We are thankful each week for the great content BizSugar members share with our small business news and information community. That great content is now paying off big time for users as BizSugar surpassed 175,000 members last week.
But still the question occasionally arises: how could we create even better content for BizSugar (or other social media platforms) to further enhance what we’re doing today. Here are some thoughts:
1. Write better titles. It should go without saying, but the title of your link may be the most important factor determining whether the content you are linking to is read, voted on or commented upon. It certainly may determine whether readers ever click the link at all or simply move on to other titles. Make your link title a good explanation of what readers will find if they click through to the article you’ve recommended. For example, if the article you share is about choosing a good SEO consultant for your small business Website, you might title it “Tips for finding a good SEO consultant” instead of just “SEO”, “SEO Consultant” or even “Small Business SEO.” Remember you can rewrite the title of the article when sharing a link on BizSugar, so give some thought about a title that will make readers click through to learn more.
2. Link directly. Make it easy for users to understand and find the content you are linking to. This means inserting the link for the exact page of the blog or other news or information article, whether yours or someone else’s, that you are sharing. DON’T simply link to the main page of a blog or the landing page of your site. Also, if the content you wish to share has been linked to by another blog or on another social media site, provide the link to the original content, not the blog or other Website linking to it.
3. Stay on topic. BizSugar.com is a social media site containing small business news and tips. You may have decided to share a personal anecdote about house training your dog on your blog, but unless this post is somehow related to small business (something you should explain in your post or in the summary you provide with your link), please do not share it on BizSugar. Visitors here, as on any other site, come with a very clear understanding of what to expect from content. Besides running the risk of having your content removed :(, sharing content unrelated to small business or unhelpful to those starting or running a small business will win you few friends and little support.
4. Avoid spam. Never EVER add links that are simply out and out sales pitches or ads, even those offering free downloads. The content you link to should be valuable on its own merits, not a gimmick to get readers to buy or download something. Provide great content, and users will check out the rest of your site to learn more about who you are and what you do. But start and end with a sales pitch and you are likely to get ignored…and very probably banned. Similarly, avoid content that is clearly not appropriate for the audience. Your posts on raising African lilacs might be very informative, but do they really belong on a small business site?
5. Include video. Sharing posts with video is a great way to make your links stand out. Video is becoming increasingly popular on the Web drawing ever greater audiences. What’s more, video is popular with search engines like Google which increasingly incorporates video prominently in its search results. First, select or create a video of high quality, one that meets the same criteria that you would use in judging other content to be shared. Adding the keyword “video” in your title, summary and keywords when sharing is also a good idea to let search engines and visitors know what they will find when clicking through.
6. Consider SEO. Search Engine Optimization, the process of tweaking content to draw more traffic via search engines like Google and Bing, should be another consideration when writing titles and choosing keywords for your link. Yes, BizSugar is a social site, but since it is also crawled by the search engines, keywords used when you post can certainly make a difference. Consider adding keywords like “small business” where appropriate since this is obviously BizSugar’s overall niche and will help you and us with traffic. Also consider keywords for your titles and summary that convey the key elements in the content you are linking to so that users searching the Web for similar topics can locate them easily.
7. Write good summaries. Good summaries should not only make people want to click through to your link to read or view the content you’ve shared, but it can also be used to explain its relevance. Why have you chosen to share this content with the community? Why is it important for small business owners, entrepreneurs or those thinking about starting a small business? Don’t simply include an excerpt from the content you’re linking to. Tell us why we should care.
8. Avoid duplication. BizSugar thrives on offering its users the widest possible variety of content, but it follows that we also try to avoid duplication. When sharing content on BizSugar, make sure the links you post haven’t already been added by someone else. Don’t post the same content from your own or anyone else’s blog multiple times in an effort to get noticed. Duplicate content should be reported to the BizSugar team and will be removed when found. Want to make sure the content you are sharing hasn’t been linked to here before? Just use the search tool on the front of our site to see if anyone has already posted the link you want to share.
9. Share quality links. The quality of the links you share will impact your standing in any social media community, so choose them well. Is your latest blog post or video mediocre? Don’t submit something just for the sake of sharing. Visitors and community members will think much more of you if you share a few select but high quality links than if you deluge them with a huge amount of below par content just to stay on the radar.
10. Explore new categories. BizSugar has a variety of subcategories, some more used than others. While there may be many pages of posts on the topic of “social media,” there may be many fewer on topics like “legal” and “employee benefits.” Could you rework the content you submit to fit into these underused categories instead of being merely the latest contributor to a topic that already has perhaps pages of new submissions daily? How will it help your content to stand out for readers who may be more interested in these underrepresented categories?
11. Invite conversation. Does your link invite comment or encourage discussion? BizSugar is a social media Website and beyond voting, the comment section is a huge area of engagement on our site. Does the content you share ask a question or pose an opinion? Does it get visitors on the site talking? Do you ask them to respond or share their views? Do you invite them to participate, to add or debate the content they have read or viewed? Can your content spur the community to action?
12. Share beyond BizSugar. Once you’ve shared your link with the BizSugar community, do you also tweet and share the link on Facebook to gain community support? Have you connected with other BizSugar members or encouraged other members of your tribe to join the community so that they can support your content as well? Of course, BizSugar is also about broadening your current small business community but sharing your contributions with your network will also increase the size and vibrancy of the BizSugar community as well for the benefit of all its members.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and that you will continue to contribute successfully to the BizSugar community. Have some tips to add for the good of all? Please leave them in the content section and enjoy using BizSugar to benefit your small business growth.