Why Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Blog?
Social media can be a great traffic driver for your blog. After all, PewInternet.org reports that over 52% of all online adults use multiple social media platforms. People all over social media are following the brands, thought leaders, celebrities and news sources they love. It’s the perfect place find people who are potential readers of your blog.
Social media provides a built-in community for businesses and bloggers to engage with target customers and readers. Through social media networks, you can find your audience and build relationships. The keywords to remember when considering social media marketing for driving blog traffic are “social” and “relationships.” If you approach social media as merely a broadcasting platform, you won’t see much return on your time investment. It’s important to interact with other users directly and build relationships. This will make people more likely to check out your blog.
What Are Some Social Media Best Practices?
Your first step is research. Find out where your target readers and potential customers hang out. One way to do this is by surveying your current clients and blog readers. You can also search for existing research online. Another option is to look at competitors and influencers in your industry. Where do they spend time on social?
If all else fails, try checking out the social media sites covered in this post. Sign up, create a profile and spend some time listening and seeing how each site you’re going to use works. It’s important to get a feel for it before you start posting.
Take time to thoroughly fill out your social media profile. That includes adding links to your website or blog in your profile anywhere it is allowed. Most social media sites have a designated field on your profile where you can add the URL of your website. If the platform allows you to, write a short description of your blog and emphasize the reasons that people should check it out. Add your blog URL to your description.
While each social network works a little differently, promoting your blog is the same on each. Whenever you publish a new post, update your social media profiles and let your followers and fans know. Remember to do more than just share a link: tell people why they should check it out. Explain what they will learn or why the post is entertaining. If you don’t write blog posts frequently, share older ones to get traffic to those and rejuvenate them.
As mentioned before, take the time to look at the content that your audience members are sharing. Interact with them by sharing their content, liking it or commenting on it. By taking the time to foster engagement, you make it more likely that people will visit, like, and share your content with their networks.
Another benefit of engaging with your audience is that you can gain insights about them and the types of content they may want to read and share. Through their posts and profile, you can gain an understanding of their interests, opinions, and needs, and you can use these for future blog content. Look in particular for problems your blog posts can solve.
As you begin to use social media for your business, start paying close attention to your audience’s reactions to your content and comments. Which blog posts generate a lot of traffic and which ones fall flat. See what lessons you can glean from this data to help you create better posts in the future.
Finally, make sure that your blog is mobile-friendly. As more and more people use social media on their mobile devices, there’s a high probability that someone who clicks through from social media to your blog is doing so with a smartphone or tablet.
How Should I Use Facebook?
As of August 2015, Facebook is the most popular social media network. It currently has hundreds of millions of users, and the demographic that enjoys Facebook includes nearly everyone. No matter what kind of blog you have, it’s highly likely that you have potential readers on Facebook. However, you will have to decide whether or not the type of blog topics you share are appropriate for Facebook. While your readers may be there, Facebook may not be the best avenue for your blog if your target audience simply doesn’t want to talk about those topics in this social media venue.
Visual content is well-received on Facebook. Anytime you share content on Facebook, add an image to increase the likelihood it will receive likes, comments, and shares. If you have an image on your blog post page, Facebook will automatically add this picture to your Facebook post when you share the link. If you don’t have a picture your blog post, you can include a picture at the time you share to Facebook.
About the text you add to your Facebook posts, keep it brief. Don’t drown your fans and followers in a summary of the post. Instead write a catchy phrase, pull a statistic from the post, or add a direct quote that will entice people to check it out.
Another great way to get interactions on Facebook is through video. Don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be a massive production. You can just create a teaser video for your blog post and upload it to Facebook. You can shoot a 30-second to a one-minute video of you talking to the camera, or you could use a presentation tool to record a few slides you narrate to tell people why they should read your blog post. Give them some highlights to gain their interest.
Facebook Ads are a good way to get your posts seen on Facebook. Facebook’s native ad network allows you to extend your reach as well as retarget people on Facebook who have visited your site before. The Facebook Ads platform is very flexible and targeted. You decide exactly how much you want to spend, whom you want to target, and how long you’d like to run the ad.
How Should I Use Twitter?
Twitter is another hugely popular social network. It is a “microblogging” platform. That just means it allows a small character limit on posts – 140 characters. This limitation can present challenges, but it can also help you get a little more creative and concise in your messaging.
The real test is telling people about your blog (or another message) in the slightly over 100 characters it leaves you after you shorten your URL. With Twitter, you have to perfect the art of saying more with less. Posts need to be quick and to the point, but still deliver their message.
Try these tips for writing quick but enticing tweets include:
- Use a quote from the post. Take an interesting sentence from the post and use it for your tweet. Choose something that will pique the interest of your followers.
- Ask a question that your blog post will answer.
- Include a statistic that’s relevant to your blog post.
- Use a number, such as “35 ways to…”
Visual posts are just as important on Twitter as they are on Facebook. Upload an original image that’s relevant to the blog post when publishing a tweet.
