In the last few posts, we talked a bit about social media, including the question of whether your blog needs social media, how many social media accounts you should have, and some tips for managing social media while staying sane. Zip has decided to come down from his tree. For the sake of Slothverse.com, he’ll wade into the beautiful swamp that is social media. While he sets up his accounts, we’ll look at the question of which are the best social media channels for blog promotion.
As you can tell from my numbers (and that’s one of the downsides of social media — quantification of popularity), I’m not a social media expert. Plus, the account for this blog is new. I’m not a lover of social media. I prefer to be writing posts, reading, or making things than scrolling through social media. Such excuses!
But I am an observer of behavior on social media. The advice that follows is just what seems to work best based on what I’ve seen and what I’ve experienced with my blogs.
We will not go over how to set up each account in detail — I’ll assume that you know how to do this. However, I’ve added some of the steps Zip took when setting up his accounts for some channels that I find less intuitive. I know this sounds mean, but if you cannot set up a Twitter account, perhaps consider gaining more in the way of computer skills before you try to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog.
I’ve divided this section on social media platforms into two sections: the “Big Six” platforms that Zip should probably at least consider and other platforms he might find fun or fruitful. Hopefully, both.
Before he starts, he’ll probably want to have his logo or some other graphic to use as an icon ready to upload to these websites. He might also want to have a cover image ready. Canva is a handy tool for creating perfectly sized icons and cover images.
The Big Six:
These are the top picks for the best social media channels for blog promotion. Zip would do well to consider at least Facebook and Twitter, and one or more of the others depending on the focus of his blog.
Twitter in a nutshell: The platform formerly featuring 140 characters.
Twitter now allows up to 280. Still, 280 characters isn’t a lot. Twitter, by its very design, was not created for lengthy conversations. Still, many people love Twitter and find themselves carrying out multi-tweet discussions on a wide range of topics, from the intellectual to the trivial.
Or you can just look at sloth photos.
Or cute cats.
Twitter, of course, is also one of the most popular places to promote your blog. If you have many followers, you might find Twitter a great source of traffic. If you don’t, you might eventually find that someone who does likes and retweets one of your posts, and you suddenly have a traffic influx.
Zip sets up his Twitter account and makes sure to add his website URL to his profile. He also adds a simple bio: “A universe of Sloth.”
Zip sets up his Twitter account and makes sure to add his website URL to his profile. He also adds a simple bio: “A universe of Sloth.”
Don’t be a Sloth! Add some hashtags to that bio! Make it #sloth!
Whatever you think of hashtags (please don’t use them in daily speech!), they help people find things on Twitter. He might go back and change this later.
Zip also follows a few sloth-related accounts and starts by retweeting an awesome sloth boating video and a cute sloth craft project.
He also follows Sloth Every Hour and feels like he’ll never be able to keep up with such unslothlike relentless posting of sloth content. Again, comparison!
He also posts this shameless plug to follow him on Twitter.
Some Twitter Tips
On Twitter, here are some things Zip might want to do as he posts. And he should stop calling me a hypocrite! This is, again, one of those “do as I say not as I do” sort of things.
Use the dreaded hashtag!
Use it even if, like my spouse, you think hashtags are stupid. Perhaps Zip should even research what (related) hashtags are popular if he genuinely wants people to see his tweets.
Use @mentions in your post.
Credit your reposts or retweets or ask someone a question directly using their Twitter username prefaced with @. Or add some @mentions to your post with the usernames of like-minded Tweeters who might be interested. I know I’ve read a few articles shared on Twitter after having them directed my way via a mention.
Add an image.
I don’t know about sloths, but humans are visual creatures. Tweets with pictures or videos tend to get more attention, especially unique photos, illustrations, or videos.
Some successful Twitter feeds that feature cute animals and not much else. But many successful Twitter people are such because they engage. They post funny Tweets, but they also ask questions that prompt responses and get involved in discussions. They answer other people’s questions and respond to their comments.
Participate in blog comment threads (maybe).
