DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. If you like reading legal jargon my disclosure policy is here.
It’s a big misconception when you first start blogging that “if you build it they will come.” The hard truth is that almost never happens. I had four failed blogs before this that I thought I could just magically attract attention if it was built. Social media changes that. Let’s figure out how to use social media marketing for your blog.
After studying, trying, and testing out several different social networks I found that Pinterest produced far better than any other social network out there. Depending on your business Pinterest may not be the best choice for you. So below I am breaking down the pros and cons of each social network.
When it comes to your own social media marketing you must find out where exactly your audience hangs out and get really good at that platform. So take a month to test the waters of all the platforms and when you find a bite focus on that platform and make it work.
Check out my post The Low Down Dirty Truth About Starting a Blog.
While Facebook is the undisputed champ of social networks, when it comes to business the only people seeing you are those who know you exist. Even then Facebook has basically changed the feed to only display if someone has specifically set you up to display first in their feed.
Is there any way to get your blog seen on Facebook? Absolutely. The secret lies in the groups. Find groups that are about a niche you write about often.
If you are a food blogger for instance you will want to join as many cooking and food related groups as you can. You are also going to want to set up notifications for these groups. Anytime someone asks for a good recipe with x ingredient you can pop in and talk a little bit about your recipe and share the link.
The key to being a success in Facebook groups lies in not always posting your content. Share valuable advice to people. If someone has issues making Alfredo sauce, give them tips without sharing a link.
You want to build genuine relationships with people in these groups. Those people become fans, fans bring more people, fan buy products from you. You want fans not clicks.
In an effort to be transparent I will be honest, I don’t use Facebook ads for marketing – yet. Knowing what I know about ads in general though I will give you an overview on how to effectively use ads to promote your blog.
First, consider what you are pushing an ad out for and why. Do not spend your hard earned money in order to put a meme or funny quote as an ad. You will not make any money back on that ad, you will see very little list sign up on that ad, you will see very little follows from that ad.
Likewise, you don’t want to put up an ad for a paid product either. People don’t know you, they don’t trust you, they will not buy from you.
You must first build their trust and to do this you should give them something FANTASTIC for FREE. You want to create ads that actually give away something useful in exchange for an email sign up. From here you can work them through a funnel that builds trust with your new reader and convinces them they need your paid product.
Make sure you highly target your ad towards people who will be actually interested in your free offer. If your free offer is how to declutter you home, you don’t want to target people who are interested in tech. You want to target people who are interested in home organization and cleaning.
Focus your ads, give something away for free, build trust with your new reader in your funnel, then sell them something fantastic and get that return on the money you invested in your ad.
Instagram is a fast growing social network. With it’s ties to Facebook and the amount of millennials who use it, Instagram makes for a great tool. Instagram has an answer to reaching new people and new customers. That answer is stories. Utilizing Instagram stories you can give your fans a peak into your life.
Every time you add to a story you’re profile picture will show up at the very top of the stream. If you post during high traffic times chances are high that people will see your picture click on it in order to watch your story.
Make your stories interesting, helpful, and funny. You want people to remember you and add them often. Once you reach a certain amount of followers you will gain the ability to put a “swipe up” feature in your stories that will allow people to go directly to a website or specific link.
For your normal posts in the feed you want to include hashtags. Hashtags look like this #hashtag. These handy little things make it easy to search for things that are related to that hashtag.
Instagram also makes it easy to search for hashtags and even gives you numbers for how many posts appear in a hashtag. There is a rumor that a hashtag may get blocked or blacklisted. While I’m almost positive there are spammy hashtags chances are high you aren’t going to be using any of those as they relate to porn or spam topics.
However, you don’t want to pick a popular hashtag and use that same hashtag over and over again. You can and should have a branded hashtag and use that on every post, but every other hashtag should be switched up to be related to what you are actually posting.
Create A Specific Instagram Page
The biggest downside to Instagram is the lack of link sharing. You get one spot to put a link on your profile, no links allowed in captions, and no additional sharing. People do not often go to your profile page to click a link, but it does happen from time to time.
