The Blogger’s Guide For Getting More Facebook Shares On Blog Posts
Shares. Likes. Traffic.
According to Pew Research Center, 71% of adults who use the internet are on Facebook as of September 2014. In the Q3 of 2014, Facebook accounts for 56% of social sharing activities. In other words, more people prefer to share content on Facebook, than twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest combined.
Whether you’re running a personal or corporate blog, you can use it to build your brand easily. I know that one of the reasons why you’re creating more blog posts is to get more people to share them on social media networks, thus, generate more traffic for your content.
But it sometimes make you angry. You spend hours writing the most epic post, and more hours to polish and make it amazing, but then you get few or Facebook shares. It’s disheartening.
While on the other hand, you see others writing about the same topic, even though their posts aren’t as good as yours, they still manage to generate more Facebook shares.
You can even spot a lot of mistakes in their writing, yet they get more Facebook likes and shares, and most importantly, more traffic than your posts.
Annoying, isn’t it?
So what makes some posts take off, while others remain dormant and no one hears about them? What are the key ingredients of the posts that go viral?
Let’s explore them:
1). Study your audience persona
You’ve to know exactly the people you’re targeting. Are you targeting women or men? What is their age bracket? What’s their salary? And so on.
When you understand your audience well, it’d be easier to visualize their personality in your mind while writing a post. The best and easiest way to map your audience persona is by affixing features or characters to your ideal audience.
For example, the persona below is for Brandi Tyler who is having a challenge with finding the right size shoe for her feet.
By knowing Tyler’s challenge, you can tailor your post to appeal to here.
A good tool to help you see the persona of the people who are liking popular pages on Facebook is Facebook’s Insights tool.
It helps you gain information about people liking pages of other popular blogs like age, gender and so on.
You could read more about how to use the Insights tool here on Social Media Examiner, How to Use Facebook Audience Insights: What Marketers Need to Know.
After you know their persona, find out what resonates best with them. What are the topics that they want to learn more about? What posts do they share?
Another great tool that could help you in this step is Ahrefs Content Explorer. It helps you find popular content in your blog on various social media networks within a specific duration like previous month, previous six months, more.
Here are the simple steps to find a popular post using Ahrefs Content Explorer:
Step #1: Go to Ahrefs.com. Click on the “Content Explorer” tab. Plug your keyword (e.g. facebook ads) into the search box to find the most popular content for that topic. Click the orange “search” button:
Step #2: Analyze your results:
You could sort the result by Facebook shares to see the most shared posts on Facebook in the duration you selected. Start digging into these posts to find out why they’re popular. This will help you to write posts that resonate well with your audience.
2). Use eye-catching images
That’s why you always hear the popular quote, “an image is better than a thousand words.” Little wonder images get the most attention on Facebook. See chart below:
Startups and small businesses have realized that they need product images to sell their products. That’s why they hire professional graphic designers to craft their visual assets such as infographics, memes, videos, and more.
Talking about infographics and it’s visual power, let’s see some recent case studies.
A recent study by AnsonAlex revealed that, “publishers who design and promote infographics improve their traffic by an average of 12% more than those who do not.”
So if you want your posts to generate more facebook shares, you’ve to use clear, relevant and high-quality visuals (e.g. infographics, videos etc). Visual information keeps the brain active, and motivates people to get involved in whatever you’re doing – including sharing your post.
Noah Kagan conducted a research with Buzzsumo and found out that posts that have at least one image gets 64.9% more shares than those without images.
Claire Roper tripled his pageviews with the power of infographics. So it’s really worth it to spend more time creating image-based posts. If you could also create an infographic, that’s a plus.
Many bloggers got more shares and links for their blog when they started using infographics. It’s the most popular content format. It might even be more popular than the list posts.
Brian Dean of Backlinko had created few infographics in the early days of his blog, like the on-page SEO infographic. The post has earned over 400 authority links. As a result of the infographic on the post, it has generated close to 830 tweets and 712 likes. Not bad for a new blog, right?
Lisa Irby, founder of 2 Create A Website created an infographic to promote her hair-related pinterest account.
She had 1100 followers before publishing the infographic. After 2 days she got 100 shares for the infographic and after 3 weeks she got more than 3000 pins for her infographic and her number of followers doubled.
