Social Sharing traffic is becoming one of the most powerful and relevant ways to drive traffic to a website, industry-wise. We see that from market numbers and specially from our own GetSocial data, with customers having 80% od their traffic coming from social sharing referrals. Here's an exceptional example from one of our customers (Fashion & Entertainment), data from today (12h).
My belief is that these websites have actually mastered their content production and distribution workflows, specially focused on facilitating social sharing. The result is simple. they attain high sharing rates, which actually generate a lot of traffic towards their websites. But what about other industries, such as sports? Well, I think they're even greater at it.
Sports sites have the advantage of having a ready made audience, willing to share content that they fiercely agree (or disagree) with or makes them laugh. They're a passionate bunch, and there's a lot of them - all with different attitudes and opinions on a variety of sporting issues. Therefore, if the content's good and they make excellent use of social media, there's the potential of attracting millions of visitors to to their site. The good news is, the clever ways they encourage you to share their content isn't limited to sports-related websites. A lot of their methods are transferrable to non-sports sites, so consider whether you can make use of any of the following...
1 - Unique voice
This is relevant to all sites, but especially so with sports channels. The tone of voice must be clear and consistent, whether it's a serious voice, informative or possibly comic. Perhaps it offers a bit of everything - if that's the case, ask yourself what kind of content you want to provide to your audience in terms of tone. Try and ensure this voice remains the same in everything you do.
2 - Nostalgia
Sports fans love nostalgia; reminders of moments from their childhood or what they might consider to be a 'better time' for sport. While it's right that many websites want to keep their content current, don't be afraid to reach out to the nostalgic nerve in your readers. People love to prove that they know everything about a certain year or decade, and so creating quizzes and other posts to take them back to a memorable time is sure to attract plenty of new readers, whether it's sport or otherwise.
3 - Clear Opinions
This is really important for sports sites, but should be applied to any kind of content which requires opinion. The best way to ensure that people are sharing your opinion pieces, is to make your opinion as clear as possible. Don't sit on the fence. A strong opinion will divide your readers, but the ones that agree will be more likely to share.
4 - Video Content
Quick, easy, but very effective. Videos are popular for a reason - they're easy to digest, and with the various devices we now own, we can watch them in excellent quality both visually and audibly. Sports sites have a huge amount of video content to share, but whatever the tone of your site and the kind of content you provide, there's a place for videos.
5 - Gifs & Memes
These are great to include in content or to attach to social media posts, e.g. Twitter. You'll often see sports sites with a comic edge add funny gifs or memes to posts to humorously demonstrate a point about a particular topic or piece of news. These obviously should be kept to sites with a light-hearted tone.
6 - Regularity
It is vital to ensure that content is regularly posted, to ensure the site and social media channels are current. Sports sites ensure that their content is updated on an hourly basis, and regularly post on social media accounts. One tweet or Facebook post promoting a particular article isn't enough; repost the link several times to ensure the maximum number of people can view it, but be careful not to spam. Post onto social media with regularity but also with reasonable intervals between posts.
7 - Reader Interaction
Interact with your audience; after all, the content is for them! Encourage discussion and debate on both social media and the comment section of the blogs/articles. Look into creating polls for your website and ask readers to vote on particularly relevant topics. The more people discuss and interact with others, the more attention your site will get.