You’ve got your social media promotion strategy down pat. You’ll publish it on your twitter profile and your Facebook page to get a spike in traffic. It’s good content so people will see it, read it, and share it. You do that and still — crickets.
Maybe they just didn’t see it.
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Maybe if you post it again they’ll be able to find it.
So you do. You publish it every day for a week on Twitter and a few more times on Facebook. You check your analytics and you see about 50 visitors from all your effort. No sweat, you’ll just do it again.
This time, you’ll make the content even more insane.
There’s something broken there. The answer IS NOT to simply publish more content. You’ve got to take an active part in pushing it out into the world.
The internet has become a crowded place. On the WordPress platform alone, millions of blog posts went live last month. I’m not a fan of P&P (publishing and praying)1 The prayers I send out are different and don’t involve my analytics account.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through the social media promotion strategy you can use to generate traction for EVERY blog post.
I won’t reel off the stats about Facebook’s platform. You know you’re meant to be using it to generate traffic. People have different ways of using it, but I’m a stickler for the tried and true method of using Facebook groups to promote my latest article.
The trick is to get inside Facebook groups and promote your content without coming off as a spammer. There are engagement groups where you can post your links, but these have limited value. Everyone is doing the same thing as you, dropping their link and running.
What you want are active groups with real people. When you post useful content, those people become your fans, promoters, and friends.
To find relevant Facebook groups, simply type your main industry keywords into the search box and filter it by groups.
After you’ve sighted a few promising groups, glance through to make sure they’re active and have decent engagement on posts.
Once those check out, join it if it’s an open group and request to join if it’s a closed group. Spread this activity out over a few days. If you join too many Facebook groups at once, the platform will suspend your account. The suspension can last anywhere from a few days to more than a month2this happened to me once and I was pissed. I ended up losing that account because they asked me to identify a few of my friends using their pictures. They showed me images of people I didn’t know personally and I eventually gave up. .
The next step is to be an active member. This is much easier than it sounds. You don’t need to start living on Facebook. five minutes per group is enough to drop a few thoughtful comments, create a post, or even like a few dozen posts.
Do this for a few weeks — two to three weeks is fine — then you can promote your content in the group. You’ve shown you’re an active member and are there to do more than spam them with your links.
Whenever you drop your link, preface the content with a short summary, who it’s for, and why you think it’s relevant to the group.
Twitter can be a landmine but a great way to get visitors to your website. If you rely strictly on your followers to get your message out there you may be in for some trouble.
With Twitter, people follow you so you’ll follow them back. If you don’t follow back then there’s a strong chance they’ll unfollow you. Unless you’re already popular, it can be difficult to gain new followers.
I use much more than my followers when I’m promoting on Twitter. There are two things I do to extend my reach on Twitter.
If I know someone tweeted similar content in the past or you’re in the industry, I’ll attach your name to the end of a tweet with a short message aimed at you.
Here’s how an example of how I did it when I was promoting this post about white hat link building tools. Every tool mentioned in the post got a mention on Twitter as well.
Hashtags work on Twitter. There are accounts that’ve set up alerts for relevant hashtags. When you tweet using those hashtags, you’ll come up in their feed. If you’ve written great content, you have a good chance of being retweeted.
Many times, they’ll add you to their content curation schedule and tweet you out over the course of a few weeks. That’s what happened when I was promoting this post:
These guys added me to their social sharing schedule and have been promoting the infographic for months.
Pinterest is an important part of my social media promotion strategy. It’s built to send traffic to other places. You post an image with a link. If people like it, they’ll click through to the webpage.
Many people say Pinterest traffic doesn’t convert well, but I’ve seen decent results with visitors from Pinterest. There are a few things to keep in mind about Pinterest if you want to use it effectively — especially if you’re new.
Group boards are your friend. Instead of posting to your personal boards exclusively and drowning all 10 of your follower, group boards give you the ability to expand your reach. Finding them is the hard part. At least it used to be.
Now, you can use tools like Pingroupie to make the search easy. Navigate to the site and filter the group boards by niche.
It’ll bring back the most popular boards based on specific criteria which you can also filter.
