One common problem that many businesses encounter on Facebook is not knowing what content to share with their fans. Moreover, it’s not knowing what types of content work best at stimulating engagement in the form of likes, comments and most importantly – shares. Getting your fans to share your Facebook content is a great way to get more eyes on your Facebook content, increase brand awareness and accumulate new fans. Admittedly it’s not as easy for small businesses as it is for bigger brands, but there is a free tool out there that can help you find content that is already proven to be shareable on Facebook. Let me introduce you to ShareGrab.
What is ShareGrab and how does it work?
ShareGrab is a free tool that grades a Facebook posts shareability on a scale of A – F (‘A’ being the highest). It does this by looking at how many shares a post receives in relation to how many shares an average post by that page receives. If a post receives a high number of shares above it’s average, then it has a greater chance of being a grade ‘A’. You can feed in any public Facebook page to ShareGrab and group pages into pods to keep similar pages categorised. Let’s get started…
Step 1 – Sign up with Facebook & monitor pages
Go to https://sharegrab.com/signup. You’ll be presented with five default Facebook pages for you to monitor but I recommend you deselect all of these unless you think their content would resonate with your Facebook audience - this is a crucial point to note. You need to understand your audiences’ interests in order to know what Facebook pages to monitor. For example, if you sold football equipment and football clothing, your audience would probably be interested in content about football being shared on your page but probably less interested in content about HTML5. So straight off the bat I would monitor pages such as BBC Sport, Match of the Day, Sky Sports, FourFourTwo Magazine, and Adidas Football.
Tone tip: Newspapers, magazines, TV shows, & big brands are always good Facebook pages to monitor as they have a large number of active fans who tend to share. This means ShareGrab has more share data to analyse producing a more robust set of results for you to choose from. Just make sure the pages are on topic or laterally on topic (a lateral topic of Football would be Fitness).
Once you are happy with the initial set of pages you want to monitor, click on the ‘create my free account’ button and follow the Facebook prompts in order to create your free account. You’ll then be taken to your dashboard which displays the pages being monitored down the left and the pods they are categorised in on the right.
You can organise similar types of pages into pods by simply dragging and dropping the icons. This is something I highly recommend you do as you start to grow the amount of pages you monitor. Below is an example of how I would organise football related pages into categorised pods.
Tone tip: Create a pod for your competitors. Not only will you be able to spy on what they are posting on their Facebook pages, you will also be able to see how you stack up against them. Don’t just look at the grades – look at the likes, comments and share data underneath each post.
Step 2 – Analyse content to share
From your dashboard click on a pod’s name to analyse the content within that pod. You’ll be presented with the top 8 posts that ShareGrab thinks you are most likely to share, like below.
The results are presented in a clean and easy to read layout with all the essential information you could possibly need; image, post title, page name, post date, grade, likes, comments and shares. You have the option to change the date range, favourite posts (by clicking the grey star next to the share count), and you can choose to view only posts from certain pages or favourites only. It’s important to note that the grades are relative to the time frame selected and the Facebook pages that are selected within a pod. If you change the date range and/or pages to analyse then you may see a different set of results and different grades.
But wait, there’s more…
If you scroll down you can see the share activity of posts over the time period you have selected. Hover your mouse over a circle and a tooltip will pop up with more information from which you can click through to the post.
Scroll down even further and you can see the data for all posts. Notice how the page icons and date range options scroll down with you making it really easy to change the pages and dates to analyse. You can order the posts by date, number of shares or grade in ascending and descending order.
Step 3 – Share the most engaging content
All that is left for you to do now is pick a piece of already shareabale content to re-purpose on your own Facebook business page. The normal way to do this would be to click on the content you want to share, which then takes you to Facebook and share it from there. However, I don’t recommend you share Facebook content in this way. Instead, I recommend you watch the 2 minute video below by the creator of SharGrab, Chad Wittman.
So instead of just sharing a link that shows a small thumbnail image, by uploading a photo to your Facebook update you immediately increase the likelihood of engagement significantly. Research by Social Bakers has found that photos account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook compared to just 2% by shared links. It’s a no brainer!
While this method of sharing Facebook content can be highly effective and super easy, it’s important to note the following considerations.
- Facebook posts are generally only seen by about 10 – 20% of your fans. This is because of Facebook’s news feed algorithm (formerly known as Edgerank) which is in place to separate the content wheat from the chaff. This algorithm has been formulated based on the feedback from thousands of users on what they consider to be a high quality post. In short, if you want your content to be visible to more of your fans then make sure it’s timely, relevant, trustworthy and valuable.
- ShareGrabs’ algorithm only uses share data. If a post receives several likes and comments but no shares (this does happen) then ShareGrab will give the post the lowest grade possible, even though the likes and comments indicate that the post is engaging. Use your noggin and look beyond the grade!
- Take inspiration from the content that you see performs well. For example, if meme’s consistently score high grades then consider making your own rather than re-purposing others. Your fans will respect you more for being creative and, hopefully, for making them laugh!
- Variety is the spice of life. While some types of updates outperform others as already discussed, fans can be become easily bored as they are equally easily pleased. Mix up the type of your updates by sharing industry news, questions, photos, videos, your own blog posts, contests, polls, new product launches, offers and even the odd simple status update.
- Diversify fan acquisition. Don’t just rely on one method of attracting new fans, whether that be social links on your website or just cross promoting on other social networks. You should be looking at several different ways of pushing people to your social networks. Read this insightful case study by Alex Chris for tips on how to get more fans.
I for one am excited about ShareGrab and the many benefits it has to offer for small to medium sized businesses. The tool is still in it’e early days and has a lot of potential so it will be interesting to see how the creators, Applum develop the tool even further. I have two ideas of my own to develop the tool even further…
- The option to share content from ShareGrab to other social networks, especially Twitter given it’s popularity. Currently you have the option to share the top 8 posts to Twitter but this feature failed to peak any interest as Chad reported on the Applum blog.
- The option to grade content based on the number of likes or comments. I did find that when looking for football related pages to use in this post I found a few that were receiving lots of likes and comments but not many shares. I understand the tool is called ‘ShareGrab’, but shares are notoriously hard to achieve and while it’s great to aim to get as many shares as possible, it’s also worthwhile aiming to get likes and comments – all of which are forms of engagement. Cue the creation of ‘LikeGrab’ and ‘CommentGrab’ ;)
What do you think about ShareGrab? Do you have any other techniques for finding shareable content that you can re-purpose on Facebook?
Also, if you know anyone who runs a Facebook page, share this post with them – hopefully they will find it useful!