Who won’t love to see his or her content go viral? If your business relies heavily on content marketing, then you probably know what massive social shares mean to your traffic and conversions.

If you consistently produce tons of content that end up getting shared by a few people despite being viewed by many, then something is wrong. Not with you (luckily) but your content.

And no, the world isn’t against you. Chances are just high that you’re doing the right thing the wrong way. Here are 5 things that might be happening.

#1. Your Content isn’t Cool Enough

Have you ever stopped to think about why people share stuff? Well, it’s complicated and at the same time easy.

Unfortunately, people won’t share your content because they deem you to be cute, or because your website’s got a killer design, or because your company’s name sounds like the best thing since sliced bread.

Instead, 68% of people share content because of how it makes them look or feel, a study reveals.

Social Fresh concludes that people share content because they want to seem:

  • good
  • smart
  • controversial
  • connected
  • funny
  • insightful
  • a go-to resource
  • or whatever

This is why you don’t always find serious-minded people sharing content that is likely to upset their followers or make them look stupid.

So, if your content is downright unappealing and will make your readers to not feel smart enough, then you’ve got problem on your hands.

Instead of creating content for its own sake, think outside the box to discover what’ll significantly help your audience and, at the same time, what they’d be proud to show off to their friends and followers.

It’s that easy.

When you’re creating content that’s been over-emphasized, you want to tweak the headline. You’ve also got to provide new insights, so it doesn’t come off as rehashed. Do your research well to see where your audience’s shoes pinch, then create something compelling.

Again, it’s that easy.

#2. You aren’t Using Pictures

Some days back, I busied myself reading some blogs so as to broaden my knowledge about a few topics. It was fun to especially read posts that caught my attention because of their featured images.

I was more attracted to posts with weird images perhaps because, like many people, I believed the cooler the picture, the more interesting the article.

And… Although I was enticed by posts with images more than those without images, I read both types without prejudice.

That’s just me, however – not everyone has the time to focus on what they consider uninteresting from the get-go.

Smart marketers dig deep into human psychology to discover what makes the cut in triggering people to take actions. Using pictures, it’s believed that a lot of opportunities abounds. According to Jeff Bullas, articles with images get 94% more total views.

Pictures play a lot of games – good games – with the mind. It cools off the seriousness accompanying a chunk of words, summarizes an idea, and is just so pleasing.

A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. (And, when you’ve got a meme, it could as well be worth a thousand laughs and, more importantly, a thousand shares).

The chart below shows the average shares on Facebook for content with or without an image.

Image Credit: Okdork
Image Credit: Okdork

#3. You aren’t Asking for it

If this threatens your ego, then you aren’t ready to have your content shared.

We all can’t at the same time be the Beyonce of blogging or content creation and have people- as do Neil Patel, Jeff Bullas, Brian Clark and some marketing superstars – who massively like and share our content.

Mind you, the aforementioned people didn’t become superstars overnight; they started somewhere. So, while your business is still far from being a ‘top-dog’, you’ve got to start something, somewhere. Experiment some unconventional ways of doing things.

Asking for social shares isn’t a bad idea. I mean, you’ve created your thing and you believe it’s worth the social shares, right? If yes, go ahead and ask. You can do this anywhere – at the end of your post, when replying a compliment in the comment section, or even on social media. Just get your hands dirty with it.

Your readers are likely to be glad you’ve got them in mind and willing to spread the word about your content.

#4. You aren’t Making it Elaborate Enough

There are rules to everything. In marketing, what works in a particular platform might suck in another. Thus, while short form content is proven to work best on social media, its long form counterpart is more preferable when used for blog posts.

OkDork conducted a research, analyzing the social share counts of over 100 million articles. From this study, it was discovered that long form content gets more social shares than short form content. The chart below explicates the discovery.

As you can see, there is a correlation between article length and number of social shares, which might be a good explanation for why your posts aren’t getting shared.

If you’ve got too much on your hands and can’t regularly create long-form content, then you need to put together a team of writers. It’s super important.

#5. You aren’t Speaking your Audience’s Language

Hello, I’m not talking about speaking Hindu to a predominantly British audience (this sucks, though), but about not tailoring your content to the needs and emotions of your audience, as well as not talking to them in ways they wish to hear.

Before plunging into anything, you need to know who your readers are. Are they millennials or baby boomers? College students or graduates?

Knowing your readers’ age and gender matter in viral marketing, Harvard Business Review claims. Therein, five emotions are deemed to trigger social shares:

  1. Curiosity
  2. Amazement
  3. Interest
  4. Astonishment
  5. Uncertainty

However, the effectiveness of some other emotions in triggering social shares vary when age and gender are taken into cognizance.

For example, in the study, it’s revealed that while women are more likely to share content on the basis of how it appeals to their emotions, men don’t. You might need to read the study in full to better understand the key roles demographics have to play in social sharing.

To Wrap it Up…

In this post you’ve learned that virility has more to do with psychology and how much you appeal to your prospects than anything else. So, to get your content in the eyes of as many people as desirable through social sharing, do what’s right, today.