Introduction to Social Media
Social media has the potential to build your brand. A brand requires the creation of awareness to a potentially large amount of people. The more people know your brand, the better your position to your competitors. There are no shortcuts here. If you are right and have great content, the results can be quick. The masses will like you, celebrate you, and share you. If your work is below average, then you will go unnoticed or even be ridiculed for years. It is a great platform to help sharpen your teeth but be sure you share only accurate or useful information. Progress and growth will attract a steady flow of people looking at your content and recommending it to others.
Social media is relatively cheap compared to all other media. Yes, you will have to work with a budget, but at the end of the day, it is thousands less than any other media channel. The mind-blowing fact is, you spend less, for even more guaranteed conversions and impact! Google appreciates and recognizes backlinks from social media. They will rank you higher from your effort there. Ultimately, you will be on top of the SERP (search engine results page) if you crack social media success with your blog!
The above are reasons that would make anyone want to jump in social media with both feet! But below, we are going to discuss the nitty-gritty details of how to launch yourself on this massive platform. The fact that almost 80% of the US population is on social media, and nearly 50% are active users should ring success bells to you.
We are going to learn the step-by-step guide to launching and running social media platforms. Finally, we will look into how to achieve success in all platforms, creating harmony.
Create a Profile on the Main Social Media Networks
Blogging leaps higher when launched on social media, and we are going to zero in on the major platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Patreon, Reddit, and Quora. All are social media platforms, but they work differently to achieve more or less the same goal. Below is a roadmap to each of them.
Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular of all social media platforms. Most people think the term social media and the term Facebook are the same. 2019 statistics showed that despite having over 4 billion registered accounts, it has an impressive 2.38 billion active users! This is massive!
How it Works
Facebook allows you to create a profile as a person or business. You will have your profile and cover photo to put a face or any identity you may wish with your name. It allows you to share as much about yourself as possible. Your location, education history, contacts, family members, hobbies and interests, books, and movies you have read and watched respectively, your favorite pages, your public groups on the same platform. You can answer random social questions your friends might be interested in, places you have visited, and so much more. Others can live your life with you.
In addition to the above, Facebook allows you to have up 5000 “connects” referred here as friends. Beyond 5000, all others who wish to link up with you automatically become your followers. Here, you can have as many numbers of followers as you possibly can.
On the business side of the platform, Facebook prompts users to “share what is on their minds.” Here people will create content and write about anything and everything. One can write content and back it up with an image, a video, or a shared link to a blog post. You can write content, share captivating images or informative illustrations, share videos, and best of all for you, share your blog posts with your audience/friends.
Facebook will allow you to create a page independent of your personal account if you wish. You can run your page as a brand name based on your name. You can be either an independent publisher of your blog or the face of your blog if you work as a team. In most cases, it is more rewarding to work with the brand name of your blog. Remember, you are here to build a brand for your blog. A page will allow you to specify your niche and give a brief description of your blog.
For example, if you run a travel blog, you will indicate travel as your main agenda. You will also go ahead and describe the extent of your adventure and content. This way, you will attract an audience that is interested in the same things as your blog. You will realize you will attract a lot of travel enthusiasts and all other matters related to travel.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Winning on Facebook with a Page
Make clear your intention
Unless you are a news blog, more often than not, you will want to confine yourself to a niche. Remember news is a niche on its own. What is my point? Be a master of one niche. Let people know what niche you specialize in. Be a resource for useful content on one particular area of life and create an audience on it. This will see to it you create a steadily growing number of users who are likely to stay loyal to the blog.
You don’t want to attract someone because of travel matters only for you to jump ropes and start engaging on totally different topics like religion and politics. In most cases, this will be a put off to the people who followed you for travel. In the end, you will have very unpredictable followership as people come and go.
Rarely will anyone invent the wheel in this day and age? That said, there are many people running blogs like you do and doing the same niche as you even on Facebook. How do you stand out? Your competitor may have 10 million followers. You can equally match him and have 10 million followers. It is possible to run a page that has hundreds of millions of followers while your competitors have tens of millions of followers. We all know what is excellent stands out. These are not figures you fantasize about, and they appear. You work for them, and your content will have to be top notch.
Accompany most of your shared blog posts with captivating captions. Bait Facebook users to want to read more. You are more likely to get clicks on your blog with either a very catchy caption or a very appealing headline. If you have both, you have massive chances already.
Do Not Create a Social Media Page to Only Share Blog Posts!
Wrong move. You will have to do other independent things to create a life and presence on your page. If you run a page that only shares blog posts, you are more likely to lose big time. I believe in the thumb rule of reciprocity in the universe. Choose either to be informative, educative, or entertaining. Let people follow you for the above. You will keep them coming. Then once in a while, share your blog posts, and as a rule of thumb, people will want to reciprocate your kind effort in their lives for the above three and promote your blog. Or, if not for that reason, they will always be curious if your blog post is a higher version of the value they get from your other offerings.
Marketing and Advertising on Facebook
Any brand worth its name today has advertised to get there. Advertising is the process by which you pay a media channel to push you to their mass audience. Say, Facebook has a potential of 5 billion people on their site. You pay them to reach that number of audience. But if you pay to reach 5 billion people, you will have to cough a few more thousand dollars unlike one who will want to pay for only 20000 people, consisting of only women, age 28-35, located in say, California only. You realize the latter cluster audience will achieve more for less. This is what you get when you pay Facebook to advertise your blog.
Today, if you advertise yourself in a daily newspaper, you are sure that your target audience will be localized since daily news in the USA cannot sell in Japan. While on Facebook, there is a guarantee of more audience on social media than on the daily paper. What I am trying to say is that you are guaranteed more of an audience of your choice online, and on social media, than any other platform.
