Shareability
One of the simplest things you can do to make your content socially active is including social media sharing buttons on all of your content marketing pieces. If someone can click a button and share on one of a dozen different social media sites, you’re more likely to get the content socially active than if they have to paste the link and title into a social media post. You can build on this by putting buttons on the content to let them follow you on social media.
Don’t’ forget to build in the ability for people to click a button and email either the marketing content or a link to it. Over half of social media sharing is still via emails, instant messaging and channels other than social media. This is why the “Click to Email” button is almost as important as the “click here to share on Facebook” button.
Calls to Action
Do you want to get your content shared? Then put a call to action at the end of the article asking people to click a like button or post the article using the social media sharing buttons you’ve already put on the content marketing piece. You can build on this by saying that if they like this and your other pieces of content to click as well on the “follow” buttons or sign up for your newsletters.
You do need to be careful not to have duelling calls to action, begging someone to like and share your content marketing and asking them to buy your product. Instead, your content marketing should discuss how to solve a problem while presenting your product as the solution, with the only clear call to action being to like you on Facebook or share your article on social media. You can also integrate social media sharing calls to action in press releases to generate positive brand recognition and social media mentions even though it isn’t standard “marketing”.
Research Trending Topics and Then Write About Them
Content marketing on trending topics will rank well as long as those topics continue to be a commonly discussed and shared topic. You can use tools like BuzzSumo to identify top shared content or Facebook trends to identify subjects you can create content marketing pieces about. Just be careful not to create content that looks like you’re trying to profit off a tragedy or jumping into me-too virtue signalling that could offend half (or more) of your customer base.
If you create content based on a social issue, make sure it helps solve the socially sensitive issue instead of inflaming negative emotions. In this regard, content talking about how your company is donating money or products to a popular cause or discussing how you’ve served an underserved community for years is better than joining in current outrages by condemning someone else.
You’ll maximise sharing of content on these subjects by posting during peak hours for social media usage and posting the content on the networks where it is of greatest interest. For example, white papers and business leader interviews on current topics go on LinkedIn while content marketing tied to political and charitable donations is better shared on Facebook.
If you want to increase the social sharing of your content, start by designing an array of ways the reader can quickly and easily share the content at the click of a button. Then clearly ask them to do exactly that in the content. You can create shareable content by researching and writing about popular topics people are talking about as long as you take care not to outrage your base and end up with negative PR.