In answer to your question @elfischer79, here’s a few tips to get you on your way to #winning that car!
TIP #1: It’s not about you!
Consider your audience, what value can you provide them, what tips, and secrets can you share that will enhance their understanding, solve their problems or entertain them?
Be useful but most importantly be yourself! AUTHENTICITY is paramount. So find a healthy balance in expressing yourself and what you want while meeting your audience’s needs. It’s a natural human condition to think “What’s in it for me?” so give them a good reason to “like”, engage and keep coming back for more.
Provide incentives – competitions, rewards, acknowledgement (it could be as easy as following someone back).
In your case @elfischer79, and for anyone involved in a third-party competition make sure you abide by the terms and conditions so not to disqualify yourself and also ensure you do not breach your platform user agreements. While Facebook, for example, has relaxed many of its rigid requirements it still requires users to adhere to their terms.
TIP #2: Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
Just like the old property adage that it’s “location, location, location”, keywords will give your blog the signpost to drive qualified traffic to your site and improve your search engine ranking and reach. Don’t type like a robot to get all the keywords you think you need in there. Write naturally, in your own words, and take the time to complete your meta-data: tags; fill-in descriptions including image file names; and don’t be afraid to install a SEO plugin.
This will help you hone your message and breakthrough the noise as there are more than 33 million new posts each month using WordPress alone!
TIP #3: Social Integration
Make it easy for your audience to “like” and share your blog content. Integrate accessible “share buttons” on all of your posts and pages.
Include tools such as Facebook Widgets that can improve your blog’s social proof by demonstrating how many of the user’s friends “like” or recommend the post/site.
TIP #4: Go Social or Go Home!
When it comes to blogging Its certainly not the case of ‘build it and they will come’! Developing a community of followers takes time but also takes extra effort to promote and market your posts through other channels.
Your blog should be the central hub that hosts your content. Use social media to disseminate “byte-sized” pieces of information “teasers” if you like, to draw your audience in and direct them back to your blog.
Keep messages short and sharp – Twitter only allows you to use 140 characters per Tweet anyway, and this should be used as a guide for all your social media messaging.
TIP #5: Get Visual!
Humans are visual creatures – if you can relay your key messages through photos, infographics or video, your audience will be more likely to engage.
Photos are liked 2X more than text updates
Videos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined.
Videos posted to YouTube and embedded in your blog will also help boost your search engine ranking on Google.
TIP #6: Post Regularly
The frequency of updates can not only influence your search engine ranking, but it’s disheartening to see abandoned blogs where the last post was made months ago. This only gives visitors an excuse not to subscribe or participate. At the same time, don’t post for the sake of posting! Always provide value and keep your audience’s needs in mind.
Most importantly consider WHEN you post:
1. Determine when your audience is most likely to read your blog post.
There’s a lot of debate about when are the best days to post blog content and that’s because it shouldn’t be the same for every industry or business! Those blogging for insomniacs are likely to see results at a different day/time to those who blog for those who work in hospitality or commute.
2. Determine when your audience is most likely to engage with your social media updates.
Research and consider when your audience is active on social media. According to TechCrunch, your Facebook posts are only likely to reach 12% of your FB friends! You’ll want to improve your chances of reaching as many people as possible by posting at a time that your post is likely to appear in their newsfeeds.
Which leads me to the next tip…
TIP #7: Measure EVERYTHING!
Take note of when your post are receiving the higher levels of engagement, experiment and continue to measure/adapt.
Use tools that allow you to track your success.
- Install Google Analytics (GA)
GA is a free analytics tool that provides insights about user behavior, traffic, and social behavior on your site. Your GA account can reveal useful insights into data that will help you get to know your visitors, what they’re looking for, and how you can better serve them.
- Use trackable URL shortening tools.
For those just starting out (and don’t have a content management dashboard) I recommend bit.ly for many reasons but here’s the jist:
- It’s free (for the basic necessities)
- It’s user-friendly, with customisable URLs and linked QR Codes
- It reports on your click-through-rates and reveals what are your most popular links, where (geographic and online) and when your links are being clicked.
Reviewing your analytics will allow you to continually refine your content and strategy, and ultimately improve your reach.
Tip #8: It’s a 2-Way Street
Who want’s to have a conversation with a brick-wall? Or be constantly bombarded with marketing hype from a brand that’s just using their platforms as a soapbox? Successful online initiatives are those which understand it’s a conversation. Be sure to:
- Allow comments on your blog (although including SPAM filters is highly recommended)
- Respond to comments and questions as promptly as possible
- Use language that gets people thinking – ask questions (not stupid questions like “QANTAS Luxury is…?” or urging followers to complete sentences like Coles “in my house it’s a crime not to buy…..”), conduct polls and surveys to reveal deeper insights about your topic and how your audience feels. Use the results as a springboard for a new post and drive conversation further.
TIP #9: Mitigate Risk
Avoid such Social faux pas by always thinking about worst-case scenarios – be a pessimist – “what could go wrong here?” “who could I offend?”
Proof read everything before posting and think about the context of your message.
Follow my 7 Pillars of Community Management.
TIP #10: Keep them coming back for more
You know those cliffhanger endings… Game of Thrones, House of Cards leave us on the edge of our seats at the end of every episode. Taking tip one (and all the above) into account, find a way you can leave your audience with that sense of always wanting more, encouraging them to return to your blog for more detail, updates and value.
I hope these tips have helped you @elfischer79 and everyone else! Good luck with the blog and #winning that car!
Be sure to let us know how you go!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s article: Advanced Blogging Tips!
In the meantime check out my 10 TIPS to Developing Thought Leadership Through Social Media.