Leaving comments on other blogs used to be a way to get “link juice” to your website. Google has long since changed the way they rank websites, though. Most blog comments forms now add the “ugc” — user-generated content — tag to website links. This tells search engines that they might want to give that content less weight as a ranking factor.
Still, leaving comments on other blogs is a way to be nice to other bloggers by participating in their blogs while getting your link to your website out there.
Zip may encounter Twitter posts inviting him to post his most recent blog link to the thread to invite others to comment. And he, in turn, agrees that he’ll visit their posts and leave comments.
But he should be careful how he views responses (or, instead, lack thereof) when engaging in blog comment threads. If he posts his link and then NOBODY COMMENTS, it could just be that he joined the thread late. Maybe it’s not just that his post sucks (or may it is.) Or maybe the other bloggers in the thread are not actually posting comments on other blogs, just receiving them.
Figure out what posting times work best and post several times a day.
You’ll get more responses to your tweets if you tweet forth several times a day. I don’t know if Zip will do it! You can repost to Twitter to see if a different time works best. But be careful! Twitter has cracked down on duplicate content. So if you plan to repost something, rewrite it and maybe use a different image.
Some Ways to Avoid Getting Twitterpated
Wait! Wasn’t that the term the animals in Bambi used for falling in love?
I think it sounds like a good word to describe how I feel after using Twitter too much.
In addition to the things I listed previously, I like to do some of the following things to keep my sanity in check when it comes to Twitter:
For Twitter, you can flip toggles to customize your notifications. For instance, you can choose to only get tweet notifications for certain people, or only for people who you follow who also follow you.
Use the “Lists” feature on Twitter to customize lists for your account. Lists can be public or private. I like to keep a small, private list of people whose Tweets I ALWAYS want to see. Sometimes(though infrequently at the moment) I create lists around specific topics and keep them public.
If you have more than one Twitter account, you can add up to five to the same login. Then you can easily switch between them. Even better, use Tweetdeck. You can view all of your Twitter accounts in one place and set up specific columns for the content you want to view. You can even compile some things from all accounts — like notifications into a single column.
Stop obsessing about who unfollowed you.
Obsessing over your followers and unfollowers is not a good recipe for mental health.
You’ll want a Facebook page, not your personal account, for promoting your blog. Still, you NEED that personal Facebook account to be able to set up a page. You probably don’t want to promote your blog via your personal Facebook feed. But you’ll need that personal account to create a Facebook page for your blog.
Bad news for Zip because he doesn’t have a Facebook account. However, since he’s just an imaginary sloth, he can create a Facebook page for Slothverse using my Facebook account.
I’ve found that Facebook has been a better traffic source than Twitter, even without paying for Facebook ads. Probably, this is because of the way I (or rather that I don’t) interact on Twitter.
Zip creates a Facebook page.
Creating a Facebook page is a bit less straightforward than creating a Twitter account. You need to log in to your Facebook account on your computer. Then, in the upper right corner of the screen, click the plus sign, then find “Page.”
Then it will ask you to name your page, add what type of page it is (Zip’s picking “Website” for now, he can change it later if he needs to), and a page description.
After he does that, he’ll see that he can enter, as he did with Twitter, a profile image and cover image. After that, he’ll see that he can add an @pagename. Thankfully, Slothverse is readily available here!
After this, he’ll see a bunch of stuff he can do — from setting up a storefront to adding posts.
For now, he’s going to add his website URL and email to his page. He can come back later and add more details. He also adds one post, just so something’s there. But he can come back later and add new posts or products as he gets going.
He doesn’t have a local shop but, if he did, he’d also want to be sure to add in shop hours and location and any event he might be hosting. Facebook pages can be great for local businesses, and I’ve seen a bunch of “Facebook Live” events since the pandemic came about
Here’s a shameless plug from Zip beseeching you to like his Facebook page.
Some Facebook tips
Tell your friends and family.
Don’t use hashtags.
They aren’t crucial on Facebook like they are on Twitter.
