You’ve probably heard of the term “share funnel”, which refers to the steps an individual must take to get content on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
If you’ve been on the internet for any length of time, you know exactly what a share funnel is: You share content on social media, and then you follow the instructions that appear on your social media feed.
While this may work great for getting content out to social media users, it doesn’t do much to drive traffic back to your website.
When someone shares a link to an article on social media, that is usually a sign that they either liked or agreed with the content. Sharing is all about having something new to offer, and that usually means the person sharing the content has already been to that website or blog before. If they’ve been there and they’ve read the content, they may have an idea of what kinds of products or services the blog or website offers and whether or not they’re interested in buying them.
So in short, sharing content on social media means that person is probably already in the market for what you offer, and that is largely why you don’t see many “share” buttons on commercial websites.
The Growth of Content Sharing
Sharing content wasn’t always a bad thing, and at one time, it was quite the opposite. People would share articles because they thought it would allow the author to reach a wider audience. Even now, when a blog post goes “viral” on social media, the author usually has a story behind it: They either wrote the post to spark discussion or they had a unique perspective on the matter and thought it would be an enlightening read for their audience. The end goal wasn’t necessarily to drive traffic back to their site, but it certainly wasn’t a bad thing either.
The problem is that sharing content without an aim in mind tends to dilute the value that the original content creator. While it may be easy for someone to share a funny YouTube video or an intriguing infographic, the chances are that that individual will not remember to return to the source once the content has been consumed by one viewer.
Sharing content for the sake of sharing content is almost always a losing proposition. The only way to ensure that your content will have the desired effect is to set a goal in mind and work toward it.
Setting A Goal
If you do decide that you want to see your content spread virally on social media, the very first thing you should do is set a goal. What do you hope to accomplish by spreading your content across the internet?
Think about what made your content interesting in the first place. Was it the facts and figures? The funny anecdotes? The way you worded the text? Your videos’ musical score? Whatever it is, write it down and make a note of it.
If you can’t come up with a single purpose for your content, it’s probably best to create a blog post to break down the different types of content you produce and why you create each type. This will help you figureheads of different content strands understand what each section is about and, more importantly, why you created it.
For example, maybe you have a blog post about web design. You could talk about the different aspects of web design, but maybe you also include videos of yourself demonstrating the different techniques. Or perhaps you cover SEO, Digital Marketing and PPC in depth, and you put together an in-depth guide on how to become a web design pro.
Whatever your goal is, make sure that it is something that can be quantified. That means that you can measure your progress toward reaching that goal, so if you don’t reach it, you can always adjust your strategy and try again. If your goal is to simply increase your Twitter followers, for example, you can track the progress you make by looking at the number of people you’ve gained in comparison to the number of people you started with.
Choosing The Right Platforms
When deciding where to spread your content, you need to keep the end goal in mind. The first step is to identify the various platforms that can reach the greatest amount of people and make your content as widely dispersed as possible. This is especially important if you want your content to go viral on social media. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bunch of isolated clusters of friends who only get to see your content because they already follow you on social media.
Depending on how much you want to go viral, you may want to consider creating content for specific platforms. Take YouTube for example. While you can create a blog post and upload it to your website to distribute it to your readers, the fact is that not everyone who reads your blog post will end up watching your videos. But if you want your content to reach the greatest amount of people, you should upload it to YouTube.
Also, pay attention to the trends on the various platforms. Some of them can be very useful in figuring out where to place your content. For example, TikTok is dominated by short-form content, which means that most of the videos uploaded to the platform are extremely bite-sized. This makes them extremely easy to share across social media platforms. Plus, the content is usually humorous, so it tends to go viral quickly on TikTok.
With all of that said, don’t limit yourself to just one platform: Be sure to spread your content across the major social media sites. This is important because any one of them can become the biggest platform in the world if they decide to expand their audience (and they probably will at some point).
When uploading your content to social media, you should use hashtags. These are keywords or phrases that can be used to find and follow related content on the platform.
For example, if you’re uploading a blog post about digital marketing, you may want to include the hashtag #digitalmarketing in the headline and the text of your blog post. When someone finds your content while using a search engine, they will see your hashtag and be able to follow the links to other related content.
If you don’t have the time to create and post content on a regular basis, you should consider creating content in advance. This can be in the form of a weekly blog post, a detailed infographics or a video series. The key is to find content that you can use and repurpose at a later date. This way, you won’t be limited by the number of blog posts you can create in a given month. You can sit down once or twice a month and churn out content for your website.
Content calendars are very helpful when planning the content for your website. This way, you’ll be sure to have content ready to go at a moments notice. Plus, you’ll be able to plan out a strategy for when and where you’re going to post the content. Doing this a few weeks in advance can help you figureheads of different content strands understand what is planned and, more importantly, why you created it. This way, you won’t be scrambling to come up with content as soon as the month ends.
Blogs are very useful when it comes to driving traffic back to your site. One of the easiest ways to get traffic to your site is by creating a blog post once a week. When done right, blogging can be very effective in driving traffic back to your site.
The key is to make sure that you engage with your audience on a regular basis. You could start by answering questions and posting replies to previous blog articles. Or, you could create an interview with a thought leader in your industry or someone who has a larger audience than you do. Whatever you do, make sure that you continue to engage with your audience and provide them with useful information.
The more you can do to establish yourself as an authoritative source, the more people will start to believe that you can actually help them with their problems. And, when somebody is looking for help, they are usually already somewhere between a search engine and a paid advertisement. That means they probably haven’t found the exact solution they’re looking for, but it also means they are definitely interested in finding a solution.
At the end of the day, your strategy for distributing content across the various platforms will be different based on your target audience. However, there are some basic practices that can help you get the most out of your efforts.