Learn how to effectively cross-promote your blog posts on social media to drive more traffic to your site. And how to use smart social media automation to get your work done in less time.
Social media is the quickest and most efficient way to promote your blog and your business and communicate your content to the world. However, simply dropping your post is not enough to attract the attention of your audience and targets. Successful social media marketing depends on personal engagement and interaction with your community.
Each social network and each community is different and requires a different marketing approach. The more social networks you use, the more time and effort you have to invest in order to take into account each platform's specifications when promoting your content. Social media automation tools promise a way out of your daily social media chores. But, social media automation can also backfire on you, if done wrong.
Ready to find an effective way to combine original dialogue and automation? Right, let me show you how to set up an effective social media cross-promotion plan for your blog marketing and how to use social media automation tools to get your work done in no time.
What is Social Media Cross-Promotion?
Social media channels are powerful engines for generating attention for your content. The Social media networks help you reach more potential readers, encourage engagement and drive traffic back to your site. Cross-promotion is, therefore, an essential step towards increasing the reach of your content, generating more attention from your audience, and attracting more potential customers to your products and services. The more social channels you use, the more eyeballs you will get, and the more potential customers, prospects, and influencers you can reach.
However, in contrast to cross-posting, cross-promotion means to tailor your social messages for each channel. A social media cross-promotion strategy helps you take advantage of the specific strengths of each network and community and to maximize results.
Why tailored social media posts get more likes
Each social platform offers different options for presenting your content. The networks, groups, and communities each have individual characteristics:
- Network purpose: private/business.
- Addressing communities: formal/informal.
- Number of characters for the post or comments.
- Size and number of images for the post.
- Text, link post or picture post formats for images and videos, and what works best.
- Use of emojis, hashtags or handles.
- Times when social communities are most active.
- Posting frequency: the number and frequency of postings that lead to more engagement or annoy the community.
- In social media marketing, it's most important to address each community individually. Even if you share the same content, you should vary your comments, images, posting times and frequency accordingly. And in groups and communities, it's essential to stick strictly to the group rules.
Sharing your content at different times and days helps to increase the visibility and lifetime of your posts across various networks. Adding personal comments make your posts even more unique. And using questions or calls-for-action encourages engagement and interaction with the community.
Why the right time can make the difference
Each network has different core times during which the communities are particularly active. Posting content at the right time can therefore also have an impact on the scope and visibility of each post.
However, it's become increasingly difficult to plan an exact posting schedule because Facebook and Instagram have moved away from displaying posts in chronological order. What's more important now, is to schedule posts at different times in the various networks, so there's more chance of them being seen by more followers. Therefore, the best social media times are only a starting point planning and should be tested and analysed individually.
Why sharing once is not enough
Whenever you share a post, only a fraction of your followers and potential readers will actually see the post. You can increase the visibility with repeated sharing, but be mindful since the frequency rules vary widely from network to network.
You also need to consider the different lifespans of social posts. Posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have a particularly short lifespan. While posts on LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Flickr are visible over a longer period.
3 Steps for Setting up a Social Media Cross-Promotion Strategy for Your Blog
1. Choose the right networks and communities for your audience
The social media world doesn't end with Facebook and Twitter. Social media platforms continue to grow steadily, and there are now more than 100 different social networks worldwide. Don't focus on the big networks only, but also explore the strengths of niche networks and special interest communities. The attention within smaller and more focused communities is often more effective than the general content stream of large communities.
Select the social networks that best serve your audience. For example:
- General networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (profiles, pages and/or product pages, groups)
- For B2B communication and recruiting: LinkedIn (profiles, business pages and/or product pages, groups)
- Visual channels for images and videos: Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube
- Blog networks for content syndication: Medium, Tumblr, Bloglovin', LinkedIn Pulse (B2B)
- Special interest communities: Reddit, Facebook, Google+, XING, LinkedIn
- Content networks: Slideshare, Scribd, Issuu
- Young consumers: WhatsApp, Snapchat
2. Tailor your social media posts
Don't share everything everywhere in the same form. Be selective. You can share your blog posts and marketing contents across all suitable social media channels, but don't share the same message in the same way to all your social communities. Tailor and customize your messages and comments to fit each channel and community:
- Set important keywords as hashtags and handles to address other Twitter users directly.
- Use different comments and hashtags if you have multiple Twitter accounts; e.g. personal profiles and business/product accounts.
