You have already met Molly and maybe even won a copy of her book in my last giveaway. Molly is a walking social media encyclopaedia and whenever I have a question, she is kind enough to answer it. She helped me a lot with getting more readers for this blog and her advice is always helpful. Actually, one of the items on Molly's to-do-list is "fix Olga's blog" (which I did, I think, but then I am affraid means moving to Wordpress which I have in mind but no time for). But you must admit that it's better now, isn't it? As for reward, I pay Molly handsomly in cookies, cake and homemade hot chocolate.
Social media for bloggers
With around 200 million blogs in existence, bloggers carry a lot of weight in the online world. Consumers say bloggers influence purchasing decisions more than Facebook and Twitter. You can’t influence those decisions or be a part of the conversation unless people know that your blog exists. And social media is a great way to expand your influence, increase your traffic and improve your relationship with your readers.
Have Dedicated Pages For Your Blog
While you can promote your content via your personal channels, you should create pages for your blog specifically. First, you want to make it as easy for people to follow you as possible and you don’t want to have to friend everyone on Facebook or adjust security settings to do so. Secondly, people who follow your blog may not care about your vacation photos or what you’re eating for dinner. They are likely to stop following if they are inundated with content they aren’t interested in.
Using Auto-Updating Features
In order to populate those channels, you need to share your blog’s content. Few people have the time or energy to do that by hand and fortunately, most social media sites offer a solution. Most blogging software applications allow you to automatically share your posts on your social media channels. You can find these options on the settings or by searching online for help.
You can dictate what text goes along with the updates, whether or not images are shown, etc. Play around with the settings until you find something you like. Make sure that you aren’t also connecting your social media sites together as well, or you’ll end up with your blog updating Facebook and Twitter and Twitter also updating Facebook and creating double posts.
Many people use aggregators to read online content. These are sites like Google Reader and Feedly which bring content from different sites all to one site. Some bloggers don’t like RSS feeds because it drives traffic away from your site. They assume that without an RSS feed, readers will be forced to come directly to their site. However, it’s more likely, that they will simply lose those readers.
If you blog in different languages, create an RSS feed for both. This can also be useful if you blog about different topics. If you post your recipes as well as offering parenting advice, you can allow people to subscribe to just your food posts, just your parenting posts, or both.
Social Media Buttons
And how will your current readers find your social media pages? Get some social media icons for your site and post them in a prominent locations (the upper right hand corner is a common location.) There are thousands of icon sets out there to match any design aesthetic. (Here’s a start.)
Test your links and be sure to have them open in a different tab when they are clicked on. You don’t want to direct people away from the blog itself. And make sure you link to your RSS feed.
Encouraging others to share your content on social media is an easy way to spread the word about your blog. The easier you make it for people to share your content, the more likely they are to do so.
There are plenty of sharebar plugins for Wordpress and Blogger or you can create your own using your own icons. Don’t overcrowd the space with too many icons, however. Focus on the sites which your readers are active on.
For Further Reading
From the Social Media Examiner, some advice on using Tumblr.
How to use Stumble Upon.
A philosophical approach to social media and blogging.
Mashable's (a great source for social media information) social media tips for bloggers.
From Time, business blogging.
Molly Quell is a social media and online marketing consultant who blogs at The Marketing Salon and has just published her first book on social media, The Five Biggest Mistakes.