To get people to share your content online, you need to do more than just ask them to do so. The reality is that the content that you just tweeted, posted, uploaded, or published has to be deemed shareable for it to be... well, shared.
So, what makes content share-worthy?
Here's a look at three traits that can inspire people to share your content.
People appreciate what is funny. By adding humor to your content, you humanize yourself and your brand. People are more likely to interact with your content when they can relate to it and especially if they enjoy it.
Funny quotes, stories, and tongue-in-cheek social posts can be used to your advantage to get people talking—and sharing. In addition to being the best medicine, laughter is also contagious.
The ugly true story of that Oscar® selfie can finally be told! Let's break Twitter again. Look for Bart. pic.twitter.com/tdfr3Juhff— Homer J. Simpson (@HomerJSimpson) March 5, 2014
However, do keep your audience and the type of content you are producing in mind because humor may not work in all situations. Remember: Humor is subjective.
When you strike a nerve with people, they respond in full force—especially in the social world in which we now live. To get your content shared, some response needs to be elicited from the person who sees your content, and doing something unexpected can definitely get a reaction.
For example, a few months ago at the Super Bowl, what appeared to be "tweeting under the influence" by JCPenney created quite a buzz in the social sphere.
The company's typo-ridden tweet surprised people.
Toughdown Seadawks!! Is sSeattle going toa runaway wit h this???— JCPenney (@jcpenney) February 3, 2014
But then, JCPenney brilliantly explained it in its next tweet.
You don't have to take extreme measures with your content, but consider how to create shock and awe to inspire shares. I do advise you to use caution and be properly prepared for the aftermath, but don't be afraid to get your creative juices flowing by trying something unexpected. Stand out from the crowd to get people talking about your content and sharing it.
Much like humor, heartfelt content can also be subjective. Not everyone will feel the same way about something; however, usually content that invokes empathy is likely to hit home and cause a reaction.
Here's an example of share-worthy content from Cheerios that inspires empathy:
When people can understand and relate to content, they respond to it. Empathy can be a strong driver of engagement with your content. I'm not saying to flood your content with sob stories or images of babies and puppies, but think about stories and images that move you—and why they do.
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People share content for plenty of reasons that go beyond those noted here. The best thing to do is track and measure what you share, and the responses to your content, so that you can adopt an approach that works best for you.