Multiple studies have proven that blogging is a great way to promote a business. Here are two convincing findings:
- Companies that blog have 80% more new visits
- Businesses with over 200 total blog posts got 6 times more traffic than those with under 20 blog posts
There are various ways for blog posts to acquire those new visits, including:
- Organic Search
- Referral links
- Direct (and more)
An additional source of traffic is social media, and most people who write a blog post will share it on their social media channels. That’s the basic first step for promoting a blog post on social media. Some even take it another step by sharing the post multiple times on social media.
Another method is to adding sharing buttons on your individual posts encouraging readers to share the posts.
But those are the basics.
If you’re looking to get more out of your blog posts through social media promoting then the following should help. Here is a list of advanced ways to promote your blog posts on social media.
1. Mention Those Mentioned, Cited, and Included in the Post
Let’s start out with a step that is super simple when done appropriately.
There is a type of post called the ego bait post. This would be when you, say, create a list of tools for something like the 25 Top Social Media Tools For Marketers. In that post you’ll have 25 tools listed and when you share the post on social media, you’d want to mention those tools.
If you’re tweeting the post, you’ll only be able to mention about 2-4 of the tools in each tweet, but you can re-share the post to make sure to include all those mentioned.
When I do this I’ll use this format (or something similar):
25 Top Social Media Tools For Marketers (link) incl. @Tool1 @Tool2 @Tool3
But you can use this strategy with more than just list posts. If you mention a person, brand or whatever you can use this strategy.
The goal is to bring the post to the person’s attention and get them to re-share the post. What I find is they’ll often take the time to skim through your post. If it looks interesting they’ll read the part that mentions them. If that’s good they’ll read the rest and re-share the post.
NOTE: It is easy to abuse this strategy. If you take it too far, say, sharing the same post and mentioning the same person every day for two weeks you’ll get some backlash. Or if all you ever write are these types of posts, you might catch some flack.
2. Piggyback Popular Blog Posts, Pages, Tools with Your Related Blog Post
e.g. Assuming ~1mm SEO pros worldwide, sample size of 150 (what Moz uses for https://t.co/M5JTWyxful) = ~8% variance w/ 95% confidence
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) August 17, 2015
The idea here is to find something like a blog post, tool, or something that’s become popular today and use it to help bring attention to one of your posts. One example would be taking a popular blog post that someone has written and finding a place the author shared it on social media, re-sharing it and adding your own post with the message:
@JohnSmith and I had exact opposite ideas on this topic. Here is his and here is mine. What do you think?
But you can do this with popular tools like what Rand did to promote a page above. You can do it with a post by mentioning what the tool does and then using it for your own case study in a blog post.
3. Create Charts for Posts (Whenever Possible)
— Mark Broadie (@MarkBroadie) August 17, 2015
There is something about data that people love. Articles with digits in the titles are 175% more likely to be shared.
Anytime you can create posts that include stats, studies, and surveys of some kind you’re going to increase the odds of your post getting more traffic.
With social media, you can take this love of digits a step further by combining it with the power of charts or graphs.
People will leave social media to view your post, but they don’t always want to. They often would like the TL;DR version right there in their social media feed.
You can satisfy that demand by sharing a chart of data from your post right on your social channel. You could create multiple charts and share them in a series of posts. Then at the end share one final item that links to the full post.
Not everyone will click through to see the full post, but some will. The benefit is that by sharing the charts right on social media you’ll be providing more value with your profile, which will lead to more followers and more people to click through to your blog posts in the future.
4. Co-Author Posts
— Bill Cooney (@PGATOUR_Cooney) August 12, 2015
There are different ways to go about this strategy. The goal, though, is to widen your reach on social media.
Let’s say you have 10,000 followers. Obviously not all will see the post every time you share it, but that’s 10,000 potential sets of eyeballs.
If you partner with someone who has another 10,000 followers, you’ll double those potential eyeballs. Yes, some will probably be crossover, but that’s the strategy.
