If you’re thinking of starting (or have recently started) a blog, viagra dosage then you’re probably already internet-savvy, and familiar with social media tools. But using social media for your blog is very different than using it for personal reasons: instead of using social media just to keep up with friends and family, you’re using it for blog promotion and brand-building.
It’s definitely a good idea for bloggers to use social media, but not every blogger needs to use every social media tool. Use the ones that make the most sense, based on your blog and your needs. Use them smartly, and don’t get overwhelmed!
In the weeks to come, we’ll be featuring some of the following social media tools in-depth, but for now, here is a quick intro to the most valuable and popular social media tools for bloggers.
Let’s start with the basics.
What it is:
The ultimate, all-inclusive social media site.
Facebook is a quick and easy way to promote your posts. When a new blog post goes live, announce it on Facebook so that your friends and followers know to check it out. You can either do this manually after each post, or use a service like IFTTT to automate it.
You can also use Facebook as a way to engage with readers. Facebook’s format is very conducive to conversation, so use it as a discussion outlet. Ask your followers to suggest blog post topics, share their projects, or anything else that will help you build relationships.
But Facebook’s most useful feature is its assortment of social plugins that can integrate directly with your blog. The most useful is the comments plugin, which allows readers to comment directly on your blog posts using their Facebook profile (the added benefit is that their comments will show up in their friends’ news feeds, which will aid in promoting your blog).
Other valuable social plugins from Facebook are the like button, share button, and send button, all of which make it as easy as possible for your readers to share your content with their Facebook network.
What it is:
A microblogging platform where users share 140 character text messages called “tweets”
Just like Facebook, Twitter is a great way to promote posts to your readers and engage with them – but now, you’re limited to 140 characters at a time.
Additionally, Twitter is the perfect outlet for engaging with other bloggers. Use Twitter’s search feature to find other bloggers in your niche, bloggers that you read regularly, and bloggers you admire (it may help to create one or more lists to stay organized). Then, engage with those bloggers! Retweet their most interesting tweets. Reply to them if they’ve asked a question you can help with or if you have something to contribute to the conversation. And use hashtags as another way to be found online. Don’t use Twitter as a way to spam these bloggers with links to your own blog, but instead, use it as a way to build strong online relationships.
Be sure to add a Tweet button to all of your posts, so that readers can easily share your posts.
What it is:
Google’s own social media platform.
Like Facebook, Google+ is kind of a one-stop shop. You can share status updates, photos, video, articles, and your own blog posts. So, like Facebook, Google+ is a great tool when it comes to blog post promotion. Google+ allows you to create circles, groups of friends, followers, readers, or acquaintances, to whom you can customize your content. Add a +1 button to your blog so that any Google+ readers can recommend your blog posts to their circles.
But the biggest benefit of Google+ is that, well, it’s part of Google! This means that your Google+ profile is integrated with any other Google product. Most importantly, Google+ is integrated with Google search, and you definitely want your blog to be found (speaking of which, are you wondering how you do get found on Google? Stay tuned, we’ll be covering that soon)!
Google+ has some additional features that are quite useful to bloggers. If you’re a subject matter expert, schedule a Hangout, a live video chat where you can do a live tutorial, or host a Q&A.
What it is:
A virtual “bulletin board” where users can collect and “pin” images from websites.
If your blog features high-quality photography, DIY projects, fashion photos, recipes, or anything else with strong images, then Pinterest may be your most important social media tool. Your readers may already be pinning your images, but you can pin your own images as well. Be sure to add clear descriptions so that your images will have a better chance of showing up in Pinterest’s search.
If your blog tends to be more wordy, and lighter on the images, try creating a graphic with the title of your blog post, just like we’ve done for this post. That way, your blog readers can still pin your post, and people who come across the image while browsing Pinterest will be able to clearly see what your post is about.
Many Pinterest users can pin an image using a browser plugin that they’ve installed, but to make it easier for them, install a Pin It button on your blog to make pinning easier for everyone.
Another use for Pinterest is as a curation tool for content inspiration. Create a board for your blog post inspiration, and pin anything that you think you may want to blog about in the future. Then, when you’ve run out of blog post ideas (it happens to everyone at one time or another), just go to your board for inspiration galore!
What it is:
A photo sharing service that allows users to take photos, apply filters, and share them on social media.
How to use it:
Instagram is a the perfect way to share quickly and on-the-go. You may not have time to write a blog post every time your dog does something cute or the bartender mixes you the perfect martini, but you can snap a quick photo of it in Instagram and share it with your readers. And don’t forget to follow them back as well. Like Twitter, you can use hashtags to help users find your photos when they search.
Use Instagram to tease blog posts (for example, post a photo of dinner ingredients and let readers know that a recipe will be coming later that week), to feature photos that didn’t make it into your blog, or simply to show behind-the-scenes snapshots of your life. Instagram can feel rather intimate, compared to other social media tools, because you’re sharing actual parts of your day. What a great way for your readers to get to know you!
Are you using any social media tools for your blog yet? How do you use them, and which are your favorites?