Post an image or video.
As on Twitter, posts with images or videos get more attention. The best image size for a Facebook page post is the standard “Facebook Ad” size of 1200 x 628 px.
As on Twitter, you can use this to credit others or draw their attention toward your post.
DO post other people’s content.
But only that which relates to your website and that interests you.
Follow other pages that relate to your page.
Consider adding the Facebook Pixel to your website…
IF you plan to run Facebook ads at some point. Suppose you already have other analytics and never plan to run a Facebook ad campaign. In that case, I don’t really see a reason to add the Facebook Pixel to your website. But if you plan to do paid promotion on Facebook, you’ll want to add the Facebook tracking pixel.
While you can post most types of content to Pinterest, the content that genuinely excels here are things like recipes, crafts, DIY, home decor. I also notice some engagement with WordPress and blogging-type pins.
But, of course, cute animals and things like that also abound on Pinterest.
Should Zip create a Pinterest account? Hmmm.
I think we’ll go ahead and do this. I’ve found Pinterest to be best social media channels for blog promotion. However, I’m just a bit afraid of advising Zip to set up a Pinterest account too early on. I had a new blog that got banned from Pinterest with only two innocuous pins. Whenever I tried to respond, I got what appeared to me to be not a human but a bot responding. I’m well aware that other people have appealed this after being banned from Pinterest for no apparent reason. But my blog was a brand-new project-in-progress. I ended up changing the blog name, eventually reapplied for a new Pinterest account, and no problem!
My only guess was that my book review pin featured a book image on it. The only other Pin was a vintage ad repinned from someone else’s account. I’ve since seen many book review pins on Pinterest with book images. However, that’s the only thing I imagined it could be, especially since I got a canned response every time I tried to clarify.
Personal or Business Pinterest?
If you have a blog, I’d say “Business” as you get access to analytics. However, you can, of course, track users coming to your blog from Pinterest via Google Analytics. But if you plan to advertise products, you’ll want a Pinterest for Business account.
Be careful here! If you’re going to create a business Pinterest account, be careful not to link it to a personal account. Unless, of course, you’re sure you’re always going to want that personal account. I’ve had trouble connecting a couple of apps to Pinterest as they would find my personal, but not business, account. And I found that I would need to delete the business account if I wanted to delete the personal one. That would mean starting a new Pinterest account from scratch. No thanks!
When he creates his account, Pinterest forces Zip to identify what he likes. There’s no “Sloths” category here, so he picks funny animals, memes, cute animals, and meditation. He then gets a vast page full of pins featuring things like goats and bug-eyed kittens — but no sloths. Pinterest really needs to get its priorities straight!
Setting up a Pinterest for Business Account
I’m going to (briefly) review up a Pinterest business account here as it’s not as straightforward as Twitter or Facebook.
On Facebook, if Zip goes up to the right-hand side of this page, he can click the “unlock business tools.”
He can then add his website title and a site icon. After that, he gets taken through a series of questions about his goals.
He also comes to a page asking if he wants to use Google Tag Manager. Hey! He has Google Tag Manager! Pinterest takes him through an easy step-by-step setup of Google Tag Manager for his Pinterest account.
While we’re waiting for Pinterest to verify that his tag is present on his website, let’s add some more information. He’ll need to go to that right-hand menu again, find Edit Profile and create a new username. Let’s pick “Slothverse” to match the name of his blog. Maybe he also will want to add a short bio here and his email. He’d also want to add some address information if he had a local retail location.
Additionally, he should click on “Claim,” where you can claim various accounts, including your website. He can also claim an Instagram account, or an Etsy account if he ever gets around to setting one up.
To claim his website, Zip will need to do one of three things. Either, he’ll need to add an HTML tag to his website’s header code (which I think we talked about in the post about installing Google Tag Manager), upload a file to his website via FTP, or add a TXT record to his DNS. Zip opts for method #1.
Zip dresses up his Pinterest account and adds some boards and pins.
