Social media can play a key role in marketing your blog but there is no point in signing up to social media tools if you don’t have the time to maintain them all. There is nothing worse than half-heartedly engaging with your audience it will eventually show. The best thing to do is choose, one or two platforms and use them well. It’s really important that you enjoy what you’re doing.
Whether you are blogging for business or blogging for fun, you should have a social media plan, if not a full-blown strategy. At the very least you should be using social media to:
- Engage with fans/followers to find out what they like or don’t like
- Listen to them and offer a personal touch when sharing information
- Not bombard them with links without sharing something of yourself.
Facebook has grown considerably since its inception as a social network platform for college students. Millions of people use it to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. For a blogger or business the audience potential is huge but you need to get it right.
Friend or Fan?
If you want to set up a Facebook fan page you will need a personal account. I don’t advocate the use of your personal account to engage with strangers. A lot of businesses set up accounts and make friend requests to individuals instead of setting up a fan page. I personally refuse requests from strangers, I would prefer to ‘Like’ a fan page or join a group.
Whether you set up a fan page or group on Facebook you need to promote the venture. Start with adding a widget on your blog so that people know you have a Facebook page. Write an article about it encouraging people to ‘like’ the page and let them know what the benefits will be. If all you are going to do on Facebook is share posts from your blog then there is no point. You really must engage with your audience (see above points).
Just like with Facebook, growing your audience on Twitter will take time and effort. Unlike Facebook you don’t have to use your real name to set up an account, you can use your blog name or brand. Follow people who share the same interests as you and strike up conversations. Don’t jump in by saying ‘read my blog’. The address of your blog should be in your profile and there is no need to promote it in your tweets.
Continue to say interesting things and engage with your audience and your follower count should increase in time. If you write a new post on your blog share the link on Twitter but don’t keep tweeting it throughout the day. Two or three times should be enough.
Social sharing apps
You can download Twitter and Facebook apps to your smart phone so that you can be social on the go. Everyone loves a funny or interesting photo or video so linking your account to these apps means you can share experiences instantly.
Pinterest is a visual platform using images rather than words to engage with readers. It has become one of the fastest growing social networks ever. Pinfluence: The complete Guide to Marketing Your Business With Pinterest by Beth Hayden is a good book to read if you are really interested in marketing your website with Pinterest. If it’s good enough for a business, it’s good enough for a blogger. This book shows you how to engage with your followers and produce consistently great content. Bloggers who are using Pinterest have noticed a huge increase in traffic to their blog.
To grow your followers on Pinterest just like any other platform you need to be social. Follow other Pinterest users; reciprocate by liking and Repinning their images. This will keep your boards balanced and not just about you. When someone Repins your images make sure you thank them.
You should try each network out and see what suits you. If it’s not fun, don’t do it!
Social sharing buttons
I’ve advised above, not to continually push your content on fans and followers but that doesn’t mean your readers can’t push your content for you.
Install social sharing buttons on your blog so that people can Like, Pin, Digg and Tweet your content to their social networks.