Social media has flourished in the last decade. If you can get a post to go viral on social media, you can get thousands of new visitors in just a few hours.
But, to get your posts to go viral on these platforms, you have to get quite a few shares. The problem is, you are probably shooting yourself in the foot and hurting your social shares without knowing it.
Here's How To Get More Social Media Shares For Your Blog
This weird little trick for getting more social shares is called, “Don't put a kid in a candy store.”
When it comes to getting people to take action on your blog, what do you think goes through their heads? If they like the content, maybe they want to share it.
If they want more of your content or a free offer, maybe they subscribe to your email list. If they have something to say in response to the post, maybe they will leave a comment.
If they see some cool stuff in your sidebar, maybe they will click that. Do you see a trend here? People have too many decisions to make on your blog!
The Quicksprout Study:
Neil Patel of Quicksprout did a test to see if the number of social media share buttons on a post affects how many shares it gets.
What he did is he went from his usual Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons and added Pinterest as well as Linkedin.
The funny thing is, it had the complete opposite effect of what you might imagine. His social shares went DOWN 29% when he added MORE options for his readers. Isn't that weird?
The Jam Study:
There was a study done by Sheena Iyengar of Columbia University to see if more flavor choices of jam would result in more purchases.
Research assistants set up a stand outside of a grocery store in Menlo Park, CA and offered two different sample sizes to customers.
You would think that when there were more choices of jam, there would be more sales because it would be more likely for a customer to like one of the flavors. Except that isn't what happened at all.
When offering sample sizes of either 6 or 24 flavors, something interesting happened. 20% more people stopped to sample jams when there were more flavors, but there were 10x more purchases when only 6 flavors were offered.
The Lesson Here:
More choices doesn't lead to more actions. In fact it makes people more likely to take no action at all. Don't overwhelm your audience with choices. Make it simple for them. Help them easily realize what you want them to do.
Action Steps To Take
Here are a few things you can do to start getting more social shares for your blog by simply creating less confusion:
- Try to narrow down social media share buttons to a maximum of 3 or 4 options. You may even do like Forbes and have Facebook and Twitter with a third option that can give people more choices if they just really want them.
- Stop pitching so many offers in your sidebar and other parts of your blog. There needs to be congruence on every blog post page. Focus on just one offer and a limited number of share buttons for posts.
- Consider removing your sidebar completely. A lot of blogs, you may notice, put a lot of crap in their sidebars. It's normal to see 3 or more different offers in the sidebar alone. This creates more indecision for visitors, more stuff for your website to load, hurting load speed, and half of your visitors won't even see it because they're on a mobile device.
- Have less options in your header menu. We're trying to get all your readers' focus on the content and the action you want them to take. They may get distracted by a lot of menu options.
Focus is really the principle in play here and it is so important to many aspects of your business.
Not only do you need to stop multitasking and eliminate distractions so you can focus on one productive task at a time, but you have to allow your visitors to focus on what you want them to do.
You have to make things clear for your blog visitors. Otherwise, they won't know what to do and will be too indecisive to share your post or sign up for your email offer.
Eliminate any extra social share buttons, offers, ads, menu options, or any other choices that could delay a decisive action for your readers. Your conversions should definitely improve if you do so.
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