[Case Study] How To Get 350+ Social Media Shares on Every Blog Post

Filed in Blogging, Case Studies, Content by on July 31, 2015

A few months back I wrote a post about different ways to get more social shares on every blog post you publish.

It went on to become one of the most popular posts on NicheHacks and, till date, has attracted over 350 shares on different social media platforms.

It has also been linked to, and mentioned on several high authority blogs, including Problogger, Business.com, MatthewWoodward and BloggingTips, resulting in 2597 visitors with an average “time on page” of over 4 minutes.

Getting 300+ social media shares might not be a big deal for some of the more established blogs. But for a growing blog, or a newbie starting from scratch, it’s a massive number – especially when it’s completely natural and not artificially inflated.

 

socialshares1

 

But knowing and understanding the exact steps that can lead you to more social shares is even more important than achieving this number.

You need to have a clear understanding of why people share content and how you can replicate this success to every blog post you publish anywhere on the web.

For example, here’s a post I wrote for Business.com recently. The average number of shares for posts on this blog is around 50-60.

My post got more than 5000 shares!

 

socialshares3

 

Yes, you heard that right! 5000 shares.

The editor of this blog was so blown away by these results that she put this as a featured post for 2 weeks on the main page of this high traffic blog.

Another post I wrote for BloggingTips.com, got almost 500 shares (the average for this blog is 50-100 shares)

socialshares2

 

Now, obviously, if a blog is already popular the number of shares is going to be higher than other blogs.

But even if your blog is completely new, you can still get a lot more people to share your content and send you traffic from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networks.

And this is what I’m going to share with you in this post.

Taking my NicheHacks post, “31 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Blog’s Social Media Shares”, as a case study, I’ll take you backstage and show you how I actually put my social media advice into action, and promoted that post.

Hopefully, this case study will help you replicate this success on your blog, and help you generate more traffic and social media buzz.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

What You'll Learn in This Post

  • The exact steps I followed to promote my post before and after publishing it on NicheHacks so that you can copy it.
  • The super effective platform from where I get easy traffic to my posts (and you can too)
  • All the sources that sent traffic to my post (with exact numbers) so that you can try them for yourself.
  • How I used influencers to promote my content and how you can do this too.

 

So without further adieu, here are the exact steps that I followed.

 

1. Finding a Proven Content Idea for Guaranteed Success

When Stuart asked me to come up with an idea for an epic blog post, he recommended that I used the Skyscraper technique.

Honestly, that was the first time I had heard of this term and had no idea what it was about.

But it was nothing complex, as Stuart later explained it to me.

You just need to research a proven blog post topic that has already generated tons of social media shares, backlinks, comments and traffic on another blog.

You then take that same topic and create a MUCH better, longer, heavier and more useful post for your own blog.

Ever since I’ve learned this technique, my content has started generating more traffic and social media buzz.

Here’s how you can replicate this step.

  • Go to BuzzSumo and search for the main keyword of your post (this is what I got)

 

buzzsumoshares

 

  • I analyzed the top 5 results and noticed that none of the posts went into too much detail. The longest post on this list shared only 10 ways to increase social shares.

So I thought, here’s our opportunity.

  • While writing your own post, make sure you choose a different headline and don’t create an identical post. The idea is not to copy, but to find a topic that is certain to work.

To make my post better than the others, I decided to make it MUCH longer and more detailed.

The end product, as you can see, was a 5000+ words post that listed more than 30 ways to get social shares.

I did not copy the content from any of the top posts.

My post was completely original. But I used the popular posts to understand the kind of content that’ll generate more interest.

This is the most crucial step for creating shareable content.

Don’t re-invent the wheel.

Find a proven idea, and just make it better and more useful.

 

 

Brian Dean"There are WAY too many people in internet marketing today that think “great content” is enough.If only it were that easy" - Brian Dean (Backlinko)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

2. Including Lots of Images and Snapshots to Improve Reader Experience

Images are SO crucial for making your content social media friendly. Not only do they make people share your content more, but also make it more consumable.