This means while Instagram becomes a great way to connect with people outside of your store, website, or blog, it’s not necessarily a great way to gain new customers. So when you use Instagram keep in mind that you are using it to connect with current readers and remind them that you exist. Invite them into your life for a sneak peak every single day, several times a day, and make them feel like they are a part of your inner circle.
I highly recommend creating an Instagram page on your blog and using that page as a link in your profile. You don’t need LinkTree or any type of landing page program to do this.
Just go to Pages in your WordPress dashboard, create a new page, format it how you see fit and add links to recent posts you mention and products that appear on your blog. Make sure you disclose affiliate links on this page.
This way people can check in easily and see what’s new without needing to scroll through your blogs home page.
Check out my post The One Mistake You Are Making When Your Promote Online.
What can I honestly say about Twitter. A tweet has a life span of seconds, hashtags are almost useless, and it is difficult to break into the twitter crowd. Until I started actively using Twitter I hated it. The key to twitter is activity.
Tweet often, not just your blog posts but funny things that happen. While people recommend tweeting 15-30 times a day I highly recommend just tweeting random funny things often when you can.
I personally treat Twitter much like how I treat Instagram. This is my inner circle not a place where I’m going to find new followers. It’s a place to keep in touch, laugh, and offer tidbits of advice quickly to your die hard fans.
Grow Your Following
To grow your following on Twitter make sure you have a call to action in your email list, your blog, and anywhere else. The best way to make sure you grow an active following on Twitter is to just be active.
Tweet on currently trending topics, use one or two hashtags, and use an effective call to action to get people to follow you on twitter.
Create Tweetable Quotes
Another popular way to build a following on Twitter is to add tweetable quotes to your blog posts. This post here teaches you how to do that.
Tweet this quote makes it easy for your reader to send out a quick tweet when they find your post useful. This shares it out to their entire following and can help more people find you and follow you on Twitter.
Pinterest is less of a social media platform and more of a search engine but I’m including it for its popularity in blog marketing. Pinterest is one of my favorite ways to market my blog and I’ve spent the last 3 years learning the ins and outs.
It’s one of the few platforms that can get you loads of traffic for free. This is likely to change slowly over the next few years due to the platform being a publicly traded company now. For now use my tips below to grow your Pinterest account and start making money on your blog so you can invest money into the ads that will provide so much more for your business.
How often do you open up Pinterest to look for new DIYs, dinner recipes, or home decor ideas. Pinterest is the ultimate in visual search engines. But how do you get your posts and pins in those search results?
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as you think. There are loads of steps to take, a lot of testing, and a lot of pinning. Luckily for you I’m going to give you a very basic break down on how to do it.
It all starts with finding the best keywords to use. This means using the search bar at the top of Pinterest, searching for your topic and then finding all the different phrases that relate with the suggestions that pop down. Another place to find keywords is after you search all the boxes underneath the search bar can be paired with your keyword of choice.
Use these keywords in your pins, on your boards, in board descriptions, and in your profile page. These keywords will help people find your pins, find your boards, and find you. While followers don’t matter a lot as your followers grow you are going to see more people following you and your followers will grow naturally.
Pinterest Group Boards
I am a Pinterest group board hater. I stopped using group boards in June of 2018 and I will never go back. Group boards used to be a great way to market your pins on Pinterest and borrow audiences but it’s not so much anymore. The fact of the matter is while group boards help to keyword your pin it takes hours to research and apply to join group boards that probably won’t even accept you.
Chances are pretty high you work a full time job and are trying to start your blog and your time is valuable. For every 20 group boards I apply to only 1 or 2 of them would accept me. That’s not worth my time. You know what’s more worth my time? Creating my own personal boards, keyworded the way I need them to be.
Pinterest doesn’t put a cap on the boards that you have. You can have 10, 20, 30, or more boards all on the same topic. My second blog, Bullet Journal Addict, has a Pinterest account that has 37 boards all on bullet journaling. I’m still creating boards for that account.
