Six tips for improving sharing and word of mouth

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What makes content go viral?  It’s hard to say.  It is often part luck, part art, and maybe a little science. Many will say – create something compelling.  I agree that’s probably the most important thing, but it’s not always actionable advice.   There are some fundamentals you can take – the basics – like blocking and tackling in football.

Here are six tips for improving sharing:

1. Newsjack.  The word sounds harsh but tying into hot trends is effective.  Craft headlines and tweets that are associated with those trends.  Here’s a great post about 10 PRWeb customers that are newsjacking the Olympics.

2. Link liberally other sources. If you blog, weave other bloggers ideas into your post and provide a hyperlinks.  Technologies like trackbacks in WordPress and Google Alerts notify those other bloggers that you’ve linked to them and naturally, they are going to check out what you’ve written; maybe even give you a Retweet.  The very sophisticated will use Webmaster tools to the same effect.  

3. Tell people when you mention them. Mention someone in a blog post?  @ them on Twitter when you post a link from your own Twitter handle.  Sometimes that leads to a good conversation. Doing sparingly – avoid inundating people – but most will appreciate a head’s up whtn you’ve mentioned them or cited their work.

4. A blog comment system that works. We use Disqus for this blog; it’s effective.  On my personal blog, I’ve adopted Livefyre for a comment system.  Livefyre automatically includes a link to your “most recent conversation” prior to your comment.  It’s a great way to engage people, drive traffic – and more importantly to find like-minded bloggers.  Often, I wind up checking out the work of someone that I’ve engaged in Livefyre-fueled conversation; it’s a great way to make new friends.

5. Use images. Ten years ago I remember a local networking association sent out an email after an event.  They had uploaded a bunch of photos from a recent event to their Web site and sent out an email. Guess what happened?  I got an email and I clicked the link in the email and visited the site to see if I was in any of the photos – as did the other 500 people at the event. That lesson has stuck with me my entire career and well before social networking enabled photo tagging.

6. Deal Share. Using Facebook marketing to drive engagement?  Try Deal Share from (PRWeb parent) Vocus and North Social. It works sort of like Groupon or Living Social, only it’s for Facebook. Offer a discount that is only unlocked when the number of people you’ve set on Facebook that commit to a deal meets a certain threshold.  By nature, it encourages social sharing – and people are more likely to buy from brands their friends follow.  Better yet, if you are a small business, you won’t have to give Groupon a cut of your sales. And right now – we have a 14-day free Facebook app trial.

What ideas do you have to share?

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