Every blogger wants to increase their traffic. After all, there’s no point of writing if you don’t have an audience. The more you can promote your blog on social media, the more people will read your posts, and your reputation and authority will increase. If your blog is monetized, more traffic also means a higher income from your blog.
There are many potential sources of traffic for your blog, so don’t fall into the trap of just focusing on search engines and SEO. Social media is a major source of traffic for many blogs, and with so many different networks, there’s a platform to suit every blog and promotion strategy.
How to Choose Which Social Networks to Focus On
While you can automate posting to several social networks pretty easily (see the end of the post for more on this), you don’t want to spread yourself too thin.
It’s a good idea to choose one social media channel as your primary focus, with another two or three as secondary traffic sources.
Remember, your success on each network depends on building a following, which you won’t do by posting links to your blog posts alone. You’ll also have to invest time in, well… being social!
This means communicating with other users, finding useful and interesting content to share apart from your own blog posts, and staying on top of new features and trending topics.
There’s no one “best” social network for bloggers. This completely depends on your audience, blog topic, and marketing strategy.
I also recommend paying attention to your traffic figures and adjusting your strategy as you go along. For example, if you initially decided to focus mainly on Twitter but you’re actually getting more traffic from Instagram, you might want to concentrate on growing your Instagram presence for a while.
Pay particular attention to the user demographics of each network. For example Facebook is the biggest social media network by far and covers a wide range of demographics, but it’s not as popular with younger audiences.
Certain networks do very well for particular niches and industries and less so for others. For example, Pinterest can be a great source of traffic for recipe and interior design blogs. But if you’re blogging about business, you’re probably better focusing on LinkedIn.
Take a look at the profiles of each network below to get a better idea of which ones might be most suitable for your blog.
Finally, some social media platforms require a bigger time commitment than others. YouTube, for example, can drive a lot of traffic to your blog, but you’ll need to put in a lot of time creating and editing videos.
Facebook is the big daddy of social networks with no sign of its popularity waning any time soon. Facebook boasts almost 2.5 billion active users and is still growing at a rate of approximately 8% a year. Most Facebook users log into the site several times a day, and the average user in the US spends 43 minutes a day on the platform.
The first step of Facebook blog promotion is to set up a page for your blog and encourage your audience to “like” your page. This means (some but not all of) your content will show up in their feed.
You can then post a link to your new blog posts every time you publish them. Others can “like” and share your posts on their own feed if they like your content.
When you set up a Facebook page, you’ll have access to analytics, which will help you keep track of your audience and how well your content is performing.
You can also set up a Facebook group for your audience if you wish. The main difference between Facebook pages and groups is that only you can post to the page while anyone can post to the group.
Facebook groups are a great place for encouraging discussion around your blog topic. For example, if you have a blog about fishing, you could set up a group for fishing enthusiasts to discuss their hobby.
Facebook also offers a wide range of paid promotional tools including advanced audience targeting. This means you can get very specific about who sees your promoted content in their feed. If you only want to advertise to women in New York City between the ages of 35 and 45 who like cats and Metallica, go right ahead!
YouTube is the world’s most visited website, and as it’s owned by Google, YouTube videos tend to rank very highly for web searches. In other words, a YouTube channel for your blog could potentially send a lot of traffic your way.
However, this comes at a price. YouTube requires a bigger time commitment than any other social network.
The good news is that you don’t need to post to YouTube daily to be successful. A weekly video is more than sufficient, and even posting monthly will be beneficial.
Your videos don’t have to be huge productions either. A quick video made on your phone where you’re talking directly to your audience can be as beneficial as a professionally produced and polished video.
The main method of getting traffic to your blog from your YouTube account is by directly telling viewers to visit your blog for more information and by including clickable links in your videos. You can also link to your blog in the video description and in your profile.
Pinterest works as a sort of virtual scrapbook where users can “pin” any content they find interesting to a “board” of related content.
