We’ve all felt that discouraging moment. You just put in a ton of effort to create a blog post ​or a graphic that could be an excellent resource for your audience, and it doesn’t seem to gain any traction. Meanwhile, “17 Selfies of Kyle Jenner’s lips” is trending toward one million views and shares. Not every brand can compete with that …​

We ​analyzed ​the most socially shared content posts of 2014. It turns o​ut ​almost half included numbered lists and a quarter were how-to explainers. ​ We know these types of posts are the ones we should try to emulate – but we tend to learn from our mistakes more than our successes. Sometimes it’s a matter of swallowing your pride and diving into your posts that don’t do well on social ​to figure out where they went wrong. ​

Here are 3 ways to decide if you’re set up for social marketing success:

Does the title explain what the piece is about?

Sometimes we think a title can be clever or a fun metaphor – but it falls flat for those who weren’t part of the creative process. When in doubt – be clear instead of cute​.

Have you shared the post at least 3 times on each of your own networks?

After all, you can’t expect others to share your stuff if you aren’t willing to yourself.

Does the post feature visuals, video or something to make it more dynamic than plain text?

Images boost engagement at least 47 percent – and it’ll make people more likely to click in the first place.

use visuals

We hope these tips help – and would love to hear what you do to make sure your posts get the shares they deserve. Tweet us @Brafton with your social content tips.​ 

Molly Buccini is Brafton's community manager. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and social media. She's a theatre nerd, pop culture junkie and lover of summertime.