Convincing people to share the things you post on Facebook and Twitter is a huge part of the reason companies engage with their fans on social networks. It's free word-of-mouth advertising, it helps raise your brand awareness, and it introduces new people to your products. How do you create content that your fans are more prone to share?

We ran the data on our own Microsoft for Work social posts over the last year, and discovered 6 key elements to creating posts that drive your fans to mash that "share" button.

  1. Free. People like free things, so here's some free advice: giving fans something for free (and using that word when you do it) increases the rate people share.
  2. Statistics. At least 90% of posts that include statistics are shared more than posts that don't.
  3. Inspiring Quotes. "Friendship is never anything but sharing."—Elie Wiesel. Include a quote by an influencer, or someone inspiring, to increase shares.
  4. Important dates and events. Give people a deadline—or better, post something for an event like Talk Like A Pirate day. People love to share dates!
  5. Personal development. If you have something that directly benefits your fans—some way for them to personally grow—they'll appreciate the value you add to their lives.
  6. Be fun. For all its seriousness, remember that people still enjoy going on social media to have fun. Anytime you can add a little humor to your posts, your fans will be more likely to share.

Does your business have any recommendations based on your data regarding fan sharing? Post them in the comments!