While doing my usual scan of various social media newsletters and blogs this morning I ran across a great little item that could prove quite useful for those of you looking to improve your visibility on social media. We’ll get into it in more details below. First, a preface:

Not to oversimplify things, but there are really 3 major reasons to create great content for your brand on social media channels:

1. To engage, delight, and build loyalty with your fans and followers
2. To bolster your brand’s rank in search engines through backlinks
3. To gain exposure for your brand through social discovery and amplification

To accomplish this third goal has become harder and harder over time, as more brands compete for news feed real estate and as Facebook tightens its EdgeRank algorithm (start here if you need an EdgeRank refresher). The trouble with Facebook’s EdgeRank is that it limits the proportion of your fans that even see your posts in their newsfeed to around 17%. And if those fans don’t click, comment, like, or share, EdgeRank will determine your fans aren’t interested in your content and start showing your content even less frequently. Harsh.

So how can you make sure you get the engagement number that will help keep you in the newsfeed so you can go viral and gain the exposure you want? There are a number of recommended techniques, and many of them involve money. But there are some best practices that you can follow that can have a big bang – without parting with any of your bucks.

That’s where a handy list from one of Marketo’s recent eBooks comes in. By analyzing a boatload of Facebook pages and posts, the authors came up with a list of 7 things that highly shareable posts generally do. Have a look at the list below and think about how you can create posts that relate to your brand and do at least one of the following:

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Online Content Specialist and resident blogger at Pagemodo. Loves social media, branding, whales. Get more from Sarah on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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