You can co-create a post by doing all the work yourself and seeing if someone will share the credit and help you promote it. You can reach out to someone and see if they’d like to discuss an outline and you could do the writing.
Or maybe you have a pretty good following and you could find someone who is ambitious and looking for a larger audience and maybe they would be interested in co-authoring a post by doing the majority of the work in exchange for exposure to your audience.
5. Retweet Everyone That Shares Your Post
Here’s a simple one, but one that will get you some goodwill with your followers and with potential followers.
Let’s say you’ve done some of the other items on this list and you’ve built a following. Someone clicks through to read your post and they love it and share it.
Monitor that activity in your mentions or by searching for your URL and when you see that someone has shared your post, re-tweet or re-share their update. It’s kind of a way to promote yourself without really promoting yourself.
Just be on the lookout for spambots.
6. Turn Your Title into a Question
This one is simple, but it can really be effect.
By asking a question, you make a potential reader wonder if they’re missing out on something. That’s a big reason why people take action in life. People don’t want to feel like we’re missing out.
Let’s say you’re title is:
How To Unclog Your Kitchen Drain In 5 Seconds
That could be a great post and that’s a good title, but if you share and re-share it on social media it can get worn out and you might get better response with a question like:
Do you know how to unclog your drain in 5 seconds? Here’s the secret.
There are a number of variations for turning titles into questions. You can get creative and even put the link in the middle of the update:
Do you know how long it takes to (link) unclog a drain?
7. Ask for Participation
Now we’re taking the previous point, asking a question, to a new level where you want to get some interaction on social media. With the previous point, you’re looking to get people enticed to click the link to your post.
But with this one you are looking for an answer.
Here is an example:
So what did you think of that rules package? #NASCARRT for trash itFavorite for keep it
— Richard Allen (@RacingWithRich) August 16, 2015
You can do it this way and get the interaction on social media or you could use it with your post.
Let’s say you create a post with your vote or opinion. You ask them the question like the example above and then at the end link to your post with something like, Here’s what I think.
Or, you could combine a few of the tactics from this list and just do the question at first then come back to it and add on a new update where you write about the feedback you got from followers and some additional research on your part. It could lead to creating better posts; posts that are more likely to do well.
You can ask a question every day. Then you take the question that gets the most interaction each week and write a post on that. You already know that people are interested in content on that topic.
8. Share a Few Stats from the Post
Instead of sharing the title of the post or a question you can skip right to the intriguing stat included in the post. The item shared in an earlier point above showed that people like digits in social media posts.
Sometimes you can cut right to the point and share a juicy stat on social media. Then you can link to your post with, More: (link).
That’s a simple call-to-action that will get people enticed especially if your stat is really good. People will want to know more. They’ll want to know what that stat means and how they should react.
You can do this with a post that is a collection of stats like: 101 Essential Stats For Search Marketers
But you can also do it with a number of different posts. Let’s say you’re writing about a tool or a strategy and you cite a stat from a study. You can use that stat to lead into the post from social media.
9. Share a Quote from the Post
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) August 17, 2015
Building on the last point is the idea that you can share a quote from a post. Now, it could be a quote that you’re using in the post or it could be a little snippet from the post that you wrote and that you’re now quoting to kind of make it stand out more on social media.
Sometimes you can’t beat a good quote that will get people wondering what the post could possibly be about. It can usually be way more enticing than the title and even a question you can come up with.
This could also be a good push to start using quotes more in posts. You can write a post and then email a few of your contacts asking them for their quote on the topic. You can then include the quote in your post (with their permission). And when they share really good quotes you can share the post on social media to lead in to the post.
And to take it another step you can mention the person when you share the quote so they are enticed to re-share it with their followers.
10. Create a Meme
Sometimes you need to spice up your social media stream with some funny or even outrageous items. I liked this one as a recent example:
Tom Brady. Woof! pic.twitter.com/KQ1AJZFavt
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 12, 2015
The next step here would have been to link to a blog post about the full context of the image. If you had been following the news you would have known, but maybe Bleacher Report could come back and add-on the full story later.
