Social media has become a vital component to brand marketing strategy, but in order to truly unlock its potential value, brands must pay as much attention to marketing their content as they do creating it.  So what is it exactly that leads people to share content socially?  It’s all about creating a connection.  You will increase the chances of your content getting shared if what you put out there gives people the opportunity to feel connected to others.  Here are three tips for creating shareable content, including examples of how brands are successfully implementing these tips:
1) Trigger Positive Emotions: By adding positive emotions to your content, such as humor, intelligence, inspiration, etc., you give your brand a personality that an audience can easily connect with.  When a user enjoys your content, a connection is made. In turn, users will pass it along faster within their own network with the hopes that others will enjoy it as much as they did.

Dollar Shave Club: Video: The Dollar Shave Club’s promo video is extremely funny. Not only has it been shared socially across multiple social media channels but it does a great job convincing viewers to actually sign up.

2) Create Simple Content: The faster your audience can make a connection with your content, the greater the chances your content will get shared.  Simple content, including images, quotes and tweets, is the best way to get your message across.  Strive to create content that is to the point, easy to understand and, therefore, easy to share!

Twecipes: Tweet Recipes:  A “twecipe” is a recipe in 140-characters or less posted on Twitter, including everything from starters to main meals to drinks and desserts.  They became so popular that all of the twecipe’s were crowdsourced from Twitter and turned into a book, called Tweet Pie.

3) Tell a story: Here at Greenough, we’ve proven that brand storytelling allows companies to engage with customers and prospects on a deeper, more personal level.  Good stories fuel conversation and foster engagement.  By developing strategic storylines and then weaving them through your social media content, your audience will easily make a connection and go on to share that story.

Mercedes Benz: Choose Your Own Adventure: Mercedes Benz created a story to reel its audience in and then went as far as allowing the audience to choose the ending. They ran a three-part commercial and gave Twitter users the chance to control the outcome of the third commercial.  The story followed the main character, musician Kane Robinson, as he makes his way to a secret music gig that’s causing pandemonium on the streets. He’s chased the entire way in a silver Mercedes by police and screaming fans.  The exciting story created an immediate connection with its viewers.

Photo: Mercedes Benz: Flickr Creative Commons 2013

Photo: Mercedes Benz: Flickr Creative Commons 2013

Creating a connection with your audience is essential if you want your content to be shared socially.   A stronger connection also builds loyalty to your brand among consumers, which, in turn, grows your audience and your company.

Emma Kieckhafer is an Account Executive at Greenough. Send her an email: