By Kate Wilson

Social media has made it easier than ever for people to share content. In other words, social media has made it easier than ever for you to gain exposure for your business. This exposure often translates directly into wider brand recognition, more qualified traffic, and an increase in sales.

But it’s not enough to create content. You need to create content that people want to share. So how do you create this highly shareable content?  Here are 4 proven strategies to try:

1. Utilize News-Jacking Techniques

News-jacking involves inserting your business into a buzz-worthy topic – either in your industry or the internet as a whole – making your business relevant to a topic that has already proven to be shareable. For example, CJ Pony Parts recently news-jacked the buzz surrounding self-driving cars with an infographic illustrating how self-driving cars might change our daily lives. By doing this they were able to ride the existing tide surrounding self-driving cars to easily generate shares.

2. Inspire User Engagement

On Facebook, the more likes or comments a post receives, the more likely it is to appear on other users’ newsfeeds. User engagement is key to shareable content. Accomplish this by asking followers questions, like their opinions on a recent news article or product. Use enticing calls-to-action to generate user engagement.

3. Boring Industry? Make Yourself Useful

If you’re in a highly technical industry that could be considered “boring”, it’s important to recognize that useful content will always be shareable. Consider content that’s useful for customers who have purchased your product – like a detailed operations checklist – or content that’s useful for customers who may be considering a purchase – like an educational blog that helps potential customers understand your service and why they need it.

4. Become a Thought Leader

Establishing yourself as an authority in your niche will be beneficial in two key ways. First, it will inspire confidence in your brand and will translate into increased sales and customer loyalty. Second, the content you produce will naturally receive increased shares because you are viewed as a leader in your industry. Becoming a thought leader isn’t as arduous as it sounds. Identify your niche, increase your social networking efforts, and focus on producing and curating educational content relating to industry trends.

Follow any of these 4 strategies and you’ll be well on your way to creating highly shareable content that gains exposure and drives leads for your small business.

Kate Wilson is a marketing writer who loves helping small businesses create compelling content.  For more on writing and small business marketing, follow her on Twitter @kateowilson or check out her blog.