So it’s no surprise that I included lots of images and snapshots in my post - 22 to be precise!

Many of those images got Tweeted, and brought in more traffic

I don’t have the exact traffic numbers from the Tweets these images generated, but they contributed a good chunk of the overall traffic generated from Twitter.

Action item: Always include lots of original snapshots in your posts

 

 

3. Creating Quality Backlinks on Authority Blogs for More Traffic and SEO

As I mentioned at the start, my social media post on NicheHacks was mentioned and linked back by several leading and high authority bloggers.

But I also aggressively promoted that post through guest blogging.

After publishing the post on NicheHacks, I mentioned it in my guest posts on high authority blogs like Problogger, Business.com, BloggingTips and several others.

 

problogger1

 

Results?

Just one link on Problogger sent almost 100 visitors to the post, with an average time on page on 3 minutes and 45 seconds.

 

problogger2

 

Clearly, most of the referred visitors liked what they saw, and many of them must have shared the post with their social media followers as well. Plus, a do-follow backlink from an authority blog like Problogger holds a lot of SEO value.

Apart from the blogs I mentioned, my post was linked back by Matthew Woodward on his blog which also sent us around 100 visitors with an average time on page of more than 5 minutes!

I did have an unfair advantage over here because I do write for a lot of other blogs and can easily mention and link back to my posts.

But still it’s a strategy, with proven results, that you can follow as well

 

 

6bab4c7931ee5fc20626a5778c1f43b9_400x400.pngdan zarella"For all of the “big three” social media networks, I found that social sharing had a positive relationship to incoming links pointing to a URL." - Dan Zarella (Moz)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

4. Creating Tweetable Quotes for Soft Outreach and More Shares

As a general editorial policy here at NicheHacks, all writers include several Tweetable quotes in their blog posts.

But instead of taking quotes from within the post content, we collect quotes related to the topic, by some of the other experts and bloggers.

This has two direct benefits:

  • It gives the readers a different perspective on the same topic and makes the post more valuable
  • When readers tweet these quotes, the quoted experts are notified on Twitter. This acts as a soft outreach strategy and gets us more RTs from influencers.

So, for the social media post, I created 10 Tweetable quotes from 7 different experts using ClickToTweet. It took additional effort to find relevant quotes from other bloggers, but the results we got were great.

Overall, 10 Tweetable quotes generated more than 100 unique clicks to this post from Twitter.

Here’s a snapshot of one of the Tweets I included in the post, along with its stats on ClickToTweet.

 

clicktotweet1

clicktotweet

 

clicktotweet2

 

These quotes were tweeted by several influencers with more than 10,000 followers. Again, I can’t say for sure which influencers sent us more traffic but they all played a part.

 

clicktotweet3

 

Here’s another example of how mentioning an influencer can lead to new fans and readers for your blog.

This conversation happened a while back regarding one of the initial posts on NicheHacks

 

problogger3

 

This really is a tried and tested method – mention people in your content, and get more shares!

 

 

 

HGPgDICD_400x400"A good tweetable quote is much more like a sound bite – a short phrase or sentence that captures the essence of a speaker’s speech, talk, presentation, or other message." - John Corcoran (BoostBlogTraffic)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

5. Sharing from Multiple Twitter Accounts With a Wider Audience

If you want to increase the exposure to your content on Twitter, you need to create and manage multiple accounts from where you can Tweet your content.

I know this sounds “black-hat”

But it isn’t.

Many of my posts receive dozens of Tweets because I tweet them from multiple accounts that I manage.

I’m not asking you to create fake account just to Tweet your posts. I’m taking about creating and properly managing multiple Twitter accounts with their own dedicated and engaged followers in your niche.

This is a long term strategy but since I applied it a while back, I have enough followers on different accounts who regularly Tweet and share my posts.

You can do this with a combination of automation and manual work.

