Recently the Sarasota Herald-Tribune had a phenomenal story about two orphaned sisters reunited years later in a local hospital. The story was the site’s most-read story for several days and received a lot of comments and engagement on social.

According to analytics on the story, the majority of the traffic came from social at 56 percent, which is more than twice what a typical story would have.heraldtribunescreenshot

How did the story get that much traction on social? The answer is readers and key community influencers sharing the story from Facebook.

Take a look at the social shares. The first post from the Herald-Tribune’s Facebook page received 79 shares.

But the share numbers get even better when the Doctors Hospital of Sarasota posted a link to the story on their Facebook page. As of this week the post had 2,087 shares.

doctorshospitalscreenshotSometimes our stories can go viral from our own pages, but sometimes they get a boost from others sharing our content.
How can you get that type of engagement on your next great story? Here are few reminders:

1. Make sure you’re connected with the key groups or businesses in your community that have a big social presence. The more you cover them, the more likely those topics will resonate on social because of the size of their own audience.

2. The post on the Herald-Tribune’s Facebook page also expressed some emotion by calling it a “sweet story.” Readers are more likely to share things that elicit emotion or that they agree with. There’s nothing wrong with calling a story good, or celebrating successes with your readers on social. They’ll likely voice their support by sharing the content.

Sometimes we forget the crucial role our audience plays in spreading our stories far and wide. Readers taking action on our content can really make a difference in pageviews. 



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