Secondly, now that you are running a blog on the internet, you are bound to get more conversions if you advertise online than on any other media. Say you own The Washington Post, you are more likely to get instant visits to your site if you advertise for it online as the lead to blog is only a click away, rather than advertising on television, requiring someone to go either on their phone or PC to look out for you.
Facebook can tailor the right audience for you. You only reach who you want to reach and pay for just that. While running your blog, you might want to write about hiking events at the second tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Kenya. This is a global destination. If you live in Texas, most probably you know there are people in your state that love travel. Most likely, you will want to advertise to them and at least advertise to Kenya, the hosting country while promoting local tourism.
As well, the fact you will be writing about them is enough for them to give you clicks. Also, depending on your content, you can go; beyond targeting a particular location. You can even go as far as pinpointing what mile radius your town of choice should be, or you can specify gender, age, hobbies, and interests of your target audience. Here, you get more value for your money.
Instagram is popular and has a specific kind of audience. Here, images are everything. Images precede captions. If you miss it on imaging, most likely no one will bother with your great caption. We are talking about 1 billion monthly active users. For a brand that depends on people and viewership, this number is mouthwatering. You want to make the most out of it. Instagram was purchased by Facebook, so the same targeting opportunities are possible.
Remember our travel blogger. What is traveling without pictures? You are more likely to thrive on Instagram than on any other platform. Besides, great content, photography skills are needed here. Whether you perfect the art of photography, or you pay an expert to do it, or you buy images online, the choices are many, and all are great. Do what you may, to win an audience with only good photography. I cannot emphasize this point enough. Photography is king here. Instagram should motivate you to also succeed in photography, even in your blog posts. A blog is beautiful with a picture here and there. For a travel blog, images could be enough for a blog. You might need only a minimum captioning. Pictures should be unique and high quality, do not just post downloads or screenshots. Make Instagram the album of your life.
On Instagram, the same rules on marketing and advertising applications as they do on Facebook. It gets better since they are under an equal umbrella company. You can cross-advertise the same item on both Facebook and Instagram. How wonderful! You know, you might want to target Texas audiences only, just that, and you might find a very active user on Instagram who does not either own a Facebook account or has one but hardly checks in there. To get this person, you will have to advertise on both platforms to be sure of getting as much attention to both Facebook and Instagram lovers.
Twitter is uniquely different. It doesn’t have as many users as with the other two mentioned platforms, but Twitter followers tend to be very loyal to twitter. We are talking about around 326 million daily active users. Twitter is the debate center of the world. People who are more into intellect and conversations over images and social fun. Your captivating blog posts will do well here. People are most likely to read and follow links here. This is because they are inclined to seek out more information and evidence for the discourse they have been following here throughout the day.
You can easily make yourself an authority in blog matters here. Besides sharing your blogs and interesting tweets here and there, the most significant task on Twitter is to follow conversations. Engaging in developing and current topics on trending hashtags are more likely to make you visible than creating just content in your own space.
Engaging someone on Twitter will most likely invite them to want to know more about you, and if and when they visit, find you specializing in an area of their interest, then they are likely to stick with you for life. First, by following you. Twitter will also allow you to advertise and feature your ads on their platform. It is a very useful tool for anyone keen to invite new readers to their space.
Optimizing your Twitter account for growth is one of the few steps you can take to drive more traffic to your blog posts. You can also read How to Grow your Twitter Following to reach even more users!
YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, reaching 10 billion people daily. As you probably know, it is video-based, so you will have to adapt your strategy a bit here. Instead of just sharing things relevant to your blog in the form of posts or pictures, here, you will need to adjust your blog for audio/visual audiences. Videos are a great way to market yourself as people get to see and hear you. Also, the interaction on YouTube, as well as the opportunity for the AdSense money, is second only to Google Search. In addition to AdSense, there are several Google Partners which we will list below that can market your channel videos on third-party sites. YouTube can help gain you a following.
Making video content of your blogs (VLOG) or content related to your blog is the best option for YouTube. You can link your blog, place affiliate/sales links, or links to your other social media in the videos or video descriptions. It is a chance to provide another type of content for your followers and engage with them. Also, you will get a whole new audience that does more listening or watching than reading. Not because they are lazy, but they are busy or prefer to hear and see their information. Your followers who find you there will also be able to see and listen to you, which gives your blog a whole other dimension.
Also, YouTube is a way to get extra ad revenue from AdSense by allowing Google to place ads on your videos (once you have 1k subscribers and 4k watch hours). Furthermore, you can advertise through AdWords to get your videos in front of a targeted audience, thus increasing traffic to all your sites. In addition to AdSense, there are some other services (Google Partners) that can market your YouTube content and blog for a small fee.
Patreon is a social media site that allows followers to “subscribe or pledge” different amounts of money to their favorite influencers. Each influencer creates several levels of support at the site ranging from 1 to as high as they wish. At each level, they offer different types of rewards based on the pledge amount. These vary from creator to creator and must be tailored to the things the creator can do consistently. Some examples are private patron-only live chats, t-shirts, autographs, exclusive blogs, or vlogs posted for patrons to the Patreon site. Just get creative, and people can sign up for as little as one buck a month. The donations are taken monthly and sent to the influencer.
Reddit & Quora
Reddit and Quora are discussion forums where users discuss and share various types of information. What makes them different is the fact that on those sites, users can both upvote information to get more views for it and ask direct questions on various topics. The answers are cataloged and can be shared with others, asking those same questions. These are great places to show yourself an authority in your niche and help drive people to your blog for more information. Finally, you can advertise on both platforms using Google AdWords to drive people to your answers over others.