If you follow me on Twitter or any other social network I am active on, you may have noticed I share a lot of content written by other people and companies.
I have a lot of high profile contacts and a solid following of my own. That means that I have a fair share of “hits” when sharing things – things that go viral. The kind of viral that can result in a web site running out of bandwidth or just having too many connections.
I’ve been very active now in social media for over 3 years. I’ve also got over 20 years of marketing experience behind me. I have a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn’t work.
Sometimes I share things just “because” – in spite of knowing that it will get few clicks. Heck, I even title some of my own posts in ways that I know won’t result in much redistribution and clicks because I just want to use something that I like.
I am often asked by people for tips on what they can do to improve the circulation of their content. What can help their content go viral. What can help get more clicks. Rather than give a list of do’s, I want to share with you some of the things you want to avoid. I’ve broken them down into 7 specific things.
1. Using too long of a title
The best blog post titles tend to fall in the 50 to 100 character range. The shorter the better. I know keeping a title this short can be a challenge. But the longer you make your blog post titles, the lower the redistribution is going to be.
This is especially true for Twitter redistribution. You need to make sure to leave in enough of room for user names since most of the power users will manually retweet versus using Twitter-based retwets.
2. Not including all the “major” social networking sites on your blog posts
Quite often I’ll see a post shared on Twitter and then want to share it on Facebook or Linked In, but there is no link there to make it easy to do. If it’s a really good post, I might open up Linked In or Facebook to share the link. But that happens maybe 1 in 20 times.
3. Using a URL shortener that adds a frame
Why, oh, why would you want to do this? I often see great content shared on Twitter that I really want to retweet but I refuse to reshare framed URLs.
Why are they bad? They slow down loading time, they can often result in crashes. Many of them are not mobile-friendly. I don’t want to p*** my followers off.
4. Having a layout that sucks
I’m not referring to how your blog or website looks but individual posts. Try to leave enough white space to make it easy to read. Paragraphs should be kept to a reasonable length. Pictures should be used when they add to the value. Don’t overload blog posts with unnecessary images.
5. Don’t make people log in to share your content
There are a few major sites that now require you to log in if you want to share their posts/articles on social networking sites.
6. Don’t act like a douche to commenters
Not only do I read every post/article I share (I mention this because I know a lot of people share based on a title alone!), but I also read the comments. About once a day, I come across a great blog post where some who have left comments which dissent with the opinion expressed have been met with douce-baggery by the writer.
7. Don’t message power social media users asking them to reshare
Want to know how to get the attention of power users? It’s pretty simple. Share our stuff. Engage with us. Make sure we know who you are. Do this and do it for a while. Eventually we’ll start checking out your content and share what we feel is appropriate.
Bonus: Don’t just click on the Twitter retweet button but do a retweet the manual way so we’ll know you are sharing our stuff. The same goes for Facebook and resharing. Make sure to credit the source and leave a note that you shared the content.
Social media is about reciprocity. If I don’t know who you are, if you’ve never done anything for me, why should I want to promote you?