For companies and individuals alike, writing a high quality blog post brings many great benefits. It aids brand awareness and reputation, drives traffic and / or business and improves SEO. All good. Promoting that blog post to as many people as possible via social media boosts those benefits further but it’s surprising how often people just post up the link and expect that to be enough, regardless of platform.
Worse, a lot of people link all their social accounts together so they auto-publish. This often ends up producing really ugly results that no-one is going to want to click through and it’s a real bugbear of mine.
Each social network, from Facebook through Twitter to Google+ and the rest, give you many different ways to publicise your written work. By ignoring them, you’re significantly reducing the chances of your high quality content achieving what it should.
With that in mind, here’s a few ideas to make the most of both our content and your social presence.
Facebook has that handy little feature where you post a link into the Status Update field and it goes off, finds the content and tries it’s best to show it in a nice way, with the title and image. Unfortunately not many blogs are optimised for this and the results look terrible. Not only that, it doesn’t take advantage of the brilliant new way Facebook handles images.
Try this instead. Using the image you’ve no doubt added to your blog post, add a photo to Facebook, write a brief, descriptive intro to the post in the Status field (a quote from the post works really well) and include the link there. Your image will show up huge in the Newsfeeds of your followers, catching the eye and enticing them to click through to your blog post in much greater numbers than a simple link and thumbnail.
The restrictive nature of Twitter and the fact that your image is not guaranteed to show up in your followers’ Twitter feeds (especially if they use a third party app like Tweetdeck) means that, in most cases, you won’t be able to include a quote from your fantastic blog post or include an image in your Tweet with as much effect as it would have on Facebook.
Not to mention the fact that you’re limited to 140 characters INCLUDING the link to the blog post and an image. So you’re going to have to be creative! Which is where hash tags come in.
Do your research into what’s trending, what tags people use in the same area as the blog post you’re trying to promote and make best use of them. Two or at most three will do, putting your Tweet in front of the largest possible audience. Now build your Tweet with that 140 character limit in mind.
You’ll need space for your hash tag(s), your link and an intriguing bit of text. That could be the title of the blog post, or you might want to make it a bit more interesting, eliciting that click. And if you can, leave 10-15 characters to allow for edited retweets.
Blog post promotion on Twitter does require some serious thought when constructing your Tweet, but it will be worth it when you start seeing retweets all over the place and, more importantly, a significant jump in traffic to your blog.
Google+ combines the best of Facebook and Twitter - big images, space for text content AND hash tag usage.
Lead with an image rather than a link, include a quote or snappy, descriptive intro to the blog post, add the link into the status update with a call to action, just as you would on Facebook. And as you would on Twitter, research trending and relevant hash tags and include those at the end of your update.
In terms of promoting blog posts, Google+ is the best tool around...except for one thing. The audience on Google+ is much, much smaller than that of Facebook or even Twitter. Google might tell you it has 100 million active users but you’ll find the reality much different. That said, those who are active are likely to be the cream of your target audience, so it is worth using.
Other Promotional Tools
There are a lot of other tools out there to help you promote your blog posts. Take a look at scoop.it, Paperblog and Paper.li. Consider using Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and the other so-called niche social networks too.
Just remember to really look at how they display the content added to it and make best use of it, especially where images are concerned. Remember the title of this post? A picture really IS worth a thousand words.