He should also visit his page at https://www.pinterest.com/Slothverse/ and add a cover image.
And, before it leaves an empty Pinterest account, he should set up a few boards and post some things. For now, he’s going to repost some things for convenience. However, as he creates posts or adds products, he can add his own pins here.
He can click the plus button on the right and create a pin or a board from his Pinterest page. He creates several, including Sloth Facts, Cute Sloths, Sloth Products, and Slow Living.
Does that sound like your kind of thing? Here’s another shameless plug to follow Slothverse on Pinterest.
Some Pinterest Tips
What works well on Pinterest?
You MAY want to try Tailwind.
Use long pins.
Or square pins — Etsy and Redbubble do, I notice. But, especially if you go the Tailwind Communities route, you’ll want to create images specifically for Pinterest. The best ratio for Pins is about 1000px wide x 1500px high. I was using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to do this for a while, but it took way too long. I can say that I get 100% of my money’s worth out of my Canva Pro account!
Consider using videos.
Yes, you can create video pins for Pinterest if you have the time and inclination. Moving pictures catch the eye.
Yes. But how much?
After Zip joins Pinterest, he gets an email from Merry the Marketing Mermaid. She cheerily informs Zip that “Successful Pinners Pin 30 Pins a Day!”
Zip thought he wanted to have fun being a blogger. He wanted to write some stuff online. Now he’s stressed because he feels like he’s expected to be a “Successful Pinner.” He looks at his few boards and pin and feels so not successful. He’s not sure if he even wants to be a “Successful Pinner.” Not if it means pinning 30 pins a day! And most of these are supposed to be from HIS blog? Instead of feeling buoyed by Merry’s cheerful advice, he feels, strangely, despondent.
Cheer up, Sloth! Have fun with your blog and, maybe someday when you have more posts or products or both, you’ll have enough content to set up a constantly pinning queue. But for now, put Merry’s advice out of your mind if it makes you feel insane!
If you’re promoting business to business services, you’re a freelancer in any field, or you’re job hunting, Linkedin might be one of the best social media channels for blog promotion. Networking for business is what Linkedin does best.
As Zip is a virtual sloth, he’s not going to open a Linkedin account. While I have one, I rarely post to it. However, it can be a great place to promote yourself if you have certain types of content or services.
Linkedin, too, has the advantage of allowing longer posts than some networks. I occasionally have done small web design projects for hire. However, I soon realized that I didn’t want to do web design and maintenance for others as a 24/7 business. I, therefore, never ended up trying to use Linkedin to promote my little web design business. But if you have business services to advertise, Linkedin may be a fruitful place to promote your blog.
Sometimes I think Instagram works best as a blogging platform unto itself.
When I was traveling, I met a woman whose daugher was earning a LOT of money from her Instagram account. No blog, no other format. But she was getting paid for promotions of childrens’ fashions featuring pictures of her kids wearing them. I felt a bit conflicted about this. Didn’t her daugher worry, I asked, about posting pictures of her kids for promotional purposes? She just shrugged.
And I’m assuming that some people get traffic to their blog from Instagram. But, I suspect, not as much as from Facebook or Twitter.
You can add a link to your post on Instagram, but it isn’t clickable. To visit it, someone would need to cut and paste it into their browser. How many people do this instead of just scrolling to the next photo? The only place you can add a clickable link to your website on Instagram is in your bio.
Instagram, in particular, is one platform that I feel tops the list of those social media platforms that can make you feel bad about yourself . This depends, of course, depending on who you’re following. Also, of course, how good you are at putting things into perspective.
A Few Tips I Keep Telling Myself to Try on Instagram…
but just can’t seem to get myself to do. Maybe Zip will.
Have a consistent appearance.
This blog itself is here primarily to enable me NOT to be consistent! Regardless of the issues with having a multi-topic blog, I wanted a place just to post whatever I wanted. To be, intentionally, non- “niche.”
