Whether you’re blogging for business or just as a hobby in the hope of making a little extra money from on-site advertising, using up-to-date methods to promote it to ensure that it is reaching its intended audience is a large part of the battle, and this is where content marketing and social media come into play. Millions of people share content on their favourite social networks every day, and the popularity of a piece of content, such as a blog post, on social media, also has a significant influence on its standing in the search results. Consider the following five key tips for expanding the reach of your blog using the enormous potential of social media:
1 – Integrate Social Media
Social media and content now go hand-in-hand, and the line between them has become increasingly blurry in recent years. Both components of the online marketing mix should work closely together, and you should integrate social media into your blog by providing sharing buttons along with your posts so that people can share the content they like quickly and easily. However, it is important not to use too many buttons, since doing so can confuse your readers: for most blogs, sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are enough, plus an additional two or three for social networks that are more relevant to your particular audience.
2 – Share Your Posts
One of the first things that you should do once you have published a new blog post is share it on your own social media profiles while encouraging others to do the same. However, it is wise to avoid liking your own posts on Facebook, and while there’s nothing wrong with sharing your own content, you should abide by the 20/80 rule whereby only 20% of the content that you post on social media is your own. You should also share relevant content from other authors and become an active part of the community. Remember above all, that social media is not a platform only for speaking, but also for listening and participating.
3 – Publish Sharable Content
Most important is the actual content itself. There is great content that is sharable because it is useful, insightful or simply thoroughly entertaining in some way. On the other hand, there is content that provides so little of value to its readers that no one is likely to share it. Starting with an intriguing title that excites would-be readers through the clever use of an active tone, the content itself should be carefully researched, void of any errors and written in a scannable, Web-friendly format. Visual content tends to be among the most sharable of formats, and any blog can take advantage of images, infographics and videos as well as simple posts.
4 – Know Your Audience
The most important part of any form of promotion is knowing your audience in such a way that you know how, when and to whom to target your content. By knowing your audience, you’ll have a better idea of what sort of content they want, which social networks they use and when they are most likely to be active online. For example, if you’re a B2B business blogger, you’ll likely find LinkedIn to be your most valuable social network, while a food or travel blogger can profit from making use of the visually orientated social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram. You should base your social media promotion schedule on your typical audience persona.
5 – Be Wary of Automation
While technology is making people’s lives easier every year, an increasing dependence on it can quickly take away the human voice, and a perfect example of this is when Internet marketers lose their voice to automation. If your social sharing strategy is entirely automated, people will start to notice, and they’ll stop following you in droves. Social media marketing requires a consistent and ongoing human presence, and this means responding to people’s replies instead of just relying on an automated post-scheduling tool that completely takes away the personality behind the blog that you are trying to market.