Everybody knows the more eyes that see your content, the better—That’s why it’s so important to craft content that spreads. Do you know what makes content shareable? Does your audience regularly pass along your email newsletter? Do they repost your status updates? Are you getting retweets? Knowing the difference between content that’s read and content that spreads is the secret to going viral. So to give you a leg up, here are the 12 types of content most likely to spread.
1. News: Breaking news is always attention-grabbing, if only because it’s new. People like to feel in the know. So give your readers something worth spreading by announcing a big change or update.
2. Memes: Memes are made to be spread. They may be photos, videos, tags, or other media, but they go viral quickly, making them the perfect social media tool. Wonder how a company or blogger can use memes to spread a message? Consider the following examples:
- Starting a Hashtag: Anthropologie tagging product line with #AnthroPetites and seeing followers do the same
- Joining an Existing Meme: Facebook doing the Harlem Shake
- Launching a Campaign: Bon Appetit’s monthly Cook the Cover feature, encouraging readers to make the recipe on the cover and post it online
3. Photos: Beautiful, eye-catching, noteworthy photos do well on many forms of social media, from Pinterest to Facebook. In fact, according to some research, Facebook posts with an image generate 120% more response than posts without one. So to maximize your influence, post attractive images readers will want to share.
3. Photos with Text: Sharing a quote is powerful, but sharing a quote as an image is even more so. Overlay attractive photos with text you wish to share to maximize its power.
4. Infographics: Infographics take photos with text to the next level, as they showcase important statistics and/or research in an eye-catching way. Whether your infographic shows the top risk factors for a certain disease or the difference between organic and non-organic produce, if the information is relevant to your audience, they’ll be interested and want to share it.
5. Lists: From “5 tips to improve your golf swing” to “The 12 secrets to saving money on car insurance,” readers like lists. These resources typically attract attention and get shared.
6. How-To Articles: Everybody likes a good “how to” piece so write posts that show your audience, clearly and compellingly, how to do something. When your information helps them, they’ll want to tell their friends.
7. Vulnerable First-Person Stories: If you want to move people to action, touch their hearts. That’s the logic behind the power of vulnerable first-person stories on social media. When someone shares something vulnerable and raw, readers respond—just look at this blogger’s birth story that has over 3,000 comments and counting.
8. Negative Stories: It might seem unfortunate, but it’s true: People are fascinated by bad news. Write about the negative side of a topic, and watch how many people click to read it.
9. Research: Facts and figures are sharable because they’re hard to refute—Nothing proves a point faster than cold, hard data. Share studies and statistics when they’re relevant to what you do, and your audience will be listening and sharing.
10. Video: If there’s one thing YouTube has taught the world, it’s that people love video. The most shareable videos are attractive, thought-provoking, and unique.
11. Problem Solvers: This type of content goes back to knowing your audience: What do your followers need? What problems can you help them solve? When you provide an actual solution to a problem, you can bet they’ll appreciate it—and that they’ll want to spread the word.
12. Posts That Mention Other Bloggers: When you post a roundup of favorite links from across the Web, you do more than give your readers resources—You promote other bloggers who will often, in turn, promote you. Bloggers like to let their readers know where they’re mentioned—so mention them in your content, and they’ll want to pass it around.
What do you think? Have you tried all of these content types already? What have you found as a result? Could implementing these ideas help push your content farther into the world? Why not give them a shot?