When you find your blog post being plus’ed, liked, linkedin’ed (sure it’s a word …), or tweeted by someone who is not part of your regular community, it’s the absolute best form of validation that your content is, indeed, share-worthy.
So how do you make your posts irresistible to share?
Interesting and relevant: great content is meaningful, interesting to read and highly relevant to a specific community. Don’t bore people, and make it relevant to today’s landscape. Who would share a post about Google Wave, now that it’s been and gone?
Re-inforces your customer’s perspective: nothing makes someone share a post faster than one which validates her point of view. I can almost hear her scream “See, I told you so. Even <insert name of blogger> thinks so.” The more your content empathizes with your customer, the more likely it is to be shared to her community.
Makes your customer look good: who would share a post about a solution to an embarrassing problem? Nobody. I might quietly send the link to a friend who I think has said embarrassing problem, but publicly Like it? No way. On the other hand, I will definitely share a post that shows I’m in-the-know enough to even know about this post and topic.
Is easy to share: it’s true, blogs exist that don’t have sharing buttons. I don’t mean buttons to click to follow/like their page, I mean good ol’ sharing buttons to save copy/pasting title, then URL, then shorten it … Just stick some sharing buttons up there already. It’s ridiculously easy with WordPress, so you have no excuse.
Once you’ve set it up to be share-worthy, do track the effect. Do you know where and when your content is being shared? By whom? Through which network? Do your sharing buttons automatically add an appropriate hashtag or mention to the sharing update, i.e, adding via @deeankary to the tweet?
Setting up some tracking is useful, so you know which medium is the best fit for sharing your content. For example, if your analytics show that Pinterest is sending you the most traffic, make sure you have images worth sharing.
Can’t wait or can’t be bothered setting up Google Analytics? Check out Topsy, a cool (and free) service that shows you where and when your content or link has appeared in conversations all over the web.
Pay attention to the attention your content is getting – or not. Then adjust accordingly.
Remember, it’s not about you (ok, it’s a little about you), it’s about your reader, and how to get them talking about you.