Between rabid Internet marketers and clueless small business owners, everyone’s jumping on the social media bandwagon. While every other self-styled consultant and guru espouses the power of content marketing via the social media, not too many of them teach their readers in a simple, actual and actionable way.
I hope to change this with this guest post. I have neither the expertise nor the following to merit being called another B-List blogger. For the rest of this post, think of me as just another face in the crowd. And this is what I’ve done to improve my blog’s social media engagement. Now, without further ado, let’s have the 7 hopelessly simple blogging tips to improve your social media marketing strategy.
1. Use Pinterest.
This is probably one of the most important bits of advice anybody can give you to become a better blogger. The site is simple and the layout is a really refreshing change of pace, away from all the noise and clutter of Facebook (grandma’s hangout), Twitter (the world’s news channel) and Google+ (the SEO’s hood). Pinterest gives each blogger a PageRank 8 link, straight to their homepage. To do this, go to Account > Settings > and then hit verify your website. You’ll then be asked to upload a tiny file to your FTP client. The link isn’t tagged no-follow. But I could be way off my rocker here. Please feel free to correct me if this link isn’t do-follow.
2. Get two computer monitors.
Small businesses typically operate on a really tight budget but I’m sure you can get a very, very inexpensive computer monitor to hook up on your current rig. Hand in heart, you’ll get more work done this way. Use your second monitor to keep your spreadsheets and or the rest of your Google Docs open. Use it for another browser or to keep an eye on your keyword research tools or competitive analysis. On my end, I use a second monitor to hold all my news and timeline feeds. I have a very tiny window where all of my Google+ notifications pop up. I also have another for HootSuite, where I can keep up with the latest trending topics in my niche.
3. Optimize your images for the web.
One of the biggest burdens of having a massive following is the need to stay on top of your hosting needs. If your site is too slow, you won’t get new readers nor keep the old ones happy. Before shelling out good money for a perfectly reliable virtual private server hosting, consider optimizing your images for the web. If I’m honest, the best social media marketing strategies are anchored on quality, shareable images. Facilitate the sharing by keeping your files sizes small. There are plenty of tools to do this. I hear GIMP and Pixlr are awesome for this task. Personally, I’m hooked on Adobe. To optimize your images, hit, CTRL+SHIFT+S and take the slider down to six or seven and then click save. This setting allows me to keep the image quality high without breaking my cheap-o shared hosting server’s back.
4. Don’t put music on your site.
This is something most hipster bloggers forget. Just because there’s a WordPress plugin for nearly everything, doesn’t give you the right to add blaring tunes to your blog. If your bounce rate’s unbelievably high, consider taking out the music on your blog. If you have to have music, let your users click on the player widget.
We’ve probably never heard of the music you play but us searchers and prowlers generally don’t browse the web in awkward silence.We play music too. And you probably have never heard of them either.
5. Read the Terms of Service.
We from the social media marketing and blogging persuasion have a penchant for signing up to new and untested social networks, bookmarking sites or perhaps some new and high paying affiliate marketing campaigns. Read the terms of service of each and everything you install or use. Even if you’re just looking to try that service; the horror stories that you’ve read or heard before are probably true. Save yourself the trouble, the heartaches and the absurd lawyer’s fees from a potential lawsuit. Should you end up with a banned account on some network nobody’s heard off, don’t vent on forums. Come back here and I’ll be glad to tell you: I told you so.
6. Get a responsive WordPress theme.
One of the most brilliant Internet Marketers in the post-penguin and post-panda era once wrote, “Anyone who starts a blog today that isn’t responsive is an idiot.” I’m with him on that one. When you review your traffic data in the last 18 months, you’ll be surprised at the number of mobile device users. If your site isn’t responsive, there’s an equally good chance that you’re missing out on potential subscribers. There are a ton of free themes you can use that can help serve your readers who take in the Internet using feisty, little screens that are as thin as crisps. This is absolutely essential for your blog’s social media marketing strategy.
7. Cut your videos to about 90 seconds.
YouTube is now the planet’s second largest search engine, next to Google. Although Facebook’s Open Graph system is slowly jockeying for that position, you can’t really go wrong with some videos to drive traffic to your brand or your blog. The trick here is to keep your videos about a minute and a half or less. This’ll give you the best possible chance of going viral. If you absolutely have to exceed that running time, invest on some quality audio recording equipment. I hear there are perfectly good wired lavalier microphones on Amazon. For $20 bucks a pop, you’ll get pro-quality sound engineering. Great content is almost always predicated on great audio. If you can do this at a consistent level, there’s hardly any reason why your social media marketing via YouTube can fail. Do you have other tips that you’d like to share? Help us improve our social media strategies by joining the discussion below.
This guest post was written by Shandi Tan is currently one of the Community Managers for Pulyetos, a company that provides business intelligence solutions and social media marketing strategies in the Philippines. You can read more of her work at www.pulyetos.com/blog.