You’re creating amazing content, regularly publishing thought-provoking, unique posts, and building a blog that is an amazing ambassador for your brand. So why is nobody paying attention?
If you’ve found yourself frustrated by the limited reach of your blog, the problem might be your promotion efforts. Many social media experts say you should spend about 20% of your time creating blog content and 80% of your time promoting it. That sounds like a lot, but there are easy ways to streamline this process to maximize your efforts on social networks to create conversation, build relationships, and promote your blog to grow your audience.
Promoting your blog posts on social media platforms can help your content gain significant exposure. And with so many options – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, last.fm, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. – there are numerous ways for you to create distinct, value-adding profiles, each with different benefits and abilities. Google+, for example, is a great way to increase your SEO power, while Pinterest can help you create a clear, highly-visual brand vision.
With that in mind, we’ve collected some helpful tips for promoting your blog and growing your readership through social media networks.
1. Before you can begin promoting your blog on social media, you need to be active on social media
Social media is a long game. If you’re turning to social networks as a solution to finding more blog readers, you’re doing it wrong. Establishing a compelling and unique presence on various social media channels before promoting your blog will allow you to be seen as an authentic thought leader in your field. Build connections, participate in conversations, share innovative content, re-tweet or re-pin interesting work from people or brands you’d like to emulate. Once you’ve found your niche on various social media channels, you can start slowly rolling out your own content. At this point, you will be a credible voice in your community, and your blog will be seen as an extension of your well-established presence – not the other way around.
2. Include social sharing icons at the top and bottom of every post
Once your audience finds your blog, you want to make sure it is optimized for sharing. Include Tweet and Like buttons on your posts, use hashtags strategically, and provide a clear path for your readers to add your blog to their RSS feeds. Encourage your readers to participate in and continue the conversation on your chosen social networks. Making this sharing as easy as possible for your audience will greatly aid your blog promotion efforts.
3. Use social media to poll your audience for new content ideas
Social media is a conversation. Think of your social media platforms like a big networking party for blog promotion, ripe with opportunities to interact with other industry leaders, to engage in conversations with readers, and to link and respond to other bloggers. The two-way nature of social media offers a unique opportunity to find out exactly what your readers want to know about your brand or service, and can provide you with endless material for blogging if you’re willing to put the effort into discovering what your readers will find compelling. And make sure you respond to all feedback – positive and negative. Data shows that 42% of consumers expect a 60 minute response time on social media. So be alert!
4. Develop a regular sharing schedule
The most common pitfall of developing a strong social media presence for your blog promotion is lack of follow-through. When you publish, share once, and never get back around to it again, you lose the opportunity to gather the click-throughs that your content deserves. Use a tool like Hootsuite that lets you merge all of your social media to make it easier to schedule and manage. Pre-scheduling your posts is a simple way of distributing your content across your social accounts on a timely basis.
5. Show some gratitude
Social media has the same principles as any human relationship. Basic rules of human interaction should apply: be polite, honest, and don’t forget to say thank you! If your followers share or comment on your content, acknowledge their attention. These gestures may seem small, but they help your followers feel recognized and they reinforce the human touch behind your blog and blog promotion efforts.