For many bloggers, promoting their new posts on social media is pretty much the only way they try to gain new traffic. Well, at least if you’re going to do it, do it right. 🙂
In this episode, we talk about how to promote your posts on social media – primarily for free. We talk about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google Plus. I share some tools you can use to automate it, and I also share a strategy you can use on Facebook to give each new post a jumpstart in the very beginning.
Look At The Big Picture
This is an important topic but also, I want to make sure that everybody here sees this in context of the bigger picture. And in fact, if you back up to the last 3 episodes of this podcast where we did talk about paid traffic, and kind of put everything in context there; I hope by now you do understand that doing what we are about to talk about on this episode, works… But it is also “limited” and that you are going to get the most bang if we use paid traffic along in conjunction with everything. But what we are going to be talking about here is primarily “free”. We are going to be talking about using social media to get traffic to our blog post.
Now for many bloggers, this happens to be the only way that they really promote the blog post. So the typical sequence of action would be that you write the blog post, you proofread it, maybe prep it up a little bit, hit publish and then you proceed to go to Facebook and share it, go to Twitter and tweet it, maybe a few other networks, maybe Google+ and that’s it! That is essentially your traffic generation strategy.
Now if you are in this ball park; if you are in this boat yourself, don’t feel bad about it because that is a pretty typical thing to do and it is because very often we don’t really know what else to do. And this is the easiest thing to do; is to share our stuff in social media, so I understand. But at the same time, we want to make sure that if we are going to share in social media; which you obviously should be doing even if you are doing any of the other strategies, you want to at least get as much bang out of it as you possibly can.
Prepping It Up The Free Way
So there is a free way of putting things out on social media which is primarily what we are going to be talking about today. And then there is the paid way. Now, I hinted it about the strategy of doing it the paid way in the last episode. It was Episode 89 where we talked about retargeting; and I talked about how you can actually put an ad on Facebook, a sponsored post on Facebook that drives new readers directly into a piece of blog content. So you’re not sending them into a sales message, into a registration, into a squeeze page… No. You are actually sending them directly into a blog post. And because it is content, and Facebook loves content, you are typically going to be able to get much lower cost per click on that and maybe you are going to get some re-shares of the actual ad because it actually is content so that of course helps drive your cost down and you get some free traffic out of it.
So you are basically priming that blog post by paying for it and actually paying to distribute your new content on Facebook. Now, that is highly effective. But there is also the free route which is what most people are doing.
With Facebook; the first thing you want to do is obviously you want to drop your link in there. But the thing is, we want to make sure that it is a link post that has an image. You want to make sure that you have an image on it because it is going to help it get noticed a lot more. Now it should go without saying, that you want the image to be compelling. Now I also think that it should be congruent so even if you are not paying for it here, what I mean is that the image that they see should coincide with the image that they are going to see when they get to the blog post. So that way they very obviously know what it is. So you are going to have the title of your blog post, you are going to have the image; you are going to have a link.
Now the post is obviously going to be linked automatically to your blog but I also think that you should have the URL to the blog post or a shortened URL like bitly or something, in the actual text of the Facebook post as well because a lot of people are going to click on that. A lot of people are going to see that. It will be the first link that they will see. It is the actual URL right in the text of the post. So what you will probably do is have some teaser text; something that spikes their curiosity. Do not just copy and paste the darn headline into Facebook.
You want to spike their curiosity and really make them want to read that blog post. Then underneath that, you put the actual full URL to the blog post and then underneath that you will have the actual link post itself which will be the image, the headline, a little bit of the description and stuff like that.
Now what do you might have struggled with in the past is how you control what that post looks like… Well, it is easy, actually. If you use the WordPress SEO plug in which is definitely a really, really nice plug in for WordPress if you want to increase the SEO efficiency of your blog; it happens to have a section in there, I think it is under a little tab that say’s “Social” and on every single blog post. And you can actually control what image it is going to be pulled in by Facebook, what the exact title of the post so you can actually title it differently, if you want.
You can have the headline that Facebook displays to be different than the actual blog post headline and you can do that with WordPress SEO. You can also control the little description text that shows up underneath the headline. So you can control everything rather than letting Facebook figure it out on its own, which it sometimes does a bad job of. So use the WordPress SEO plug in; completely and totally free. But you can actually go to that Social tab and specifically enter those fields so that you know that whenever anybody, including yourself, shares that post on Facebook, it will at least appear correctly, okay?
