Sure, great headlines are essential to make sure your content gets shared, but what is it exactly that triggers the sharing? We know content has to be interesting, informative and/or entertaining, but there’s more to getting your articles shared than that.
The New York Times recently offered some insight. Their research indicates that emotions are the key to social media sharing.
Social Media Content Sharing Is Emotional
- 84% share content to support a cause.
- 78% share content to maintain relationships they may not otherwise have the chance to keep up with.
- 69% share content to feel involved and connected in the world.
- 68% share content to define themselves and what they stand for and care about.
- 49% share content to inform others of what they care about and to sway opinions—a form of entertainment.
Let’s break this down a bit further.
Getting Your Practice Content Shared
Let’s break this down in a very simple way. You’re producing, hopefully, two main kinds of content related to your health practice.
- Content about health issues, including symptoms
- Content about health solutions and treatments and therapies
Your patients and prospective patients are looking for this content through online search, and when you create an article on one of these topics (or we create it for you), if it’s property SEO-optimized it can rank in search engines. If it’s on the first page of search results, it can bring in significant traffic to your website, month after month. If it’s useful and authoritative, it increases the chances that your content gets shared.
You’re not just randomly posting information. You’re offering solutions to people with problems that you can aid them with. Let’s look at the five examples of emotional content sharing above from the New York Times research.
Five Emotional Reasons Your Practice Content Gets Shared On Social Media
1 – Sharing Content to Support a Cause
When it comes to health information, sharing to support a cause is the number one motivator. This sharing might happen because an individual or their relative was stricken by a health issue, particularly one that might have been preventable. This can lead to sharing content on healthy eating, for example, from someone who has become a diabetic. A person stricken with the extreme pain of shingles may post content about the urgency of getting vaccinated. An individual who lost a loved one to cancer or heart disease may be very motivated to share content about early detection or prevention strategies. And, of course, a person who has been frustrated by failures in diagnosis may well share content about the challenges of getting a thyroid diagnosis or how a particular clinic is respectful when seeing people with chronic fatigue.
What does your clinic do differently, or do preventatively, or help educate? Make sure the cause you’re supporting is clear in your article headline.
2 – Sharing Content to Support Relationships That are Difficult to Keep Up With
Since Facebook and other social media platforms allow tagging a post with an individual’s name, it can be common to reach out to someone you may not have spoken to recently by posting an article about something they’re particularly interested in, and tagging their name on it. This is meant to show concern and consideration. An article on turning a wheelchair into a scooter might get shared in this way with a friend in a wheelchair.
3 – Sharing Content to Feel Involved and/or Connected in the World
Sharing content about news, especially local news, falls into this category. For example, if you’re doing a local talk about diabetes prevention, getting someone to share the upcoming event would fall into this area. You’d be far better off to use a title to your event such as “Let’s Work Together To Prevent Diabetes in YourTown” rather than “Dr. X speaks on Diabetes Prevention.”
4 – Content Gets Shared to Define Oneself or What They Stand For or Care About
The fourth major reason that your content gets shared on social media is that the sharer wants to define themselves or illustrate what they stand or care about. This category can certainly overlap with others, especially sharing to promote a cause. Sharing content about a niche interest falls into this area, so for example, if you post an article with some vegan green smoothie recipes, you may see it shared more by those who identify with veganism.
5 – Posting Content That Shows What They Care About to Sway Opinions as a Form of Entertainment
This category is very close to the last one. It’s very common to see individuals posting content that supports or justifies their view of the world, whether that’s related to news, politics, values, or concerns. They may even be seeking responses, both positive and negative. An article that supports an uncommon view or is a bit contrarian can do very well with these sharers. For example, night owls who are tired of hearing that they should get up early are more likely to share a recent article on “Maybe Your Sleep Problem Isn’t A Problem.” They love seeing themselves vindicated, and since you’re a professional expert, this type of article may get shared.Understanding the 5 Emotional Reasons Your Content Gets Shared helps you build your health practice. Click To Tweet
How To Further Increase Sharing of Your Articles
Of course, SEO-optimizing your content helps attract new readers (and sharers!), but so does your initial sharing of the content on social media. It’s important to post the new content with an attractive picture that’s a minimum of 600 pixels wide and 400 pixels tall for Facebook (Yoast SEO helps with this when you make that your Featured Image in WordPress). That image will work well on most other social media too, although Pinterest requires a more vertical image. Here’s a checklist to increase the frequency your content gets shared:
- Do keyword research before you write to find topics of interest that you can rank for
- Use WordPress, which allows you to tag and categorize the article
- Make your article length at least 500 words
- Set Permalinks which include the article Title (and possibly the category)
- SEO-optimize the article
- Make sure it’s original content
- Ensure your article has a meta description that includes benefits
- Don’t tease. Give whatever information your article promises. People aren’t stupid and won’t come back if your content is fluff.
- Include relevant images and diagrams – make your content visual. Visual content gets shared more. Try infographics where appropriate.
- Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media such as Pinterest
- Set an editorial calendar and re-post the new article multiple times over several weeks, then every month or so.
- Make your content easy to share with buttons and click-to-Tweet options
- Add internal links to your content that showcase related articles
- Make sure you offer links to great related off-site content too, but open them in a new tab
- Create clean, easy to read, well-edited content without typos. Grammarly offers a free tool that helps!
Why It Matters To Get Your Content Shared
Getting your content shared is beneficial in many ways to your practice. That’s why so many leading practices use article marketing to help grow their practices.
- It increases your professional presence and positions you as an authority
- The shared content increases website traffic, which helps your whole site rank higher in Google search
- Shared content links back to your website, again helping your site rank higher
- Content that is shared reaches new prospects that may become patients of your practice, increasing revenues.
- Sharing articles on a particular topic helps attract prospective patients interested in that specific topic – so you attract not just more patients, but the right patients.
- Sharing content helps educate prospective patients and builds trust even before they meet you for the first time.
Original content can be evergreen. Your articles can help bring in new patients to your practice, month after month, and even year after year. The articles we produced for the weight loss practice in our case study brought in over 40% of their increased business. So making sure your content gets shared is essential to practice growth!