How to Get the Maximum Value from Every Blog Post
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Just like this old adage, your blog needs an audience before you can reap its rewards. Here are a few ideas on how to use social media to promote your blog posts so they reach the widest audience possible.
Share on Facebook
One of the best ways to promote your blog post is to share it on your company Facebook page (or your personal profile if your name is your brand). The quickest way is to post the first 150-200 words and then include a link to your blog for readers to get the rest of the story. It’s even more engaging to post a short summary (1-2 sentences) of the blog post, making sure to include a surprising statement or pose an interesting question to encourage people to click that link to read the full post on your blog.
In a previous article, “Picture Perfect Posts”, we explored how you can increase reader engagement by including a photo or graphic with your post and this is especially true when you are sharing a post on Facebook.
According to a recent Hubspot study, photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes than the average post. The more likes you receive, the more likely other people are to share your post, which in turn gets your post in front of a wider audience. When you have a particularly powerful photo or infographic, it’s worth sharing it as an image (instead of as a link) with a short teaser and link back to the full post. These image posts use large, eye-catching graphics and add variety to your standard post.
You can even take things a step further by paying to “promote” your post through Facebook. You can ensure that more of your followers see your post by paying for it to display more prominently in their news feed. This can be especially useful when you are promoting a new product or event and you need to get it in front of as many people as possible.
Post to Twitter
On Twitter, repetition is key. Twitter is a lot like a radio station – your Twitter feed is continually updated with a stream of new tweets making it next to impossible to read every tweet. This means you need to share your message multiple times at different times of day.
A good rule of thumb is to tweet about your new blog post at least three times over the day that you publish it, and once a day for the week following that.
Hashtags (#) are extremely important in Twitter. If you can’t think of a hashtag that goes with your blog, go to the old standby – the name of your city or town. Change up your hashtags during the repeats of your tweets, so the same people don’t always see your tweet.
You should also mix up the wording and focus of each of your tweets. For example, the first tweet for this article could be the post title: “Write once, promote everywhere: how to get the maximum value from every blog post.” (With suitable hashtags and a link back to the blog, of course.) The second tweet could take a different approach: “Don’t let your blog be starved for attention! Learn how to use social media to promote your blog.”
Promote on LinkedIn
Predominantly a professional site, LinkedIn is also a great place to showcase your blog writing, especially if you are an expert in your field (or working to become one). Regularly sharing your thoughts, insights and expertise on LinkedIn is a good way to establish credibility in the eyes of prospective clients. It also lets you unobtrusively reach out to your LinkedIn connections who may not be as active on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.
Similar to Facebook, your connections on LinkedIn will see your latest blog post on their activity feed – even if they don’t read each and every post, your name will start to become familiar and memorable, increasing the chances you will be top-of-mind when they require your type of services in the future.
Announce with Google+
While Google+ doesn’t yet have the same level of user engagement as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, with over 500 million members it’s still a valuable component of your social media marketing efforts.
Establishing a Google+ account lets you take full advantage of Hangouts (a tool for video conferencing), Google+ authorship and Google Local. When you claim authorship of an article through Google+, your name and photo will appear next to your article in Google’s search results. Google Local is crucial for professionals who serve clients within a specific geographic area, helping your business to rank in the local search results along with customer reviews.
Once you’ve created your Google+ profile, put that profile to good use by posting your new blog articles to your page just as you would on Facebook or LinkedIn. Over time, Google+ is likely to be your gateway into even more Google services and will possibly also give your posts a small boost in their search rankings so it’s worth building up your profile there now.
Is It Worth Your Time?
After regularly posting to the various social media networks for awhile, you’ll start to notice that you get more engagement or better prospects from one or two particular platforms. You’ll also have a better sense of what types of information gets the best response from your target audience. At that point, consider ramping up your participation on those particular platforms to increase your presence and interaction with your followers.
Still, after all the time you’ve already spent writing and formatting your blog post, promoting it on social media might sound like a lot of extra work that you just don’t have time for. Happily there are plenty of plugins and tools available to automate this task. In my next post I’ll share a few of my favourite tools that make posting to social media faster and easier.
Share Your Experience
Do you regularly share your posts on social media? Which social media platforms generate the best response — the most comments, likes, shares, retweets, etc.? Share your experience in the comments below!