3 Types of Content That Attracts The Most Social Media Shares

I want you to think back to the last time you shared a Facebook post or retweeted someone on Twitter. What made you do that? What was going on inside your head at that precise moment? This is the topic I’d like to explore in this blog post – the types of content that attract more attention and rocks social media.

How many people your content reaches is a key metric for content marketers. Knowing the content that your audience prefers the most and shares and drives traffic influences how you are going to create content moving forward. Will your content strategy need to be adapted? Do you need to rethink how you are sharing content on social media? These are the types of questions that you should be thinking about.

The debate over social ROI may never truly go away, but I feel it’s safe to say that there are many of us who are under the belief that there are types of content out there that perform better on social media. Social media isn’t just about marketing, it’s about growing a community, and engaging with those people who in turn become brand loyalists and share good fortune about you to their own circles and communities.

Before I touch on the types of content, I feel it’s necessary to highlight a few benefits to content sharing. These are the main reasons why you as a content strategist should care about how shareable your content is.

  • Shared content leads to greater brand visibility and more people talking about you – build that community!
  • Shared content boosts traffic to key pages on your website – isn’t this the end goal of just about everything?
  • Shared content helps to grow and manage your online reputation through customer engagement – one of the biggest pros to having a brand presence on social media.

You may be asking yourself, how can you create content that attracts social media shares? Have you heard of the CURVE method? It an acronym that stands for curiosity, urgency, relevance, value, and emotion. It’s a method commonly used for writing email subject lines but I believe content marketing has evolved into much the same way. Meaning, you have a matter of seconds for your content to capture your audience’s attention, just like the subject line of an email. If it doesn’t, it’s a one-way ticket to oblivion. A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post on the CURVE method and went in-depth on how to apply it to your content creation phase in your content marketing playbook.

With the CURVE method in mind, what types of content should you create? There are three types of content that I’ve seen perform extraordinarily well on social media, and I’m sure you have to. Those are:

  • Custom Graphics
  • Videos
  • GIFs

Custom Graphics

This is simply an image with text overlay. The text can be in the form of a statement, a quote, a list, a question and so on. I’ve seen custom graphics used most often as featured images for blog posts, which is also something I do. Content Marketing Institute and Social Media Examiner do a great job at using custom graphics in this way.

In 2015, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all made strides to further emphasize the importance of visual content. Infographics are a great form of a custom graphic and get shared in waves.

I personally love using Canva whenever I need to create custom graphics. They have preset templates for just about anything you’d need images for from the correct dimensions for each social media platform to blog titles and Facebook ads. The best thing about Canva is that they are constantly improving their tool and offering more features.

Blog Title – 3 Types of Content That Rock Social Media

Videos

Video is a powerful storytelling medium and one of the most versatile forms of content. Videos offer a more intimate relationship between your brand and audience. Video can convey an appropriate emotional tone in a way that text alone can’t manage says Content Marketing Institute.

Depending on who you talk to, the year of the video is either happening right now or has already passed. I like to think that 2016 is the year video takes that next leap. 93% of marketers use video for online marketing, sales or communication. With Snapchat growing in popularity and Facebook opening Live Streaming to all, it makes sense that video is a commonly shared type of content.

SocialTimes reached out to GWI regarding how video content is performing on Instagram. They noted while 37% of active users have watched videos, the number is steadily increasing.

Here’s a quote from their article:

“But perhaps the most interesting trend here is the potential for further growth. Virtually all (99%) Instagrammers are watching video clips online each month, meaning that Instagram is well-placed to follow in Facebook’s footsteps and make video a central part of the user experience – all of which is good news for branded content on the network.”

GIFs

Have you played around with Twitter’s new GIF feature? I can spend hours searching all the different GIFs there is to choose from.

I’ve talked about custom images and videos, both powerful types of content. Now I’m going to transition into GIFs, which more and more platforms are supporting. Have you played around with Twitter’s new GIF feature on mobile? I know I could spend hours browsing all the different GIFs out there.

Gifmaker.me, MakeaGIF and IMGFlip are all free tools you can use to create GIFs for your content marketing.

Giphy.com is a great site to find already created GIFs.

“Test, test, test is at the core of content marketing and social media success.” Heidi Cohen

At the end of the day, Heidi Cohen is onto something. It’s noteworthy to mention that content marketing is just one big experiment – and that’s what’s so great about being a content marketer! It’s all trial and error. The only true way to create content that attracts social media shares is to test to see what your audience likes. The three types of content I mentioned should be a solid starting point from which to begin.

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About Steven Eastlack

Steve Eastlack is a Content Marketing Strategist and writes articles related to content marketing, social media marketing, and brand strategy on his blog – eastlackmedia. He works for Surefire Local, headquartered in Tysons, VA and holds degrees in Marketing Management and Psychology from Virginia Tech. Through the use of developing a content strategy, writing monthly editorial calendars and content, and performance reports, Steve helps to build audience and awareness for brands across all digital platforms. When he’s not busy with work, you can find Steve either watching a movie or sporting event or writing for his blog.