Social media has evolved out of blogging into its own category of online promotion and marketing, and while blogging did give birth to the social media movement, they can, and should be used together. Social media marketing is a great way to expand on your blog, encourage conversation and grow your traffic. It can be used to communicate quickly and effectively with your audience, which in turn, makes your audience much more captivated with your ideas and your site.
There are a few things that you can do to implement and integrate social media on to your blog. The first thing I would recommend is putting up share buttons. I would go with ones for sites you are most familiar with and use the most often as it is hard to be effective at marketing on a site that you aren’t used to. For most people those sites are going to be Facebook and Twitter. People use the share buttons as an easy way to show a post they are interested to their friends within their social network. It is much easier than copying and pasting a link or emailing it, they can just click the share button one time and there it goes, instantly to their buddies!
What can be a little trickier than simply integrating social media into a site is actually growing a page and a following. With Twitter, I would suggest finding people interested in your niche, striking up conversation with them and following them. Single out some of the super users in your industry and open up a line of communicate with them. One thing that I usually do in this process is follow the super users and some of the base consumers of my industry, and I sit back and watch them several days to a week. I look for the patterns in their postings and what interests them so that when I come in and strike up conversation with them, I am familiar enough with them to create conversation rather than empty one line replies back and forth.
For Facebook, creating a following can be a little trickier, but overall, I see much better results from Facebook fans. First I would suggest creating your own fan page, and with that, invite all of your friends to it first. You can even tell them that it is for your website and that you would like their support. This will give you some initial base fans to work off with. After gaining some initial fans, talk to your close friends and family again and ask them if they wouldn’t mind sharing your page with their network of friends. You will find that many of them will gladly do this, and it can really add some exposure to your page and get you going on the right path.
After you have some fans on your page, start updating with engaging content that encourages conversations and commenting. I always end my posts on Facebook with a question, this leaves people with an easy in to start commenting and interacting on your page. Once you find the flow on your page, and each page has a slightly different one, you should work on further expanding your following. You can do this in several ways; one is to buy Facebook Ads for your page. This method can get expensive, but with the right targeting set on the ads, you can really pick up some valuable followers with this method. Also, have some contests, offer something up to your base for them to share your page around, people always like getting something for free, and they also enjoy telling their friends about it.
Once you open up a communication line and develop relationships with your followers, don’t feel bad about asking for some assistance from them in expanding your page. Ask them if they would share you around to their friends and family, and usually they will. Once you get a large following going, you can even offer up some cross promotions with your followers where you and another page promote each other, I have done this very effectively in the past, and with a page that is larger than yours, you can really see some impressive results.
Guest Bio: Kendall Mesker is an expert in the field of social media marketing and is the owner of Budget Social Media offering effective social media marketing solutions for small businesses on a tight budget.