Social media marketing plays an important role when it comes to promoting your blog, enabling you to communicate directly with your audience while engaging new readers – the ultimate goal of every blogger. The problem is, everyone’s doing it, and it can seem impossible for your voice to be heard over the din of the crowd.
However, there is no reason to despair. It is possible to grow your following when you employ smart social media strategies:
1. Promote Great Content (Even If It’s Not Your Own)
Yes, it’s a good idea to post your latest blog posts to your Facebook and Twitter feeds, but don’t shy away from posting great content from other websites and blogs too. There are a couple reasons why this is a good idea: First, you develop a reputation as a high-quality provider of varied content, offering your readers buzz-worthy industry news. People love finding hot content, so if they can count on you to offer the latest, with your own brief commentary on why it’s interesting, they’ll keep coming back to your page.
Second, posting content from other blogs and websites prevents your pages from looking too “spammy.” If your social site is just about you people are bound to get bored and look elsewhere.
2. Schedule Your Posts
My life improved immensely once I started scheduling my social media. This doesn’t mean I don’t personally engage users on my social sites, but when it comes to promoting my content, promoting the content of other great blogs, and promoting videos, images, and interesting quotes, I spend one afternoon a week scheduling it all in.
Scheduling social media eliminates the stress of wondering what you’re going to post about, and wondering when you’ll have time to post it. Plus, it guarantees that you’ll continue to have a social presence throughout the week, even if your Internet goes out or life gets in the way.
Personally, I use Buffer to schedule posts to Google+, Twitter, and Facebook, and Ahalogy to schedule posts to appear on Pinterest. Instagram is still one that I post to live, but I plan my posts by deciding what workouts I want to document or what foods I plan to make.
3. Focus on Photos and Videos
Social networks continue to highlight the importance of visually engaging content. Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, YouTube, and SnapChat are just several of the visually stimulating social sites (all of which are growing in popularity daily), and even Facebook and Twitter are making their social mediums more visual.
After failing to closely monitor my social media stats with any regularity, it dawned on me in December 2013 that Pinterest (a social site I barely used) was generating a large percentage of my blog traffic. In January 2014, I started placing a significant focus on Pinterest and the visual content I promoted to the site, and my traffic jumped significantly. In fact, Pinterest is currently my largest traffic generator (surpassing Google search), accounting for 35% of my site traffic.
Pinterest may not work well with your blog, but that doesn’t mean visual content shouldn’t be one of your focuses. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so communicate your message with images and videos to drive more traffic to your blog.
4. Look to New Platforms
The impact of being an early adopter of new, growing social media sites can pay off big time. In fact, one of the factors that played into the success of Greatist, a fitness-focused blog that receives 4.5 million unique visitors a month, was the early adoption of Pinterest. This was before Pinterest became flooded with other fitness-focused content, so they were able to gain a big following that resulted in big traffic. In fact, for awhile, Pinterest accounted for 80% of their site’s traffic.
There’s no reason for you to learn and use every new social media site that comes along (that would be an exhausting undertaking), but do keep an eye out for social trends. Don’t just listen to the sites your friends and fellow bloggers are talking about – do some research to find out which social networks are gaining buzz in the tech industry. SnapChat and Vine are gaining steam among the younger demographic, but there are lots of other options, such as Medium, Viddy, Pose, Whisper, and Mobli. Check out a few of them and start using the ones you like – you never know how it might pay off.
Social engagement is an important part of every blogger’s strategy, but remember to focus on the “social” part of social media. Take the time to connect with your friends and followers so they get to know you a little better, and always keep your content focused. You want your followers to cultivate an understanding of who you are and what your message is, so avoid getting off topic.
Do you have any tips for promoting your blog on social media?