Filter based on what’s important to you EG average number of repins, followers, or likes. Once you have a few promising boards, go and follow the board and the owner of the board on Pinterest. Usually, the instructions for how to join the board will be in the description.
Follow the instructions and if there are none, send an email pitching yourself and how you can contribute to the group board.
The second step is to make quality images. Pinterest likes vertical images.
You don’t have to hire a designer to get great Pinterest images. Use a tool like Canva to create professional images in a few minutes and post them to Pinterest.
It literally takes 5 minutes.
Add a compelling description communicating excitement and what the viewer will get after clicking through to your website. Pinterest images that promise something extra like a checklist or other bonus have been show to do well.
Pro Tip: Make more than one image in and post them to different group boards. Keep the one that performs the best.
Hacker News is a community built around startups and the changes affecting them. They prefer information related to tech, marketing, and coding. With that being said, it’s still made up of human beings who are interested in different subjects.
If your article is related to the three topics I mentioned above or interesting in a more general sense, it has the potential to do well on Hacker News.
Sign up for an account here and set up your profile. All you need is a username, password, and email. Once you’ve set it up, you’re free to contribute to the community.
There are two ways to add a post to Hacker News:
Keep in mind that posts get visibility based on the number of upvotes they receive. The better and more relevant the things you’re posting, the more upvotes and visibility. Check out a few headline formulas here.3 it’s a long article, press ctrl+f then search “headline” to find the formulas.
Growth Hackers is a community built for marketers, entrepreneurs, and professionals. People share material that’ll help others grow their business. It’s not the best place for every niche, for example, fitness articles would be out of place here.
If you’ve got a win to share, a walkthrough, or a case study then Growth Hackers is a great place for you to promote it. The process is straightforward.
Sign up for an account using your twitter profile. After signing up, you’ll see a button on the top right portion of the screen labeled new post.
Click it and fill out the necessary field. The most important part is the description. Your aim here is to get people to go down your slippery slope and click the read full post at the bottom. If your article does well, based on upvotes and comments, it’ll make its way to the digest email Growth Hackers sends out.
I’ve been featured there a few times and it always sends a healthy dose of traffic to The Experiment.
Scoop.it is one of those platforms that doesn’t get enough attention. It’s effective when it comes to gaining exposure for your brand. With the platform, you can create your own topic board. The more content you add to it, the more visibility you get.
The aim of Scoop.it is to make it easy for you to curate content. Both yours and others.
The first step is to create your own topic board. You can do that by clicking the menu button in the top right corner of your screen.
Click on the option to create a topic. When the page loads, name your board and add a description. The name and description are important because it’ll help users find it using the Scoop.it search function. Think of the keywords people will use to find your board.
After creating the board, add some of your favorite posts — about 5-10 — then curate 5-10 posts from other topic boards. Once you’ve got your board set up, it’s time to use the most powerful feature of Scoop.it. They’re called suggestions.
Search for your keywords in the search bar on the top right of the screen.
When the search results load, click on topic boards. Choose a few that look promising and open them. You see what looks like a search bar, the same one you used to add articles to your board. Only now, instead of the arrows, you’ll see suggest.
Copy and paste your URL there. The popup will allow you to choose an image and relevant tags before suggesting it. If you suggested a relevant article, the owner of the page will approve it and you’ll get more eyeballs on your content.
They say Google + is dead. I disagree. I joined the platform a few years ago and had the good luck to leverage a feature called circles. Thousands of people followed me fairly quickly.
To get a decent reach without followers, you’ll need to join relevant groups.
Use the search function and type in keywords relevant to your niche. Filter the results to show only groups and select the ones with 5k members or more. Some of them require approval but most are open to the public.
Google + is a simple platform which follows the best practices of other communities.
If you stay within those guidelines you’ll do well. The last piece of the puzzle is to tag Google + power users when you post a link in a group. They’ll see the post and if it’s a good one they’ll plus one it or share it for more exposure.
LinkedIn is billed as the largest professional network on the planet. That means people from every niche are on there. The draw of LinkedIn is plenty of monthly visitors and the ways you can connect with them.
