You probably invest a great deal of time into your blogs - finding credible sources, crafting the perfect content, creating engaging graphics, and so on. So naturally, you want to get that blog in front of as many people as possible, right? If so, social media is the perfect avenue for that. Sure, you can just slap your blog post onto your social media pages and hope people take the time to read it, but why not learn a few tricks of the trade that can help you promote it to the best of your ability?
Some bloggers have toned down their social media efforts because they weren't achieving the results they were looking for (social media isn't always as easy as it seems), but luckily there are many ways to effectively promote your blogs on social media to increase your chances of driving solid engagement to your website. Besides being cost effective, having the ability to cross-promote your blog posts on multiple social media channels can deliver a steady stream of traffic to your website when done correctly, so lets dive in and cover a few tips to get you on your way to promoting your blog posts like a champ!
Make Sure Your Visual Content Is Top Notch
Social media is very visual. Many people on social media will skip right over blog titles and descriptions and simply check out the visual content, and if it isn't attractive, they will keep on scrolling through their feed and pay absolutely no attention to your blog post. To be able to effectively promote your blog on social media, you need visual content that is going to make people stop scrolling. In fact, according to Inc, 81% of people only skim the content they read online, people form a first impression in a mere 50 milliseconds, and posts including images produce 650% more engagement than text-only images (impressive, right?). If you want to tap into that engagement juice, use visual content as much as possible to attract and excite your readers.
There are many kinds of visual content you can use, ranging from images to infographics to videos to memes (just make sure your humor is tasteful) to GIFs to screenshots and so on. Get creative and try out different types of visual content to see what your followers respond best to - what is driving the most traffic to your website and the most engagement. You spend a lot of time writing the content for your blog, so the visual content you create needs to be of equal quality. And don't just focus on creating an awesome graphic to use when sharing your blog post on social media - you also need visual content within the blog itself, to break up the text and keep your readers interested, otherwise your share rate is not going to be very high.
Something we have started doing here at Social Report is creating eye-catching images containing our blog titles for sharing on social media, and it's a strategy that's been paying off!
Share Your Blog Post In Google+ Communities and LinkedIn Groups
There is much more to social media than just your own pages. You will find many Google+ Communities and LinkedIn Groups related to your niche where you can share your blog posts. We use this tactic here at Social Report with tremendous results - the engagement is fantastic and we get a solid stream of website traffic from these posts. By participating in these communities and groups, you are sharing your blog post with like-minded individuals who are actually interested in the content you are posting. What better target audience than that?
But don't just post content - actually get involved and become an active participant in each community or group you join. Like and comment on other posts to build relationships - who knows, you may be able to leverage them in the future for a guest blog post or for influencer marketing! Just make sure the content you are sharing provides value to each community or group you join, is related to the topic of each, and is very seldomly self-promotional.
Use Hashtags When Appropriate
Hashtags can both help you reach targeted users and extend the audience of your post - just don't go overboard with them. There is a general belief out there that the more hashtags you use, the better your post will perform. However, very rarely is that the case, and it often makes your post look spammy. A study published on Statista showed brands received considerably more interactions on Facebook when using 1 to 2 hashtags or 3 to 5 hashtags versus 6 to 10 hashtags or 10+ hashtags. The hashtags you use should be related to the topic of your post - if they aren't relevant, don't bother, as you will be attracting the wrong target audience.
Try to drill down as much as possible and use specific hashtags, versus more generalized hashtags (for example, real estate marketing versus real estate, depending on the topic of your post), as this will help you attract a more targeted audience who is more likely to be interested in what you have t say. You also want to choose hashtags that are popular with your target audience. You can search on the social media platform the post is being published on to see how often that hashtag is being used and in what context, or consider using one of the many social listening tools out there to collect that data for you.
Encourage Social Sharing On Your Blog Itself
The idea here is not only to be promoting your blog on social media, but to also integrate social media into your blog itself. Once someone clicks on your blog post, whether directly from one of your social pages, a LinkedIn Group, or a Google+ Community, and they find the blog content to be interesting, they need an easy way to be able to share that blog with their friends and family. Expecting them to go back to the social media channel they found the blog on and share it from there is not very user-friendly, which is why you need to integrate social media into your blog. Here is what we mean by that:
Social sharing buttons are very common today and should be very easy to install, especially if you are using WordPress, as they are available as a plugin you can install in a matter of minutes. But the impact they can deliver can be tremendous, as your readers can easily share your blog to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. with just a click or two, or even email the blog to someone else who might be interested. This gives you another avenue for extending the reach of your blog, as well as increased brand exposure, and promotes an enjoyable user experience on your website.
Take Advantage Of Paid Campaigns
While there is definitely risk involved with running paid campaigns, there are huge rewards to be reaped, as well. If you have a blog post you are really confident in, the content is amazing and speaks to the hearts of your target audience, you have great visual content (this is an absolute must if you want to run a paid campaign), then consider using paid campaigns to extend the reach of your blog post.
Paid campaigns are available on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The great thing about promoting blog posts on social media is you can choose the specific blog you want to boost, choose the parameters surrounding your target audience so you are reaching those most interested (based on age, location, interests, behaviors, etc), and generally speaking, you can achieve some pretty decent results with a relatively small budget and get some solid engagement for your social media page, as well as a boost of traffic for your website.
If you have never run a paid campaign on social media before and don't have the budget to use a professional, start off with a small budget to test the waters out and see what does, and does not work, for you. You can then measure the results of your first campaign and adjust accordingly.