Crafting great content isn’t enough to get your content to go viral. In a world where sharing is social currency, social engagement is more important than ever if you want the world to see your content.

And it could be the key to getting more eyes on your emails (more sharing = more website visitors and exposure to your email sign up forms).

However, shareability is a skill that requires a lot of strategy and iteration. So we teamed up with our friends at AddThis to talk about social sharing. (After all, they are the experts.)

Read on to see what to share, when to share, and how to measure its success.

Sharing is the key to successful content

Sharing can help distribute your content to new audiences that it may not have reached before.

Think of it this way: People share things they find relevant and cool. Content that fits their own personal brand. If you wouldn’t want to see it in your own Twitter feed, is it even worth sharing?

It helps to know your customers. Do your research and identify the things these people are sharing and use this as a basis for developing your content.

Ask yourself:

  • Will my audience find this useful?
  • Is there a unique point of view?
  • Does it make the reader feel something?
  • Would you want to share it?

They’ll be more likely to share it and your content will get seen by people like them.

Creating shareable content is a skill

The average American spends nearly 20% of their time online browsing social media networks. And during that time, they’re being inundated with content. Content that is competing for their attention alongside your own.

So how can you make sure your content is better than the rest?

For starters, it needs to be easy to share. This means adding sharing buttons, interactive elements like Click-to-Tweets, or simply including a note at the end of your content to pass it along to a friend.

It’s also worth noting that the types of content that get the most shares are relevant and timely. Take note of trending topics and hashtags and deliver content that works in the moment. (A great way to repurpose your content!)

THIS is the best place to put share buttons

Now that you have a better understanding of the types of content to create, where is the best place to put your social sharing buttons?

We use AddThis on our own blog – those buttons over to your left. We love that they follow the reader as they scroll, so there’s no searching around. They aren’t intrusive either, which is a plus.

You can also add contextual sharing buttons throughout the content experience. These work best when they feel natural, like when the reader has that “a-ha!” moment.

Here’s how to measure the success of your shared content

Likes, shares and retweets are important.

But if the goal of your content is to drive traffic and get more eyes on your content, clicks matter. Bonus points if you can measure the time people spent on your page.

Social sharing can help build your email list

Now that you know that the goal is in the click, how can you utilize that traffic to build up your email list?

Teasing your email content on social is a great start. Letting people know that the best stuff awaits their inbox generates the buzz your list needs.

Make sure that there’s a prominent sign up form on the page you’re driving traffic to, as well. Just like with social sharing buttons, don’t make your reader work too hard to find it. Or better yet, serve it up at an opportune time.

The way we share has shifted in the past decade

Online content has changed significantly over the last 10 years. Brands have to fight more than ever now to get their content in front of the eyes of their target audience.

And people are being more selective about what they’re sharing, favoring substance over click bait.

As Really Good Emails put it, brands need to know their audience more than ever in order to serve up great content.

Mark your calendars

We’re ending the year with a bang! Join us on Thursday, December 1 at 12pm ET for a very special #EmailChat. We’ll be joined by our friends from Litmus, Movable Ink, MailCharts, Really Good Emails, AddThis (and more TBA) to talk about the Best of Email 2016.

This is the one chat you won’t want to miss.