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Social media is a popularity contest – but I’m sure all of you out there know this by now. It’s hard not to stare at the Facebook profiles of influencers and positively drool at the number of shares and likes that their content get on a daily basis. Check out the five-figures Obama gets on a regular basis:
Of course, you would say, “Hey, he’s Obama, President of the Free World! I’m just a regular guy, in a regular job.” And you’d be right – position does matter. Celebrities automatically get access to five-figure sharing heaven just by being who they are. You might argue the same thing for other influencers such as Darren Rowse of Problogger, or Sean Gardner of the Huffington Post.
But the thing is, other than celebrities and political figures, most influencers on Facebook got to where they are currently through a bunch of sweat and tears. Like you and I, they started off with precisely three shares for every post they made – one from their mother, one from their best friend, and the last one from their pet dog (if they had created an account for it).
With some careful and meticulous planning, you can make your content count too. Without further ado, here are 4 tips to make your content more shareable on Facebook.
1. Visual content does best
You probably hear this a lot, but just to emphasize – yes, photos do the best on Facebook. Exceeding well, in fact, according to social media data expert Dan Zarrella, who analyzed over 1.3 million posts published on the top 10,000 most popular Facebook pages:
Beyond just sharing any old photo, you must make sure that they are eye-catching and high quality as well. Good photos can transmit and express ideas quickly – faster than having to scan through a chunk of text. Additionally, with more and more excellent picture creation and editing tools being made available online now, your work is cut out for you.
2. Appeal to the emotions with a good story
Those Thai advertisements on Facebook that consistently go viral – man, they really make me tear up! It almost seems like a sin not to share them with other people afterwards. Why is that so?
Ad agency Ogilvy & Mather reveals the secret: having a great story. Here’s what they found out:
So many of our decisions are based upon emotional drivers… Great stories are not only dramatic, they are also emotional… These stories are so emotionally touching, we want to pass them along and reach out to our own parents, favorite aunt, or close friend to tell them how important they are to us.
This doesn’t apply only to videos – pictures can likewise tell vivid stories (there’s a reason why a picture is worth a thousand words). Here’s a picture of a soldier who met his baby girl for the first time ever:
Do I see a teardrop running down your cheek? Touching, no? It pulls the heartstrings because it reveals a deeper story. Your content should too.
3. Publish your best content on weekends
What do adults do when they’re off work on weekends? Scroll through the endless deluge on Facebook, of course. I’m exaggerating, but studies seem to support this – shares on Facebook seem to peak on Saturdays:
A study by Argyle Social also points out that marketers get 32% more engagement on Facebook on weekends. So if you spent a whole lot of work on a stunning piece of content, it might be best reign in your excitement and hold off to publish it on the weekends – especially Saturdays.
4. Keep it short, stupid
My sincerest apologies for calling you stupid – but it boggles my mind whenever people post long, excrutiating narratives and expect others to plough through it, much less share it at the end of the day.
The modern consumer looks for instant gratification – they will look for content that captures their attention, and then keep them there long enough to get the message across.
How to make sure your message gets across as soon as possible? Keep it short and sweet. Use bullet points to summarize a long piece, or place the key information at the start of your copy. No matter what, you want to grab their attention from the get-go – make it happen.
Need more help with copywriting? Socially Stacked has kindly put together a list of words that highly shareable Facebook posts should have below. Use them, or lose them:
Daniel is a writer based in the sunny island of Singapore. His byline can be found in a variety of publications and blogs, such as Heroic Search. He is madly passionate about entrepreneurship, marketing, and productivity. Daniel's home is at danieltay.me, but you can follow him on Twitter as well @legendt.