Social media is ever-changing, and keeping up with the latest platforms, features, and trends to promote your blog can feel like a bigger job than writing your articles in the first place.
If you are like most bloggers, you want to use social media marketing to:
- Gain a loyal following
- Drive traffic to your blog
- Be a leader in your niche
There are over 4 million blogs posted every day, and it takes using your social networks effectively to stand out from the crowd.
Here are six easy ways for you to make sure your efforts are having the maximum impact.
1. PICK THE RIGHT PLACES TO BE
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit, Viber… the list of social media platforms available is overwhelming even for the most digitally savvy of us.
The good news is that you don’t need to be on all of them for fear of missing out. Most social media users are only super active on a couple of networks. Identify your target reader, find out which ones they’re hanging out on the most and only focus your efforts into 2-4 of them (depending on how much time you have!) If you have a business blog you’ll probably want to include LinkedIn; if you have a travel blog with stunning photography, Instagram will most likely be a good one for you. It’s worth noting that Facebook remains the most popular social media platform out there, reaching 60.9% of internet users, and is probably worth being on everybody’s list.
Once this is done, check your analytics regularly to keep an eye on how much traffic each platform is driving to your blog. Here you’ll be able to see if you need to make any changes to your strategy.
2. USE A CONTENT MANAGEMENT TOOL
It’s not easy keeping track of your posts and building a community. It takes planning, and using a tool designed for that purpose will both save you time and increase the quality of your content.
There are plenty of content management platforms out there which will help you schedule and automate as much of your content as possible, and a lot of them have decent free plans. If you are using WordPress, installing the Jetpack for WordPress will give you a sharing function to most social media networks and allows you to customize your posts. Hootsuite, Buffer, and Hubspot all give you a simple dashboard calendar to tailor content to each of your networks and get your strategy spot on. Buffer also provides a recommended time to schedule your posts, which is very handy.
3. MAKE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS STAND OUT ON YOUR BLOG
Sometimes it’s the simplest things we overlook. If you want to promote your social media accounts, make it easy for your readers to find them!
Display icons with links to your social media profiles on individual articles as well as at the top of your homepage, and choose designs that fit seamlessly with the look and feel of your blog to avoid them interfering with reader experience. You need to balance the practicality of your icons with the aesthetics of your site – display them prominently enough to get noticed, but don’t add too many and clog up your sidebars.
There are plenty of plugins that can help you do this – Socializer is a top one with lots of different collections to pick from.
4. MAKE YOUR USERNAME THE SAME AS YOUR BLOG NAME
Sometimes it’s already been snatched up, but wherever possible make your social media username the same as your blog name or URL.
The simple truth is, people might not try that hard to find you. If you don’t make it easier for them, there’s a good chance they’ll give up and move on to something else. Whether they are wannabe followers who have navigated away from your blog, current followers recommending you to their friends, or readers who have clicked on your icons only to be met with a “page not found” (frustratingly, that can happen for various reasons) – the first step they will take is searching the platform for the name of your blog.
On top of this, it’s a simple brand awareness strategy. Get your blog name out there as much as possible so that people will start to recognize it!
5. POST WITH INTRIGUING TITLES
You’re a blogger – long content is your jam! But on social media, you have to show a different side to yourself as well.
Keep the first thing that followers see a short and snappy title or caption, arouse their curiosity and leave them craving the full story. Make them intrigued and direct them to your blog to find out more. You’ll also find that this makes your posts much more likely to be shared, as people want to grab the attention of their followers too!
Of course, don’t promise valuable content with a catchy title only to let your audience down. Nobody wants to click on “This Recipe Just Changed My Life” only to find a guide on heating up baked beans in the microwave. Reward them for following your lead, and they’ll come back for more.
6. USE FACEBOOK GROUPS
Facebook Groups are becoming an increasingly popular feature on the platform, and they are a great way to market your blog organically to the right audience.
Groups on Facebook are spaces for like-minded individuals to share and discuss their ideas, problems, and solutions around a common interest. For you, they are the perfect opportunity to connect with your target readers, demonstrate your expertise and find mutually beneficial collaborations.
Join groups for bloggers, groups centered around the theme of your blog, or even create your own. Being a useful member of these communities and providing valuable content (don’t spam them with your articles or products!) will hook you up with new fans who want to hear more of what you have to say.
A FEW DON’TS BEFORE YOU GO
Don’t buy followers. They won’t engage with your posts, it won’t drive traffic to your blog, and if you get found out your reputation is ruined.
Don’t send automated messages. The last thing you want to do is dehumanize yourself! People follow people, and your fans want to connect with you on social media on a personal level.
Don’t only post your articles. Social media marketing is more than a one-way dialogue these days – it’s all about interaction. Try mixing in behind-the-scenes videos, shout-outs to other bloggers, user-generated content, competitions, and posts around current relevant trends such as #WorldCup or #EarthDay.