Outside the email box, Social Media is considered the #1 way to promote your blog content to the world.
In the most recent big-screen endorsement of social media, Emma Stone in Birdman describes it as,
“An entire world out there where people fight to be relevant every single day.”
And, it’s true. It’s commenter-eat-commenter among people fighting to be relevant by establishing authority and building relationships.
To make your posts relevant you must join the madness and promote your blog on social media.
But there are so many social media channels, if you tried to engage in them all you would drown in a sea of hashtags!
By spreading yourself too thin across the social spectrum you can easy spend too much time being social and too little time writing.
You have to decide which social media channels to focus on.
Which social media channels
WordPress makes it kind of easy to decide on the best social media to use.
If you are connected to Jetpack and upload the Publicize plugin and go to the settings page at Settings>Sharing, you’ll get a quick picture of the channels they recommend.
The channels Jetpack will automatically Publicize to your post are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Path, and Google+.
Jetpack offers Sharing to: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and Reddit.
(Jetpack Sharing also connects to Pocket, Press This, Email, Print, but those have limited reach.)
But before you share posts, you have to build a following on each social site, and that is a commitment in itself. That’s why you need to choose your social media channels wisely.
Here are my top five social media channels.
Originally launched launched as a frat boy cruising site, Facebook has become the grandpappy of social media. You must start with a personal Status page and a bunch of Friends, but you can also add a Fan page which strangers can Like to get your posts, or add a Group page for a closed circle of commenters. Your News Feed is your dashboard. Facebook posts can also be Shared to groups and friends, with controls.
Even before going public in 2012, Facebook had created advertising and now allows you to Boost your posts for a price. That’s because Facebook throttles its stream and your friends may not see your post unless it’s widely Liked and Commented upon.
Too much hanging out on Facebook has been found to cause depression in adults, but it’s definitely the first place to start crowing about what you are doing.
How to promote on Facebook:
Just place a link to your post on your status/fan/group page and the post title, featured image and description will appear automatically. Sometimes, arrows allow you to scroll through images from the post.
You can set the post’s audience for Friends or Public, but of course you want Public. It’s advisable to add a keyword-rich note above the post, and the URL can be deleted to make it pretty. You can also edit the Description.
That process can be repeated in other groups and pages. Or, use the Share button to share that post around, although its best to leave a different note for each posting.
Further promotion can be done by Tagging people in the photo and Liking the comments that people leave. If you pay to Boost Post it will be labeled Sponsored and will rise to the top of the News Feed. Or, you can always Advertise.
Twitter offers a limited 140-character Tweet that can be broadcast to the world, whether they are followers or not. Interaction is limited to “Followers,” and although you’re not require to reciprocate with followers, it’s nice.
Twitter innovated the use of the @ “at” sign to call out the handles of users, created the #hashtag in order to sort tweets among a similar subject, and coined the phrase “trending topic” based on those hashtags. Those hashtags have been instrumental in spreading information during turbulent times such as with #arabspring and #occupywallstreet. Twitter users can share by ReTweeting, or save for later by Favouriting tweets they appreciate.
In 2010, Twitter began supporting pictures and videos within tweets. And to extend the depth of the tweet, Twitter Cards were created.
How to promote on Twitter
Because tweets are so fleeting, Twitter is a channel where you can post tons of tweets. You can tweet about the same post over and over and chances are, few people will see it twice. However, it’s a good idea to change up the wording.
Here is a standard issue format that includes the catchy title, the source, the shortened link, a couple of relevant hashtags, and a personal call out.
Doing a Business Blog Post the Right Way – Blogsite Studio bit.ly/1wxZTiV #blogging #wordpress @marikane
People who follow me will see this tweet, as well as those following #blogging #wordpress. I myself will receive notification of a Mention.
If you want your Tweet Retweeted, ask for it with, “Pls RT.” To make it easy on Retweeters, reduce the length of your tweet by the number of characters in your handle, minus at least 4 for “@” and “RT.”
Adding a small image takes up characters but Twitpics do increase clicks. However Twitter won’t let you schedule a Twitpic tweet.
Timing is a consideration and scheduling is key. Twitter works best with a Tweetdeck or Hootsuite app to schedule umpteen tweets for the day, week or month. Most local activity occurs during office hours in your time zone, but Twitter is awake all night. You can tweet for Asia or Europe while you sleep.
Linkedin is Facebook for professionals. It’s a social network about business, jobs, networking and career paths. As with Facebook, you post your hyperlinked content, and your connections may Like, Share or Comment on your posts. Members “Invite” a “Connection” by stating exactly how they know that person – Colleague, classmate, We’ve done business together, Friend, Other – and tests you to prove your connection. Spamming out invites will count against you in the network.
Linkedin provides users with an extensive profile page where you can create an online resume or advertisement. Linkedin prompts you to endorse your connection’s by voting up their skills, and they will alert you when someone endorses your skills, which provides an unexpected big ego boost in the morning. There are groups to join and post on their status page without being connected to each group member. LinkedIn also offers its own blog posting service called Pulse. And, if you are in the job market, LinkedIn Jobs is the page to look.
