By Emma FitzpatrickBack in 2015, blog posts were getting shared a median of eight times, according to 2018 Buzz Sumo data. Flash-forward to 2017, that number had been sliced in half to a mere four social shares.
The study found that organic social sharing decreased because of more competitive content being created, more individuals sharing articles on dark social and many changes to social media algorithms.
In an attempt to overcome the dip in social media engagement, 69 percent of B2C marketers and 61 percent of B2B marketers increased their use of social media for content marketing within the last year, according to a 2019 Content Marketing Institute study. Specifically, 68 percent of B2C and 66 percent of B2B marketers used paid methods to distribute their content. For most—77 percent of marketers—that meant sponsoring their content on social media.
While investing more in paid promotion does amplify your content, you also want to make sure you do everything you can before you hit “publish” to set your bank up for success.
Making a few tweaks to the way you format your content, write your blog title or finalize your word count can make a significant impact.
Here are six data-driven tips on how to get more social shares or backlinks to your blog. All data and recommendations are extracted from https://backlinko.com/content-study, which analyzed 912 million blog posts.
6 Tips to Optimize Your Bank’s Blog Posts for Social Sharing
- Title – To boost social shares, write a very, very long headline. We’re talking between 14 and 17 words—or between 80 and 100 characters if you want to get specific. Headlines of that length are 77 percent more than short headlines. Keep in mind, though, that Google only displays the first 50 to 60 characters of your title, according to Moz’s latest analysis. So if you write a long title for social, make sure it will still make sense to someone who finds it on Google and can only read the first chunk of it.
- Length – What’s your goal for your blog? Is it primarily to drive social shares and engagement? If so, you’ll want to pen posts between 1,000 and 2,000 words. Articles in that range get 56 percent more social shares than shorter pieces. But if the goal for your blog is backlinks, which help your SEO ranking, you may want to increase that word count even more. Posts that are longer than 3,000 words get an average of 77 percent more backlinks than content under 1,000 words.
- Format – Unsurprisingly, list-style posts got the most shares on social (an average of nearly 250 shares), followed by “why” posts (an average of almost 200 shares) and “what” posts (averaging just under 150 shares). If you’re covering a why or what topic, consider adding a question mark to your title. Those headlines get 23 percent more shares.
- Audience – Keep in mind that if your bank is writing exclusively for a B2B audience, you’ll get fewer shares. Brands that write B2B and B2C content get shared 9.7 times more.
- Day to publish – Good news! You can post your blogs any day that works best for you since social shares are about the same for every day of the week. Sunday does seem to have a slight edge, with a 1.45 percent increase in social shares.
- Backlinks – Google takes backlinks into account when ranking your blog posts. But those backlinks are extremely hard to get. Only six percent of content has a single backlink, and only 2.2 percent has links from multiple sites. Unfortunately, even if your article earns many social media shares, the data indicate that it has no impact on the number of backlinks you get. What type of content does collect the most backlinks? “Why” posts, “what” posts and infographics. So for increased backlinks, you may want to consider publishing more of those.
Emma Fitzpatrick is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social media marketing and short, snappy writing. Pick her brain at email@example.com.