These pins are powerful because they don’t fall off your feed after a few hours or days like other social networks. Instead, they continue to be re-pinned and re-circulated by other users, meaning your content has a much longer shelf life on Pinterest than on other platforms.
Most Pinterest users are female – women make up 70% of its 322 million users.
Certain types of content dominate the platform. The most popular Pinterest categories include:
- Health and wellness
- DIY and home
- Women’s style and fashion
- Food and drink
- Inspirational quotes
If you have a blog in one of these niches you should definitely consider using Pinterest as a major focus of your social media strategy. But this isn’t to say that other niches don’t do well on Pinterest.
For example, infographics are very popular on Pinterest, and this is a type of content that a blog in almost any niche can produce.
Creating “pinnable” images is a key to attracting high traffic from Pinterest. Pinterest images should be beautiful, eye-catching and in a vertical format. Long images take up more space in Pinterest feeds and so help to catch the attention of users.
It’s worth including an image designed for Pinterest in every one of your blog posts if you’re going to focus on the platform for social media promotion. Your images should include text that describes the content of your post, which will entice users to click through to your post. While pretty images without text might also be popular on Pinterest, they don’t attract a high click-through rate.
You can also join a Pinterest group board to get more exposure and traffic to your blog.
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals and it appeals to an older age bracket than many other social networks. Over 60% of LinkedIn users are aged between 30 and 64.
It’s ideal for sharing “business” related content, so is an ideal fit for marketing blogs or those targeting mainly business owners and professionals. Career-related and personal-development content also does very well.
There are two main types of posts you can publish on LinkedIn for promotional purposes:
- Short Facebook-style posts with optional images and links to your blog posts and other content.
- Long-form Medium-style articles.
You don’t necessarily need to write unique articles to publish on LinkedIn. Just like Medium, you can republish your blog posts directly to the platform with a link to your blog as the original publication source or a short bio at the end as in the example below:
The bigger your network is on LinkedIn, the more chance there is that people will see your posts so it’s important to build connections with people in your industry. You can also join LinkedIn groups to connect with a wider network and make new contacts.
With a billion active users and the highest engagement level of any social network, Instagram certainly shouldn’t be ignored. However, the platform has it’s own quirks and challenges to master, such as the constantly changing algorithm updates. It’s estimated that users miss up to 70% of the posts in their feed.
Instagram can also be a tricky social network to master if you don’t have a blog that naturally lends itself to visual content. Photographers, fashion bloggers, and interior designers have successfully been using Instagram for years, but if you’re in a less “visual” niche you might have to think out of the box a little.
This isn’t to say that it can’t be done. Social media master Gary Vaynerchuck has 7.7 million followers on Instagram at the time of writing, and is a great example to follow when it comes to growing your Instagram following:
- Post inspiring images. Gary may not have the visual appeal of a beauty blogger, but he more than makes up for it by sharing inspirational quotes.
- Engage with your followers. Reply to comments, tag other accounts, and don’t be afraid to ask for likes.
- Exploit the potential of Instagram stories. These short video clips are highly engaging and can be a great way to give your audience a “behind the scenes” peek into your life or process.
The other big issue challenge with using Instagram is that you can’t link straight to your blog from your posts. The easiest way to get round this is to link to your blog homepage or your latest blog post in your bio.
Alternatively you can use a tool like Linktree, which enables you to link to multiple webpages and other social media profiles from your Instagram bio.
Once you have 10,000 followers on Instagram, you get access to the “swipe up” function, which means you can link directly to your blog posts from Instagram stories.
Twitter is a conversational platform and that means that you’ll be severely limiting your potential follower count if all you do is post links to your blog.
Try chatting about current events, news in your industry, linking to other interesting content you find, retweeting other accounts, and asking your followers questions. Also make sure to participate in discussions on other accounts without dropping in a link to your blog wherever you can.
This strategy may not send traffic directly to your site but it will build up your trust and authority so that when you do link to your site, your followers are much more likely to click through because they’re interested in what you have to say.
