13 Reasons Why Customers Don’t Share Your Content on Social Media

by 9 12/24/2013

Have you been underwhelmed by the performance of your content on social media? Do your analytics reports show that customers just aren’t sharing?

Here are some of the key obstacles to social sharing along with suggestions for how to fix them.

Sad about social media sharing?

Image credit: Orin Zebest

Troubleshooting Content

1. Poor Titles

You’ve heard it before—a great title grabs readers. And if they already know your content, they may share a post before they’ve read it simply based on the title. In contrast, poor titles will send them bouncing from your site.

Fix this by:

  • checking the page titles section of your analytics report to see what content is doing well.
  • using social analytics to figure out which post titles do best socially.
  • using some of these tips from Econsultancy for writing appealing headlines.

2. Poor Descriptions

You know what’s a win for me personally? When I try to share a piece of content and the pre-filled description already works. And it’s super-annoying when there’s no description or an arbitrary piece of text from within the post.

Good descriptions aren’t just good for SEO but for social sharing.

Get yours right by crafting descriptions as carefully as content, or using an SEO plugin to help you. The better your content looks when people hit the share button, the more likely they are to share.

3. No Images

These days, failing to illustrate your content with suitable images is practically a criminal offence. As a marketer, you know that including visuals increases the attention for your content.

According to WebHostingBuzz 300 million images are uploaded to Facebook each day and another 40 million are uploaded to Instagram. Meanwhile 12% of online adults use Pinterest. These three sites are visual and drive huge amounts of traffic, but your content needs images if it’s to make an impact there.

Fix this by selecting your most trafficked posts, adding images to them and sharing them on your most important social media networks.

4. No Connection

People have to connect with your content in some way before they’ll want to share it, either because it taps into emotions, makes them laugh, or makes them agree or disagree strongly. If it doesn’t, then your content has a case of the blahs.

Fix this by reading CrazyEgg’s posts on copywriting and content marketing to give your content some pizzazz. Pratik Dholakiya says: “If content is awesome with your users, it will be awesome on social media.” We agree.

Troubleshooting Sharing Technology

Social sharing technology

Image credit: Josef Stuefer

5. No Social Sharing Buttons

It’s happened to me many times. I read a great article and am ready to share, then I realize there isn’t a single social media button on the page. Not one.

At that point, I have to be pretty committed to the idea of sharing to want to continue. And if I do, then I have to use Buffer or go to the individual sites to share manually. Sometimes it’s too much trouble.

If you want people to share your content, you have to make it easy. That means using social sharing WordPress plugins or social sharing buttons is a good first step.

Of course, that doesn’t solve all the sharing problems …

6. No Username (Twitter)

This is a particular pet peeve of mine. If you’re going to include Twitter button or a social sharing plug-in enabled for Twitter then make sure you put your Twitter username in the settings.

Not only does this make it easier for you to track mentions but it allows the people who are sharing your content to start a conversation with you.

When time is short, no one is going to spend time looking around your site to find your Twitter handle.

7. Share Button Issues

Sometimes the buttons don’t work properly. Like when you share a page on Facebook and it stubbornly refuses to grab the image.

Or when the button comes up blank or, even worse, fills the text fields with gibberish.

Or the share button randomly generates a pop-up which gets blocked by the browser.

Even though these issues aren’t your fault, you pay the price because visitors to your site won’t share content if it’s too difficult.

The fix for this is to test all your social sharing plugins and see whether they are working as advertised. If not, change them.

8. The Wrong Social Sites

It’s not enough to have Twitter and Facebook buttons on your site; you have to be where your customers are—and they are everywhere.

As mentioned earlier, if you don’t have the buttons web visitors want to use, then they probably won’t share. You need buttons for all the main sites plus any niche sites you are using.

Social media conversation prism 2013

Image credit: Olivier Carre-Delisle

The fix for this is to find out where people are sharing your content and where they are hanging out online and make sure you have sharing buttons for those sites. Or you could use a multiple social sharing plugin to make sure everything is covered.

9. You Need a Special App

Facebook and Twitter (and any site with an API) allow you to create your own apps. Some sites take advantage of this by requiring you to install their app when you try to like, share or tweet.

Speaking for myself, there’s no reason to give your blog’s personal Twitter app access to my account when there’s a perfectly good Twitter sharing button.

