Are you ready to multiply your social sharing content by a hundred million times? Feel like you’ve been focusing too much on writing interesting articles, and not enough on making those articles into LISTICLES? Are you writing too many pieces about innovative campaigns that your organization is running, and not enough about adorable kittens?
We’re here to help. We have three sure-fire, guaranteed-to-definitely-not-fail tips that will make the shares on “Charlie Bit My Finger” look like child’s play. Literally, your share rates will make that video look like children biting each other’s fingers. These tips are based on evidence, facts, proof, etc. Ignore them at your own risk.
1. You’ll Be SHOCKED When You Read This Headline About Clickbait Headlines
Clickbait headlines are having a moment in the sun. Why are they having that moment? Because they work. People like to have emotions, and they like it when articles are about their emotions. Appeal to your audience’s primitive feelings: fear! Anger! Shock! Awe! Any of these clauses will work: “You’ll be amazed when…”, “You won’t believe what happens when…”, “At first I was angry when…”, “The first minute will make you cry when…”
Put something in the middle. Something about your content, maybe. Or about puppies.
Then make them confused about why they’re having those feelings, or whether they’re actually having those feelings at all. It’s easy. After your first clause, add any of these: “…but then your mind will be changed”, “…and then you’ll cry”, “…you’ll question the meaninglessness of human existence.”
EXAMPLE: Proof that clickbait has worked across the ages, courtesy of Twitter.
2. Take a 1,000 Word Piece and Add 9,000 Words
Buzzsumo did an in-depth analysis of what content gets shared the most, and came away with one big conclusion: longer content gets shared more. Pieces clocking in at 3,000-10,000 words generated the highest share rates. What does that mean if your article wraps up at a pithy 500 words? Just add some more words. Any words will do. The internet is full of words. Try copying what you wrote, and then pasting it again to the end of article. Double article! Harry Potter has a lot of words. Add some of those words. Write the eighth Harry Potter book. Add it to your article. Get JK Rowling to share it.
3. Have You Considered Adding a Minion Meme?
So if long pieces are getting shared more than quick, digestible pieces of content, does that mean that including pictures is unnecessary? Not quite. Buzzsumo found that articles with at least one image were shared over two times as much as articles with no images at all. And if at least one image doubles sharing, twenty images will increase sharing by at least 2000%. Can’t find images that related to your content? Try adding dozens of minion memes. Your aunt who drinks a few too many glasses of wine at Christmas becomes exponentially more likely to share your article based on the number of minion memes it contains. Think about that.
EXAMPLE: Who even makes these? A mystery to ponder while publishing your blog post.
Does something about these tips feel… not… quite… accurate?
Ultimately, it’s your content that determines whether or not people share it or not. It’s not hitting a magic word limit, or publishing on a specific day, or including exactly ten list items. It’s about the article itself.
It’s true that the ways that you package your content can impact the extent to which it’s shared–for example, we’ve found that including an image with a tweet will boost engagement–but there’s no such thing as a tip that applies to every piece of content, or every organization. Our best advice? Test your content, and see what works best for your audience. Then, based on those insights, fine-tune what you publish in order to maximize your engagement. We would all love it if there was a magic formula, but that’s just not the case.
But if you do write the eighth Harry Potter book and add it to the end of your blog post–well, let us know.