I’m all over the Internet. I’m on the various social media sites like: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and a few others.

Click any of those links to follow me there! The biggest thing I work on for those sites is getting my content shared and viewed so that I can help others via my messages.

And dagnabit, it’s getting noisier and noisier out there in the world. As a marketer our goal is to cut through that noise, right?

At the end of the day, getting more likes, follows, stumbles or subscribes means you’ll get more traffic to your website and more money in your bank account. It also means you’ll have a far greater reach for launching viral campaigns and promoting new products in the long term.

So how do you increase the amount of times your content is shared? How do you get more likes, follows, stumbles or subscribes?
Here are some simple ideas for you:

==> Make Share Buttons Prominent on Your Website

By default, Facebook has a very small “Like” button. The same is true for the default “retweet” buttons. In fact, each social network generally doesn’t have buttons that are very well optimized for conversions.

Did you know that you can actually create much bigger buttons? Depending on the service, you might need to use a program or just get someone to do a tiny bit of code for you ($5 to $10 outsourced). With a little graphic creation, you can really make your “Like” or “retweet” buttons stand out and look any way you want.

The same is true for subscribes. Make sure your subscribe form is large and prominent on your website. Don’t just put your form in the upper right corner of your website and hope someone signs up.

==> Use Social Proof

Another powerful element you can use to get more likes, stumbles, follows or subscriptions is to post how many other people have already done the same.

Are you more likely to “Like” something if nobody’s liked it, or if a hundred of your friends already have?

There are many ways to take advantage of this principle. For example, for StumbleUpon, you can display the number of stumbles you’ve already gotten on your website. For RSS subscriptions, you can display the number of existing subscribers.

==> Ask for It in Your Content

One overlooked technique is to simply ask. Want more follows on your Twitter? Ask! The call to action is so intuitive that some people leave it out. Yet the simple act of asking for something can make a big difference.

An even more effective way to ask for actions is to give some sort of incentive for it. For example, tell people to “Like” your page, then post on your wall if they want to enter a contest. Since there’s such a strong incentive to share, they are much more likely to do so than if there were no obvious benefit.

==> Give People Options

Some people will prefer to “Like” you on Facebook. Others prefer to follow you on Twitter. Others prefer subscribing by RSS or by email. Still others want to “Thumbs Up” you on StumbleUpon and so on.

Give people the option of interacting with your website in whatever way they like. If you only have the “Like” option, you’ll miss out on all the RSS users. The opposite is also true.

If you use social proof, make your buttons prominent, ask for the action in your content and give people options, you’ll have a very high visitor-to-action ratio at the end of the day.

It’s important to know your numbers. Once a month I monitor the increase in followers likes and subscribes on my multiple channels and I encourage you to do the same.

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