You know that saying “content is king”? It isn’t true. At best, content is a kingdom. Yes, it’s vital to stake out your place, but it won’t get you anywhere without a good marketing campaign to back it up and draw in an audience. If you build it, they won’t come. How can they when they don’t know where it is? You need to advertise the hell out of it as well.
Blogging isn’t just writing great content. It’s just as much making sure that everybody else knows that you wrote it.
And the main way to make people realize that you’re writing content (especially if the content is high quality) is social media. If you know how to push your content through your social media channels you can very quickly boost your following. The question is, how do you do that? Let’s look at a few simple but highly effective strategies.
Know your audience
The first thing you’ve got to figure out is who is actually interested in reading what you’re writing about. Is it men or women? Are they young or old? What are they interested in? After you’ve figured that out, you’ve got to make certain those people actually use the social media platform you’re using to promote your work. You see, the demographics of the different networks differ hugely.
For example, on Instagram 23% of people are under 25, while 49% are under 35. On Facebook, on the other hand, 62% is over the age of 35. Forty two percent of US female internet users say they are on Pinterest, while only 13% of men say so. Linked in, in the meantime, is used by the highest earners, with 44% of those earning over $75k saying they have a profile there.
So make certain you’re actually targeting the right social media platform! Using linkedin? Then make sure to check out this article about how to drive WordPress traffic from there we did a few days ago. Also, here’s a great resource to understand how much and for what the different social networks are used.
Focus on images
It’s strange that even though we’re obviously a visual species, quite often bloggers choose images as an afterthought. And that while, for example, using a related image to a story pushes up views by 94%, while a story that has an image on Facebook means that it’s clicked on three times as often.
That almost makes it sound like we should choose our images first and then choose our words to go with it. And perhaps that’s exactly what we should do. After all, words are far easier to adapt than images and I think we’re all getting a little bit sick of those stock photos that we see almost everywhere we go on internet. So make sure you take high quality blog photos.
The all-powerful re-share
How often do you share your content on a network? If you’re like most people you probably just do so once. That really isn’t enough. After all, most social media networks do not show your content to all of your followers on the first go through. That means that a huge chunk of the people that would like to hear and read what you’re doing isn’t getting a chance to.
So make certain you share more often. How often? Kissmetrics suggests three times – Once today, once tomorrow and once next week. Doing so will more than double the amount of traffic you’ll receive on that story or post.
Now that’s easy money.
Schedule it correctly
Social network posts are incredibly time-sensitive. The moment you put it up it’s at its most valuable and after that, as far as the social networks are concerned, it quickly starts dropping in relevance. That means that if you post your content at the wrong time on the wrong day you’re not going to reach your fans and followers, which won’t generate likes or shares and that will mean your post will quickly drop away into obscurity.
So know when they’re online and schedule your posts for when they’re just coming online in big numbers. That way, your post will have the most time to get views, likes and shares, giving it legs and meaning it will show up in people’s news feeds for much longer. So keep a close eye on those statistics (they’re called ‘insights’ on Facebook) and schedule your posts accordingly.
Use the right words
People are a cauldron of unconscious assumptions, thoughts, ideas desires and beliefs that we’re only just starting to scratch the surface of. For example, take this list of words that attract clicks. There is no real rhyme or reason why many of these words are chosen and yet the statistics don’t lie. These words generate more attention than other ones.
And even a few percentage points more engagement can make a huge difference in the long run. So modifying your message to include words like these is a low cost and straightforward strategy to help you boost your blog’s attention.
When your updates are shorter and more concise they’ll get more engagement. So be aware how many characters you should use across the different networks and you can boost your engagement by a significant margin. How significant? Using 40 characters in a Facebook posts pushes up engagement by a stunning 86%! Now that is not something to be sneezed at.
As big data becomes ever more encompassing we’re starting to realize things about ourselves that simple reflection would never have revealed. It is for that reason that we need to keep a constant watch on the latest developments. I’ve just mentioned a few impressive examples of how being aware of a few simple strategies can make a world of difference. So by all means embrace them and use them.
But I suspect we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. More ways to trigger views, shares and likes are going to be revealed day by day as we delve ever further into big data and deepen our understanding. So make sure you keep your finger on the pulse and stay up to date, both to be able to push your blog and to know when stuff is being pushed at you. Because that’s the only way you can be sure you’re the puppeteer and not the puppet.