Service stories get read, shared, used and acted upon
How-to information is the No. 2 type of content that gets retweeted, according to research by Dan Zarrella (PDF), viral marketing scientist for HubSpot.
Here’s how often six kinds of information get shared on Twitter:
- News: 78%
- How-to information: 58%
- Entertainment: 53%
- Opinion: 50%
- Products: 45%
- Small talk: 12%
When it comes to brand communications, though, I’ll bet how-to information is actually the most shared. That’s because when people think “news,” they’re thinking Kimye weddings, pope sightings and Justin Bieber’s bad behavior — not your latest product update.
Want more retweets? Write blog posts packed with tips and techniques, then share them via Twitter.
Benefits of service stories
In addition to going viral in social media channels, service stories also get:1. Read. One of the best ways to improve readership, according to The Readership Institute’s Impact study, is to make it easier for people to read and to find the information they’re looking for. Adding more “go and do” information — i.e., tips — makes messages easier to find and read, the researchers found.
The format of tipsheets also helps: Lists are very easy to read, according to several studies. No wonder Listverse is such a popular way to lose an afternoon.
2. Used. Tipsheets are loved by:
- Journalists and bloggers, because they’re ready-made how-to stories, sidebars and USA Today-style tips boxes. Your fire-safety tips release, for example, might accompany a news piece about a big apartment fire.
- Social media channels, which seem to survive on listicles.
- Customers and clients, who will read the tipsheet you write today for years to come. That makes tipsheets the ultimate evergreen with an almost limitless shelf life.
3. Acted upon. Service story elements like addresses and maps move readers to act. In one experiment, for instance, 28% more college seniors got a tetanus shot when researchers added a map of campus with the health building circled and a list of times the shots were available.
Why not write a tipsheet today?