Social Media 101: basics for bloggers by Julie DeNeen of Fabulous Blogging
~:: by Julie DeNeen of Fabulous Blogging ::~
When most of us signed up for blogging, it was a surprise to realize that 75% of blogging is marketing and promotion! It’s an ugly truth, but high quality content doesn’t mean automatic success. Once you’ve written your blog posts, it’s time to venture out into the world of social media and get your work noticed.
This post is by no means comprehensive, but should give any Twitter-toddlers, Facebook-flops, and Pinterest-peddlers a bunch of tips to get your writing to shine!
Why do I need to be on all these different platforms?
Well, technically, you don’t. But different platforms work better for different types of work. You may have a post about the best chili dogs ever and tweeting it won’t get you half the audience that Pinterest will give you.
That said- most people promote their work in several different places for maximum exposure. For example,
If you want to study the rules and etiquette for the major platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest), this cheat sheet will give you some tips!
Does it matter when I post?
Believe it or not, posting a link on Facebook right after you’ve published it may not be the best idea. There are rhythms to each of your profiles. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that certain times of day work better than others. If you notice your social media blasts don’t return a lot of views, you may want to time your links.
There are also programs that you can sign up for that allow you to preschedule all your status updates, but since you’re reading this to learn the basics, I don’t want to overwhelm you. If you are interested, you can check out Hootsuite.
What kinds of sharing buttons should I have on my blog?
You should have several different options for your readers. Buttons that exist on your sidebar or header are for people to sign up and FOLLOW you. Buttons that show up on the bottom of posts help readers to share your work. You should have both.
Most blogging platforms come with a standard set of sharing buttons on the bottom of each post, but a “Share This” widget will make the buttons more prominent. For follow buttons on the sidebar, you can find various Social Media buttons and download the images to use for your site.
If I have a blog, should I have a Facebook page?
Yes you should. The Facebook page is a double-edged sword. Unfortunately not all your followers will see your post updates. It depends on the level of engagement of your page. When you post a link, photo, or status update, how many people respond with a like, comment, or share in the first three hours? That will change how many people see your update in their newsfeed. You can also advise your followers to select the option “show in newsfeed” when they hover over the like button. This will ensure your updates appear in their personal newsfeed.
Another thing to note is that different types of updates will show up more than others. Generally status updates have the most exposure, followed by photos, and then links. You’ll want to vary how you post your blog links. Start by giving a status update and then put the blog post in the comments. You can also post a photo and put the link in the caption.
If you haven’t started a Facebook page yet, here is a how-to article for designing and promoting your Facebook page.
There is also some method to how to paste your links. Did you know you can edit the link? You don’t have to publish what Facebook automatically pulls from your URL. Here are some tips for pasting links on Facebook.
I don’t get Twitter. Help!
Twitter is not quite as intuitive as Facebook, I agree. It took me quite a while to catch the Twitter bug (or bird)! Think of Twitter as a running conversation. Whereas Facebook connects you to friends and family, Twitter is about connecting to people who share your interests or could benefit from your services. People are either tweeting out helpful info or responding to other tweets.
If you’re a foodie blogger, your audience might be Moms or busy professionals who need quick recipes. Finding people to follow isn’t rocket science – you simply follow them or respond to their tweets.
Another way to get more followers is to use the hash tag. This little sign # helps categorize your tweets. For example, let’s say you are writing about technology in education. Use a hash tag like #edtech or #edchat. Everyone who is searching for tweets with that hash tag will find your tweet, and if it’s a helpful tweet, they may follow you!
You can also tweet other peoples’ work, adding their Twitter handle (i.e. @jdeneen4). Oftentimes people will follow you back if they see you are generous with your sharing.
Twitter in many ways is more powerful than Facebook. People don’t need to follow you in order to find your tweets. And if people do follow you, you know they are seeing your updates (unlike Facebook where your post may or may not show up).
Still not convinced Twitter is for you? Here is a Twitter guide to get you started.
Should I link my Twitter and Facebook?
No. There is one simple reason why. To post more than three or four times a day on Facebook is considered spamming. On Twitter, it is normal for people to tweet once an hour (or about 8-10 tweets a day). If all those tweets are going onto Facebook, people are going to get annoyed very quickly.
It is possible to have your Facebook updates go to Twitter, but with a 140-character limit, many of your updates will be cut off and replaced with a link. Twitter-addicts may not want to go to Facebook to read one extra line.
I would keep them separate.
What about Pinterest? If I’m not a photo or foodie blogger, is it worth it to join?
Yes, yes, yes. Pinterest is the fastest growing platform out there. It is simple to use- in fact, it is easier than both Facebook and Twitter combined! Pinterest is one big feast for the eyes. It is an online pinboard where people “pin” their favorite stuff across the web. Believe it or not, Pinterest is gaining popularity in the tech and education world – two fields not known for glittery images of the DIY crafts and decadent cakes. It’s about finding people that will enjoy pinning your work.
Getting a profile on Pinterest takes only minutes. Once you’re familiar with it, make sure you have a “pin it” button on your blog. If you are using the share this widget I mentioned above, Pinterest is included. Otherwise, you can download one of the many free Pinterest plugins.
For beginner tutorials, check out the article, “Why Bloggers Should Pay Attention to Pinterest.”
Using social media strategically can greatly increase the traffic to your blog. That said, growing a blog is not an easy task. It is difficult to establish a brand and gain a following. It takes a combination of strategy, patience, and persistence, but it can be done!
ABOUT JULIE DENEEN: Julie DeNeen is a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and author. She runs the Fabulous Blogging website along with an actively and lively blogging group of nearly 100 members. She’s also the author of a popular blog called Life According to Julie, which chronicles her life as a mom and wanna-be writer. When not in front of her computer, she enjoys spending time with her three kids and husband, her plethora of cats, reading anything she can get her hands on, Downton Abbey, and of course- food in any form it takes.
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