Sharing your content is a requirement, isn’t it? After all, if all you do is produce content, but no-one shares it, then you are potentially invisible – unless your website has a big band of loyal followers. For most sites, though, it is sharing content on social media that brings in the much-needed traffic.
However, there is an increasing problem for people wishing to share things. There is so much content that can be shared there isn’t time to check all of it and share everything. People are becoming more and more “picky” about what they decide to share. Your content stands a risk of not being shared if it fails the “is this worth sharing” test.
Reasons for sharing your content
There are three main reasons people share things:
- They find the content emotionally stimulating. It makes them laugh, it might make them cross, or it could make them cry. If people become emotionally involved with your content, they are much more likely to share it. The problem is, vast swathes of content are boring business stuff that is emotionally blank. That’s because many business writers are emotionally disconnected from the material they are typing.
- They think the content will be interesting to their connections. On social networks, people know the kind of followers they have, who is in their friendship group and what their connections are interested in. So, if a piece of content triggers that knowledge, then people are much more likely to be sharing your content. Often, though, much business content is just not stimulating or detailed enough and doesn’t trigger the notion that “my friends will love this”.
- They are a fan of your content. If people follow you because they like you or they respect you, or they think you are an authority in your field, then your content is going to get shared more readily. The problem for much business content is that it is from the company, rather than from individuals promoted as experts on which basis someone could become a fan. Your business content is only going to get shared if you have created a group of loyal fans.
However, even if you complete all of these factors well and have emotionally stimulating, interesting content that is loved by your fans, you still stand a chance of people not sharing your content.
3 reasons why people do not share your content
If you have produced good content, before people decide to share it there are three main “stop” reasons which prevent them from sharing the material.
- Advertising heavy content. If your pages are crammed with advertising, have several pop-ups and are clearly focused on gaining any revenue possible from adverts, you are less likely to get the content shared when compared with pages that are not advert-focused. Indeed, Facebook is so aware of the disdain with which such web pages are viewed that they have been using their algorithm to prevent them from appearing on your newsfeed for a year.
- Content that has large recommendation panels. It is commonplace to see these recommended articles in large panels at the bottom of many content pages these days. However, they take up a lot of memory and are massive processor hoggers for your equipment. That’s one of the reasons why people dislike most forms of advertising in web pages on their mobile devices. Such recommendation panels slow things down, often to a standstill.
- Videos that are set to autoplay. These are hated, so much so that the Chrome browser has new policies in place to prevent them from being displayed. You can bet that pretty soon Google will start to de-index such pages.
When I see content that is interesting, emotionally stimulating and will interest my connections I still take a pause and think “is this page potentially annoying?” Annoyances like cluttered, advertising heavy pages with processor-hogging recommendation blocks and autoplaying videos get the thumbs down.
If you want your content to be shared, it needs to be excellent and interesting, but it also needs to be non-annoying.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+