But what appears to work best on Instagram is to have something that ties together that “nine-panel” Instagram widget thing. Using the same filters or colors or templates consistently will create a nice look for that penale of nine squares — I just can’t seem to get myself to do it!
Make a landing page.
Make a landing page specifically for people who click through from your Instagram bio to your website.
Instagram is one of the many channels where you should use hashtags. Some tools will help you identify top hashtags that fit your post. Tailwind is good at this if you’re using their Instagram too. You can even use hashtags in your bio to help people find you.
Single panel cartoons? This gives Zip an idea! But first, a nap. Will he ever make that Slothverse cartoon he’s been dreaming about? He’ll continue dreaming about his idea for now. Perhaps he’ll come back and set up an Instagram account in the near (or maybe far-off) future.
If you’re a how-to blogger: crafts, food, etc, you’d be well advised to start making videos. YouTube might be one of your best social media channels for blog promotion.
Slothverse likely will NOT have a YouTube channel. Unless we start doing tutorials of sloth crafts, create playlists of other sloth videos, or get a chance to travel to Zip’s natural habitat and film some of his friends.
Personally, I prefer reading a tutorial post instead of watching a video. And I prefer writing a tutorial post instead of making a video1 But it’s difficult to ignore that Google shows video content early on in its results.
If you look up a recipe or how to do a craft project in Google, what do you see near the top? All the videos!
Sometimes, when I want to find a written tutorial, and all I can find are videos, it annoys me. However, everyone has a different learning style and if you’re reviewing a product or teaching a skill, it might be very worth your while to make a video and post it to YouTube.
While programs like Adobe Premiere Pro are excellent, you don’t need to buy a bunch of expensive equipment to make a basic video — your phone can probably film a video clip and you can even put together short videos in programs like Canva.
Some Other Channels to Consider:
Tumblr is a blogging platform unto itself.
Zip isn’t going to focus on Tumblr as one of his social media channels for blog promotion right now. This isn’t due to my daughter — who seems to have appointed herself my official meme and Internet advisor, though I was on the Internet before she even existed. She gave me an earful about the problems of Tumblr. But I’m not blogging there as it’s one too many things to manage and has never really been a source of blog traffic for me. I do kind of like its format, though.
Tumblr excels with visual content — kawaii (a certain kind of cute) image, photo blogs, might do well on Tumblr.
Yes, Flipboard is still here — and active. If you’re not familiar with Flipboard, you start various “magazines” in your account for particular topics and then “flip” content into them.
You can flip from your website or others by pasting a URL or flip from other magazines or a browser bookmarklet. But, if you apply for their program, Flipboard allows you to auto-populate your magazines from your RSS feeds. So, postint to Flipboard as one of your social media channels for blog promotion is a no-brainer. At least as far as posting your own content in concerned. However, if you see something from other people that fits into one of your magazines, you can make your mag even better by sharing other people’s content.
Zip’s not going to use Flipboard at the moment, as his blog doesn’t have much content yet. So I don’t have any shameless plug for you to follow him here, but here’s one to follow Caffeine Journal magazines!
Many people love Medium. It offers an easy way to post your writing, a clean, easy-to-use interface. Additionally, if you join their Partner Program and post items in it for members-only, you have the potential for some earning from your writing.
Earning money in Medium comes from their “pay per clap” system. Funds come from the low monthly subscription members pay and funds get delivered to writers depending on the number of “claps” they get for their article.
Claps are the “likes” of Medium. In general, I do not like how worrying too much about attention to likes makes me feel. What about claps? What is the sound of one clap clapping on Medium, anyway? Why someone would give a post precisely one clap has always perplexed me. What does it mean?
So I left Medium, then came back, and have hardly posted anything since. But here are my thoughts about Medium, for what they’re worth:
Some Tips for Medium
Join the Partner Program
Join Medium’s Partner Program if you’re posting directly to Medium instead of reposting from your blog. You have a chance, then, of getting paid for your post if enough people clap. But I wouldn’t again try reposting an already-published post from my blog into the partner program. It’s kind of like asking people to pay for something you’re handing out for free.