Now Twitter also has the ability to do image posts. So you don’t have to only do a text tweet and then link. You can also include an image. So if you are on Twitter.com and you are in a client like Hootsuite, or something like that, you will actually see images going along with the tweets. So, of course, you as the provider of that tweet, you are going to take up more visual real estate by having that image. So I do recommend that you actually do one. Now you can just simply use the same image that you are using in Facebook and just include that in there as an image post on Twitter.
Now the other really, really important thing about Twitter; and this is key, is that unlike Facebook, with Twitter you are going to have to repeat yourself often because Twitter has a very, very high noise ratio. So the thing is, if you are re-tweeting your own blog post and you only do that once and you think that your job is done and that all your followers are going to see it, think again. It is a very low percentage, actually, of your followers are likely to see that thing. We are all on Twitter at different times of the day, but the thing is that tweet is just racing by in the stream of tweets that your audience also follows. You are not the only person they follow, okay? So chances are, they are not going to see it.
Now a way around that is you need to re-tweet your own blog post multiple times. You are going to have to do it over and over and over again. What I actually do is that when I post the blog post at the Blog Marketing Academy, we have a little scheduling in place that that same blog post is going to get tweeted out to my account several times over the course of that tweet. And we vary the text, too. Sometimes it is just the headline and the link, other times I’ll take excerpts from the blog post and turn that in to a tweetable and put the link and throw it out there… Sometimes I will kind of ask a question and do some kind of a tease and then put the link there. So I vary it up. It is not like I am saying the exact same thing with every tweet. But the important thing is that you do it multiple times. You absolutely have to.
And you need to do it at different times of the day because everybody is on Twitter at different times. I mean, think about the typical points of the day that people are likely to go looking at Twitter. You might have some time in the morning when they are getting ready in the morning to go to work or something; think about what they might be doing that we all tend to do in the morning and we happen to have our phone… I am not going to go any deeper than that but think about it. So, tweet something in the morning, they are more likely to see it; also around lunch time during the day, when the work day is over; in the evening. I mean just think about the times where people are most likely to be on Twitter and put out tweets on those times and vary it up a little bit.
Pinterest can work really well as a traffic generator. It does vary depending on niche. If you are in certain markets like homemaking or recipes, nutrition, things like that, Pinterest can work really work for you. If you are in the eCommerce space of any kind, it can work really well for you. Other markets, it still can work well but maybe not as well as other ones. But you should be putting things out on to your Pinterest board. So it is very simple. We all have been talking about the image. Well, Pinterest is very image focused, so you are going to put that image out on Pinterest. Now you could vary it up and create a unique image just for Pinterest that is designed to be much more visually attractive. Infographics can work really well over there; an image that maybe has some kind of a teaser in it to make them want to click on it. Essentially, it is like a little ad for your blog post. And you put that out there on Pinterest, okay? So that is one way to do with Pinterest.
Moving on to LinkedIn, you should share your stuff on LinkedIn but you got to keep in mind that LinkedIn is kind of a B2B network. It is kind of a business oriented network. So if you are blogging about your cat or something, don’t put it up on LinkedIn, okay?
Take into account the market that you are in and determine whether it will be worth it to put it on LinkedIn. If you are, then it works very similar to Facebook; you know, image… Same basic ideas that we talked about Facebook will work on LinkedIn.
The last one I am going to mention is Google+. Google+ is an important network to use because it has got the word “Google” on it and they control a crap ton of traffic, right? So the more +1s that we get over there, the better our domain and our content looks like in the eyes of Google. So we do want people to share our stuff and we need to share our stuff. Now, Google+ is one of the weird networks that you can use external clients to post to a page but you cannot use an external client to post to your personal profile on Goggle+. So therefore, you will need to do it manually, whatever. My VA has my log in so she can post to my Google+ account for me so that is kind of my way of automating it. But we do put our content out on Google+ and whatever happens to it happens to it.
Now, if you want to really increase the +1s over there, then you need to be also engaged on Google+ and get into the comments. The more engaged you are the more engagements you are going to have with your activity on Google+. Otherwise, it is going to be basically a link dropping and a few random +1s and that is about what you will expect from Google+, okay? Google+ can definitely be a powerful network but you got to put the work into it to get it back out.
