In the rising age of user-generated materials, creating sharable (or shareable) content has become an unspoken, necessary skill for professional communicators. While information gathering and writing on the web is becoming relatively effortless (thanks to intuitive web authoring tools), creating share-worthy content still requires strategic planning that takes into consideration the rhetorical aspects of communication. Below I share three quick tips on how to compose content that is sharable by harvesting on the affordances of the web.
1. Feed primary users, befriend secondary audience
The interweb has an interesting mix of audience and users. When creating content, it is important to focus on the primary users of your materials while not neglecting the large group of secondary audience who often act as disseminators of your messages. These secondary audience generally pass on content they think their friends might be interested in and consequently help you to reach users that you do not have direct contact with.
Although it can be tempting to write to a universal audience as a way of saving resources, I do not recommend writing to address a ghost audience as it might risk your losing of focus in the message. Whenever it comes to such crafting, a good rule of thumb is to address your main users first and then side-chat with those who are in proximate relationships to them.
2. Write for the web, write from the web
Remember, your content lives on the web. This means that the medium of your message is mediated by digital means — a world of possibilities! Professional communicators should take advantage of current popular culture and memetics to attract and amuse readers. This, nonetheless, also mean that writers need to be cautious about the livelihood of the content living in the digital environment since digital content can be easily adapted or manipulated by internet users.
When in doubt, create and use links. The web environment is powered by connections made possible by interlinks and tags. Creating sharable content means making your content repost-able by including share buttons and pingback options within your content.
3. Reward actions
Here is a simple yet often overlooked one. It is primal in us that we do what glorifies ourselves best. When creating content, consider what motivates your audience and other users to forward content to their friends or connections. Reinforce their actions using languages (e.g. praises), display (e.g. badges), or even actual physical rewards (e.g. prizes) that motivate social sharing.
Have ideas or strategies that you would add to this list? Comment below to share with our readers!