Twitter users often use hashtags to help categorize tweets by topic or theme. These are keywords that follow the “#” symbol. Hashtags make your tweet searchable and easier to find. When users search for a hashtag you used in a tweet, the tweet will appear in the search results. Settle on one or two hashtags due to the character limitations.
When someone on Twitter takes the time to favorite or “retweet” your content, take the time to thank them for sharing. Thank them so you can begin to build a relationship and engage in conversation.
A final Twitter tip to remember – just like with Facebook, be social and build relationships. It’s not always about you and your content.
How Do I Use LinkedIn to Promote My Blog?
LinkedIn attracts a more particular type of user compared to Facebook or Twitter. While practically everyone uses Facebook and Twitter for everything, LinkedIn is specifically for business professionals. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for networking, finding jobs, and nurturing business relationships.
LinkedIn offers a variety of ways for users to interact with each other. A popular one is Groups. Use LinkedIn Groups to find communities of people who may be potential readers of your blog and buyers of your services/products. The key to effectively using Groups is to add value to the conversation and NOT spam the discussion with links to your latest posts.
Another great feature LinkedIn offers is the ability to publish posts on your LinkedIn profile. You can repurpose existing blog content or republish old posts and add a link to the original content.
Finally, you have the opportunity just to share updates – just as you would on Facebook or Twitter. Like Facebook, you can have both an individual profile and a company profile. Use both to spread valuable information and build engagement.
Is YouTube a Platform for Driving Blog Traffic?
YouTube is one of the most popular video sites online and serves as the second largest search engine. YouTube and video offer an alternative to text for content creators. However, you can leverage video as a way to encourage people to visit your blog. As we mentioned earlier in the Facebook section, you can promote your blog posts by making “teaser videos” that give people highlights from a particular blog post.
Each video you post needs to have a strong call to action to tell the viewer specifically what they need to do to gain the benefits you mention in the video. Don’t be too vague. Simply saying, “check out my blog” isn’t enough. Tell the viewer specifically where to go after watching the video.
As you probably are aware, YouTube is owned by Google and YouTube videos often appear at the top of the search engine results. Take time to properly optimize your videos for search. There are many places where you can put descriptions and keywords, such as the video title, description, and metadata, to help searchers find you.
Keep in mind that YouTube is a social media site, so be social. Interact with other users. Subscribe to their channels, watch their videos, leave comments, etc. The more you interact with other users, the more they will engage with you.
What’s the Best Way to Use Pinterest to Promote My Blog?
Pinterest is a popular, visual social media platform where users share images posted to “pinboards.” A pinboard serves as a hub where a user can curate collections of images based on a common theme. One way savvy bloggers use Pinterest is by creating a pinboard where they share an image from each blog posts so that people can easily find them all in one place. Users can follow pinboards, so your readers can follow your blog post pinboard, and they’ll be notified whenever there is new content up.
For each pin you add to your blog pinboard, include a description to each that tells users about the posts and entices users to check them out. Pinterest allows you to write up to 500 characters in your descriptions, so make the most of them.
As with all social media sites, interact with other users as well as posting your content. You can “repin” content that you like. It’s a little like retweeting on Twitter or sharing on Facebook.
Is Instagram Good for Blog Traffic Promotion?
Instagram is another social media site that relies heavily on visuals – primarily photos from your smartphone. Instagram’s editing capabilities let you make your images unique and exciting. You can also share videos and use hashtags to make content searchable.
Posting a photo series on Instagram is a popular way to garner interest and views. It keeps followers tuned in to see what’s coming next. You can plan a blog series or theme and take fun or creative photos to match up with each new post. When done well, people will be waiting for the next post.
There are also Instagram-wide themes where one user has created the theme, and other users contribute their content to it. A good example of this is #throwbackthursday or #tbt. Try finding ideas that are related to your blog posts, or writing blog posts related to themes on Instagram.
Finally, contests are popular on Instagram. A good way to engage Instagram users is to host a contest on your blog and mention it in your Instagram posts.
How Can I Incorporate Tumblr?
Some consider Tumblr as a short-form blogging platform where users can post text, images, video, as well as reblog other people’s Tumblr posts. Memes are very popular on Tumblr. This platform is a great place where you can experiment with creating your meme to tell your Tumblr readers about your latest blog post.
As mentioned above, users on Tumblr often reblog other people’s posts. It’s not unusual for many users to do more reblogging than original post writing. Reblogging is part of the social interaction on Tumblr, so you should reblog other users’ posts if you think they are relevant to your audience. Also, encourage your readers to reblog your posts. Sometimes all it takes is a simple ask, “If you like this post, please reblog,” and add a Tumblr add-on to your blog.
If Tumblr finds your page particularly useful or valuable, it may get designated as “Explore Pages.” These are given extra traction in searches by Tumblr. Ask your readers to recommend your Tumblr blog as an Explore Page.
Tagging is crucial in Tumblr. Make sure you tag each of your blog posts with relevant keywords. Most users find new content on Tumblr through its search function using tags.
Don’t feel pressure to try all of these platforms mentioned above. Take time to research and select the ones that will be most meaningful for your business. Then, dig in and start engaging and sharing with your prospects.