Now with all these different networks that we talked about; I want to mention again the idea of doing a paid bump for a new blog post.
So here is the thing… When you put out a new blog post, especially if you think that it is a really good one and has the potential of having some legs to it; it actually will be worth it for you to actually pay to bump it up a little bit. So in the world of Facebook, this will be something like you post it to your page and then you pay to boost it. So you boost the post. And if you want you can set up a paid Twitter ad or something like that and do the same thing but typically this is done on Facebook. Now you don’t spend a lot of money on this. You might spend 5 or 10 bucks to boost the post. But here’s what you do; is you then see if it has legs, if people start to re-share it or anything like that. If you start to notice that it is performing fairly well organically then you know that you might be able to spend more money to get people over there.
But you look at that boost… That paid bump of that new blog post like a little investment to kick it off, get a little bit of traffic to it and just kind of see what happens. If it doesn’t really resonate, it doesn’t really have any real organic reach to it in terms of; more than anything else, then maybe you won’t have to boost it again. But then you will know, otherwise, you are completely dependent on the organic reach of Facebook which is getting smaller and smaller every darn day. Okay? So you might want to consider this. When you put out a decent blog post be willing to spend 5 bucks, 10 bucks and boost it and kind of see what happens… Kind of kick it out there a little bit. Worst case scenario, you will get more shares on Facebook than you would have, otherwise. Because if they like the post; all they got to do is like it, it counts. I mean, if you have one of those social media plug ins on the blog post, you are going to get the number going up which is good for your social proof and credibility, okay?
A Few Tools
I am not going to get deep into this because I do have an episode coming up where we are going to talk more about it…
I actually use an app called CoSchedule to control this. So I set up these things; at least the one which CoSchedule works with, in advance, for every blog post and then once I hit the publish button on that blog post, all the stuff just kind of happen “automagically”. And especially Twitter because like I said, with Twitter, we need to re-share it multiple times. Well, the last thing I want to do is sit there and have to retweet that thing over and over again. So we set the schedule up in advance and then once I hit the publish button it just goes on automatic and it will publish that thing multiple times using varied wording. All stuff that I wrote in advance before the thing was publish. So that is CoSchedule.
Another one is Hootsuite… really, really nice social media client; well off at the top of my head I am trying to remember if you need to have a paid account to schedule things; maybe not. But what I was saying is that you can schedule shares in advance with it. So you can actually spend the time, schedule out the re-tweets for your blog post for the next five to seven days after you publish it so you can get those multiple re-tweets without having to do it manually and you can do that with the tool like Hootsuite.
Another one and the last one I will mention is Buffer . You probably have heard of it but you can actually set up a nice schedule and add re-tweets of your own content into your Buffer so that it would go out on automatic.
Basically at the end of the day we want to have a strategy in place that utilizes each of these social networks in the way that they are meant to be utilized and keeping in mind, on Twitter you need to kind of bang it over and over again but we don’t want to have to do it manually because we all got better things to do, okay? So use a tool. And in my case I use CoSchedule.
Now if you want to take this deeper and really figure out how to put a whole social media/syndication strategy in place, here is a little trick for you; something that you can grab at the Blog Marketing Academy for much cheaper than you otherwise would be able to do… If you go to blogmarketingacademy.com and go to any blog post, you will see in the sidebar an opt-in for what I call “The Pre-published Checklist”. So this is a checklist that you run in every blog post through in order to properly prepare it in order to get maximum leverage from it after you have published it. Okay?
Now once you opt-in for that you are going to have the opportunity to buy my Syndication Action Plan; it is actually a Blog Traffic Action Plan and you will have the opportunity to buy that for just $7 and that is the only way you can get this at this rate. And so what it is; is basically what we talked about in this episode plus a lot more because we will go in to a real step by step Action Plan on how to syndicate every blog post that you do and distribute it out there. And it is all in that Action Plan. You can get it for just 7 bucks by going to the Blog Marketing Academy, opting-in to the Pre-Publish Checklist and then you will have the opportunity to grab that Action Plan. The only other way to get it is to become a Blog Monetization Lab Member where you can learn more about that.
Alright, I will see you on the next episode where we are going to go a little bit further into our syndication strategy here but hopefully you found this one valuable in how to use social media to distribute your blog post. Okay? Talk to you soon! 😉