How You Can Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog
As Social Media has permeated our lives, it’s growth has fueled it’s use to promote content on the web. Social Media sites can be divided into two types:
- Social Networking Sites– where connecting with others is the primary activity of the site. Some of the busiest sites include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.
- Social Bookmarking Sites – where the primary activity is the bookmarking and sharing of web content. Popular Social Bookmarking Sites include Bloglovin, Diigo, Flickr, Medium, Reddit, and Tumblr.
The classifications of social media sites shown above are fairly broad. Many sites possess elements of both of the above types of sites.
We Are Not Defining Social Media
We are not attempting to define social media here. Rather we are examining the broad category and assessing them for your use to find new readers for your blog. Recently, many blogs have launched themselves simply through the use of social media sites.
Social Media has launched their success because social media sites are among the largest sites on the web. Besides their large volume of traffic, social media is about helping people to discover new content on the web.
Because of this exposure, social media sites are a logical place to position yourself as a blogger. Let me repeat it:
Social media sites have a lot of traffic and they are used by people to find content. Why wouldn’t you position yourself on them?
Social Media is not the only answer to finding new readers for your blog. Promoting your content on social sites is a great start. However, it is just one part of inreasing your blog readership.
9 Ways Social Media Can Increase Your Readership
There has been a lot written about using specific social media sites to drive traffic to a blog. However, in this post I’m going to speak more generally and share some principles for using social media to drive traffic. I hope that you find information that will help you reach your goals.
You Have to be an Active Participant
it is important to see these sites for what they are, they’re social sites which are designed for regular use and interactions between readers. They are not designed for people to come to to spam their own links and leave.
Social Media sites are designed for an ongoing, genuine and helpful interactions between people. Those who routinely spend time using these sites are the ones who are rewarded for doing so.
You may be tempted to engage in blatant marketing and sales with your posts. Avoid the urge to do so, just tell your story. Engage with others frequently and make your posts conversational and educational. Freely interact with others, sharing genuine and interesting content. If you are an active participant you’ll be rewarded.
You Have to be Sociable
You have to extend yourself, and embrace the principle of be-friending others on social sites. This is the key reason social sites exist. Using social sites makes you more powerful based solely upon the number of connections that you make.
So put yourself out there, make friends and interact frequently with your network. From this can develop many fruitful connections. It’s also a great branding exercise to ‘connect’ with people through these sites.
I should say at this point that I see people using their ‘networks’ on social sites in two main ways. They are either as natural influencers or in more concerted and coordinated ways.
The first group, the influencers is all about building a network that you naturally interact with and who will take notice of what you do. This makes you a powerful user. Both the social site and others will notice your interactions and the depth of your influence.
The second group, the promoters join together to vote up each other’s content. This is a great way for you to build your credibility as an expert in your niche.
You Have to be Generous
If your activities on social media sites is self centered then you’ll limit your own benefits from it. Top social users and are some of the most generous people you’ll ever meet. They go out of their way to help others achieve their dreams. Their good will toward others bounces back to them, but they put others first.
You Have to Develop Your Audience
What do you think is many bloggers big mistake when they succeed in driving traffic to their blogs? They manage to get the traffic they wanted from social media sites. They don’t convert the traffic into loyal readers. You have to close the deal.
Getting readers to your blog is only half of your challenge. Making them repeat readers, getting them to return tomorrow and every day afterwards is the other half. Converting visitors to repeat readers is the difference between a one off traffic event and a blog with an ongoing growth in readership.
Use Social Media as a Branding Exercise
While social media sites can send you a lot of traffic very quickly, they can also be excellent places to develop your branding. Every time a reader or potential reader comes across you on a social media site the more you reinforce your brand.
Become active on several social sites that are best suited to spreading your message. Use your social sites to also promote the content that others publish and you could actually get on their radar and end up benefiting yourself in many ways.
You Have to Discover What Works for Your Blog
A regular comment on posts where I write about the power of using social media is people saying that it doesn’t work for them. When I investigate these comments I often find that they tried one social media site once or twice. And it didn’t have much impact.
This kind of thinking is riddled with mistakes. Many don’t understand that it takes time to get to know a social media site. Or to get to know people on the site. To get results you need to be persistent. You have to optimize your social media experiences to reap big rewards.
I will say that not all social media sites work for every topic of blog. The other thing that I’d say is that sometimes the biggest social sites are not always the best ones to use.
Smaller and more focused social sites might have bigger benefits for you. Almost every week new social bookmarking sites appear serving different niches. You need to search them out and focus on them too.
You Have to Understand the Rules and Culture
Each of the social media sites has different rules, standards, cultures and acceptable behavior. These rules cover things like how you interact with others, and the language you can use. Importantly for this article, also how you can link to and promote your own content.
Some sites allow and even encourage you self promoting. Some others do not. Some sites might allow self promotion officially but may have users who don’t like it and will bury your efforts if you do.
If you are posting on Facebook and LinkedIn, you are dealing with two very different sites. What they offer and how their culture works are very different and offer very different results.
No matter what site you are on, it’s important for you to participate, observe and learn from your experiences.
You Have to Find the Influencers
One of the best ways to learn about social media is to get to know key players on the different sites. Who is using them well? What are they doing? What might they be able to teach you? How might you work with them for mutual benefit?
Many social media sites make it easy to find these key players by producing lists of ‘top users’. Developing these strategic relationships can be an important component of your digital marketing strategy.
Remember, It’s All About Your Content
One factor that can increase or decrease the impact of your efforts in social media is your content. Without content that engages social media users you are wasting your time. If your content is not engaging, it will rarely capture your audiences imagination and inspire them to promote it. Writing great content is the focus of an earlier post in this series on growing blog readership.