When it comes to your event or business blog, if you build it, they WON'T come unless you tell them about it and they like you.
You may have the most incredible website and create fascinating, engaging blog posts on a daily basis, but you still need to promote them if you want traffic. And if you promote your blog posts in the wrong way (i.e. by broadcasting, spamming and not respecting the communities you are reaching out to) people will deliberately avoid your site.
So before you start promoting your blog, take some time to locate your target audience on social media. Follow them there and strive to become a valued member of those communities by engaging in dialogue, sharing useful information that isn't self-promotional and/or promoting others. This method, also known as the #EIR (Engage-Inform-Retweet) social media strategy, will build trust within the community and create relationships with others who will help promote you when you share your blog posts.
Once you've become a valued community member, here are some tips & tools for for promoting your blog posts on the most popular platforms.
You can post links to your blog posts on your personal account or on your business or community page. One way to automate this and get high ranked backlinks is to register your blog on Networked Blogs.
Be sure to interact on your Facebook page if you want to show up in the Facebook streams. That means respond when people comment on your posts and comment on posts of others whenever you get the chance.
Use Twitter but remember to promote others, engage in dialogue and share non-promotional information that is useful to your target audience MORE than you promote your own posts. Make sure to collect followers who are interested in your topic and use appropriate hashtags.
You can link your blog RSS feed to your profile so that each time you post, it is shown on your profile. But don't forget about status updates. They appear on the news feeds of your LinkedIn connections. Remember, LinkedIn is a social network too, so interaction is still important. Participate in discussion groups and comment on the posts of others.
Search for online communities that might be interested in your topic. Make sure that your posts aren't blatantly promotional and engage with the rest of the community or you may be labeled as a spammer.
At this time, email is still a popular way to send information. E-newsletters are more informational than "salesy", and are less likely to be ignored. You can copy and paste your blog into an e-newsletter or add a self updating RSS feed (like wise stamp) to your email signature. Or you can offer subscriptions via email on your blog.
Triberr was created specifically for bloggers to promote each other. Bloggers use it by creating 'tribes" of fellow bloggers who are writing for a similar niche audience. The tribe members all provide Triberr with access to their Twitter account and an RSS feed URL for their blog. The site creates a stream of formatted tweets promoting all tribe members blog posts that, upon approval by each member, are scheduled for posting to their Twitter account. The posts are staggered no less than one hour apart.
Pinterest is a social sharing site that allows you to collect & share images & links in a bulletin board format. You can collect links on visually pleasing boards that you can categorize as you like. This relatively new social media platform has become a key driver of traffic for many websites in recent months. If you use Pinterest to promote your posts, remember that proving your value to the community in a non-promotional way is still key. Also, Pinterest only works as an image-based link sharing tool. So you will need to use images that are posted with your blog.
No matter what tool or platform you choose, remember that the most important part of your social media marketing campaign is strategy. All social media strategy must acknowledge that social media users are hyper-sensitive to sales & marketing. They can smell tricks, manipulation and self-interest a mile away. If you are authentic, engage them in a one to one manner, and strive to bring value regardless of whether doing so seems to directly benefit you, they will trust and welcome you into their communities.
Download our FREE eBook on How to Use Social Media for Event Marketing.
(Photo by kevin dooley)