Note: This is a guest post by Mairead Ridge, Marketing Manager at Offerpop. This post is part of Offerpop’s sponsorship of #Blogchat in April. Click here to learn more about Offerpop’s services, and also note they are offering a free 14-day trial of its social media marketing services with no credit card required! You can read Offerpop’s Tumblr here.
You’re an avid blogger; a Twitter aficionado. But have you invested time into building an actual social strategy?
The most successful bloggers treat social as a key marketing channel, employing well-defined plans to drive blog traffic and repeat visitors. You don’t have to be a self-promotion machine. The goal is to get more out of the great content you’re already sharing.
Take a step back and ask yourself the following questions:
Am I on the right networks?
Some bloggers never stray far from Twitter. Others spread themselves too thin, making minimal impact across an array of networks.
When figuring out the right mix, consider the demographics of each network and the kind of content that resonates. If you blog about highly visual subjects like art, or fashion, Pinterest and Facebook could work for you. If you’re blogging about business, invest some time in LinkedIn groups.
Is it worth running a promotional campaign?
Plenty of merchants run sweepstakes and promotions on Facebook or Twitter, handing out discounts and prizes to earn more fans. But bloggers with small budgets and no “product” often think this tactic is not for them.
Big mistake. If you’re creating big pieces of content, like e-books or webinars, try “fan-gating” them, requiring people to become fans or followers of your feed or page before downloading. It’s a low-barrier way to build a relevant audience, and an approach we practice ourselves.
You can also use giveaways for prizes, like free passes to a conference where you’re speaking. Or partner with a brand that shares your core audience to reward fans with products they love.
Do I give my fans reasons to visit my blog?
If your blog is the main show, social is your carnival barker, intriguing people to come on in. Attract new readers by teasing morsels of content from your latest posts, like a funny quote or an unexpected tip. But if you only share these posts once, most of your audience will miss them. Schedule posts with links to “evergreen” content for weeks and months to come.
And don’t fall behind on sharing content from other bloggers and influencers. Curating content helps you build a reputation as an educator and get more clicks and shares for your own stuff.
Do I know what’s working?
Even if you’re a Google Analytics junkie, your metrics aren’t complete until you know how your content performs within a social channel. Keep track of what posts get the most likes, comments and shares, and continuously apply that knowledge to future content.
Social media is a barometer for what drives readers’ passions, providing insights that can benefit your blog. And, as you’re testing new networks and campaigns, keep an eye on those blog analytics. You’ll see what traffic sources grow (and don’t grow) over time. Use the knowledge to make decisions about which networks to focus on.
What other questions should truly social bloggers ask themselves? Tell us in the comments!