Social media has become an integral part of today’s online marketing strategies. No doubt most marketer now uses the social media platforms to drives traffic, increase engagement, generates leads and possibly, more revenue. As a smart content marketer, among what you should care about is the positive effects the shares, likes, re-tweets and comments your content attract which can increase the viral effect. By making some adjustments to the content you create, publish, the format, time of posting, and how you post your content, you can possibly influence others to engage more with your content and increase social media shares and traffic. Today, in this article, you will learn the six tips to optimize your content for more social shares, likes, re-tweets and possibly, drive more engaged traffic to your website. 1. Content Headline If there is only one factor that determines the success of your content on social media…it will certainly be the headline. Like any other web copy, your social media update needs to carry a very strong compelling headline. Social media audience is always in a hurry to scan through status updates. Your post headline should define clearly what your information is all about. If readers had to think for 10 seconds to guess what your information is all about, your whole article could as well just be swimming out of the gate. You probably don’t want that. A good article headline will instantly tell the readers what he should expect from reading the content body and what type of information it is. You might want to experiment with different types of headlines to see which works best and why. 2. Use Big Attractive Images It is no more breaking news the importance of images in social media updates. According to research conducted by HubSpot blog, 32% of content marketers says visual content is the most important form of content for their business with blogging in 27%. Use big attractive images in your post and set it as the featured image for the post so it gets displayed alongside your post. You don’t need to be an expert to create amazing images for your content. There are lots of image creations tools available online today. One of the most popular and useful tools for image creation is Canva. I use Canva to create images for a blog post, and for all other web content. You can create a free Canva account to use the image creation tool for free. 3. Tell Your Stories It is true that logic, facts, education, fictions, or even your personal observation about things or places could easily turn to Stella post. But this fact remains the same…people are more consume and persuasive in stories than any other type of information. A fact can be challenged, everyone knows that fiction is not real, and even the syllabus that the educational system runs could change from year to year but the story of a man cannot be changed or doubt. If you’re selling a product, tell a story about the pleasant event that took place between your sales rep and customers. If you’re a content marketer, your journey so far is a very good story to tell. I bet if your readers won’t appreciate this kind of post than any of your other content formats. Go through your content archives and dig deep searching for those post that has received the highest numbers of shares and comments, certainly, it will come out as the one you incorporates your personal experience into it. 4. Share in Relevant Communities. There is no good marketing strategy in writing high-quality information about how to lose weight then going ahead to share it in a community where most people are looking to better their financial status. That would certainly be a wasted effort of time, resources and energy. The same applies to social media sites like Facebook groups. Share your articles in relevant places, groups, networks, marketing channels, etc. Don’t assume everyone is your target audience. Look for relevant online communities where your content type would certainly fit well and attract a relevant audience. 5. Optimize for Search engine. It is important that your content is well optimized for both the search engine and users. What to note here is that a good search engine friendly article is as well a user-friendly content. Optimize your keyword to be identified and understood easily by search engines and remember, you also need to do that for the users too. If users had to read up to the fifth paragraph before knowing if the content is relevant to his query, then you might as well be misleading to your readers. 6. Make Friends and lots of it Your social media friends will help a lot in sharing your content. And if you’re not paying attention to the circle of friends you keep on social media, it is time to look into it. Why keeping friends who enjoy talking about birthday parties, the food they eat last night and stuffs like that when your primary duty on social media sites is to build your brand identity and grow your customer database? Look out for friends and influential who share the same ideas as you and are in a similar niche. These are people who understand and value what you’re doing and could help spread your content across to their followers. As at the time I created my Facebook account, most of the people on my friend list were families and close associates who never heard of the word “blogging“ before, and some didn’t even know the difference between Facebook and the internet. I remember telling my elder brother that I own and manage a blog on the internet. He asked, a blog? Do I mean Facebook? I don’t know how to explain further so I sent him a link to my blog so he could see what a blog looks like. But to my surprise, this just complicates the issue more as he couldn’t even understand what I’m doing right there on my blog. Make sure your lists of friends are people that can help in one way or the other with what you’re doing. 7. Include Call-to-action The best way to make people do something you wanted them to do is to tell them to do it and show them how to do it. Include a call-to-action button in your post updates like the sharing button, destination web page URL, etc. Whatever is your purpose of marketing your content, provide ways for your target audience to connect with you and your brand and help spread the word out of your blog. Word of mouth and individual recommendation are still the best forms of advertisements that guarantee sales than any other form of advert. Conclusion. Certainly, getting hundreds or even thousands of social shares and traffic won’t happen overnight. If you follow the above tips and work on their implementation long enough, you will drastically increase social media shares and traffic to drive a more engaged audience to your website from social media sites.