For example, if you’re running a freelancing blog, create 2-3 more Twitter accounts with generic names like “Freelance News”, “Freelance Heaven”, “Freelancer Guide”.

Now use Twitter feed to automatically Tweet content from 15-20 of the top blogs, and 5-10 of the mid-level and upcoming blogs in your niche.

 

twitterfeed

 

Simply add the RSS feed URL of your target blog to create an automatic Twitter feed.

 

twitterfeed1

 

Make sure you mention the Twitter handle of the blog, so that they’re always notified about your Tweet.

 

twitterfeed2

 

Once you add 20-30 feeds to your Twitter feed account, start following some of your competitors’ followers to get follow backs.

In the initial days, you’ll have to proactively engage with people on your new Twitter accounts to build momentum. But as the number of automated Tweets grows on your blog, you’ll start getting more natural followers every day.

I promoted my NicheHacks post on 4 different Twitter accounts multiple times. And it resulted in Tweets from different users and several influencers who were following those accounts.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

 

6. Creating Optimized Tweets for Maximum Engagement

One of the major reasons why I got RTs every time I tweeted my post, was because I optimized the Tweets for maximum engagement.

Not sure what that exactly means?

Here are the key factors for an optimized Tweet

  • Tweet Length:Tweets between 110 and 115 characters get the highest engagement

 

length_retweets

 

  • Link Placement:Instead of putting the link at the end of your Tweets, use it just before the half way mark to get the highest RTs.
  • Hashtags:Tweets with up to 3 relevant hashtags get almost 55% more ReTweets.
  • hashtags_retweets

 

  • Quotes: Tweets with quotation marks get 30% more Retweets.
  • Images:Tweets with images get 200% more engagement.
  • Tags and Replies: When tagging someone, don’t start your Tweet with their Twitter handle. It limits the Tweet to only your common followers.

Overall, my Tweets were ReTweeted more than 25 times at different occasions, and generated dozens of clicks to the post.

So the next time you Tweet your content, don’t just Tweet the title and content link. Spend a little time optimizing your Tweet to achieve better results.

 

 

kevan lee"100 characters is the engagement sweet spot for a tweet" - Kevan Lee (Buffer)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

 

7. Tweeting the Same Post Multiple Times for More Exposure

You can’t just Tweet or share your content on social media once, and sit back. Social media users have really short attention spans, and it’s easy to miss posts (especially Tweets).

Therefore, Tweeting the same post several times, with different descriptions, brings fresh traffic every time.

I recently saw a forum discussion where a so called expert argued against Tweeting the same post multiple times because that, in his expert opinion, is regarded as duplicate content by Google.

That’s plain BS!

Multiple Tweets have nothing to do with content duplication. That’s a completely different topic.

You can, however, argue that your followers might not like seeing the same Tweets again and again.

I agree.

That’s why I’m telling you to use different descriptions every time you Tweet.

And I’m not asking you to Tweet your posts every second hour – no!

Do it twice a day every day for 1 week. Then twice a week. Then once a week.

Have a social media sharing calendar.

Here’s a good example.

 

social sharing

 

The dozens of Tweets I got for this post were not generated in one day or even one month.

I kept promoting it for weeks and scheduled it on Buffer for days ahead.

You need to be consistent on Twitter to achieve success.

There’s no other option.

 

 

Neil Patel"Having a social media calendar has helped me almost double my Twitter engagement over the last six months" - Neil Patel (QuickSprout)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

8. Sharing with Groups on Facebook and Google+

This is another long term promotional strategy that you need to invest some time in, before getting the rewards.

You can’t start sharing your content the first day you join a group. You need to engage with the members and add some value with your posts.

But it’s certainly worth the effort.

Overall, my post received 100+ visits from Facebook, and around 50 from Google Plus.

Since we don’t have separate stats for timeline shares and group visitors, I can only assume that around 50-60 of the total visitors from Facebook came from different groups.

I’m an active member of several groups, and shared my post with 7 Facebook groups and 8 Google+ communities.