- Share your posts on Twitter several times on different days and at different times.
- Use a combination of link posts and image posts with various images from your content.
- Facebook / Google+ (Profiles, Pages, and Groups):
- Profiles: Keep your comments on Facebook short and on Google+ a little longer. Use personal comments, questions or statements. Invite your readers to comment on your post. Use hashtags with keywords in or below the comment on Google+, but not on Facebook.
- Business Pages: Use the same or similar comments as on the Profiles, but make them a little more formal, depending on the community style, and share your posts on another day and time.
- Facebook Groups / Google+ Communities: Share your posts on your own groups/communities as well as on your business pages, but on different days and times across your channels. For other groups, follow the rules and adjust the comments to suit the community. If you are a member of multiple groups, share your posts on different days and times across these groups.
- Vary your posts as link posts and picture posts with different images. Re-share your posts several times by using various images and focus on different aspects of your post.
- For business-to-business (B2B) communication: LinkedIn (profiles, pages, groups) and also the LinkedIn content networks Pulse and Slideshare:
- LinkedIn: Use longer comments like on Google+
- LinkedIn Pulse: re-publish your blog posts, either in full or shortened form, and a link to the original post on your website.
- Slideshare: Upload your blog posts as PDF, and use a link to the original article on your website in your comment.
- Visual communication with Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr:
- Share your posts with your featured image on Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr including a detailed description, hashtags and a link to your original post.
- Share all suitable images from your posts or media gallery. Images, graphics, and statistics from presentations are also ideal for image networks.
- If you have more than one image in a post, share each one on separate days with a different description and a link to your post. This way, you can increase the lifetime of your content and generate more attention.
- While Instagram works with a uniform image format, Pinterest and Flickr allow you to use any image format and even add a complete description to the image.
- Add personal comments to the image and set your keywords as #hashtags. (Instagram allows up to 30).
- Always include a link to the original post on your website when posting images. Instagram does not activate the link but still shows interested readers the way to your site.
- You can also share your posts with selected images as image post format on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Sharing your posts with different visual anchors multiple times can have an enormous influence on the reach and interaction. Also, image posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ automatically upload the images to the image galleries, so they're permanently available in the social media profiles.
- Blog networks, social bookmarks, and special interest communities:
- Syndicate your content on other editorial blog networks such as Medium, Tumblr, and Bloglovin'
- Always post syndicated content 5-7-days after your original post so that Google can index your original post first.
- Link your content to social bookmark sites such as Diigo, Digg or StumbleUpon, and special interest communities such as Reddit.
3. Schedule your social media posts at the right time and frequency across your channels
The best times to post are generally as follows:
- Twitter – in the morning before work, during lunch break, and after work.
- Facebook – at noon, in the evening, and at the weekend.
- Instagram and Pinterest – in the evening and over the weekend.
- XING and LinkedIn – in the morning and late afternoon
- On Twitter post up to 4 times within the first 36 hours and then weekly and monthly on different days and times. For evergreen content, post again every 2-3 months, combined with other relevant content and re-tweets.
- The lifetime of a Facebook post is 4 hours. It's important to post to your timeline to extend the time and gain more attention. Share your evergreen content every 2-3 months on your profile only, but with a different focus.
- Share your post on business pages and in groups just once on different days and times.
- The lifespan of an image post on Instagram is much shorter than on Pinterest. Most interactions take place within the first few hours after posting. And despite the focus on hashtags, images on Instagram fall into oblivion much faster.
How to use social media automation for your social media cross-promotion plan
Manually sharing, scheduling and re-sharing posts on multiple social channels is both time-consuming and tedious work. Social media automation tools and plugins can help to automate these routine tasks. But automation has its benefits and also its pitfalls. If you don't stick to the unwritten rules, social media automation can backfire on you and destroy your reputation.
Automation saves time and resources. However, automation is often used at the expense of the human touch, because most tools support cross-posting, but not individual tailoring. As a result, the post gets a low response and becomes invisible on the timelines of your followers.
I will now show you how to use the WordPress plugin Blog2Social to combine individual cross-promotion with smart social media automation. You will get your social media marketing done in less time than ever before. The plugin allows you to do all your social media promotion, scheduling and sharing in one step directly on your WordPress dashboard. Blog2Social automatically shares your posts all at once on Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages, groups), Google+ (profiles, pages, groups), LinkedIn (profiles, pages), XING (profiles, pages, groups), Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, Medium, Bloglovin’, Torial, Reddit, Diigo and VK.
