Many blogs rely on existing social media channels to funnel visits to posts, and then onto the chosen conversion. That's fine in theory, but in reality, it’s unlikely to happen naturally.
You can tweet until you’re blue in the face, but most businesses find they run into a long, but predictable, list of issues when it comes to actually seeing results from their social sharing.
So today, we're going to look at part 3 of my awesome ebook in more detail - why isn't your business blog making any money? Because your social media accounts aren't strong enough to provide the boost your posts need.
Why is it so hard?
Getting to the root of the problem is actually quite complicated. There is a connection between blogging and social media and, sometimes, it can be a powerful conduit for our old friends, search ranking and authority.
If you’re relying on social media to bring you leads, sales or even visits, however, you’re really going to have your work cut out, because these “advanced” goals require time, effort and careful strategy.
Q. So when is social media valuable for sharing?
A. When you’ve set a goal and sharing via social media is showing you valid results in the attaining of that goal!
Ok, let’s back up here to the thorny topic of goals. If you’ve spent any time on my blog, you’ll know that goals are one of my favourite topics. They’re so boring, so …unsexy…that many people convince themselves that they are unneeded or, at the very least, something they can deal with later.
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But they are essential for everything you do online and sharing blog posts on social media is no exception. So...
Q. What are the goals of your blog?
Q. And can sharing your posts on social media help reach them?
Q. And what are the goals of your social media?
Q. And will sharing your blog posts help reach them?
If you can answer all these questions positively, then it’s worth dropping some time into a carefully-crafted sharing on social media strategy.
If the answers are no or worse, you can’t answer, then you have some work to do before you go sharing your stuff on social media. By all means, tweet a few posts or stick ‘em on Facebook, but you’re unlikely to see any significant results.
An example of mutually-supporting goals
Ok, so let’s take my own personal blog goals as an example.
Goal 1: establish personal authority in the field of digital strategy
Goal 2: funnel leads to my online and offline courses
Goal 3: increase numbers signing up to mailing lists
And can sharing my posts on social media help reach them?
Goal 1: Yes. Click throughs and shares help my personal authority. Any shares (more or less) will help.
Goal 2 & 3: maybe, if I target very specific personas who are likely to attend my courses (really, really specific, in the case of the offline courses), or who are likely to want to signup to my mailing list.
And what are the goals of my social media?
Goal 1: To establish personal authority and funnel likely audience members to courses and mailing lists-
Goal 2: To funnel visits to blog
Goal 3: To advertise events
And will sharing my blog posts help reach them?
Ok, so we’re good to go.
Now, step 2...the right people
But that was only the 1st step. Now we need to ensure that we’re targeting engaged users of the social networks we use - in other words, you need to sort your social strategy and prioritize growth in a way that helps your goals. For a blog, you need people to share your articles and/or click through to read and then possibly convert, so make sure your strategy targets actual people who are likely to do so, and not just any egg with a follow button ;)
It’s at this point that we need to point out the importance of accurate targeting.
Once you start looking into content marketing, or any marketing, for that matter, you’ll see personas popping up over and over again. They’ve become a bit of a cliche in certain circles, but I think they’re still a worthwhile tool. When it comes to your social media, they don’t need to be as detailed as for your, say, business plan, but it’s still idea to have a rough idea of who you want to target and why.
Metrics, metrics, metrics
For once, measuring your progress is probably the least-complicated part of this process. Many social networks have remarkably easy to understand and use metric that are unlikely to scare off even the most reluctant newcomer. Add that to the fact that there are ooodles of online resources to help you, and it really shouldn't be too much of a chore to identify the metrics that matter, like engagement, reach, source, landing page, shares, etc, measure them and make adjustments.
Are you intimidated by metrics? I wouldn't be surprised if you said you are. Please believe me when I say that getting to grips with social media metrics is the single biggest favour you can do yourself if you want to succeed. If you can make sense of the data you're getting, you'll see room for improvement, and if you can link improvement to goals, that's pretty much a strategy, just in reverse!
In summary, sharing your blog posts to social media is worth your time if you:
- Clarify your business' social media and blogging goals
- Ensure sharing blog posts on social media benefit both
- Audit your current social media set-up (make sure the right platform for the job, etc.)
- Develop a strategy (check here)
- Use analytics to track progress
- Adjust strategy as needed and proceed!
You were hoping I'd say spin around 3 times with one eye closed clutching some maracas, and it would guarantee success for your blog posts on social media, right? Sorry, no deal ;)