Check out my new guide for starting a blog to learn how to go about properly creating your own blog.
So this week’s blogging tips post is another guest post. Yes…another guest post. I’ve just got too much going on these days and I need to post some guest posts to free up some time. If anyone is looking to contribute a guest post for this series or something financially related, send me an e-mail.
The guest writer this week chose to discuss social media strategy. I have written about social media before in my post about automating social media marketing. Also I’ve had another guest post about social media titled getting social on social media. I think this is an important enough part of blogging that it’s helpful to get different people’s take on it all. There may be assumed etiquette, but how you handle your blog marketing is ultimately up to you. I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘rules’ the guest writers have laid out. You don’t have to take the same approach as anyone else.
If you’re new to this series, check out some of the previous blogging tips posts:
- Honesty in Blog Advertising
- 10 Recommended WordPress Plugins For Your Blog
- Google PageRank, Not Just About Links
- Blog Link Building – Not All Links Are Created Equal
- Importance of Blog Networking
- Advanced Keyword Strategy For Your Blog
- Effectively Using Keywords On Your Blog
- Optimal Blog Keyword Research for SEO
- My Take on Tags, Categories and Meta Keywords
- AWeber Show and Tell
Growing Your Blog Using Social Media
Blogging is all about those personal connections. Think of social media as the legs of your blog. It’s the opportunity to go to your reader. Without social media, your potential readers are just wandering through a million miles of swamp and fog. Social media produces more benefits than just increased traffic. It can connect you with other blogs to guest post, it’s an easy way for advertisers and PR to find you, and it can increase your rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
Keep in mind, you are human and only have the capacity to do so much in 24 hours. If you don’t have time, it’s better to stay off of the social networks if you are never going to get on to interact. Instead, consider interacting with readers on your personal social profiles if you have them.
Get on social sites that count
Think quality not quantity when creating your social media strategy. Just because a social network is popular doesn’t mean your blog should be on it. Make sure you have a reason for every community you join. Does it reach your target audience? Can you disseminate your content in a shareable and attractive format?
If you are looking for a default answer, I would encourage bloggers to at least get on Google+, as Google favors their social’s content in their search engine, and Twitter. The best benefit of Twitter is the ability to be friends and socialize with anyone. You don’t have to get people to “like” you before talking with them. Twitter also makes it easy to locate potential readers interested in your topic through hashtags.
Take into consideration all forms of social, including: Reddit, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. Find where your readers are and engage with them.
A great way to understand how to utilize these tools the right way, is by following the experts in the field; digital marketing agencies. For example, I discovered that Google+ pages show up in the search engines when I came across WebpageFX’s “search plus your world” profile. You can see it when you search for their brand in Google.
Create compelling content
If you haven’t done so already, begin adding more visuals to your content. Memes, catchy headlines, and pictures are all great teasers to get users to click the link to your blog. Get creative! Make hand drawn pictures of unicorns or a Vine that correlates with your article topic. If your visuals are really amusing, consider putting them on sites like Pinterest, Flickr or Instagram to drive more traffic.
Posting great content is not the only factor in a successful social strategy. For case studies, check out the 12 Palms Recovery Center blog, as their unique strategy consists of publishing infographics for content and then changing the visual format to an animation in later months. Social media is a great outlet to spread two major traffic pushers:
- Giveaway and contests: Using a sign up form like Rafflecopter gives you two opportunities. The first is to drive people from social media to your site to sign up for the giveaway. The other opportunity is to offer additional entries for those who follow you on social media or have signed up for your blog’s newsletter. What’s great is this works even for less than glamorous industries. Humane animal trap seller, Havahart, does this well with weekly twitter contests and giveaways.
- Free gift with email sign up: The other major source, besides social media, to keep readers coming back to your site is through email sign ups or a feed reader. People love free stuff. Offering a short free ebook on a relevant topic and advertising the hook on social platforms will both drive traffic to your site and get an increase in your emailing list.
Five rules of social engagement
1) Always respond: Whether positive or negative, respond to people’s interaction with your blog’s social platforms. Even if it is a like or a follow, thank them for following you. Users enjoy interacting with personable brands and blogs. Make sure your responses are helpful and engaging.
2) Make it about the reader: Your goal is to get people to like you. People aren’t going to like you if all you talk about is yourself because people are really only interested in themselves. Dale Carnegie put it this way: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
3) Be consistent: Make an effort to post and respond on your social platforms every other day. If you are going to automate your tweets and posts, please make sure someone is responding to comments at least once a week if not more. There is nothing more frustrating for a user than to interact with a blog or company and never receive an answer. The point of social media is to be social! It’s not a platform to preach at users.
4) Be mindful of your brand: Although your social profile should be personable it also should have a unified brand image. You can base that image off of yourself or on an imaginary person you envision encompasses the epitome of your blog. This persona will give your social profiles the living breath it needs to succeed.
5) Think before you post: In the heat of a moment or when you have your guard down can be dangerous times to harness the power of social media. And once you have post something it’s very difficult to erase its footsteps. If you use multiple social accounts, create a routine to make sure you don’t accidentally post on your blog’s account thinking it was your personal account.
Author Bio: Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for an Internet marketing company. When not at work, she enjoys blogging about travel, finance and marketing communication. Her articles have been featured on Examiner.com, Yahoo! Small Business, and Business 2 Community.