You can read more about the case study here.
Francisco Rosales has been creating infographics for his blog SocialMouths.com. It has also helped him get more traffic and links.
You could check one of these infographics here entitled: How to Segment Your Email List for ROI. The post got 352 tweets which is more than the average on the typical blog posts that has no visuals or relevant informative images.
If all this proves one thing – that you need to start using infographics more often in your posts. Yes, its effect has decreased than what it was in the early days, but it’s still getting results. After all, it’s what our brains prefer to process than plain text.
3). Be entertaining
When you entertain people, they’ll stick around and share your post. That’s the nature of social media. Social media is all about connecting, communicating and sharing things in common.
But how do you entertain your audience?
The first and most important tip is to write in plain English. Don’t try to use complex words that prevent people from reading your posts.
Another way to entertain your readers is to use metaphors to break up complex topics. A recent post that proves this is Henneke’s, ”A Deliciously Simple Guide to Captivating and Educating Your Readers.”
It showed how creating content that captivates your readers is like cooking. Try to find interesting ways like this to break up your topics and show your personality.
Another great tip to be entertaining is to write in conversational matter. Do you notice how you speak to a friend? Write as you’re speaking to your friend.
Here are a few tips to follow to be more conversational:
- Address them by using YOU. You’re talking to them not about them
- Use contractions
- Use exclamatory phrases like Holy Cow!
- Don’t always stick to high-school grammar. You could start with and. You could use more full stops. Find out the best way to write for your audience, not for your school teacher.
- Break up sentences. Again, don’t stick to the old blocks of text style.
The most important tip to be entertaining is to use the power of storytelling.
Alex Turnbull did an awesome split text on his blog. Half of the visitors are sent to a version of the post where they see a story leading to the meat of the post, and the others had an intro that lead directly to the post.
He found that posts with the story in the intro got 300% more people scrolling to the bottom, and a 5x increase in the average of time spent on the site.
Note: the content of the posts after the intro were the same for the 2 pieces.
If this simple technique could make more people read your awesome post, it means more people are going to share it. People share stuff they read and like. So try to use stories when you write your next blog post.
4). Reward Your Readers for Sharing Your Post
If nothing works, then use legit means to bribe your readers and persuade them to share your post. There are smart small business bloggers who know how to bribe readers. Jerry Ling, founder of Web Hosting Secrets Reviewed rewards his blog readers whenever he reviews a hosting solution. In addition to that, he also uses a Facebook Autopost WordPress plugin to share his posts directly on Facebook.
This increases the number of people who see his post, and engage the audience. Here’s an example of a recent post that was posted directly on Facebook from Jerry’s WHSR blog:
You could hide a part of your content to make your readers share the post. I don’t mean that you hide an essential part of the post that makes it look missing.
You could hide a part like a template you’re giving, statistics that prove what you’re sharing, bonus tip for your readers, and more.
Don’t just cut an important part of your post. Use this strategy wisely. Tung Tran started to use this strategy aggressively on his blog Cloud Living. He found a 3x increase in his shares by bribing people to share his posts.
It’s worth the effort to create an extra bribe for your awesome post. And after that, you could ask people to share your post to get the bribe. You could offer a PDF report of your blog post as a bribe, and give it away using the content upgrade strategy.
There are few key ingredients that you could add to your post to increase its viral potential.
Sure, epic content is essential, but there are some nuances that you could add to your post to make it more shareable. These key ingredients don’t demand hours of your time.
It could take you a few minutes to implement. At the end, you’ll double or even triple your Facebook shares. So it’s worth the extra effort.
So when you’re creating your next post:
- Know the topics that resonate best with your audience – do quick audience analysis.
- Add at least 1 image to get 231.78% more shares. Add infographics to your content marketing mix to see an increase in traffic and links to your blog.
- Be entertaining. Write in plain English, use metaphors, be conversational and use the power of storytelling to get more people to read your post till the end.
- Bribe your readers. The bribe could be as simple as a PDF file of the post.
You now know what it takes to write a post that goes viral on Facebook. Nothing would happen if you don’t take action and put this information to use. It may take you extra few minutes to apply these tips, but it’s really worth it.
What other strategies do you use to get more Facebook shares on your blog posts?