Submit your articles to publications on Medium instead of posting straight to your account.
Medium has different “publications” that are like mini-blogs. If you post to the more successful ones, your content has more chance of being seen, promoted on Medium, and earning more money.
If you’re reposting from your blog, do it right after publishing your post to your blog.
You can auto-import posts in Medium via the URL of your post. But recent posts will show higher in their list — so if you add a post to your blog, then three weeks later add it to Medium, it’s quite likely that nobody except your followers will see it.
But you don’t want to post to Medium first and then repost it to your blog. You want the post on your blog to be the official “canonical” version in search engines. Reposting from your blog to Medium via your posts URL will give it the appropriate canonical link tag. This tag tells Google that the post on your website is the official version.
Mix sprang out of StumbleUpon. While I like Mix, I find myself not using it for sharing. I kind of forget about it. And I find their iOS app less than intuitive to use. So it hasn’t been one of my primary social media channels for blog promotion.
Sometimes I see people trying to use Reddit for promotion. I like Reddit — it seems like there’s a niche for everyone and everything. I use it primarily for local-oriented posts and for particular hobbies, crafts, and books I want to follow. There are so many people on Reddit that it’s easy to get a quick response to a question. I imagine that if you have a very niche blog and join a related group, you could use it for promotion — but gently. Be careful — make sure you understand the rules of the groups you’re posting in. Don’t be spammy.
Goodreads is one of the social networks that I like a great deal.
Do I use it for promotion? No — though I think I have my website link in there somewhere.
But if you love books and blog about them, it might be an excellent place to interact to get yourself — and your blog — out there. Just be mindful of how you go about it.
But if you love books and blog about them, it might be a good place to interact to get yourself — and your blog — out there. Just be mindful of how you go about it.
I guess I’m just a hopeless boomer though I’m not truly a boomer, but I don’t “get” TikTok.
Sure, I’ve seen a few hilarious videos that people have shared with me from the platform, and I get the immediacy of people doing short, funny things on video. But something in my brain recoils at videos shot in portrait mode. I did that by accident once and berated myself — only to find something called TikTok. I remember when something “TikTok” was like a wind-up mechanical thing. Or the sound the clock makes. To me, it’s the sound of time that would be ticking away as I tried to come up with “content” for yet another platform. So I don’t.
But you might want to, especially if you’re funny and can get that across in short videos.
Quora is all about questions, as it’s name implies.
If you’re knowledgeable or an expert on a particular topic, Quora might be a good channel with which to get involved. Follow the forums that fit with that expertise (and, of course, your blog content) and answer questions for which you have answers. Of course, get your link somewhere in there!
If you’re a photographer or share visual content, you might try Flickr. I have an account but don’t use it for blog promotion. However, I see people who do.
You can search Flickr for photos that are available for use under a Creative Commons license, and I see people Creatively marking their Flickr photos with their website URL so that, if their images get used…instant promo!
Do I know how well this works for them? No. But it’s a thing.
Like most of Google’s stuff, Keen offers a user-friendly, clean interface for curating content on different subjects. However, I can’t speak to it as a source of traffic or blog promotion as I haven’t given it much of a chance.
But what about?…
I know there are some platforms I’ve missed here. If it was inadvertently, please leave a comment to let future users know about your find! I excluded platforms with which I’m unfamilar. Weibo, for instance. I see the ability to put those social sharing icons on my website, but Weibo is a Chinese platform, and I live in the US.
And I only intended this post to be about social media. There are plenty of other great ways to promote a blog that DON’T involve social media. We talked about SEO in previous posts, and I’m sure we’ll touch on it again in the future. We’ll (eventually) get to e-mail lists, raffles, and other ways that Zip might get the word out there about his website.
I think we’ve finished talking about social media for now. Likely, in the next upcoming “Sloth Makes a Blog” post, we’ll talk a bit about website speed and optimization.
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- Though there are times that making a video appeals to me; I just find video editing very time-consuming.