 

googleplus1

 

When you’re an active member of several groups and communities, you can share your new content and drive easy traffic to your blog.

And of course, more visitors mean a higher probability of social shares.

 

 

9. Actively Engaging With People Who Share Your Content

I’ve found this one simple technique to be SO effective in getting more followers and dozens of additional Tweets.

The idea is simple – whenever you publish a post, keep an eye on everyone who shares it on any social media platform.

Spare 5 minutes every day to engage with these people. Just saying a simple “Thank you” can help you build new connections and repeat shares.

So, after I published my post on NicheHacks, I searched the post title on Twitter to see who shared it.

Along with a few automated Twitter accounts, I found several influential users who had shared the post.

I thanked every one of them individually by responding to their Tweets.

 

outreach2

 

The result?

Many of them responded to my Tweets which gave the original link Tweet additional exposure, I got several new followers, and a few users Tweeted the same post multiple times in the coming days.

For example, I mentioned Tim Hughes, an influential social media user with over 110,000 followers on Twitter, in my post, and also thanked him when he Tweeted the post.

 

outreach6

 

Tim eventually Tweeted the same post 3 times during the next 10 days, and helped us get more RTs.

 

outreach3

 

 

evan lepage"While responding to Tweets, a “Thanks!” message is good, but a personalized message is far, far better" Evan LePage (HootSuite)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

10. Generating Early Momentum With JustRetweet

When you publish a new blog post, creating early traffic momentum is really important. If you manage to get the ball rolling from the start, you have a good chance of attracting lots of new visitors to your post.

JustRetweet is a service that I use for every post I publish.

If you make use of it intelligently, you can easily get 50-100 natural Tweets within 24 hours.

How does it work?

You just need to Tweet the posts of other bloggers, and in return they’ll Tweet yours. The tweets are completely natural and all users have their own original followers.

Some of its users include influencers like Ana Hoffman, Kim Roach, and Adam Connell

 

outreach4

 

You can even set a limit on the minimum number of followers a user needs to have in order to Tweet your post.

I submitted my post to JustRetweet and got 50 Retweets in 24 hours.

To make your Tweets really effective, make sure you add an image, and a couple of relevant hashtags. For my Tweet, I added hashtags #socialmedia #Twitter #Facebook, which got me dozens of more RTs from users interested in these hashtags.

 

 

11. Submitting Content to Inbound.org

Inbound.org is a brilliant place to network with some of the most influential people in the content marketing industry. So if you’re still not a part of it, join today.

Once you have a certain level of following on inbound.org, you can share you content with other members and immediately get dozens of Tweets and shares. Some of the biggest influencers use it, so even a few Tweets can give you several RTs.

 

outreach5

 

On this occasion though, someone else beat me to it and submitted my post to inbound.org before I could do it myself.

You can see that it got 287 views, 56 shares on Facebook, and 14 up votes from different authority bloggers, including Brian Dean of Backlinko.

This gave us around 110 visits from inbound.org.

Not bad for a 5 minute effort.

 

12. Getting Easy Traffic from Scoop.it

Scoop.it is another platform I always use when promoting my content. A 15-20 minute effort can give you hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of visitors from Scoop.it.

 

scoopit

 

People use Scoop.it to curate their favorite content related to different topics on one page in a magazine style layout.

There are hundreds of users on Scoop.it with 10,000 to 50,000 followers.

To take advantage, you just need to find relevant scoops, and suggest your post to the scoop owner. If your suggestion is accepted, your post gets added to their scoop page and people can read it.

I submitted my post to around 15 relevant scoops, out of which 2 accepted it. The response was low, but it still generated a few dozen visits to the post.

 

13. Mentioning Influencers and Reaching Out for More Shares

I’ve already mentioned how I used Tweetable quotes as a soft outreach strategy to engage influencers and get more social shares.

But I also mentioned several influencers within the content of my post. I used them as examples readers could follow.

Once my post went live, I made sure I reached out to every one of them and told them about their part in the post.

