Thursday, December 6, 2012

Beginner's Tips for Using Social Media for Bloggers

Social Networks
Social Networks (Photo credit: Nickogibson)
The most often shared blogging advice is: use social media to drive traffic. Social websites are one of the most powerful ways to bring the first visitors to your blog, and if you know what you’re doing, to create the core of your own community that will help you further promote your blog. Using social media isn’t a bad advice, not at all, and here is the crash course that should help you find your way in it all.
Don’t be scared
Everyone’s been there, even the big guys that you’re admiring today. You have a good reason why you’ve started the blog, so you do have something to say. The marketing part is on you, and it’s important that you believe in yourself. You have to start once – you just have to, there’s no way around it. Sign up for an account if you don’t have one, and just observe what others do for a while, if that will make you feel more comfortable, and read about how to use social media until you believe that you can do it (after all, anyone else is doing it – why would you be worse than them?).
Start with one network
Choose one social media that you will focus on. Starting out with more than one while you’re juggling the first posts on your blog can be overwhelming, so choose one and stick to it until you master the communication there, build up the fan base and strengthen your connections with a few influencers. Twitter is usually the network for bloggers, so if you don’t have other preferences you should go there.
Whichever network you choose, make sure that you familiarize yourself with how it works – Twitter, for example, has signs like @ and # which have their meaning and their proper use can help you a lot, Facebook has many options which aren't visible when you just start using it, and so on. There are plenty tutorials created for marketers, and make sure that you've read a few of them.
And now, some basic rules:
  1. Network! That's what these sites were made for, so make the most out of it. There's no easier way to connect with other bloggers and with your future audience than social networks, so start making friends and sharing stuff with them, commenting, asking and answering; don't be pushy, but don't be shy either – they have to notice you. Be polite to everyone, try to answer to each person that asks you something, and make new friends each chance you get.
  2. Devote a certain amount of time to social media, each day, but make sure that you know how long it will take; don't do it more than 30 minutes daily, because you'll easily get distracted and could end up spending several hours there doing nothing. Always keep in mind that when you're on social site to promote your blog, you're doing business.
  3. This has been said too many times, but many still don't seem to get it: don't be too self-promotional. People will follow you if you provide value to them, or if you're keeping them amused, and they are real people with real interests and, well, real brain; so you'll have to learn to be the curator of important industry news, to recommend good blog posts that other people have written, to point your followers to a tool that might be useful to them even when you're not getting any affiliate commission for it... Make them appreciate the value you're giving them, and they will be happy to help out when you need help with some bigger promotion.
  4. Don't fear the automation tools, they can make your social media life a lot easier, but don't use them when you don't have to either; no one expects you to be there all day, so schedule some posts or status updates to be published later. Just make sure that there is a time that you're really present there each day – your followers will soon notice the lack of interaction if you're automating everything.
Make a plan, study the arena you're about to enter, and enter it bravely. You may as well be the next Twitter superstar!


Author Bio: Ben Sawyer from http://www.moldbusters.com, is a blogger and Internet Marketing Specialist. He is also a part time blogger and a tech-fan. Here, Ben gave a few tips to the readers about how to compete with big companies when it comes to SEO and organic results.