The plugin turns your post automatically into an adapted format for each network, with pre-filled excerpts of your post according to the respective numbers of characters and hashtags for each network.
You can auto-submit your posts for immediate or automatically scheduled publishing by default, but you can also customize and individually schedule your posts for each network almost just as easily.
However, I personally always prefer to customize my post and I would recommend taking this even one step further and tailor your posts before you press the “Share” button. In my experience, customizing the posts gives your post just the individual touch it needs to get more engagement.
Blog2Social makes the customizing process quite easy. You can see all of your posts for all your connected networks on a one-page preview. The editing fields allow you to add or remove the pre-filled comment text, add personal comments, hashtags, handles or emojis.
You can schedule yours automatically by activating the pre-defined Best Time Scheduler, or you can define and save your own time settings for your posts to be sent to the different networks, for all networks, for each network, once or on a recurring basis. A drag & drop social media calendar shows your scheduled posts and lets you edit, change or delete your scheduled posts or fill in free time slots with new or re-shared posts.
You can pre-define post formats for each network, select individual images from your gallery or even pick different images from your device. You can even edit the meta tags for the title, description, and link of the post preview for each network.
Setting up Blog2Social for your Social Media Marketing
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Blog2Social plugin. Upon activation just go to the submenu Networks » to connect your networks.
On the Blog2Social Dashboard, you see all published posts. Select the one you want to share and click “Share on Social Media”. You can also find the “Share” button in the editing section of each of your posts.
Blog2Social offers you two general sharing options, “Social Media Auto Posting” and “Custom Sharing & Scheduling” option with a variety of customization features to give you full control of your social media management.
With the Social Media Auto-Poster enabled, your posts will be shared on your social networks as soon as you publish your blog post, or at your scheduled times.
With the Custom Sharing and Scheduling option, you will be directed to a one-page preview for all of your connected networks, profiles, pages or groups. On the right-hand sidebar, you can add or remove networks or select a specific set of networks for your current sharing preferences. If you use Blog2Social Premium, you can also define different sets of networks for various sharing purposes. For example, if you want to share to certain networks once and to others recurrently. Or, if you share various images with different comments, or whatever you like to do to promote your post more than once or with posts targeting different communities.
You may just click the “Share” button at the bottom and all social media posts will go out to your networks immediately. Or, you may use the customizing options.
More sharing and scheduling options for cross-promoting your blog posts
The editor fields for each network are pre-filled with an excerpt of your post according to the number of characters allowed on each network. You may edit, add comments or delete the pre-filled text with comments, hashtags or handles.
And you may schedule your posts for each network individually. By selecting the Blog2Social Best Time Scheduler, pre-defined times for each network will show at the bottom of each post. You can edit all time settings, define your own as default times or add recurring time settings for individual posts and networks.
You can check the time frames for the “Best Times Scheduler” settings or define your own best time settings in the “Settings” submenu or you can simply edit the pre-defined times and save them as your own settings.
When you are happy with your posts and timings, you may also choose a selected image for your postings and click on the “Share” button to send or cue your postings for the auto-sharing process.
I usually use the Best Time Scheduler to auto-schedule my posts. I sometimes vary some of the suggested times, sometimes I add recurring posts for Twitter and for my LinkedIn profile.
The customizing process for all networks takes me no longer than 5 minutes.
Wrap up: Automate your blog marketing, but cross-promote, don’t just crosspost on social media
Social Media can have a great impact on your blogging success. Sharing your blog posts across all your social channels will help you to get more outreach and as many eyeballs for your content as possible.
Re-purposing your evergreen content and re-sharing your best performing content will save effort and resources for content creation. Setting up a well-composed social media cross-promotion plan helps you to make your social media activities and campaigns more effective and successful. Smart social media automation tools help you to save even more time and routine work for scheduling and sharing your posts. Time, you can better spend on engaging with your community.
Blog2Social will help you to manage your social media cross-promotions smarter, faster and easier. It saves a lot of time and routine work and leaves more space for actually networking with your followers.
Blog2Social is free for cross-posting and cross-promoting tailored posts automatically on your social media profiles. For scheduling and sharing option to multiple accounts, pages and groups, it will be worth taking a look at the Premium version.
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