Social networking is an excellent (and free) way to get traffic to your blog. Here is how you can use social networking to your benefit!
Social networking is where it’s at, regardless of whether you’re using this media to keep in touch with friends, get the latest news from your favourite celebrities, or to advertise and promote your site or business. There are boundless opportunities when it comes to social networking, but a surprising amount of bloggers aren’t taking full advantage of a free tool that they have right in front of them.
This may be for several reasons. Some bloggers hate flagrant self promotion. Other bloggers want to keep their website complete separate from any other type of social media. And then there are most of them who just really haven’t thought about using social media before.
Which Sites Are Best?
There are a ton of social networking sites out there now, though of course there are the good old standbys. Facebook has the most users worldwide, so if you are going to promote your website, you have got to get on board. Depending on what your blog is about, however, you may want to consider creating a separate Facebook page for it.
For example, if you want to get more exposure for a blog that’s about your personal life or for a hobby, then you can probably use your Facebook profile for promotional purposes. If you have a business, however, and your blog is about that, then strongly consider creating a separate page for your business. Your business is separate from you, so if your blog is about your business, promote your blog only from your business Facebook page.
Twitter is another site that you have got to get on with your website. The great thing about Twitter is that you can shoot out quick blasts about your blog to thousands of people all at once. The one thing that seems to confound most bloggers is just how exactly they can promote their blog when they’re restricted to 140 characters, but we’ll talk about that in a minute.
Google+ is on the rise, so you should nab an account there and use the same practice as Facebook: if the site is about you, keep it on your personal Google+. If it’s business, create a separate page. LinkedIn is a “must” for anyone with a business, so definitely post about your blog there if your blog isn’t personal. And yes, I’ll even go so far to say that MySpace may be worth it – especially if your blog is about promoting musicians and bands.
Social Media Tactics
The tactics you use on social media will really be what determines your success. Of course, the more friends, family, followers, co-workers, and whoever else you have on your social media sites means the more opportunity to promote, so work on increasing those numbers so you can get the word out to as many people as possible.
Facebook offers a number of ways when it comes to promoting your website. One, you can post a direct link to your blog on your Facebook. Provide a quick description on what it’s about (try to make the description as interesting and engaging as possible so that people will click the link) and there. You have just promoted your blog. But text-only entries and posts on Facebook can get pretty dull, so change it up.
If you found a video that you think is hilarious, post it to your site, then take that URL and post it to your Facebook with a quick description along the lines of, “Watch this if you want a really good laugh!” or “Wow, I’m shocked that she survived THIS!” These same tactics work great with other social media, like Google+ and even LinkedIn (though be careful with the content you post to LinkedIn, since it’s a more business-like environment).
Twitter presents a different challenge as you are only given so little space to communicate a simple message. As bloggers tend to be a bit wordy, this is even more harrowing for them. It will probably take at least a few tweets before you will get any sort of method down when it comes to promoting your blog, but here are some things to keep in mind:
- Provide a very short description of what the link to your blog is about
- Tell your followers how it will benefit them (will they save money? Will it solve a common problem?)
- Present a call to action (“You gotta try this now!”)
- Give them a link to your blog (use TinyURL to shrink it down so you free up some character space)
When enticing people from LinkedIn to check out your blog, think about the audience you’re reaching. These are business owners who are likely in the same or similar niche as you. What are common questions or complaints that are talked about with people in your industry? Do you have a solution to a problem? Or maybe you can just write your top 10 pet peeves about working in your particular industry. People love lists, and they love commenting on them. If you want to generate buzz, make a list.
Don’t Forget – Your Website is Social Media Too
A lot of bloggers forget that their blog is a big part of the whole social media scheme, too. You want to make sure that you optimize your blog so that you’ll be getting the most exposure possible. This means making it easy to navigate and user friendly. This means writing quality content that people actually want to read. This means not cluttering up your blog with useless affiliate marketing or PPC ads (this only tends to annoy people and it makes you seem desperate).
Build up your backlinks. Work on your SEO tactics and use free analytical tools and keyword tools to help you build a stronger blog presence on the web. Visit forums and post links to your blog there. Visit other bloggers’ blogs, give your two cents and again – post a link to your blog. And finally, put a link to your blog in your email signature. You’ll be surprised how much that alone will increase your traffic.