More social shares means more exposure for your content. It’s why so many people focus on attracting more shares — it’s one of the easiest ways to grow your audience, customer base or just brand awareness. And it can all be free — all you need to do is convince people that come in contact with your content to give it a share.

It sounds easier than it is, but there are some things you can do that will greatly increase the number of shares your content receives. And no, they will not cost you any money. Here are some simple tips that deliver outstanding results.

Always Ask Your Followers to Share

Want to know the easiest ways to get more shares? Ask for them. Yup, that’s right — all you have to do is ask. “If you post a blog article, at the end of it make sure you ask those reading it to give it a quick share on social media,” says James Davis of bpo call center Staff Outsourcing.

If it was a good article and they feel it was helpful they will feel obligated to share it. A simple ask at the end is all it takes. If you post something on Twitter ask your followers to retweet it. If you post on Facebook, ask your audience to like and share the post.

Participate in Engagement Groups

There are several engagement groups that all work together to share and like each other’s content. This not only helps it perform well in the algorithm but it also gives you the social proof that will attract additional shares without even asking.

When someone sees a post with a lot of engagement they assume it’s popular and will be more inclined to share it themselves. Why? Because they want to feel important and they want to be the one to introduce something popular to their social media circle.

You can find these groups by networking in marketing and business groups on Facebook and also just by talking with other bloggers or social media content creators in your niche.

Network with Other Blogs and Creators

Along the same lines as above, you can take it a step further and create your own network of bloggers and content creators that will all share and help promote all the content published by group members.

If you do this, be sure to stay very focused in terms of niches. “For example, if you run a cooking blog, having a car repair blog share your content isn’t going to be helpful,” says the owner of Monos. Their audience is not likely going to be interested in your content.

Offer an Incentive to Share (Gated Content Assets)

“What is an easy way to get blog readers to share a post on social media? Bribe them of course,” says Henk Schipper of Jaloezieen Fabriek. In all seriousness, there are plugins that will allow you to offer a gated piece of content at the end of articles that will unlock and allow the reader to access it with a Facebook share or twitter tweet.

A special report or an e-book is a great incentive. Make sure that it’s clear that they receive immediate access to it. That type of language on the offer will spark more people to take action.