Of course, I already had a good relationship with a few of the influencers I mentioned. But for many of them, I was a stranger.

Here’s one of the emails I sent to a blogger mentioned in the post.

 

outreach1

 

As you can see, it’s short and sweet.

I got the RT I was looking for, which resulted in a few more shares and additional traffic.

Reaching out to influencers like this takes time. But it’s certainly worth the effort.

 

14. Asking Readers to Share

Here at NicheHacks, we make sure that every article ends with a strong call to action, along with a clear message to the reader that we want them to share it.

I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but simply asking your readers to share content works pretty well.

Your content needs to be good, of course.

But people like to be reminded of these small things. So make sure you don’t miss out on a few additional shares (we didn’t).

 

 

The Traffic Stats of My Post

To summarize everything for you, here's a quick glance at the main sources that sent me traffic for this post.

 

Source / Medium Pageviews Avg. Time on Page
(direct) / (none) 940 00:04:04
google / organic 561 00:03:39
afteroffers.com / referral 173 00:04:51
inbound.org / referral 102 00:07:09
t.co / referral 93 00:07:29
problogger.net / referral 87 00:03:34
matthewwoodward.co.uk / referral 76 00:05:03
facebook.com / referral 68 00:02:53
facebook.com / social 63 00:02:57
linkedin.com / social 45 00:05:38
Total Views 2519 00:04:01

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

Time to Replicate This for Even Better Results

As I promised at the start of this post, I took you backstage and showed you everything I did to promote my post.

The results I achieved were pretty good, especially considering that this is still a growing blog.

You also must’ve realized that promoting your content takes a lot of time and effort.

But why not do it when you’ve spent so much time creating it?

Ideally you should be spending 30% of your time creating content, and 70% promoting it.

If you’ve created a great piece of content, don’t just sit back and wait for people to share it. Go out there, spread the word and promote your content aggressively.

And not just for one day or one week. Promote it as long as you want to achieve results from it.

Keep pushing it even months after publishing.

So, did you find this post useful? Did I help solve any of your confusions about content promotion? Or did I give you any new ideas?

I’ll wait for your input in the comments.

But before that, don’t forget to share this post with your friends (you know what I just did there, right)

Jawad Khan
Jawad Khan is a content marketing consultant and a freelance blogger for hire. Follow him on his blog, WritingMyDestiny, Twitter and Google+

Comments (4)

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  1. A well detailed post Jawad,
    This is really wonderful. The concept of the skyscraper has worked for many people since its inception and its good to see that its also working for you.

    The idea of using 30% of your time to write your post and the remaining 70% to promote it is also great, I've heard this from Jon Morrow before and its a no brainier.

    This is my first time to hear about having multiple tweeter accounts and it also sounds interesting. But, do you have a system where you easily manage and use these accounts in one place or do you need to do it manually like login to one and tweet and then login to the other, etc?

    This is really epic Jawad and I enjoyed every bit of it.

    Thanks for sharing and do have a lovely weekend.

  2. Dade Ronan says:

    You Tip #4. Creating Tweetable Quotes for Soft Outreach and More Shares is a great idea. I had never thought of doing it like that.

    What a great way to "When readers tweet these quotes, the quoted experts are notified on Twitter. This acts as a soft outreach strategy and gets us more RTs from influencers."

    Awesome actionable tip that I will start to use immediately.

  3. Euan says:

    Very detailed post. I will be trying out some of these strategies for my blog posts from this point forward. Thank you!

  4. Hey Jawad!!

    What a valuable post to help get more social shares on blog posts!

    I think it comes down to doing it very smart. You have to put it all together the right way, in a smart way. I'm talking about the content, the way you promote it, the call to actions, the social media marketing strategies, etc.

    But, I would say, you have to lead with the right type of valuable content. If your content doesn't really stand out, it will have a hard time being shared in the social networks. That's just the raw truth, right! 😉

    I really enjoyed this post! ... thanks for sharing the knowledge!

    Have a great weekend! 😀