Downsize your content: Why snack sized portions are the best way to get your web content shared

Good Morning, Social Rabbit here with another guest blog from Jane Thomson – enjoy peeps :)

Packaging your content into tasty, snack sized morsels will increase the likelihood of it being read and shared across the web. But make sure you know which words to use – and which to leave out!

fun sized bars

Social media is changing the way we consume and share content.

With more than 3 billion pieces of content being thrown at us every day from the web, our attention is getting harder to grab and we simply don’t have the time to read as much as we’d like.

So it’s no surprise to hear that what researchers keep finding time and again is that you need to package your content as short, snappy, snack sized morsels to increase the chances of it being read and passed on to friends and fans.

Less is more

When writing your content, keep in mind the old adage “brevity is the soul of wit”.

When it comes to Facebook, shorter posts (80 characters or less) get shared 27% more frequently.

And don’t get complicated. Simple language gets shared more too.

Posting short, relevant content 2 – 5 times per day on your fan page generates better engagement than just putting up a longer post a few times a week. But don’t over do it! Too many posts will start to annoy your fans, and you’ll find them leaving you in droves.

What about on your blog? Funnily enough, people just don’t stick around anymore to read your well researched 2000 word exegesis on the many uses of the hair-pin.

Stick to a guide of 250 – 600 words per article / post. Use an image to break up the text, and keep attention spans happy.

Shorter blog posts also have a much higher chance of people sharing them with their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have a topic you want to cover that requires lengthier discussion, then think about breaking it up into sub-topics and covering them in several articles or blog posts.

And don’t forget to use all the other copywriting tips I outlined in my last post to ensure your content stands out from the crowd.

Fire up your power words

So, if you’re only going to use a few words – which words should you use? Which are the POWER words that are more likely to increase the chances of your content being shared?

We copywriters are always looking to use “power words” wherever we can. Words that we know are clear winners when it comes to engaging our audience and triggering the response we’re after.

While there are many power words that can be used for different purposes, the BIG 4 POWER WORDS used by a copywriter to engage readers are:

  • FREE
  • YOU
  • NEW
  • HOW

Dan Zarella, the Social Media Scientist (yep, that’s his real title!) at HubSpot, did some fascinating research looking at which words were most likely to be shared on Facebook.

words that will get shared on Facebook

Obviously, with so many Facebook users from the USA, the data is a little skewed towards their preferences! (Obama?!) But what’s really interesting is that two of our big 4 still feature prominently – How and You.

He also looked at which words you shouldn’t use!

words not to use on Facebook

What’s fascinating here is that tech-speak doesn’t go down too well with most Facebook users. Leave these out! (Unless you’re fans are all tech geeks!)

Don’t forget about email

If you’ve got a little more to say than can fit into just a few characters, then don’t forget about email. Email is still 38% bigger than Twitter. People still share content via email, and even more interesting, they tend to share it with their closest networks and place more trust in email over online social media.

To ensure your content gets shared online remember that less is more. Write tasty, snack sized morsels filled with words known to engage and be passed on.

About Jane….

Jane Thomson is an SEO web copywriter and digital communications specialist – and the owner of copyriting agency Read Write COMMUNICATE. For more tasty tid-bits of copywriting wisdom, head on over to her Facebook page.

Comments

  1. Great article, some really good points. My take away will be the big 4 power words, + the top shared words on (& including) facebook, most and why.

    I think the V’s being so negative because it is so over used, but I still like it if short.

    I would also for longer/worthy info maybe warrant an e book that can be shared and show you as the expert in your filed.

    http://www.bybloggers.net gives a great guide to how to do an ebook, for FREE.

    Also visuals/infographs are bettter/get attention and can show a lot of data in an interesting way.

    I tried to find good but short content from around the web for a crash course in social media (ideas and terms) http://www.grafform.com/explain.html that I hope you don’t mind me sharing. But I put it together for people starting out (I had my mum in mind) to get a quick over view.

    I’m off to share this article now, but might get more shares of you included share buttons at the end of the article so when finish reading click. Said to be helpful rather than a douche bag.

    Thanks for great post, awesome.

    You have so many links below that have been so helpful to me, will check out the ones I haven’t.

    Thank you

  2. Another great post – thanks! It makes sense as I know I prefer shorter & sweeter :) Especially where blogs are concerned – anymore than 500 or so words & I really struggle to stay focused! One of the challenges of getting bored easily ;)

  3. Social Rabbit says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for the comment and all the tips. I am totally with you on infographics, I am a big fan.

    It’s good to know that you enjoyed the post :) Sounds like you have a few more up your sleeve – maybe you should write us a guest blog post?

    SR

  4. Social Rabbit says:

    Hi Judy,

    Yes, I think lots of people have the concentration/focusing issue, so short is better :) I’m with you on that!

    SR

  5. Great post SR! I thank social media daily for teaching me to think more before I write. Writing chunks with punch doesn’t come naturally to me but I’m making progress. Thanks for the encouraging nudge. A:)

  6. Social Rabbit says:

    Hi Anita

    I can’t take the credit for this one unfortunately, but yes it is a great post :)

    SR

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