Can you think of any bloggers who don’t use social media?
I know one, but she is certainly the exception.
The norm is for anyone who wants to spread the word about their website, products, or business to use social media. Your growth depends on it.
Social media enables you to increase your connections with people off your blog.
Social media enables you to build credibility by allowing your readers to learn more about you away from your blog.
Social media enables you to increase your traffic by letting the users of the social media sites know about your blog.
However, no one has time to focus your blog promotion at all these sites. One blogger wrote, “I do my thing, and socialize where I enjoy best, not trying to dance at every wedding (every social site) because there just isn’t enough time to do everything.”
Author Debby Kaye discusses the “madness of social media” and how she feels she is drowning in that sea.
In order to get a return on your time invested, Neil Patel recommends choosing two social media sites. Other bloggers recommend choosing three. How do you know which to pick?
CoSchedule explains you need a social media strategy. This post will enable you to make those choices based on a strategy.
This article contains a three-part action plan to save you time and enable you to get a greater return on your time invested at the sites you are currently using.
My post This Will Make You Get More Blog Traffic at These Social Media Sites explained how to network at eleven social media sites. However, no one has time to “do it all.” This post can help you narrow down your choices and decide which sites to pick.
DreamGrow.com agrees you need a social media strategy. However, according to CoSchedule, social media has changed. You should make an informed decision. This post will enable you to access that information.
Make a Plan for Social Media Promotion Analyze Social Media Sites
Which social media should you use?
Four months ago, I posted updates to StumbleUpon. This post shared changes at other social media sites, how those changes affect your blog traffic, and how you can take advantages of those changes to still get blog traffic or increase your blog traffic from those sites.
The problem is that more and more social media sites keep changing the way they have always done things. As a result of these changing algorithms, you need to change too.
Pinterest’s February Smartfeed change is killing referral traffic. According to Pinterest expert Julie Syl Kalungi, if people engage with your pins, your pins will get traction and get on the Smartfeed.
I read a Pinterest expert wrote a letter to the powers-that-be at Pinterest asking them to return to their former traffic-inducing ways. However, I predict there will be no going back for Pinterest.
The site insists it is continuing to grow. Their proof is they are growing so wide internationally, they have changed the word “Pin” to “Save” out of concern foreigners would be confused if they were asked to “pin”.
Keeping up with Pinterest’s changes is possible so your traffic coming from the site doesn’t take too much of a hit. First, as Julie recommended, engage with other pinners.
Users of social media sites who engage with other users tend to be more successful there. I have seen my own Pinterest traffic rise seemingly within hours of my commenting on pins.
Viralwoot actually pays pinners in credits they can use like money to engage with other pinners.
Next, there seems to be a changing philosophy about using Pinterest’s Community Boards. According to many sources, Pinterest’s Community Boards don’t have the power they once did. Recommendations for adapting include putting your Community Boards at the bottom of your Pinterest account.
Also, pinning to boards with smaller numbers and active participants seem to work according to Pinterest experts.
Twitter celebrated ten years in March. They sent a “Thank You” Email to its users. Did you get one? I did.
They have millions of monthly users. Every minute Twitter users tweet 277,000 times.
Despite these impressive stats, in contrast to Pinterest, according to a March 2016 news story, Twitter’s growth rate is slowing down and has slowed down over the last year.
The social media site has taken steps to counteract this downward trend. According to TechCrunch, Twitter is relaxing its character limit. Photos and videos, for example, won’t take up character spaces anymore.
This should make it easier for you to promote on Twitter knowing you won’t have to care as much about character limitations.
Just like Pinterest and Twitter, the folks over at StumbleUpon want true engagement. Too many people go into StumbleUpon expecting instant mass traffic. According to OliviaDerby.com, by slowly browsing each article, the powers-that-be at StumbleUpon will be convinced that you are actually engaging with the article. Your chances of being rewarded with mega traffic will rise.
According to the Social Media Examiner, putting an article that is always timely on LinkedIn is win-win. Your LinkedIn followers increase. Also, large forums often pick up the articles published there. You could get thousands of readers and new subscribers if this happens.
According to Kathleen Aherne, posting to Google+ will get you on the first page of Google the next day. That would certainly be a good return on your time invested.
I tested her theory and posted to Google+. Look who I found at the bottom of the first page of Google the next day, me!
Kathleen explained you will find yourself on the first page of Google although it may not be the #1 spot. She was right. I am at the bottom of Page 1– twice!
Google+ started Collections. Instead of following a person, Collections allows you to follow a topic.
Facebook is continuing to grow. Its users number in the billions. Every minute Facebook users post 2,460,000 pieces of content.
Facebook is starting to use videos and live streaming. Video use is increasing in popularity. This should make it easier for bloggers to capitalize on this growing trend at Facebook and places other than YouTube.
Analyze Your Data
Perhaps, instead of trying to ride the wave of changes occurring at social media sites, you want to play to your strengths and focus on the areas where you are already getting the highest return on your time investment.
1. Go to Dashboard, Stats, Referrers, Summaries.
Since this post is reporting changes that occurred recently. pick the last quarter to see how effective your social media promotion strategy has been.
The best way to know where to focus your energies is by going to Google Analytics and seeing which social media sites are sending you traffic. Continue your efforts there. Play to your strengths.
2. In order to know which traffic sources are actually driving people to your blog. go to Google Analytics.
Make sure you have it set up for your blog. My method for seeing my traffic coming from social media sites is as follows: Click Acquisition (scroll down, look for the two arrows), Overview, All Traffic, Channels, Social, Overview.
It will tell you how many visitors are coming from each one of the social media networks you’re investing in. This can help you decide if it is worth it to continue to spend your time at those sites.
My top four are consistently StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Analyze Your Time Spent at Social Media Sites
Apply the 80/20 rule to know if you are getting a good return on your time invested. The 80/20 rule is a productivity tip.
The rule says for every 20 minutes you spend at those sites, you will get 80% return on your 20 minutes.
80% of what, you might ask. 80% of your goal. For example, let’s say I spend 20 minutes networking at a site. What is my goal? Is it to get 10 new blog subscribers? If I do, that would be a 100% return on my expectations. The 80/20 rule dictates I should be satisfied with 80% return on my time invested which would be 8 new blog subscribers.
In conclusion, whether you should try to focus on a limited number of social media sites or “try to do it all” is heavily debated.
Fran from Freeborboleta believes you should be on all of them. She maintains that contributed to her growing her blog “by leaps and bounds.”
Small Biz Trends frowns on a blogger putting all their eggs in one basket since the sites keep changing their algorithms.
However, if you did want to limit the number, there are many ways to save time and focus your energies on a few social media sites. You can analyze what you know about them and examine your stats in your blog’s dashboard and at Google Analytics.
CoSchedule‘s Ben Sailer explains that blogging is like sports. You need a strategy. The goal of this article was to give you the knowledge you need to form that strategy.
Readers, what camp do you fall into? Do you believe bloggers should promote in as many places as possible, or form a strategy that allows you to focus on a few social media sites? If you fall into the latter group, what social media sites are your top referrers that you focus your strategy on? I look forward to your views.
This post was originally published in http://www.mostlyblogging.com/promoting-at-social-media-sites/ by Janice Wald