The other day I was reading a blog post written by rather prominent business writer Jeff Bullas. He has made an entire career out of his approach to online self-promotion, and he provided an interesting analogy for the use of social media for advertising content.
According to him, giving content through social media is like the drug dealer giving new customers the first hit free. He calls them “savvy businessmen” who know the value of this tactic. Because free content will quickly build a loyal client base who will return with the money for more.
I thought two things when I read that: one, it was one of the worse analogies I have ever heard; and two, he has a point. Tacky as such a comparison might have been, social media does make an excellent platform for increasing visibility and loyalty through providing free content. But also free content that is easily spread through sharing, or shared naturally through feed activity viewed by the user’s friends list.
There is perhaps no better way to be seen than by using social media. Campaigns should be started and cultivated using multimedia, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit and your blog itself. All of which has its own place in the grand scheme of things.
Sadly, this will take a lot of time and effort. You can’t do it all at once, and are better served tackling one social media site at a time before you start to really promote your content. Or, choosing a few that are more easily synced together and so can be posted to at the same time (such as Facebook and Twitter, which is more likely to have the same status updates).
However you choose to approach it, here are a few tips to get you started.
Make It Easy To Subscribe
Too few blogs have clear buttons on their site that link to their social media profiles. Which is a real pain, because it makes the users have to search them out…which isn’t always an easy task with the many similar titled profiles that are sure to be out there. Likewise, your social media about page should have a link to your other profiles and your blog right there with the description of what you are about.
Post Share Buttons On Posts
You don’t have to always share your own content. Instead, you should make it easy for users to share it for you. Have buttons for different social media sites installed with your posts. This should include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and (in my opinion) other sites like Reddit. Some people might not even consider sharing a post on their own, but will remember their profile when they see the share buttons. So it is important to have them available.
Post Other People Content
One of the easiest ways to increase the amount of content being posted to your profile is by sharing content from other people. Especially things currently circulating social media like relevant or humorous photos, or interesting articles. It will make you a source, which can lead others back to you. Especially when a user shares, retweets or posts from your page.
Take Advantage Of Site Features
Each social media site has their own, unique features available. Those should be exploited to their greatest degree, in order to create a proper campaign. For example, Facebook has apps that can be incredible useful, especially if you want to run a contest or create something interactive. Twitter has their hashtags and live search, which can bring you to the attention to your demographic. Pinterest is growing fast and allows you the chance to be more visual. YouTube promotes viral content. LinkedIn will let you network with mutually beneficial contacts. Quora engages users on a more personal level. All of these will give you a unique way of promotion.
Properly Describe Your Content
I don’t like clicking on links where I can’t anticipate what will be waiting on the other side. Many others don’t like doing so, either. You should make sure that you post proper details of the content, such as a small description and a warning if it is not safe for work, or has any kind of autoplay video or audio on the page. That includes other people’s content you link to.
Getting some help is always great, especially idf you are new and don’t have too many loyal followers to support you. Check out Viral Content Buzz that lets you promote your content by promoting other people’s content!
While I can’t get behind Jeff Bulla’s assertion that drug dealers are good businessmen that provide an example to follow (even if the analogy was a loose one), I agree with him on the point of the importance of social media. Promotion is easier than ever using this tool, so the sooner you get started, the better.