If you’re anything like me you probably aren’t a Twitter or Facebook marketing guru. You just want to know how to maximise your efforts in social media to increase traffic to your blog and build relationships with your target audience.
In this article I want to demystify the whole social media marketing for blogs thing and give you some easy and straightforward ways to get rolling.
The Importance Of Social Media For Blog Owners
Social media users are set to make up around a third of the worlds population (over 2.5 billion people) by the year 2018 according to one source. Over 70% of the US have a social media account and the amount of time people are spending tweeting, sharing and connecting is increasing every year.
The bottom line is it’s becoming more and more popular and you need to learn the basics so you don’t get left behind.
Choosing A Social Network
There are boatloads of different social media websites you could join but there are some major ones that most people are aware of and use on a regular basis. The main ones to consider are:
- Google +
Of course there are many more and I’m not saying you should only use these. But they are the main ones I personally think bloggers should be considering in getting started.
Each of the social networks I listed above carry a different kind of demographic and user base. While people using LinkedIn are more interested in professional and career focused content and networking, those on Pinterest are a more visual audience and have a larger amount of females as users.
They also differ in the way they are focussed. For example Twitter is more focussed on the individual and updating status regularly, while Facebook allows people to set up an entire business page separate to a personal profile. You can certainly market your business effectively on Twitter as well but the point is they are set up differently and should be used accordingly.
It definitely pays to familiarise yourself with how each platform you intend to use works, the kinds of people using them and the content that people are seeing as valuable.
My advice to newbies is to really start out with ONE or maybe two platforms to get going in the beginning. Yes you could sign up and use all of them but the key to mastering social media is to really start small and scale out.
By all means create a an account in all the major platforms I listed above and even share content regularly. But the key is to choose one platform that you will focus on the most and build relationships and brand effectively there first.
Personally I am a fan of Google + and it works well for me. By focussing on this one main platform I have been able to grow my network steadily and connect with some really cool people.
By trying to rush through all of the networks you risk becoming the person that ‘dumps and runs’ content. Doing that will not build trust, relationships or do much at all. If you become known as someone that is purely there to flog your products or get people to like your stuff then you won’t get a whole lot of interaction.
Get to know what your network likes and what adds value to them and share that kind of content.
There is a great deal you can learn from your target audience by reading what they are asking, what they are sharing and what they like.
Set A Sharing Schedule
If you’re anything like me you are pretty busy most days and time can easily get away from you. The best way to make sure you continue adding value and connecting with your network is to be consistent.
Sticking to a routine will help you avoid stress and will maximise your efficiency.
It might only mean 15-30 minutes 5 days per week but over time that will add up. That’s over 65-130 hours per year that you could easily invest without taking up too much of your daily routine. Imagine how much you could learn and how much of a following you could build in that amount of time.
Another thing to consider is the appropriate time to post and share. Every platform is different but understanding what times people are most active is going to give you the best chance to get your content noticed.
Growing Your Network
If you have no one at all you can add to your network, don’t worry! Getting followers and building your network is easier than you might think. Reaching out and ‘liking’ other peoples content and even sharing it is a good way to network with like minded people.
Find people that fit your target audience profile in your niche and connect with them. Comment on their posts, like and share. Add them as a friend or follow them, whatever the case may be with your social network. Pretty soon you will get recommendations on other people that they are associated with and you now have a mutual friend, follow them as well.
The more people you follow, the more people will follow you back. The more value you add the more people will share which will lead to even more people following you. Start small and add value and you will soon build a very nice network, which means more people visiting your blog and taking whatever action it is you have your blog set up for.
Paid Vs Organic Marketing
Learning the ropes the way I’ve just discussed is the best way to get started but paid social media advertising should not be overlooked. Personally I only have experience in using Facebook ads and it is an incredibly powerful marketing tool in my opinion.
The reason it is so great is because you get to target your audience down to the finest detail. From their demographic profile, their interests and even browsing history… it’s almost scary how targeted your ads can be with Facebook.
The other useful thing (apart from making money) about using FB ads is that you can segment your audience very accurately.For example, if I was promoting a new wireless headset on my blog and did a review, I could create 10 or more variations of one ad. Each ad could have the same copy but target different age groups progressively, male or female etc. Doing this allows you to determine what ads respond best with what audience and by using tracking you can work out who converted the most.
That kind of data is priceless to any blog owner.
Understanding who is responding to what promotions and what kind of strategy will allow you to get a much clearer picture on who your target audience is and what they like, which can help EVERYTHING you are doing in your website business.
I’m not saying to go out and start spending big bucks on Facebook ads, but it’s certainly worth looking into at some point in my opinion.
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to be some social media guru to get decent results. If you start off small and keep in mind the key concept of adding value to your social network (instead of just trying to sell them stuff) then you will build trust and respect over time.
Focussing on one or two platforms can help you master the ins and outs of those ones first before scaling out your efforts. It’s better to have one or two quality and responsive followings than a dozen unresponsive social accounts. Hope this helps!