I joined LinkedIn after getting invites from so many of my friends – that’s how prevalent it is in business.
How to promote your post in LinkedIn
The posting process in LinkedIn is nearly identical to Facebook. The tone however is distinctly business like.
On March 3rd we learned that Google will be rebranding Google+ and breaking it into two services: Google Photos and Google Streams (the Facebooky product). But since I already wrote the following analysis (March 08, 2015) I’m running it with the hope it retains some relevancy.
Somewhat late to the social networking game, Google create Google+ to compete with Facebook. In Google+, you “Add” people by forming “Circles” of friends, family, acquaintances, or people you are following. I think Circles was what confused people and kept them away. When you post something, you can choose which circles will see it. Those people can comment and they can “Plus” it as a means of sharing it.
The significant thing about Google+ plus is that it is owned by Google, the ruler of the Internet world. And you know, all Google+ roads lead straight to the almighty search engine itself, and thou must participate or be smitten. The Google+ profile is less extensive than LinkedIn’s but it’s connected to YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, Android, Google Play, Google Music, Google Voice, Google Wallet, and Google Local, so one thing leads to another.
How to promote your post on Google+
While you can! Posting is much like Facebook and LinkedIn and it supports hashtags. But now is not the time to rush into a big Circle building effort. Stay tuned to further updates and get ready for the next thing.
In five years, Pinterest has gone from being a cute, digital pictures pin-up site to a mega-marketing powerhouse. Users set up a pithy profile and create niche boards to “Pin” linked images from the web using “Pin It,” an app that has now permeated the Internet. Just click to pin on any board you want. Your pins are seen on a page accessed by your followers. You invite Pinterest “Followers” the same as with Facebook – by having Pinterest search your database for other members. Your followers can follow all or any of your boards and can “RePin” your pins to their board to be seen by their followers. “Tastemakers” pages recommend pinboards similar to yours.
For both guests and Pinterest users, there are currently four main sections to browse: everything, videos, popular, and gifts. Pinners are comprised of about 70% women who have so much time on their hands to document objects of their fancy, you know they’ve got money. You can set up a Business page and create a virtual store to sell stuff to Pinners. Top board categories are: Food & drink, DIY & crafts, women’s apparel, home decor, and travel.
How to promote your post on Pinterest
Pin pictures from your blog posts and add a title and link. Since great pictures is what Pinterest is about, this approach only works for my wine blog. I pin pics of bottles and food porn and beautiful vineyards that I insert in my blog. What Pinterest loves is skyscraper images and infographics.
Microblogs and discovery engines
Reddit is a bulletin board site for entertainment, social networking and news. Registered users, or Redditors, can submit content such as text posts or direct links and then vote submissions “up” or “down” to rank on the site’s pages. Content is organized by areas of interest called “Subreddits”. Redditors can organize their own Subreddits for other Redditors to subscribe to. They can earn “Link Karma” and “Comment Karma” or be giving “Reddit Gold” in what is called “Gilding.”
How to promote your post on Reddit
I’m not into Reddit, but I submit my posts when a Subreddit that allows it. Reddit is fairly persnickety about Subreddits. Sometimes I feel like an interloper there.
Best time to post on Reddit: 7 PM on a Monday night.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website now owned by Yahoo! The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog that can be followed other users and viewed on a Dashboard.
How to promote your post on Tumblr
If you have a WordPress blog, use your share button for Tumblr to post links on your Tumblr account. Best time to post: Friday evenings
StumbleUpon is a search engine-like, discovery engine that finds and recommends web content to its users, who rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests. Relatively ancient in Internet terms, StumbleUpon also has StumbleVideo to aggregate videos, and StumbleThru, which stumbles through a number of the most popular web sites. Finding followers is much like Twitter, they don’t have to follow you back.
How to promote your post on StumbleUpon
Like Reddit and Tumblr, I post links to my blog on StumbleUpon and sometimes get hits. But there are more ways to get hits from StumbleUpon.
Automated social media tools
Once you get started on social media you’ll find that you can’t post enough on your blog to entertain, much less attract more followers. Not everything should be about you anyway, so you’ll want to curate other people’s posts into your network. The best way to do that with a social media automation tool.
Provides a dashboard for you to organize and monitor your Twitter account(s) in columns of tweets.
Works much like Tweetdeck but it handles more social media channels than Twitter.
An app that will queue up any post found on the Web and schedule it for delivery to a number of social media channels
A Facebook page management tool that helps automate the sharing of content to your Facebook page.
IFTTT (If this then that)
Responds to a trigger event with an automated, corresponding action.
Allows you to specify the source of your desired content and the places you want to put it.
Allows you to add evergreen content to a Queue where you specify how often you want that content shared and in what form.
Get your social on
So, pick three or four social media channels and one or two automation tools and get social! If you’re going to fight for relevancy, it should be on your own terms and in places where you feel comfortable.
Tell me what I’ve missed, please!
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