Most blogs and the websites they live on today have social widgets that allow readers to share the website's content on social networks. This is extremely important because your readers are your best promoters. If they like your content, they will share it with their networks which will drive more traffic to your website, along with a strong peer endorsement.
However, so much of the time, websites are not optimized for maximum effectiveness when content is shared. There are three things I frequently see as "red flags" on blogs that hurt the organization's chances of reaching the most people.
1. Lack of attribution in the Re-tweet widget.
You've probably noticed that most blogs allow readers to share the content on Twitter via a re-tweet button. However, most of the time I've noticed that it does not include the organization's Twitter ID in the post. When someone shares your content on Twitter, it should include your Twitter ID. For example, if you click the Tweet button at the bottom of this blog, you will notice that it includes the text "via @spinweb" at the end. This does a couple of things. One: it allows us to see who is re-tweeting our content, which means we can follow up with a thank you, a follow back, or some other form of communication. Two: it grows our Twitter following because now anyone else who sees that posting can easily click on our Twitter ID and follow us.
2. Un-captivating titles.
The TITLE tag of your web pages is typically what gets displayed on social networks when your content is shared. Many organizations don't put a whole lot of thought into how their individual blogs and web pages display the title of the content so it ends up being something like "Company XYZ - Marketing tagline - Content headline". This is not ideal because when a blog is shared on Facebook or Twitter, the first thing people see is the company name, followed by a tagline, and finally (if there is room), the title of the article. This looks somewhat spammy and will not generate much interest. Instead, make sure your content title leads with the headline of the article so that people will instantly be able to see the topic when it is shared on social networks. This will maximize the chances that people will click on the link and come to your website.
3. Lack of social commenting.
Many blogs allow readers to post comments on articles. However, most of the time these comments only exist on the blog itself and do not reach much further. Services like Disqus, however, allow readers to log in with their Facebook or Twitter accounts and post with their own photos and names which personalizes the experience. It also allows commenters to share their comments on social networks, which in turn drives more traffic to your website. Try it by commenting on this blog below. Be sure to log in with one of your social profiles and choose the option to share it with your networks.
Want more eyes on your content? With a few simple changes, you can easily increase the number of visits, followers, and readers you acquire to your website and blog. Comments and questions are welcome.