This blogs Pinterest account has over 100 different boards. I have 13 boards alone on various parenting topics and I add to that all the time.
You see Pinterest has to look at a few different things to identify what a pin is about. They look at the board it’s pinned to, the keywords in the pin, and the image itself. So having loads of boards that use different related keywords gives me the ability to pin one pin 10 different times to several different keywords making it more likely that the pin will show up in search results.
Why waste time searching for and applying to group boards when you can spend a fraction of that time creating new boards on your own profile keyworded specifically to your niche. Now you control it, no one else controls your pin on their board, you control your own pin on your own board and how it get’s keyworded to show up in the results you want it to show up for.
Right now and for the past several months Pinterest has been in love with new everything. They love new boards, new pins, and new content. What they don’t like is spamming your new images all at once.
Manual pinning at this point can take loads of time because you will need to track when you pin so you can space them out. The pinning strategy would look like this. You have three pins per post that all will go to 10 different boards once a day for the next 12 days.
- Day 1: Pin 1 to Board 1
- Day 2: Pin 1 to Board 2, Pin 2 to Board 1.
- Day 3: Pin 1 to Board 3, Pin 2 to Board 2, Pin 3 to Board 1.
- Day 4: Pin 1 to Board 4, Pin 2 to Board 3, Pin 3 to Board 2.
- Day 5: Pin 1 to Board 5, Pin 2 to Board 4, Pin 3 to Board 3.
- Day 6: Pin 1 to Board 6, Pin 2 to Board 5, Pin 3 to Board 4.
- Day 7: Pin 1 to Board 7, Pin 2 to Board 6, Pin 3 to Board 5.
- Day 8: Pin 1 to Board 8, Pin 2 to Board 7, Pin 3 to Board 6.
- Day 9: Pin 1 to Board 9, Pin 2 to Board 8, Pin 3 to Board 7.
- Day 10: Pin 1 to Board 10, Pin 2 to Board 9, Pin 3 to Board 8.
- Day 11: Pin 2 to Board 10, Pin 3 to Board 9.
- Day 12: Pin 3 to Board 10.
This puts each new pin on a new board each day until all three pins of a post have gone to all 10 of your boards. If you are doing 3 posts a week you are going to get overwhelmed tracking each image and pinning them manually and may even lose track.
Luckily Tailwind makes this super easy for you with their board lists and interval features. You can create specific board lists for the topic of your post and schedule a 1 day interval for your pin to go to each board once a day until you no longer have to pin it. Furthermore, you can schedule each of your three pins – per post – to start one day apart. You’ll never have the same pin or the same url going to the same board in the same day. You can set it and forget it.
Side note for Tailwind users: I do not use Tribes on Tailwind, I don’t find it’s worth the time to add a pin and pin other peoples content.
Pin Other Peoples Content
The rule used to be pin 20% your stuff to 80% other peoples stuff. My rule is really simple. If you are pinning 30 pins a day in Tailwind make up to 5 of those pins other peoples stuff. I have pinned mostly my own pins for over a year now, sometimes pinning only 100% of my own pins and haven’t had any issues.
I find pinning other peoples stuff is great to fill out your schedule so that you don’t need to create as many pins or can make your own pins go longer. This makes it so you don’t have to always be filling in your schedule every couple of days. You can take a couple of hours each week to create new pins and fill in your Tailwind schedule and move on to more important tasks.
Social Media Marketing
When you are first figuring out how to use social media for marketing your blog, pick the social network that your audience will hang out in. Master that network. Make it a daily habit and after you have it completely under control and figured out then you can start working on another social media network.
Don’t get caught up in the must do everything all at once trap. You don’t need to do it all right away, focus on where your readers spend the majority of their time or are more likely to click through to your post. You can worry about doing it all when your full time job is blogging, in the beginning, focus on where it matters the most.
Do you have tips to using social media networks? I want to hear it. Leave a comment below with your tips on using social media for business.Follow me on Pinterest and pin this to your blogging boards.
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