1. Social Media presence and experience
Prior to writing a blog online, it is important to have some experience with social media platforms. Each social media platform is leveraged in a different way (Reddit vs. Twitter vs. Facebook as examples). It is a good idea to have existing social media accounts and access to existing online social networks. More importantly, ensure you understand how audiences on each platform might react to your content and promotional efforts. A Reddit user may be more likely to engage with a targeted and specific post curated for their interests while a Facebook friend may be more likely to engage on broader messages in support of the friend’s blog.
2. Social Media strategy is key
As you head down the exciting path of writing a blog, it is important to not only have a content strategy, but also have a promotional strategy. The content strategy should outline the types of topics to write about and the social media platforms on which to post. A promotional strategy should identify the intended audiences and how you expect to reach them via the social platforms.
As you develop your plan for building a great social media marketing blog, be thoughtful about your posting cadence (posting twice a week is a good start) and your subsequent promotional strategy (promote heavily immediately after you post to ensure your fresh content is delivered on time).
Without an initial strategy that outlines the topics of interest, the frequency of the posts, the promotional campaigns, and the target audiences, you may find it challenging to get enough people reading, following, sharing, liking and talking about your posts.
3. Identify a topic
Invest the time to identify a topic that is not only interesting to write about but also provides a connection to an attentive audience. While you may think you have a great idea for your blog, if there aren’t enough people interested in the content you may not get anyone to read it.
4. Understand various blog types and select one
Before writing a blog, it is important to understand the various blog types such as: Listicle, Click Bait, Op Ed, or a Product Review. Once the blog types and formats are understood, you should then select the appropriate format for the topic. For example, you can write a product review on something of interest and relevance to you as the writer. This will result in more honest and engaging content that can serve to connect with a targeted audience. Another approach is to choose a topic that is of interest to the intended audience. You may decide that a Click Bait post with nostalgic images or humorous content may be an easier way to promote to a broader audience as a means to drive traffic to your blog.
5. Writing a blog can be time consuming
Don’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to research, write, review and edit a blog before posting it. To demonstrate this, consider a blog that includes original video content. While videos can be an effective way to drive traffic and session duration, they are also very time consuming to produce. Effective videos require frequent editing, re-shoots, voice over sessions, more editing and then copy overlay. Finally, you put it all together, post it to your site and promote it to the masses. While it can be fun, don’t underestimate the time commitment needed to pull it off!
6. Find audiences to drive traffic
With so many different channels available, deciding on the right platforms for promoting your message is an integral step in a successful campaign. Email, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler are a just a few of the options available and all have may seem to have benefits.
You might think that email is a great channel for promotion because you have lots of friends and family interested in your content. However, you may find that people often don’t read blogs in their email as frequently as they check their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.
The trick is finding the right social media platform and the right audience to post and promote your blog.
7. Leverage Google Analytics
Through Google Analytics, identify the key metrics that allow you to monitor your blog site’s performance and measure how well you are reaching the intended audience. Some examples of effective metrics include: number of sessions, bounce rate, average session and duration. Number of sessions measures the number of visitors to your site or campaign (i.e how effectively are you driving traffic). Average session duration provides you with a measurement of how long on average people are viewing your blogs (i.e is your content interesting to the reader). Bounce rate represents the action of leaving the site immediately after clicking on a campaign (i.e is your content relevant to the visitor). To measure how effectively your targeted audience is engaging with your blog, you want your bounce rate to be as low as possible.
8. Adjust your approach if it doesn’t drive enough traffic
There are times when it seems like the topic is relevant to many audiences and the execution of the promotional strategy seems correct. However, something didn’t work. It could have been an issue with the blog title, the blog content, the target audience or the promotion. When this occurs, you have an opportunity to make adjustments to the blog, the social media platform and/or the promotional campaign to a more appropriate audience. If you can learn from your missteps and quickly address any issues, you can develop into a more effective social media marketing blogger.