Stop Trying to Get Your Blog Posts Shared and Do This Instead

So the key to social media is content marketing, right? And content marketing is all about blog posts, right? So, if you want to dominate social networks, the key is to get your blog posts shared on social networks, right?

Well…not necessarily.

Okay. Yes. You should put some social sharing buttons somewhere obvious on your blog, preferably where visitors can easily click them after reading the blog post. And yes, this can unmistakably expand your reach.

But it’s not actually the best way to take advantage of social media.

Here’s the problem. Blog posts just aren’t very shareable. Take a minute and scroll through your Facebook feed right now. Keep scrolling until you find a blog post in there. Yeah, it’s going to be a while.

Meanwhile, average organic reach has dropped from 16 percent in 2012 all the way down to 6.51 percent this year. (Oh how I long for the days when we complained about 16 percent organic reach.)

I’m going to say something a bit heretical. I don’t think you should focus on getting your blog posts shared.

I think you should start asking what does get shared instead.

Look at What’s Actually in Your Facebook Feed

This isn’t rocket surgery.

If you want to know what kind of content actually gets shared on Facebook, you should stop looking at Coca-Cola’s or Rihanna’s ridiculously high number of page likes. You should stop reading how-to guides explaining what you need to do in order to get more likes (except this one). You shouldn’t bother browsing the Social Bakers leaderboard.

Instead, you should look at what your friends are sharing on Facebook.

Social Bakers tells me that the brand with the best engagement rate on Facebook in February was Evolution Fresh. They had a whopping 7.05 percent of their fans engaged.

Well, that’s interesting to me, because as of April 6, 2014, George Takei has an engagement rate of

George Takei on Facebook

…let’s see, carry the 2…oh, just 85 percent.

And taking a look at some of the other things people are sharing in my feed, I see that the Intergallactic Geek Alliance is currently sitting pretty at 33 percent, 9Gag is at 68 percent, Creepypasta is at 40 percent, and some page I’ve never heard of calledSpiritual Networks is at 27 percent.

And what are these pages sharing that’s giving them such high engagement rates? Stuff like this:

Spiritual Networks

George Takei Facebook post

9GAG Facebook post

But you know that already, because you use Facebook, right?

And yet, for some reason, most of us are content to just share our blog post on Facebook, hoping that it will pick up some traction. And it might, a little bit. Done properly, it’ll even be profitable. I’m certainly not going to argue that all of these well-known tactics aren’t helpful. But you’re not going to be seeing George Takei’s 85 percent engagement rate any time soon on that alone.

So here’s a suggestion.

The next time you put up a blog post, browse through it and find your most quotable, shareable insight. Turn that into an image macro, link back to the blog post from the text field, and post the image to Facebook.

Then embed that Facebook post right into your blog post, so that your regulars can share it without ever having to leave your site.

Watch your numbers soar.

It couldn’t hurt, right? And I’m willing to bet that the embed will do a lot better than those practically invisible share buttons.

Use Social Platforms for Their Intended Purpose

Social networks aren’t for blog posts. They’re for bite-size pieces of visual content that contain:

    • Some piece of wisdom that can be conveyed in a short number of words
    • Something people can relate to
    • Something that takes people by surprise
    • Something that will make them laugh
    • Something motivational or inspirational
    • Something cute

Just post those to social networks, then embed them in your blog posts, and you have yourself a winning formula.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

Thanks for reading.


Written by Francisco Rosales, founder of SocialMouths and author of the online course Email Marketing [not so] 101. Visit SocialMouth, where the first version of this story is originally appeared.

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