A question I am often asked, is "how can I get more traffic to my blog posts?" The answer is fairly simple, social media can greatly help; but I add a caveat that there is more at play that simply sharing! Where and how you promote also depends on your audience. Use these key questions to guide you. What you need to know about your audience:
All of these questions can impact the answer for "where should I promote my blog post."
Any business that wants to establish a substantial online presence today must promote their content. One key way to do that is through social media. As noted by the questions above, where, how, and to whom can vary. Creating content and posting it to a website or blog is really only the beginning of the necessary steps to effectively market it. "If you build it, they will come" does NOT apply to blog posts unless you have already established a massive, devoted following such as those created by leading online folks including Seth Godin and Mari Smith. There must be methods to drive awareness and mechanisms to drive traffic to the content. Here's a guide for promoting new blog posts using the power and effectiveness of social media.
Google+ is not exactly the hottest social media platform on the planet. It is, however, closely connected to the most popular search engine! By posting your website link or new blog post link to Google+, Google indexes the page you shared immediately. In short, this means it is immediately being added to Google's Search and can be found by others when they search for it. The Google search algorithm highly values the “+1” rankings to content given by Google+ users. Google uses this “+1” to establish that the site is genuine and has valuable content, and helps push the content up in search listings. Google+ offers another advantage as well. It is possible to segment the audience using circles, to present specific blog content to specific groups of people via circles, and with circles there is the option to have G+ email that circle your update as well.
Facebook is the king of social media, with 1.11 billion active users a month, and 665 million active users each day. Sharing the web page link on Facebook via a company fan page or potentially also personal profile is a great way to ensure increased visibility of your website or post. A key is not simply sharing the link but inviting fans and friends to comment by adding a description that . When people like, comment, or share, the content spreads, and if things fall in place, goes viral. Be aware that the typically, 5-20% of fans will see any given news feed post. This means that repeating the post on another day at another time can be of value, as well as considering Facebook sponsored story/post ads to extend the reach for as little as $5-15.
Twitter is much more than that a place to post a quick update on what you had for lunch! Twitter is a high traffic, highly used social network and can be a place to tweet a message with a link to your newly updated web page.
Twitter has become a significant news and information source, so as your content fits this purpose, use Twitter to share a link back to your post and make sure the 140 character drives interest for users to be interested to click through!
Pinterest has become a major source of referral traffic. Meaning that it drives significant traffic to websites and blogs from Pinterest users who are perusing the site and looking at images. Therefore, in your new web page or blog post, adding key images is crucial! Then take a minute to pin the image to a Pinterest board on your company Pinterest page. Make sure in the description or the image source details on Pinterest that you add the link to where this is viewable on your site. This way, when a Pinterest user views your image and want to learn more, they can click the image and be brought to the exact page on your website.
LinkedIn is an underestimated social media channel. Although not as high-profile as Facebook, or Twitter, it has carved a niche for itself as a professional’s hangout. Posts in LinkedIn carry more credibility as being of "business value" than posts elsewhere in non-business focused social media networks. Post your blog link as a LinkedIn status update to your company and personal LinkedIn profile. Take the time to write a helpful short description to spark interest and then paste the link to the new web page.
Groups offer another means to share the message! LinkedIn and Facebook users can join industry and affinity groups that are relevant to their work. Often times groups are a means of learning from others, sharing ideas, and exchanging resources. Post your new blog link to relevant groups you are a part of. The key is to not sell, but share why this post has value and a quick statement of what it's about that sparks interest.
While not exactly a social media network, email marketing is an old, effective warhorse that can still beat social media channels when it comes to effectiveness. A quick summary of the blog with a link to the actual content increases viewership considerably. Make sure to send the email to only people in the contact list, or who have subscribed to receive the message.
Apart from selecting the right channel, the timing of the post is also important. With the daily posts and tweets in billions, very often users are overloaded with information, and tend to ignore older posts. Timing the posts to coincide when a user is most likely online, and would have the time to act on it is important. There is no hard and fast rule, and success often depends on your brand, target market, and some trial-and-error. However, multiple study sources suggests the best time to post is between 10 am and 4 pm Monday to Tuesday for Facebook, 1 pm to 3 pm for Twitter, before and after business hours between Tuesday and Thursday for LinkedIn, and 9am to 11am on workdays for Google+. This is general, of course, and varies by industry and service.
Regardless of the method adopted, success ultimately depends on the relevance of your message. Make sure that social postings are relevant and add value to the recipient, including giving your audience value that makes them keep coming back to you as a go-to source!