In this session of the I Teach Blogging Blogcast, I discuss: How to promote your blog with social media. A 10-step social media marketing plan. This is my fifth podcast and you can always find all of the latest episodes on my Show Notes Page.
As mentioned in Is your blog connected to social media? Social Media Today released a blog post that really inspired me so I’m going to do a series expanding on the idea.
Working on Social Media can be a giant time-suck but when someone says “Set aside time to promote your blog” that is what he or she means. Yes, there are alternate methods of promoting your blog but they take longer and are far slower in the promo arena. I present…
Ways to promote your blog without using social media:
- Call your friends on the phone.
- Or text.
- Ask people at networking meetings.
- What was that /?=455 domain name again?
- Send an email to your friends and coworkers.
- Spam, spam, spam, spam, MARVELOUS SPAM!
I kid, I kid. Here’s the deal, though: social media is not the magic bullet that you have been looking for either. Basically, it takes time to build up a blog audience and not all blog audiences are created equal. Just to give you some perspective, I have shared some stats about email open-rates below.
By industry: educational organizations experienced the highest average email open rate, at 26.2%, followed by consumer products (23.8%), financial services (22.0%) and computer software (21.4%) companies.
Who is your audience? Do you really need 300,000 readers or do you just need an engaged 300? If you own a hyper local business then you do not need a large national audience, at least until you’re in “growth” mode. So when it comes to blogging, website marketing, traditional marketing and social media it all comes down to a simple question, “who is your audience?”
These steps assume that you have an existing blog with content or content in process and that you have social media accounts created.
Step #1: Define your audience
Make a list of client types. For example, if you are a party rental company, which is probably regional, who’s renting from you? From a broadly domestic perspective you could say “moms” but is that really true? What about: apartment/condos have renter appreciation parties, churches with their on and off-site events, 501(3)c orgs/nonprofits might come to you because of your great discount, corporations have divisional events, etc.
So make a list now of your client types.
Step #2: All things start with content.
Create a spreadsheet for your blog posts and content. Or just download this simple one that I made for you. [Download not found]
|Blog Title||Blog Title URL||Tweet||Facebook Update|
#2a Write a tweet for each blog post.
When you write your tweets, keep them between 110 and 120 characters to make sure there’s room for others to retweet you.
#2b Write a facebook update to promote blog posts.
Facebook allows for much longer updates but they don’t have to be.
#3 Link shortener
I use bit.ly because it has great analytics too but you can use Hootsuite, TweetDeck, etc.
Tip: I pay the monthly fee for Hootsuite. It is basically a social media dashboard tool. You can connect everything ranging from your twitter account to your LinkedIn account and manage it all from there. Another great thing about this tool is that you can pre-schedule your sm (social media) updates.
#4 To Pre-Schedule or not to Pre-Schedule?
In my 90-Day Plan Class I advise everyone to pre-write and pre-schedule social media updates. The reason for this is so that you can A) not always have to worry about updating and B) spend your daily time interacting. My tips here assume that you are Pre-Scheduling. So you might as well, mostly because I told you so.
#5 Pre-Load your tweets for 30 Days
Follow the instructions from whatever tool you are using and schedule the next 30 days’ worth of social media updates.
#6 Don’t just promote yourself.
Now that you have your blog post promos scheduled, it is time to think about something besides just promoting yourself. Write a list of thirty tips that your clients and potential clients could use. If not thirty, ten. How about links to industry research, quotes, or events in your area? Something to think about.
#7 Go back and schedule these tips for three hours after your blog updates.
The purpose of this is to maintain an 80/20 or 90/10 rule: add value, give more than ask, offer something helpful.
Now that the basics are done, it’s time for the meat of the social media story: INTERACTION.
#8 Join a LinkedIn Group that is relevant.
Now just because you found a LinkedIn group that is relevant does not mean it is the right one for you. Scope out the group and make sure that your audience is actually there.
#8a Visit the group at least one time a week.
Do not just read updates, be interactive. Your purpose here is to add value. You are not in this group at this time to promote yourself but it would be great if people checked you and your company out.
Spend 15 minutes.
- Scan the updates.
- Like the ones that interest you.
- Add valuable comments when you can.
#9 Be on twitter daily.
I believe that twitter is the heart of social media so if you only have time for one digital platform, make it twitter. There will be days when you flat out don’t have time. When those days happen do not panic, the world will not end.
I use a combination of twitter on my phone and on my computer. I rarely if ever use twitter on my tablet, though I love my tablet, as you can see below. What is your preferred device?
Spend 5-7 minutes twice a day…
- Check your mentions
- If someone retweeted you, thank them.
- If someone followed you, check them out; if it is not a competitor or porn follow them back.
- Retweet someone that followed you.
- Do a search on your audience type and find someone to say hi to or retweet.
#10 Try and visit Facebook daily or every other day.
Go to your Facebook business page and see if anyone has left a comment or a like or any interaction. If they have, don’t forget to reply. It’s actually good business to get the last word in – it’s called customer service followup.
#10a Switch to your Facebook page
Do a hashtag (#) search on your topic and find a page to like. Like the page and leave a comment. If you have enough time do that again and just be interactive.
Tip: If you belong to a local chamber of commerce and they fit your audience profile then go like every business page that you can find within the group and leave nice comments. They will appreciate it and remember you.
So this is my quick down and dirty version of promoting your blog and your business online. There is so much more that you could do and so much more that I could say but keep in mind that what I have outlined should not take much of your time after the initial setup.
In the beginning I recommended that you pre-load 30 days at a time and that is only because you need analyze what you did and how it worked. Work your basic plan (or my 90-day plan). The truth is that sometimes the idea of working that far ahead can be really overwhelming so I highly recommend that you just get started above all things.
Blogging is in my opinion the most important thing that you can do to promote your company online. Promoting that blog is the second most important thing. There is no question that search (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) is the way that most small businesses get found online and the key to be found is for your company to be the answer.
Do you already have a social media plan that works for you? There are a million ways to skin a cat, and I would love to hear your helpful ideas and steps.
RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS BLOGCAST INCLUDE:
JustHost Web Hosting
- One of the lowest-cost providers, with up to three years of domain registration and hosting for as little as $3.45 a month
- Almost 100% uptime with servers located around the world
- Many pre-installed functions, from WordPress to Fantastico
- Every account includes 50 emails and unlimited forwarders
- Manage multiple social media platforms from one dashboard
- Schedule tweets and updates for later — great for when you’re out for a few days
- Resides in the cloud so it works even if your computer is offline
- The name is a hoot … literally
Thank you so much for stopping by my show notes for the third podcast in my I Teach Blogging Podcast series.
I would love your comments and feedback. Also, if you have any questions that you would like discussed in future episodes, please either leave them in the comments below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.