Profile photo of Alice Elliott
Alice Elliott
August 27, 2015
social sharing

We all know that whenever you click that publish button, you won’t instantly get thousands of readers clamouring to read your blog.

But if you want what you’ve written to be read by more than just your mother and next door’s cat, you will need to promote it. And you also know that one of the best places to do this is via social media.

However, it’s not a situation of copying your latest post’s URL (web address) and peppering it all over the social networking scene. The process of social sharing is a bit more sophisticated than that.

This Infographic gives you an idea of what I mean:

How social sharing can attract more readers to your blog

And here’s some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

For a more efficient use of social sharing, you need to focus on the ‘social’ element of social media, and the ‘sharing’ factor of altruistically providing information around the web.

In other words, you need to have a healthy attitude towards making friends, helping others and improving people’s lives with your knowledge.

Anybody who wants to keep themselves to themselves need not apply.

Your readers come first

Any good blogger writes for their readers. This means thinking like they do, using their language and talking about the subjects they are interested in. Find out what they want to read, and then simply write it for them.

Use research tools like BuzzSumo to find out what your competitors are writing about. Comb the social networks using hashtags and other keyword mechanisms to find what your ideal readers are reading. And then take this and twist it around to cover what you want to say.

Remember whatever superb information you have to share, it needs to be presented in a way that benefits your readers.

People will naturally think “What’s in it for me?”, so unless they receive something tangible they can take away and immediately implement, chances are they may lose interest and wander elsewhere.

Make is easy to share

Your readers may not necessarily get that urge to share your post with their friends. It still isn’t second nature to most readers. Therefore you need to provide sufficient call to actions to remind them of their ‘social duty’!

And having the social sharing buttons close to hand, brightly coloured and even floating into view, will create more of an incentive.

I’m still amazed when I come across a blog that doesn’t have any social sharing buttons, or if there are any, have them tucked away in a corner as if they are embarrassing. Don’t these bloggers value social commenting?

And remember it’s much easier for a reader to click on a button than to take time to write a comment. OK, it’s nice to have that kind of feedback, but social visibility is what gets more eyeballs onto your blog.

Do more yourself

Of course you could also use your social sharing buttons to add your post’s link to your own social platforms, but that is really a bit of a cop out.

As with all things, a bit more effort will bring in better rewards.

Manually paste your blog post’s URL into your social networking update fields, accompanied with a suitable headline or title. This should not necessarily the same as your post’s, but something that is designed to catch the attention of passing readers. Pertinent questions are usually a good bet.

And with it should go an introduction or description of your post, to further entice that potential reader to notice it. If there is more information than just the headline and link, there will be more reason to find out more.

Hang around afterwards

It’s not a good idea to be one of those bloggers that tend to dump their links and leave, trusting in fate to bring in the traffic.

Again, your personal input is required here. You need to be around to respond to any comments that may arise. And if you’re quick enough, the other person may still be there to continue the conversation. That’s when things can start to get really interesting!

Social sharing is all about interaction. And if this results in some exchange of views, your post instantly becomes more attractive. A popular entry always gathers a crowd, as people want to know what all the fuss is about. Encourage others to join in, to add to the party!

And not only is this popularity good for attracting readers, but the search engines and social networking algorithms as well. These mathematical programmes focus on social activity, which will boost your social reach and place your posts in front of more potential readers.

Let’s get visual

Social networking platforms are placing more emphasis on visual hooks to help with social sharing activities.

You can certainly make things easier by having a good image, preferably one that is big, bright, relevant and copyright free, at the top of your posts.

If you use WordPress, you can activate the featured image for your post, which is ‘caught up’ by RSS via the social sharing buttons, as well as included in the social options area in the SEO plugins that are available.

And to add to that technicality bit, make sure your images can be shared on Pinterest and Instagram, as a lot of social sharing goes on there that could draw attention back to your post.

Where do your readers hang out?

We all know about the groups and communities that can be found on social networking sites. But what kind have you joined up to?

Bloggers naturally graduate towards their own kind. A bit like safety in numbers. So if you write about a certain subject, chances are you’ve joined those kinds of groups.

But are you readers there? It’s all very nice getting the positive feedback from your peers, but what you really want is social sharing from your readers.

Time to start thinking outside of the box.

Do some research in what your readers are interested in, and subscribe where they congregate. Now you will be in a better position to get your blog posts read by the people they have been written for.

But hang fire first

Don’t submit your blog posts links, headlines, descriptions, images and everything else just yet. There’s still some work to be done.

