how to effectively promote your blog on social media

*This is a guest post by Hayley from A Beautiful Exchange.

Hey there, you guys! I'm Hayley and I normally hang out over at A Beautiful Exchange, but just had to pop in for Brooklyn's amazing series! I'm so excited that she asked me to join her for this round and am happy to be here! :)

If you're a blogger, which I'm assuming you are since you are reading this post, then you know the importance of a good social media engagement and what that can mean for your blog. The greatest things about many of the social media outlets that are available right now, is that they give you multiple platforms to share with readers--bloggers and non bloggers alike! We all know that social media can really help us "get our foot in the door," but often times it can be overwhelming when we start thinking about all of the different accounts you can have and the different approaches that you should take when posting on each one! So if you are feeling a little lost when it comes to social media and its relationship with your blog, I hope I'm able to help you out a little! I've broken down promotion into the top 3 social media platforms that are beneficial to bloggers. (I do know that there are other outlets that are helpful for blogging as well, but these are the ones that I have seen most success with, so bear with me!)

In my opinion, Twitter is the most difficult of the three when it comes to promotion. It's the absolute best for interacting with other bloggers and readers, but because you only have 140 characters to convince someone that they have to click on your link, you have to be very picky with what you choose to say. When I'm promoting on Twitter, I try to consider what would make me want to click on that link. It frustrates the dickens out of me when I see a "promotion" that looks like this:

"Check out [BLOG TITLE] on @abexchangeblog's blog today!"

Would you want to click on that? I know I sure wouldn't unless the post title was eye-catchingly crazy. The tweet above doesn't tell anyone anything and doesn't make the reader of the tweet feel like they are missing anything at all. Instead, something like this would work much better:

"I love this list of budgeting tips from @ABExchangeBlog! There are 2 or 3 that I really need to implement! [LINK]"

Not only do you have to be careful with how you choose to promote a link, but you also need to promote that link multiple times a day on Twitter. I would say that the "magic" number of promotion for one link a day would be somewhere between three and five. Now, this doesn't mean you should go promoting four different posts of yours, each link getting three to five shout outs. This means that you focus on ONE post and promote it multiple times to your followers. The reason for this is that most people follow tons of people on Twitter and your links will get lost in the shuffle very quickly. Don't go all tweeting crazy, but keep your links visible in your followers' feeds!

Oh, Facebook--the one we hate to love and love to hate. If you haven't been using Facebook until recently, you probably haven't felt the sting of Facebook's new algorithms, but engagement from readers is getting more and more difficult because of the blue guys wanting to "force" people into paying for advertising. In short, all of this craziness means that you have to catch people's eyes even more, soliciting some sort of interaction from them in order for your posts to be seen regularly in their feed. If you ask me, the "old ways" are much more effective, but I guess I'm not a billionaire social-media-managing genius. 

So if Facebook's algorithms suck so much, why do bloggers continue to use Facebook? Well, quite simply because everyone else does! As of February 2014, Facebook has about 1.23 billion users worldwide, while Twitter only has about 243 million. There's a much larger pool of people and even with the introduction of Instagram and Twitter, most people still regularly check their Facebook pages, leaving a perfect opportunity for you to toss your content into the mix among pictures of babies and engagement announcements. Since you're going to be going up against a large amount of content and a frustrating algorithm, you want to (again) make readers feel like they have to click on your link. Thankfully, you have a lot more space to get that done than on Twitter. Take advantage of that space and add a little quote from your post right before your link. For example:

I have often found that it is also very beneficial to use a photo when you post a link on Facebook so that it doesn't just slip into the background on everyone's news feed. Combinbing those two methods, I usually submit one "main" promotion, then one later on with a smaller quote or just a little tease phrase similar to what I would use on Twitter! I don't recommend promoting the same post more than twice a day on Facebook. My posts typically look like this:

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I saved the best for last you guys, because Pinterest is the BOMB when it comes to promoting blog content! I could (and probably should) do an entire post dedicated to Pinterest alone, but since I've already kept you for too long today, we will just touch on the basics. Since I began looking at stats and tracking referrals, Pinterest has always been my second most traffic source, right behind Bloglovin'! Pins bring in people that wouldn't normally visit my site and allow them to enjoy content that is useful or encouraging to them, possibly even resulting in their following the blog or becoming a regular reader! If you work it to your advantage, Pinterest can completely transform your monthly statistics (not that that is what's important, but it does matter, yeah?)!!

Before tackling the different methods for bringing in an optimal amount of traffic from Pinterest, let's just talk about the type of content that is appropriate to pin. A lot of people say that you should pin everything, but I personally think that would be annoying for your Pinterest followers and wouldn't really help you all that much in the end. The things that normally do the best on Pinterest are recipes, quotes, fashion, beauty, and helpful tips/tricks, although your entire post doesn't have to revolve around one of these things in order to generate a successful pin. You can write about something personal, while including a few pictures of you in a cute outfit, pin those, then watch the traffic come in.

When you do share a post that you think has great Pin-potential, make sure that you:

Use plenty of keywords in the description

Use a description that will show how awesome your post is 
ex. "Taco Soup Recipe" vs. "The most amazing taco soup recipe! SO easy, SO quick, and SO delicious!"

Use VERTICAL photos--they show up bigger on Pinterest

Re-pin your own pins every once in a while to throw them back in the mix

ADD TEXT to your photos, especially recipes or helpful tips--give people a good idea of what they can find if they click over to your post.

Organize your boards by topic, then include a lot of keywords in their description boxes to drive some search traffic over to your pins.

I think that just about covers it, although there are SO many things to consider with Pinterest that I just don't have time to mention with you guys today! There are a ton of resources out there if you want to know more about Pinterest statistics and demographics! Also, if you currently use Google Analytics to track your statistics (which you should be, because it is the most reliable option), you can look at which pins specifically are bringing in the most traffic. Find that tutorial here!

Thanks so much for hanging out with me today! I hope that this post has been super helpful to you! If you want to check out a few more tuturials and tips for blogging resources and growing your blog, you can do that here. I also offer blog consulting that is super fun and also a great way to lay out tangible plans for growing YOUR blog specifically!

Be sure to click on over to the blog or say "hi" on Twitter. I'd love to "meet" you! 
Until next time...XOXO

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Ashley Z. said...

This is all so true! Thanks for sharing :)

Cody Doll said...

THis is so awesome. I didn't think about adding a quote on Facebook. It's a great idea but also more work. Hmmm.

Samantha said...

These are awesome tips! Love her ideas about using the extra space in a FB post to include a little "snippet" from that day's post.

Sara said...

This was very helpful! ..and guess where I found it? Pinterest.

Lauren Martin said...

Great Tips, I find that promoting my posts via instagram gets a lot of feedback as well, if they are on mobile too all they do is click through from my profile. ;) I work at a startup Marketing firm and the new FB algorithms are killing me!!! lol

Eat Drink and Be Mary said...

These are great tips. I'm curious is there is a method for putting the link in the comments on fb instead of in the post. I've seen several bloggers do this, and I'm curious whether it's strategic or just preference.