by Varda Meyers Epstein
You’ve created a great piece of content for your company blog, added compelling images every three paragraphs or so, and have a perfect Yoast plug-in score (oh how those little green dots thrill the soul). Now what? Time to share the piece on social media, of course.
As chief blogger at the Kars4Kids educational blog for parents, I generally spend three hours researching and writing my pieces and another 45 minutes to an hour sharing them here, there, and everywhere. It’s a young blog, not quite two years old, and sharing is an important way to build an audience, which is of course, crucial to making the blog generate a buzz about the charity that employs me. Which is why I’m blogging in the first place, natch?
Many bloggers simply click the share buttons for Facebook and Twitter and then move on to some other task. Maybe they think the content speaks for itself. Which is all well and good, but as the saying goes, “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?”
That is to say, if you don’t signal to your potential readers that here is something they ought to read, then what was the point of writing that piece in the first place?
I’ve seen too many bloggers waste their words and work with lackluster shares so I decided to give you five of my best secrets for making the most of the social media share. My suggestion is to choose one tip and really apply yourself to making it part of your blogging routine. Because even if you take one piece of advice from the following tips, you’ll be ahead of the game, for moving forward in a positive direction. Ready? Here goes:
1. Don’t just click the share button and call it a day.
The share is your opportunity to entice the reader to read what you’ve written, and that is, ahem, your goal, right? To get people to actually read what you write? The share comes with space to write something. So use it! Write something that intrigues and persuades. Pique your readers’ interest, or they’ll go somewhere else.
2. Don’t write the same thing on every share because that is spam and nobody likes spam.
I get all my Facebook notifications by email. Now my writing colleagues with mutual interests are sharing their pieces on all the groups we mutually belong to. That means that I end up with six or more share notifications that are carbon copies of each other, for instance, “It’s not so easy to get a job these days. Read my tips on how to handle that all important job interview.”
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you see that same notification in your inbox six times, you’re going to get annoyed. Instead, the writer could have used the opportunity to write something equally intriguing but different for each share, “Here’s my latest piece in which I share a really shameful personal experience. No spoiler. You’ll just have to read the article to read my ‘tell all.'”
Here is a writer who intrigues me more with each share! By now, I know I want to read that piece.
Bottom line? Don’t repeat yourself. Craft a new comment to accompany each share.
3. Hashtags are a blogger’s best friend.
The hashtag is not just a way to gather posts on one category in one space. It’s also a way to express your sense of humor and people do love to laugh. Imagine for a moment you’ve written an article entitled, “How I lost weight drinking nothing but pickle juice.” When you compose the text accompanying your share of the piece, you might add a few hashtags: #DontAsk #IfItsADietIveDoneIt #DesperateToBeThin. By now your reader’s thinking, “Hey, this person’s funny. Let’s read the article.”
4. Be on the lookout for new places to share.
I’m experimenting with sharing my pieces in Google+ communities. Some communities have thousands of members so you have the potential to reach a lot of readers! Use the search function to find communities that might be interested in your content. Yesterday I wrote a piece exploring the dangers of football and whether parents should let their kids play. I not only shared the piece in parenting communities, but in neuroscience communities and got some great feedback there.
5. Use every social media outlet available to plug your work.
I always share my pieces on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Google+, and Pinterest and sometimes other places, too. It doesn’t cost anything and you never know what piece is going to resonate for what audience if you don’t give them all a whirl. I have a piece on Stumbleupon that has 3,000 shares and counting. Who knew? I sure didn’t until I went ahead and gave Stumbleupon a try. You should, too.
Hopefully, there’s something here you didn’t know that will help you going forward. Even if you learned one thing, you’ll be getting more views and engagement with your content. Now that you’ve read my best tips, how about you share some of your own?
I’d love to read them!
Varda Meyers Epstein is the mother of 12 kids who is very, very organized. Varda writes for Kars4Kids, a car donation program and Guidestar silver medal charity that underwrites educational initiatives for children and their families.