Memes are tricky to get right, but if you start doing them once in a while to promote your posts on social media you’ll get the hang of it.
The formula for this one was to find an ugly image and connect it to the nostalgia of the now 25-year old movie. If you’re going to do throwback memes go back about 20-30 years. That seems to be the magic timeline that people get nostalgic over.
11. Re-Share the Post When a Related News Item Comes Out
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 17, 2015
Sometimes you’ll write a post before the perfect time.
It’s like the person that invented the smartphone or PDA back in the late ‘80s or whatever. It wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t the right set of circumstances for it to take off.
But with blogging you can benefit when a topic you’ve written about in the past starts to gain some traction. You can piggyback on the news and re-share the old post.
The post could be from years ago or it could be from earlier in the day. It depends on your industry, but don’t be afraid to re-share posts when the topic it discusses becomes popular or sees a sudden surge of interest.
12. Direct Message (Or Email) People Included in the Post
Every once in a while I’ll get a direct message or an email from someone who has mentioned me or my company in a post. Sometimes it can feel like spam, but if the post is pretty straightforward and simple I’ll click through and see what it’s all about.
If the post is done well I’ll often share that post with my followers. It kind of gives me the opportunity to promote myself without really promoting myself.
In some of these direct messages the person will ask me to check out the post and to share the post. It’s not a special request. They simply ask and just that little ask will get me to take action.
13. Promote the Comment Discussion
Sometimes a post will instigate an interesting discussion in the comments. Even if it doesn’t happen on your own blog, it could happen when you do a guest post.
After sharing that post over and over in different ways with the title, with a question, with a stat and others it can get tired.
But the comments discussion can add more interest that you can promote. So if something valuable is taking place in the comments go ahead and link to that post by with a lead-in like:
There is great discussion happening around my recent post on social media (link). See what people are saying and sharing.
14. Pre-Promote the Post (Share Snippets Before You Publish)
This is one I see every once in a while on social media and I’m starting to think it’s a really good idea. And it’s not like the strategy hasn’t been used in other mediums and industries.
For example, you have the movie industry that is all about lead-up to the actual release of the movie. Before that you get trailers and promos for weeks and sometimes months.
Retailers do it as well by sharing photos and videos of new products before they are actually released.
It builds anticipation and gets people coming back to your social feed to check for the update, and when you do share the update you know those people are going to click to check out the post.
You can share various pieces of content from the upcoming post. You could share a stat or share a quote. You could create an image and share some of it with the promise that you’ll have much more and additional context in a few days when you publish the post.
You’ll have to practice patience. It’s difficult to hold off on publishing a post once you finish writing it, but hold off. Schedule it for the following week and create and schedule some social media updates where you give some previews to pre-promote the post.
15. Use an Old (Popular Post) to Help Promote a New Post
Finally, you can kind of piggyback on your old, popular posts to help promote new posts.
Let’s say you’ve written a post that did really well on a set of important stats for last year. You can bet that the same type of post for the next year will do well.
But you can jump on that previous post and say something like:
If you liked last year’s posts then you’ll love this year’s. Lots more info that should be helpful (link)
You could even do it when a popular post is more recent, say from a previous week. You could mention that previous post and take another angle on the topic or provide more info on the topic.
It’s good to cover the basics when you’re sharing your blog posts on social media. You can use tools to automatically have a post shared on all your social channels as soon as a post is published. I use Jetpack on WordPress.
You can also schedule posts with tools like Buffer, which I use to schedule a few posts each day. I use Buffer and sit down once a week and schedule posts to share throughout the week. Then I supplement in other sharing and updating, but using Buffer ensures I don’t forget any days for sharing new and archived posts.
But once you have those basics and others covered it’s time to move on to more advanced methods.
You’ve probably read that social media interaction and traffic to your blog posts can be pretty low. And that is true, especially if you’re doing the bare minimum. But, if you use the strategies above and commit to them you’ll start to see better results.
Those are my ideas. Now I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you have that would make for additional advanced tips for promoting blog posts on social media.