A successful social media marketing strategy is one that engages the audience and gets them to help spread the message, creating a snowball effect.1 The crux of every successful social media campaign is how to convince others to share your posts. Effective wording is one of the most crucial aspects of accomplishing this on just about every social media outlet. So how do you write effective posts with “shareable words” that encourage people to share your posts? Here are some guidelines:
1. Be brief. Some of these guidelines only apply to certain types of social media campaigns, but this applies to every single one of them. Brief messages are more likely to be shared than long ones.2 On blogs, keep the headline brief. On other types of social media outlets, however, like Facebook and Twitter, users are more likely to be viewing on mobile devices while on the go, and even the body of the message must be brief. Two-thirds of all social media activity takes place from mobile devices3, and your post needs to be short enough to be read on a small screen by someone on the move or surrounded by distractions.
2. If you are posting to a social media site that is primarily used for sharing images, the words should complement the image rather than distract from it. So-called “word images,” or images with words superimposed on top of them, are particularly effective, so long as the words don’t obscure the image.
3. Using certain keywords in your headline or post can generate more shares. What these keywords are can vary by the type and purpose of the social media outlet involved. On Facebook, which is primarily intended for sharing personal information, posts that use the word “I” more get more likes and shares. On Twitter, on the other hand, which is primarily used to share small bits of information, verbs will generate more retweets than passive words.2 A quick Google search should provide you with lists of what words generate the most shares for each social media site,more tips here.
These are only guidelines, of course. Every topic will have different keywords that attract people to it. One easy way to find out what keywords attract Internet users to certain subjects is to do a Google search for the subject and look at the related searches listed at the bottom of the page. For example, when I did a search for “bedbugs,” Google showed that the top related searches involving bedbugs were “bedbugs pictures,” “getting rid of bed bugs,” “bed bugs treatment,” “bedbugs symptoms,” “bed bugs signs,” “kill bed bugs,” “get rid of bedbugs,” and “bedbugs hotels.”additional reading at http://www.mumbrella.asia/2014/08/singapores-independent-agency-collective-ian/.
Notice that “getting rid of bedbugs” ranked higher than “kill bed bugs,” so if you wanted to write an article on how to deal with bed bugs, you might want to use the title “How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs.” This gives you a quick way to find guidance on your choice of words.