This is one case when you don’t need an app for that!

Troubleshooting the Audience

10. Lack of Motivation

The New York Times did a study on the reasons why people don’t share your content. As part of that, it identified six different audience types: altruists, careerists, hipsters, boomerangs, connectors and selectives.

All of these types share for different reasons and if you want them to share your content, you need to tap into those motivations.

Social Media Examiner’s analysis of the study is a good place to start to tailor your content for better social sharing.

11. They Don’t Trust Your Brand

Social media and trust

Image credit: Terry Johnston

If you’ve addressed other areas that make it difficult for people to share and they are still not sharing then maybe it’s time to monitor your brand and see what the perception of you is online. People won’t share when they don’t trust you.

Build their trust by creating good content, by nurturing relationships on social media and by avoiding heavy sales pitches.

Troubleshooting Marketing Errors

12. Too Many Hashtags, Too Little Space

Another pet peeve is trying to share something on Twitter and finding that the tweet box is full of hashtags—so many that there’s no room to leave a comment.

Including the whole blog title and all your keywords as well as the post title and link is another error. Keep content short and sweet so that people have space to give it some context.

Fix these errors by following Media Bistro’s advice on writing the perfect tweet.

13. You Didn’t Ask

Social media call to action

Image credit: Colin K

If you want people to share your content, just ask. Dan Zarrella did a study of the words and phrases that garner the most retweets. Among them were the words “please” and “retweet.”

Include a call to action at the end of every piece of content, asking for the share and you’ll get more shares.

Now it’s your turn. What stops you from sharing content on social media?

Check out other articles by Sharon.

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About 

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 20 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer, university lecturer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website.

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9 COMMENTS

Tamar

Awesome points, thank you

December 24, 2013 Reply

Sean D. Francis

All great points! Something else to consider is your content may not be something people WANT to share. As an example, I have a client who deals with sub-prime financing. All their content revolves around bad credit, bankruptcy, and other things people find shameful to post on their Facebook page. These sort of niche sites aren’t going to have shareable content revolving around their core products. They can create content tangential to their core products that people will trip over themselves to share. We create articles on budgeting, extreme couponing, finding the best deals on everyday expenses, tips and tricks revolving around personal finance, and content along those lines.

I’ve also had them utilize sites like Storify to create amalgamations of content and include their product page among several stories. Before the holidays I put together one for family travel and included links and resources from across the web regarding family travel, including a link to one of the client’s pages talking about unexpected expenses one might come across while traveling and how their product could help.

I imagine many companies have products and services no one wants to be directly associated with in terms of sharing but there are ways around it.

January 2, 2014 Reply

    Sharon Hurley Hall

    Excellent points, Sean; thanks for bringing that up and I appreciate you sharing how storytelling tools provide an alternative.

    January 2, 2014 Reply

Reshu

Very thorough and informative post Sharon! You made a great point there; ask people to share your content. Even though it’s common sense, but normally people shy away to ask for social link love.

Also, few common but useful steps for better social promotion:
1.Give people a reason to share your content: People like sharing content which can make them look intelligent in the eyes of others, which is hilarious and which can arouse emotions in them especially positive ones. Create content on trending topics as people like sharing it a lot.
2. Start sharing your content yourself before asking your peers and friends to do that: Normally people don’t like sharing something, which has no share or minimum shares. So make it a point to initiate the sharing yourself.

Have shared my views on how to make your content more shareable: http://www.betaout.com/blog/13-ways-to-instantly-make-your-content-go-viral/#.Urv52bSkPt0

January 4, 2014 Reply

Ram Kr Shukla

Webpages with Infographics attracts maximum shares on social media networks. Try and this will definately work.

Appreciate your effort Sharon

July 21, 2014 Reply

Enstine Muki

Hey Sharon,
Point #6 is something a lot of people look low upon but it has a very high impact. People want to be known for the favor they give. So if your Twitter name is not mentioned, they people who share may never be known by you for sharing your work. This reduces the sharing activity on any article you published.

Great post

July 21, 2014 Reply

    Sharon Hurley Hall

    Thanks, Enstine. As you say, you can’t talk to them if they don’t know who you are.

    July 21, 2014 Reply


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