We often discuss the most important metrics in social media and though we do love our “likes, follows and mentions” – statistics would suggest that shares are the goose that lays the golden egg on social media.

A “like” is good on a number of levels, as is a follow – however, it’s an individual, person specific benefit. A share is actually a far more powerful metric and can help you and your message to reach thousands of people with just the click of a button.

Shares-1 Social Metrics - The Power of Shares and How to Get Them

Creating content that encourages shares is therefore the key to success – so where do you start?

Help your Niche or Industry

People love helpful advice – the internet is a haven for people searching for truly useful content and lesser so people creating it, providing tips and information is the best way to encourage shares. This is due to the fact that helpful content will be shared by the people in your immediate network and the likelihood is that the people in their immediate network will probably have the same interests too and share it on.

People Need Something to Relate to

Providing people with a personal reason to share a post is a great way to encourage it. People are far more likely to share something and take an interest in things that relate to them and their life. Geography and local relevance is a great topic to engage with people. Other universal favourites include babies, animals and funny videos – why do you think pictures of dogs are littered across the web? By creating a connection and posting the sort of stuff people love we can capitalise on the potential for shares and in doing so promote our business.

Have a Laugh

‘Why so Serious?’ is a question the Joker once posed in Batman and it’s something you need to consider when looking at your blog. People would rather share a photo of a pug in a tutu, than some hard-core article on co-citation in link building. However, if you can mix the two in a balanced, informative post you’re golden.

Question Everything

Facebook’s algorithm is completely orientated towards interaction and rewards the posts with the most communication with more Newsfeed real estate. Asking questions encourages answers and thus creates interaction, meaning more people will see the response on the replier’s wall. Engage and encourage interaction and you’re more likely to get shares.

Reward Shares

This is an old one but a good one – reward people for sharing with the chance to win something, a discount or some free-content via an app. People love something for nothing and rewarding shares with the chance to win something, free content, or a money-off voucher is a great way to encourage them to share and retweet more.

Customer Centric Media

Why not encourage people to post photos of themselves or their projects onto your Facebook page, while engaging with your brand. Give these people some credit for their efforts and watch as they share the positive feature they’ve posted with their friends and family.

For example, ask fans to post pictures of them with their favourite dish if you’re at a restaurant or a “before and after” DIY project if you’re a tool hire company. These photos and images are a great way to get some positive PR and also encourage shares around your brand. Here are a number of great ideas to encourage social sharing on Facebook.

Just Ask

There are all sorts of stats that suggest that simply asking people to share your post will result in a lot more shares. Put it this way, it’s been shown that asking will more than double your shares – so why not just add a little request at the end of some posts to encourage sharing? There’s no harm in trying!

As you can see, there are all sorts of great ways to encourage social shares online and spread the social love. Do you have any great tips?