Boosting your reputation (or repairing a reputation problem) seems remarkably easy. All you have to do is create really great content, each and every day, and make sure that a whole lot of people see that content and feel motivated to share it.
Piece of cake, right?
Well, not exactly.
Some days, the ideas don’t really flow. The words just won’t move between the brain and the keyboard, and when that happens, it can be hard to come up with content that really sings. Other days, time is an issue. Other projects demand immediate attention, leaving little left over time for in-depth writing.
Here’s a tip.
If you don’t have your own content to share, you can get the boost you’re looking for by spreading the word about the content others have created. And I’m not talking about just hitting the “share” button, either. I’m talking about curating content and sharing it in a meaningful way with a trusting audience. Do that, and you’ll boost your reputation in no time, even if you never create one bit of your own content.
Here’s a 4-step plan that can help you to share like a master.
1. Summarize (Don’t Regurgitate) the Content
Any social media site out there will let you share someone else’s content with a flick of a button. You can share on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter in the time it takes for you to swallow a sip of water. It’s that easy.
But in the cluttered social space, it pays to be a little different.
For example, in February, Bloomberg reported that tweets would again soon show up on Google search results, which could help you to grab yet another piece of the SERP pie when people search for your name. But, what if your tweet sounds the same as 10,000 other tweets? What if it contains the same letters, punctuation, and hashtags? If you think it’ll get indexed and/or noticed, you might be mistaken.
Break free from the crowd by putting your creativity to the test. Call out a stat you love, quote a particularly pithy passage, or type out your gut reaction. Do some talking about the piece, and you’re creating content that could get you noticed.
2. Grab an Image
Some social media sites are experiencing a newfound romance with video. For example, Advertising Age suggests that Americans are posting 94 percent more videos on Facebook this year than they did a year ago. Those moving photos can catch the eye, and when they do, clicks can quickly follow.
If the piece you’re quoting comes with a video, grab that image and share it. It’s an opportunity too great to be missed. But if all you can find is a photo (and most blog entries and news articles have those), don’t be afraid to link to that image instead. By placing an image in your share, you’re providing a sneak peek into the content you’re sharing, and you might compel your readers to open up the piece to see the rest of the article.
If the piece has no images or videos, look for your own. Sign up for a service like Shutterstock to access a library of photos, access Freedigitalphotos.net to tap into free images, or whip out your digital camera and take a few original shots to demonstrate your points. Images matter, so do what you must to get them.
3. Add a Hashtag
Everyone loves to hate hashtags these days, especially since they’re so easy to get wrong. Tap into the wrong trending hashtag and you could get pulled into a conversation that isn’t good for your blood pressure or your reputation. That’s just what happened to DiGiorno back in 2014, when a social media manager hopped onto a trending hashtag in order to sell pizza and ended up making light of domestic violence. Ouch.
But, hashtags can help people to find your content. They work like shorthand to explain the inner message of your piece. That’s why it’s vital for you to include them in your social media posts.
My advice? Don’t try to hop onto an ongoing trend. Just pick one word (like “marketing” or “dogs” or “decorating”) that contains a core concept from your writing. Then include that tag in your piece.
Including a hashtag can boost the power of your tweet by 16 percent, say the experts at Twitter, so they’re important to get right and vital to include. If you write them yourself, you’ll get all the benefits without the risks.
4. Use a Call-to-Action
On microblogging sites like Twitter, space is an issue. You might not have room to put in all of your sweet ideas when your character space is limited. But, if you’re using a site like Google+ or Facebook, you might have a little more room to play. And if you do, look for ways to boost engagement.
Think of your posts as an opportunity to start a conversation with your readers.
Ask them to:
- Share an anecdote
- Agree or disagree with your idea
- Give another tip
- Just say hello
Adding in a call to action point makes social media just a touch more social, as you’ll be starting a conversation instead of yelling into the nothingness. And each little chat you have could increase your reputation, particularly if you end up sharing important tidbits in your talks.
Why Not Start?
Once you master these steps, you’ll be able to share all sorts of content in the blink of an eye, and that could really help to expand your reach and improve your reputation, even on days when you have writer’s block.
Why don’t you practice with this article? Just try sharing it on your social sites, and then come back to drop me a note to tell me how it all went down. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
Good luck, and happy sharing!
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