And don’t forget the hashtags! Many people search Twitter using the hashtags and they can really help to grow your following. Keep an eye on trending hashtags and be sure to use them when it’s relevant to your tweet.
TikTok is one of the newer social networks on this list and is rapidly growing in popularity. It currently has 800 million active users, with 60% of these users in the 16-24 age bracket.
All content on TikTok consists of 15-second video clips with a soundtrack. This simple concept has proved incredibly popular with teenagers in particular.
The app’s limited content format and very young user base means that many bloggers and brands quickly dismiss it as a marketing tool. But remember that preferences and habits set in the teen years often follow people into adulthood: the teens of today are the consumers of tomorrow. The app is also becoming more popular with adult users as it evolves.
That said, the opportunities for blog promotion on TikTok have been fairly limited so far. However, this looks set to change with the recent introduction of clickable links in profiles. TikTok is also experimenting with paid promotional features.
With its rapid rise to popularity, TikTok can’t be ignored, and it certainly has potential for travel bloggers, fitness bloggers, fashion and lifestyle bloggers, and others who blog in niches that translate well to video.
If you wished you’d put in the effort on Instagram before it got big, this might be your second chance. This is definitely the time to grow your following and personal brand on TikTok if you can spare the time to create some fun and creative short videos.
Automating Your Social Media Marketing
Posting daily on multiple social networks can easily be a full-time job. But marketing automation technology can make your life easier and means you don’t necessarily need to employ a social media manager to take care of your blog promotion for you.
Every tool works slightly differently and you may have to experiment before you find one that fits well with your workflow. Some of the most popular social media automation tools include:
- Buffer offers a free plan that allows you to queue up to 10 posts on 3 social networks, or you can upgrade to a paid plan from $15 a month.
- Tailwind is an automated scheduler for Pinterest and Instagram. Plans start from $9.99 a month.
- Hootsuite offers a free plan to schedule up to 30 posts on 3 social networks. Paid plans start from $19 a month.
- IFTTT is a free service that enables you to set up triggers for certain actions, so you can automatically post your Instagram photos to Twitter and Facebook, for example
There are also several WordPress plugins available that enable you to schedule your social media shares at the same time as publishing your post.
More Tips for Social Media Blog Promotion
There are a few general tips for social media promotion that you can take and use on multiple platforms.
- Share links to other blogs, not just your own. This helps you to build relationships with other bloggers and they’ll be more likely to share your content in the future.
- Be generous with your use of hashtags, but not too generous. Using dozens of hashtags looks spammy and you don’t have to use them on every single post. Look for hashtags that fewer people are using as your content will quickly get lost under generic hashtags like #blogging.
- Ask your followers to like and repost your content. Make sure to include social media buttons on your website and at the end of all your posts so it’s easy for them to do so.
- Engage with your audience. Don’t just sit back and expect them to consume your content. Social media is a two-way conversation.
- Make sure to choose eye-catching images to accompany links to your blog posts. This will increase your attention and click-through rate.
- Pay attention to when you post and try to use each network at the optimal time for engagement. You can figure this out for your audience by using the analytics provided by each platform.
- Be consistent and regular with your posts. If you spam your followers and then don’t post anything for weeks, don’t expect social media to be a great traffic source for your blog.
- Share your old blog posts as well as the new ones. Don’t spam your followers by linking to the same content over and over again, but it’s worth re-visiting old posts from time to time that new followers won’t have seen and your existing following may have missed the first time round.
- Consider installing a commenting plugin that’s linked to social media like Disqus. This enables users to leave comments on your blog from their normal social media profiles.
- Optimize your headlines. The catchier your headline, the more likely it is to be shared on social media. But avoid spammy “clickbait” headlines.
- Keep an eye on memes and trends. Social media trends like the #10yearchallenge can help to grow your following and bring more traffic to your site.
Note: social media user figures valid as of January 2020 and taken from https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/