Creating content doesn’t guarantee it will get shared online. A number of factors come into play when examining what makes one piece of content more likely to be shared than another. First and foremost, your audience must be able to find your content. As for the actual content itself, there are seven core characteristics that influence the virality of your content:
1) Originality If your content is old news or a reiteration of an idea that is already well-known within your audience then it is less likely to be shared. Go after the less talked about, fresh, content. Industry news is a great example of fresh, viral, content. If you’re going to talk about a topic that has been discussed time and time again be sure to add your own angle, whether it is personal, adds visual aids (such as infographics), or provides an alternative perspective. Tips for Creating Original Content >>
2) Visual: Photos receive double the ‘likes’ than text updates and videos are twelve times as likely to be shared. On the top ten brand pages on Facebook video and picture content drive the most engagement. Your content should be presented in an organized fashion and avoid lengthy paragraphs. Lists and infographics are popular because of the way they organize information in a manageable manner.
3) Relevance: If you write a really great article about a topic that is irrelevant to your audience chances are it isn’t going to get shared. One must achieve content-audience fit. If you listen to your audience and participate in the online conversations in your industry you’ll find yourself more in-tune with what topics might be of interest to them.
4) Great Titles:Your title/heading is a first impression. Your content should have a carefully chosen title that either describes the value of the content or creates intrigue. Great content titles are typically actionable, clear, descriptive, concise, brief, tweetable and interesting. Your title also contributes to the SEO of your content and should not be over-looked. How To Write Killer Headlines For Social Media >>
5) Humble: Even if the purpose of your content is to drive brand engagement or build up your professional profile, you don’t want your content to become a blatantly obvious piece of promotional material. People do not like to act as channels for advertisement, but rather as channels for sharing valuable information or entertaining content. Let your audience praise you rather than praising yourself. If you are pushing products and services it is important to find a way to be subtle while creating a strong call to action.
6)Well-written: Publishing content with obvious spelling mistakes and grammatical errors decreases credibility and trust. If you have not taken the time to edit your content it raises the question of what other corners may have been cut. No one wants to share poorly written content full of typos. Attention to detail is a must.
7) Length and Depth: Highly shared content has breadth and depth. However, most people want that breadth and depth in bite-sized pieces. Your content should not be an essay, but if it is provide an article that summarizes the value of that essay and then link to the full-length version for those who are interested in reading it. 500 words is an ideal length for a blog post or article (this article is 600 words).
Throughout this week we will be delving into each of these characteristics in greater detail so check our blog for more information, or if you prefer this content to find you please follow us on Twitter @cahootstweets or on Facebook.