Becoming an Entrepreneurial Writer: Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog

social media for bloggersOne of the easiest ways to get your blog posts and other information out there is to share your posts via various social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even Instagram. This can be done both through posting your personal accounts across the various platforms as well as through accounts solely dedicated to your blog—both can be extremely useful. They can also be used to create conversations with readers—it’s more than just sharing your links, just like you would need to engage with readers in your comments section, you need to talk to them over various social media platforms.

 

Twitter

It’s great to promote your posts both via a personal account and a blog specific on Twitter. Starting a blog specific one has its advantages—but it can be tough to get followers. One of the easiest ways is to follow other active accounts that are similar to yours—a lot of the times, they will follow you back. There are even several services that help you find these accounts, such as the JustUnfollow app which will help you find similar accounts that have tweeted recently.

“Don’t get discouraged! Keep posting,” says Diana Antholis. “But most importantly, keep talking to people on Twitter. Posting constantly doesn’t help. What helps is starting conversations. Give it time.”

Other Twitter strategies include re-posting throughout the day, linking to different posts, varying the wording of each tweet.

“I post every time a new blog post is published, so that could anywhere from once to several times per week, says Marissa Vicario, creator of Where I Need to Be. “I post links to the same blog post more than once on Twitter.”

Another strategy I see often is including (once you can) a “You may have missed…” or “From the archives…” tweets to older posts. The same can be effective for Facebook posting on days you might not have other content.

“Twitter is the best way to get your blog out there to a wide variety of people,” says Shannon Mulcahy, creator of Mon Amour.  “I think it is the best way to really have conversations with readers also.”

 

Facebook

Facebook can be another helpful tool in helping to draw more attention to your blog. An easy way to gain likes on your fan page is to invite friends and family to like your page—Facebook has any easy option to do this once you create your page.

In my opinion, you should be posting less on Facebook than you would on Twitter, as frequent updates can deter some people.

“I like some blogs on Facebook, but will unlike as soon as masses of content appears in my Facebook feed,” says Lizzie Midyette, creator of veggie bento love.

Another potential drawback to Facebook is that although you might have XXX likes, they won’t reach that many people unless you pay for Facebook to promote your posts to people who don’t like your page. While this could potentially help you reach more audience, it comes at a price.

 

Pinterest

Pinterest can be extremely helpful if you have a picture heavy blog or post recipes, how-to guides, fitness routines, product reviews, or similar things. However, Pinterest does have some downfalls, as sometimes people will just view and re-pin your posts without viewing the original content.

“I personally don’t care for Pinterest, but it keeps readers coming,” says Midyette. “The downside is that people will repin, but not visit the original content.  Pinterest is the ADHD poster child of the Internet.”

 

Instagram

Instagram is another option if you post a lot of pictures, however it has a major disadvantage: you can’t post hyperlinks with them. Some bloggers navigate this by posting the hyperlink in their profile (which Instagram does allow). Others just use it as another way to interact with their readers without directly linking them to content—which sometimes can be just as valuable. I personally use it to comment on other related accounts and easily share pictures in up to three places (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

 

Flickr–An Alternative to Instagram?

Another useful tool is Flickr, which Midyette says directs people to visit her website instead of just repinning it like on Pinterest.

“Adding a link to the post is incredibly effective,” says Midyette.  “People browse flickr or flickriver.com and go to my blog, not a repin of a repin.”

 

Using Applications to Manage Accounts

There are different applications to help manage multiple accounts. Hootsuite allows you to manage across various social media accounts, while Tweetdeck and others (I personally use Tweetbot for iPhone) only allow you to manage multiple Twitter accounts.

“I use Hootsuite to organize my Twitter streams and to schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn,” says Antholis. “I mostly use it to see the lists I’ve created in Twitter.”

Tweetdeck and Hootsuite will allow you to schedule posts throughout the day—something Twitter won’t ordinarily let you do.

 

Other Tips

“Try everything to see what works,” says Vicario. “Analytics are important to track. As time goes on, do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.”

It is also extremely helpful if you have a widget or other device installed on your blog that allows your readers to easily share your content via Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc. WordPress and Blogger both automatically give you the option to post this at the bottom of each post. In addition, you can post widgets of your various social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc) so that readers can easily follow you and see what your latest posts are.

“The biggest piece of advice I have is to really engage with others,” says Mulcahy. “Have real conversations with people so they can get to know you as a person rather than just as a social media account. I also really recommend participating in Twitter chats or joining Facebook groups. Just get active!”

About Kristen Gillette

Kristen Gillette is a freelancer who has written for a wide variety of publications including Philly2Night.com, two.one.five. Magazine, and Cred Magazine, thINKingDANCE.net, the Philadelphia Dance Journal, TechnicallyPhilly.com and more. She runs AdultBallerinaProject.com

Comments

  1. Too many people expect things to happen overnight. Social media and being an entrepreneur take hard work, a lot of hard work. You have to use the tools the right way and sadly many go to social media to promote themselves and not have those conversations and help others.

  2. Agree with all the other commenters here. Promoting links to posts is only a small portion of how to use social media. Creating relationships, conversations and being of real value is the best way to use social media to its full potential!

  3. Social media has been the best way for us to share our story, but as the first commenter Thomas says, it takes a lot of hard work. The key is being able to balance all of these social media options. We have a great Facebook presence but our Twitter following is non-existent. Balancing the 17.23 billion social media options seems to be the biggest obstacle at times. I’ve heard hootsuite and the like will help tremendously so I’ll be sure to check it out.

    One suggestion I’d make is adding HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to the mix. It’s a daily database of reporters looking to find real stories for their topics. It’s a PR opportunity for your blog if you fit one of the topics listed and could lead to a lot of blog readers all at once.

    Great post on the fundamentals, thanks for writing. Cheers!

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