You may want to impetuously begin your social sharing activities, but consider this. If you went to a party where nobody knows you, and you stood on a chair in the middle of the room and shouted “Read my post!”, can you imagine what the reaction would be?

Exactly!

Start to network around the room. Find out who is there, what are they like, what their preferences are, how much do they already know.

Make friends by showing some interest in them, their lives, and their blogs. Forget about your blog at this stage, it’s not important. What you need to focus on are your potential readers, and learn as much as you can about them.

Get reading yourself

Find out what kind of blog posts are already shared in this community. Suss out the competition, quality of writing, and amount of knowledge provided.

But also work out whether these are getting read, and how much interaction the group gives towards them. If there is a popular member that currently gets all the attention, find out why.

Also, read all the threads and conversations within the group. If it is particularly lively, there may be discussions that may or may not relate to sharing posts. If so, carefully scrutinise all the responses and join in. Be helpful, constructive and forthcoming. If you stimulate a conversation, use it to find out more about the participants rather than to promote yourself.

Start a discussion by posing a particular question designed to evoke a reaction. By drawing attention to yourself in a good way, especially if you use social sharing profitably by giving your knowledge freely and willingly, people will soon learn to respect your expertise and helpfulness.

Be a good citizen

If the group or community has rules, abide by them.

This is just common courtesy. By showing respect to the group owners or authors, you will soon get into their good books.

And this means when you enter a discussion, and later on your blog post links, you will have a better chance of being noticed, read and commented upon.

And this politeness will soon be noticed by the others in the group, who may also benefit from this good example.

Are you ready for social sharing?

If you’ve taken the effort to lay these sufficient social sharing foundations in place, when the time comes to promote your posts it will be much easier for you.

This is because you have already primed your potential readers to make them more receptive to what you provide for them.

It’s not that you’re the life and soul of the party, you also give them excellent nourishment and plenty of good cheer to keep them going for a long while.

And if they like what they read, they will want more. From your blog. Which will, of course, result in subscriptions to your newsletter and your RSS feed.

And now you can communicate with your readers on a more personal level – and the world’s your oyster!

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Profile photo of Alice Elliott
If you are a beginner blogger who is looking for someone to "explain things really simply" about blogs and WordPress, then go ask Alice Elliott! Her award winning blog Fairy Blog Mother explains blogging using ordinary, everyday words. And take part in her 90 Days Challenge to Commenting Mastery to get more readers and traffic!
  • Alice, this is so informative – everything is contained in your blog post – thank you. I will be re-visiting this once I re-start my blogging again.
    Irene x

    • Thank you Irene. Don’t leave it too long to start blogging again, or you may be missing out on many opportunities.

  • Really comprehensive post Alice that certainly covers all bases. Thank you!

    • Thank you Julia, I’m glad you approve. I like to make my infographics into a mini lesson for those who learn more visually rather than reading words.

  • Good Day to you Alice,

    I’m still fairly new to social media, but learning, thanks to some wonderful posts like this one.

    One of the first things I did on my WordPress blog was set it up to automatically post to social media. Not long ago I learned how this practice can be considered spam when we join a group and start sharing posts, before even bothering to introduce ourselves.

    Realizing that we don’t necessarily stay in strict compliance with “niche relevance”, has also been a recent revelation for me.

    How many of us consider how paying attention to audience building can help us find hidden gems in our “long tail niche” or while trying to establish our own unique project?

    Although the rest of your post is very important, it seems that avoiding “automatic posting” to our social media, and expanding our horizons by stretching the limits of our niche boundaries, are the two most important.

    All the fancy stuff can be added over time.

    If we can help first, we are building trust.

    As we are trusted more, our followers become our advocates.

    As advocates, our followers value our sharing enough to tell their followers.

    If we don’t provide appropriate and valuable content, that helps answer questions, solve problems or at least is supportive, how can we expect or deserve being followed?

    “Word of mouth” isn’t outdated, it just became “electronic”.

    May you be successful in 2016!

    My Best to You
    Arth

    • Thank you Arth for your comment. In my post I wanted to stress that automatic posting could scupper your chances of proper engagement on social media. It is so easy to set up the RSS system to have your posts fed into your social networking profiles without a moment’s thought, not considering how they are presented or even if they contain an accompanying suitable image.

      However, by presenting your posts manually you have much more control over how they come across to a passing reader. OK, you will probably have some die-hard fans who will click on its link regardless, but an obviously automated link is much more likely to be ignored if there is not some other incentive to make a passer-by stop and take notice.

      The more trouble you take, the better the results. Sure, automated feeds are great for beginners, but let’s hope they will soon learn that doing it themselves will pay dividends in the long run.