You hear it (or read it) just about everywhere you turn these days. “You need to get into social media.” But what does that really mean in the context of blogging and why does social networking matter for bloggers? I recently read through Blogging Tips: Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger and I have compiled five of the most important tips from that e-book when it comes to how you should be using social media and social networks to your blogging advantage.
Try to Get the Same Username Everywhere
Imagine you met someone at a bar and he introduced himself to you as Jim. Then, when you find him at a networking event, the same guy introduces himself as John. And then, when he books a reservation at a hotel, he puts down Jerry as his name. This can get terribly confusing, because the same guy is going by three different names in three different places!
The same thing can be said about the Internet and social networking. You should do your absolute best to select a name or username that is available across all social networks. “You don’t want to have ‘user123′ on one network, and then be known as ‘user245′ on another.” That just makes it confusing for your readers. This isn’t always possible, but do try your best.
Treat Your Followers Like Real People
It’s easy enough to syndicate the RSS feed from your blog to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, but that just makes them into faceless broadcast channels. If you have a look at my Twitter, you’ll see that I share the content that I write, but I also actively engage with my followers too. These are real people and, as such, many of them want to engage in a real conversation. This helps to make you (or your blog) more real and, thus, it makes it much less likely that these followers walk away.
Get Your Google Authorship Set Up
While it is true that there are more people actively using Facebook and Twitter than there are using Google+, that doesn’t mean that Google’s social network is without value. Indeed, it can become increasingly valuable when it comes to search engine optimization. If you have a Google+ account, you should set up the Google Authorship permissions for any blog posts that you write. This can then lead to having writer bios (including your profile picture and byline) show up in Google search results when that article comes up.
Create Separate Facebook Fan Pages
You probably already have a personal Facebook profile and while you could certainly use that to promote your blog, you really should have a separate Facebook fan page for your blog. This removes the limit on the number of “friends” you can have, because fan pages don’t have any limits on the number of “likes” they can get. Using these fan pages, you can send your latest updates, connect with your followers, and come up with creative ways to build your following. You’ll notice that I have separate pages for my freelance writing business and for Beyond the Rhetoric, for example. This helps to keep things clearer for your readers and the wall/feed is cleaner too.
Embed Social Buttons on Your Blog
What’s the point of being active on all these social networks if no one knows that you are on them? Just as you should have your Twitter profile point toward your website, the reverse should also be true. This keeps your followers “in the loop” in both directions. Include social networking buttons on your blog content–there are plenty of free plugins you can use–and this makes it easy for your readers to share your content via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, or whatever else. This is great for viral content.
For more tips on blogging, including monetization strategies, be sure to have a look at Zac Johnson’s book. It’s available now for Kindle for just $4.95.