By know you should know that blogging is one of the most important inbound marketing tactics available to business owners, CEOs and marketing executives.
Our research has shown that the more you blog, the more traffic you can expect on your website. Some of the recent changes to the Google algorithm have supported the importance of blogging, but there are still a set of best practices that ensure you get the biggest bang for your blogging buck.
Here are 10 best practices for using social media to optimize the results of your blogging efforts.
1. Post at the same time and try to post early in the morning
Believe it or not, there are statistics that show blogs are read more frequently and shared more often when they are posted early in the morning. Try to get your blog up by 7 a.m. This typically means writing it the day before and scheduling it for auto-publication the next day.
2. Make sure everyone in your company is subscribed to your blog
This is a little-known but highly effective tactic to keep everyone in your company connected to the messages your company is publishing. Perhaps more importantly, your people can leverage your blog content in their conversations with prospects, clients, partners and suppliers.
3. Make sure everyone in your company shares your blog post with all their LinkedIn contacts
Everyone in your company has a social media network. Granted, some are bigger than others, but by asking, monitoring and reinforcing the practice of sharing your blog posts, you guarantee that your blog content is getting distributed to thousands of people even if you only have a handful of blog subscribers. Better yet, Google now sees a highly shared, socially significant piece of content on your website and moves that up the rankings.
4. Make sure your blog posts are automatically pushed to your corporate social media sites, especially LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook
This is pretty easy to do and most marketing automation software tools such as HubSpot, Marketo and others do this for you. Make sure when you set up your blog and your social media accounts that this auto-publish feature is turned on.
5. Make sure Google+ is an active part of your social media and posting process
Like it or not, Google makes the rules, and right now they are leveraging their ability to deliver search results with your ability to use Google+. While Google+ still lags behind Facebook and the other social media sites for number of users, it is coming on strong and does offer a lot of interesting features. It has to be part of your social media an blog posting program.
6. Retweet your post later in the afternoon (usually around 4 p.m.)
It’s OK to tweet more the same piece of content more than once. Some very popular thought leaders like Guy Kawasaki posts the same content multiple times a day. In the case of most businesses, a post in the morning and another one later in the afternoon makes the most sense. Now you’re getting noticed by those early morning readers and by those who prefer to read industry information before they leave for the day.
7. Make your posts as human as possible and match any social media commentary to your audience
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes you could make is turning your blog into an outlet for corporate jargon. Remember, this is the voice of your company. Your company sells to humans and you want your blog to connect with other humans. Make sure it sounds authentic and genuine. While it does need to maintain your company’s voice and tone (buttoned up and corporate or casual and friendly) your post has to have a human element to it. Make it conversational and keep it simple.
8. Make sure you include a call-to-action button in every blog post, and make sure it’s for additional content and not a sales call
People don’t want to be sold to. This is why they come to the blog to read what you have to say, not to be sold. While you do want each blog post to offer additional educational content, just like this post does. Resist the urge to ask them if they want to speak with a sales rep, or to schedule a consultation. Your readers are smart and they know that’s a sales call. Stick with educational content to get the best results.
9. Make social sharing obvious on your blog with buttons at the top of each post
Almost every blog tool comes with the ability to easily share a post. Make sure your social media sharing buttons are prominent, keep them at the top and make sure they have some numbers in them. This is another reason to have your team sharing content. When a new visitor sees your post and you have 10 likes, 8 shares, 11 tweets and 13 pluses on Google+, they are going to be comfortable sharing it with their social network too.
10. Just ask for your post to be shared
The data is pretty undeniable. When you ask your audience to share your content, they do. It’s not that they don’t want to, but sometimes they just need a gentle reminder. Some casual references like, “please retweet this” or “feel free to share this with your network” are nice reminders that you are OK with them sharing your content.
Blogging alone works, but if you want to jump start the results that come with blog there are a few secret tips and tricks, like the ones above that help you get the results you are looking for sooner than later.
For more information on how you can add an inbound marketing program to your business, download our newest e-book, “Crack The Code To Inbound Marketing.”
Mike Lieberman, chief marketing scientist at Square 2 Marketing, is a regular contributor to SmartBlogs. You can follow him at @Mike2Marketing. To follow Square 2 Marketing use @Square 2.