Sharing your blog posts on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and even Tumblr can help your content gain significant exposure.
But each social media platform is distinct with different benefits and abilities. You need a simple process to tailor your social sharing to generate as much engagement as you can on each of these platforms.
Here's a process you can use to ensure your posts get maximum mileage. Consider these steps and adapt them to the social platforms where you find your customers.
I've been blogging since 1999 and have had my own hosted WordPress blogs since 2003. So I never used to bother much with platforms like Posterous or Tumblr.
Fortunately one day I realized that many of my best prospects were using Tumblr and decided to include it into my social media marketing. And I'm surprised by how many people I know are using it.
Tumblr makes it really easy to share your blog post. You can share with either the “text” or “photo” option.
Here's how to share with the “text” option.
Just after you've published a post and while you still have the HTML of your blog post open, grab the code and pop over to Tumblr.
Sharing a post as text is as easy as 1-2-3.
After clicking on “text,” you:
- Type in your blog's title. You've already written it to be compelling and to attract attention, so why reinvent the wheel?
- Put in your link back to your blog post. We could all use more inbound links to our sites, couldn't we?
- Click on the “HTML” option, paste the code from your blog and hit the green Update button. You've already done the formatting, so it works in Tumblr.
Voila! Now you can see what the post will look like. The only thing you may need to add are the paragraph breaks.
Add a few tags in and click on the green “Create Post” button and the Tumblr blog is up with a link to your original blog post.
Using the “text” option makes your post look like the image below. People will see your headline and formatted text, but all of the images will be reduced to a gray box. When a reader clicks on the headline, they'll be able to see your post in all its graphical glory.
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Many of us find that the image is more attention-grabbing than the headline. Images are what draw people into your posts.
Here's how to share with the “photo” option.
To get people to see an image in their Tumblr feed, you simply need to share your post as a photo. You'll need to provide a link to the image (or upload it from your computer). Then you use the post as the “caption” by pasting it using the same “HTML” option as above.
I chose to do this with my “100 Donors in 90 Days” post:
The Benefits of Tumblr
Tumblr isn't yet one of the top referrers of traffic to my site. As with many platforms, people on Tumblr seem to want to consume the information within Tumblr. Sharing my posts here allows them to consume my content without having to go anywhere else.
As a business owner, the primary benefit of Tumblr is the link back to your site. Inbound links to your site help your site's search engine optimization.
And I've been pleasantly surprised to see the prospects and colleagues that choose to follow me here.
Despite how long it took me to describe this process, the Tumblr step really goes quickly.
#2: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn
Using HootSuite saves time and helps you make sure people see your post. Images inspire clicks, so Facebook tends to pull images from web links. But Facebook and auto-published RSS feeds don't always choose the image that fits the post.
HootSuite allows you to choose the image you want to share on Facebook. Being able to choose the image you share is important to your branding. This is why I recommend you use HootSuite to simplify sharing your blog posts on multiple platforms.
While you're sharing your post, you may as well add LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the “little engine that could” of social media. Other platforms come and go, but LinkedIn keeps chugging along growing every day. For many, it is the main social media platform. So sharing the link there is handy and smart.
Back to Facebook. In the image above, you'll note that I encourage you to share to your Facebook page, not your Facebook profile.
I used to share it to both until I learned about Facebook's EdgeRank. Facebook pushes very few page posts into other people's streams. It favors posts that have lots of interaction such as people liking the posts, commenting on them and sharing them with their friends.
To help your Facebook page get more exposure, use HootSuite to post the blog link to the page. Then manually go into Facebook using your personal account and share the page's post with your followers. That gives exposure to both your Facebook page and your blog post. Since I've been doing this, I've seen my Facebook page follower count rise more quickly than it had been.
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When I share the page's update through my personal Facebook profile, I always paste in the same message that I used in HootSuite. Facebook often only shares the link on the page, not the comments about that link. You should consider doing this too. If you don't add text, your friends won't have a context for why you're sharing the link.
Sharing your blog post with the world on your site and on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn isn't enough. I'm also a huge fan of Google+. In addition to being an amazingly helpful social media platform, Google+ allows you to train Google on how to categorize your site in searches.
I suggest you put your entire blog post into Google+. Google+ allows you to share 100,000 characters rather than LinkedIn's 120, Twitter's 140 and Facebook's early 460. (Facebook appears to have increased its character count to over 60,000 in response to Google+.)
Since Google is indexing Google+ updates so they can be found in regular Google searches, consider helping Google help others find your site.
Here are 6 steps to share your post on Google+:
1. Use Google+ as your brand page.
First, get on Google+ and sign in as your brand page. You just need to click on the gray arrow near your head in the upper-right corner and you're fine.
2. Paste in the complete URL before putting anything else in.
When you are using Google+ as your page, put in your blog's URL before you put in anything else. Google+ will grab images from the first web link it identifies.
You can use the gray left and right arrows on the image to choose which image is shown with the update.
3. Grab the entire text of your blog post.
Now go back to the tab with your blog post and grab the entire text. Paste that into the Google+ update above the URL you already put in there.
Then go back and copy the blog post title and paste that on top of all of the text.
There are two reasons for doing this. First, you've already invested the time in using specific keywords in your blog posts to help Google and other search engines classify your site. Why wouldn't you reuse them here in Google+?
Second, most people like to consume information from within the social media platform. Few Google+ readers are actually going to click on a link and read your blog post. So make it easier for them by including the entire text here.
Google+ shows readers only the first section, but they can easily click on “read more” to see the rest.
4. Use Google+ formatting.
Now that your entire blog post text is in your Google+ update, format it a bit to make it easier to read. Here is how to format text in Google+:
- Bold words or phrases by putting “*” on either side of the text you want to make bold.
- Italicize words or phrases by putting “_” on either side of the text you want to make italicized.
- Strikethrough words or phrases by putting “-” on either side of the text you want to have a line through.
Formatting text makes it both easier to read and makes it look more like the blog post on your site.
5. Share with your page's circles.
Now you choose whom to share your update with. Since Google+ makes it a bit challenging for pages to get followers, it's probably a good idea to share it with everyone you can.
6. Reshare as a person.
As with Facebook, you'll now want to go back to your personal profile on Google+. You'll see the blog post in your stream. Simply click “share” to share it with the circles you find appropriate.
Google+ does a great job of including text from your page's update, so there's no need to add much more yourself.
Since Google+ still makes it difficult for pages to get followers, you probably have a larger following on your personal profile. Using this technique allows your blog and your Google+ brand page to be exposed to more people.
Note: Always remember to choose “public” in addition to any circles you share with.
Your blog post now appears in your personal stream.
This all probably seems labor-intensive. It's not nearly as easy as letting an auto-publishing service share your blog posts to your social media platforms.
But taking these steps respects the way the users of each service interact with each of your blog posts. It's a great way to keep your brand in front of people. And it helps increase traffic to your website.
I'm getting great results by using these tactics and would love to hear your comments.
What do you think? What are ways that you repurpose your blog content? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
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