The most obvious one is using groups. The second way is to publish all or part of your article on LinkedIn Pulse. With a compelling title and a lead in to the article, you can get a healthy dose of traffic.
I prefer the first way, but do test the second method.
Find relevant groups with the search function on and narrow it down to only show groups. Hone in on the largest ones and work your way down. Choose wisely. LinkedIn will prevent you from bulk posting to the platform unless you have access to a developer app.
Once you’re accepted, participate in discussions and add links where they can be helpful to the other members.
Again, to make the most of LinkedIn groups, be as active as you can. If you decide to publish content to the platform, remember your goal is to drive traffic back to your website.
StumbleUpon is a fickle mistress. At times, she’ll send you a torrent of traffic. Other times, she’ll send you less than a trickle. There are a few things you can do to maximize your reach on StumbleUpon and ensure you reach a larger audience.
People using the platform are notorious for bouncing off web pages, but the ones who stay are worth the effort. The more people give your post thumbs up, the more reach you’ll achieve. StumbleUpon can send you tens of thousands of visitors in the blink of an eye.
The first step with StumbleUpon is to set up your profile and follow other users on the platform. Tell StumbleUpon the kind of content you like and what it should show you.
Keep in mind that content is voted on with a thumbs up or thumbs down. People decide in a few seconds after landing on the page. If you make their work any harder than it needs to be, they’ll gleefully give you thumbs down.
Follow best practices when formatting content for StumbleUpon. H2, bullets, images, short paragraphs, and bolded text are a few things to keep in mind. If any of your posts start to get traction, throw a few dollars behind it with StumbleUpon’s paid discovery feature.
A few dollars will get you in front of the right people and possibly give you trending status.
Medium has been called a lot of things. My favorite is “The Personal Blog Killer” — whatever that means. No matter what you call it, you can’t argue with the reach it enjoys. On average, it gets eighty-five million visitors.
Many of those people are writing, but the majority are reading. They have an insatiable appetite for the written word. There just one problem, there are a lot of people on Medium. I know, sounds like a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing if you’re not popular on the platform.
There’s a built-in cheat to level the playing field — publications. These are magazines on Medium which thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of people follow. If you’re a writer for these publications, you can submit work from your website and have it approved more often than not.
To import your post — pictures and embeds (youtube, Vimeo, Instagram, etc) included — navigate to this link. While on the page, type in your website URL and click import. Medium will automatically give you credit as the publisher of the content.
Run through your post to make sure all the images were imported and none of the text was rearranged 4 that last bit happens often. During the import, extra letters may be added or two words my get combined which makes you look sloppy. Run through your work to make sure everything looks good. . If everything checks out, add it to one of the publications you’re a regular writer for.
Not a Medium user yet?
Think of getting accepted to a Medium publication like getting accepted as a guest contributor on any other website. You’ve got to hustle the contact details, understand the kind of content they publish, and send a killer pitch.
To find ideal publications, simply type in a few variations of the keywords most relevant to your niche. When Medium brings back the results, filter them by clicking on publications. Scroll through the list of publications and save/follow any of them you find relevant.
Some of the publications display their email address right on the homepage. Most don’t. You’ll have to hunt down the main editor of the publication and find the contact details. To do this, navigate to the about section of the publication.
This can be at the bottom of the page or at the side depending on the layout chosen to display posts. On the about page, it’ll show all the publications editors. The first one listed is usually the main editor. Navigate to their profile page and follow the breadcrumbs back to their website or other social profiles.
Once on their website, either use their contact me page or a tool like emailhunter.co to get a hold of their contact details.
At this point, you’ve written a good article — in an ideal world, it’s an original work — and have their contact details. The last step is to pitch them.
A solid social media promotion strategy gets your content in front of the right people. It’s the difference between traction and a slow death. Although social media promotion is just one part of an integrated strategy, it’s an important part.
If you’ve not done so already, create an account on the platforms I’ve listed here and follow the tips to maximize your results on each one.
Let me know what else you’re doing to maximize your social media promotion strategy in the comments and don’t forget to share.