One of the first things most people do with their new blogs is install some sort of plugin to help facilitate the sharing of their posts. Thoughts of Twitter obsessively retweeting your content begin to float through your mind and let’s not forget the ridiculous amount of traffic you’re gonna be getting from Digg.
The truth is you will probably get little to no activity on your posts regardless of what plugins you are using, especially if you are the new blog on the block.
So How Do I Go Viral?
Well, you don’t just “go viral” as there are a bunch of factors that go into the viral potential of content. However, there are certain things you can do to your blog that can help encourage the sharing of your content. I personally made these changes to my blog about 2 months ago and watched my number of Diggs, Stumbles and ReTweets double if not triple.
They key is to create actionable social bookmarking and sharing buttons.
What does that mean? Focus on the top social media sites that drive traffic to your site and use the official widgets or buttons of that site if they are available. Another equally viable solution is to create your own buttons or find some striking alternatives.
I think the problem is that people are so used to seeing small sharing icons or tiny AddThis and ShareThis buttons that they are starting to skip right over them. I’ve found that simply using the official Digg button over a smaller unofficial alternative has given me a reasonable boost of Diggs on some of my better posts. I’ve also begun to see a lot more activity from StumbleUpon as it only takes a few good stumbles to get a lot of relevant traffic.
So Where Do I Start?
AddThis has already started making moves to adapt to the changing needs of social media enthusiast’s. You can now bring your buttons outside of their little widget and create larger trackable buttons that are sure to have higher click rates.
I still think the best method is to use the recognizable official buttons and widgets of the selected sites you wish to use to share your posts.
Some you may want to consider are:
Be selective in deciding what sites to use and provide your readers with the BEST tools to properly share your content.