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July 24, 2014

Social Media for Your Blog

by Donna Huber

This month I've been looking at ways to reduce the stress that continuous blogging can cause. I discussed setting an editorial calendar so you know what to post when, consider a different format for your reviews to make them easier to write and read, and finding time to write posts. Today, I'm taking on social media. If you want your blog to be noticed you have to be active on social media, but that can be a source of stress as well. Particularly if you run afoul of a nasty author or others who think it is fun to belittle and bully others. At the same time, it can also be a source of support.

5 Social Media Channels to Use

There is a lot of options when it comes to what social media channels you can participate. I recommend these 5 channels.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Goodreads
I know that may seem to be a lot of places to be active on a regular basis. However, each has its own nuances and will be used differently in support of your blog. Let's take a closer look of how to use them effectively and with ease.

4 Ways to Use Twitter

Being on Twitter has been huge for increasing my readership. If you have been reading Girl Who Reads for very long you may know that this isn't the first blog I've attempted. The others were before Twitter and it was very difficult to get a blog noticed.

  • Connect your RSS feed. To make things easier, I recommend connecting your RSS feed to Twitter so that when a new post goes live it automatically gets tweeted. I use Feedburner and have it set so that the categories I select for the post are turned into hashtags.
  • Tag authors. If I can quickly locate an author's Twitter handle, I will tag them in the review or their guest post so they can retweet the post. 
  • Share other content. Just using Twitter for advertising your blog won't get you far. You need to share other people's content either through retweets or tweeting from their blogs. I use Triberr to help find interesting content to share with my followers. 
  • Interact. Keep an eye on your mentions and reply to comments. There is not much need to thank people for just sharing or retweeting your content. I like to use to see who are most engaged and top new followers. They get a shout out each week.
3 Recommendations for Facebook
  • Set up a fan page. You will find times when you want to separate your personal life from your blogging life. Having a fan page will help protect your privacy.
  • Interact. More so than with Twitter, it is important to interact with your fans. For Facebook, though it means asking questions and making comments. Just advertising your posts doesn't really encourage discussion and that it of the utmost importance. 
  • Link Facebook to Twitter, but not the other way around. Twitter is a much more fastpaced environment than Facebook. You don't need to make but a post or two a day on Facebook, but Twitter is best with 10 - 15 updates a day. Reduce your double posting by having everything you post to Facebook be sent to Twitter. Bonus tip: if you are asking a short question or making an observation that's less than 140 characters, add a picture to the posting. People on Twitter will click on the link, giving your Facebook posts more views.
2 Things to Consider for Google+
  • Increased SEO. Connecting your blog to Google+ (for Wordpress bloggers you will need to claim your authorship) will increase your posting's rank in the search engine. The +1 acts like a vote and the more +1 a post gets the higher in the search returns it will appear.
  • Add to your circles. When sending a post to Google+ you can specify which circle gets notified (you can also make it public). People who interact on the blog - leaves a comment, shares on social media, etc. get added to my Girl Who Reads subscribers circle. The people that add me to circles most often get added to my Book People circle - these are usually authors and other bloggers. 
1 Reminder about LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn builds your reputation. LinkedIn is a professional site. It was created to connect professionals and job seekers. It is your online resume. Treat it professionally. Use it to highlight your expertise. I share posts that will be of interest to my professional network - usually my tips posts and other informative posts.
5 Tips for Goodreads 
  • Social site for readers. Unlike the other social media sites where your audience could be anyone, people at Goodreads are readers. If they are active on Goodreads, then they are likely more than an average reader. You can find people you have a common reading interest with to share your love of books.
  • Find support. A lot of bloggers are on Goodreads and there are several groups that you can get involved in with other book bloggers. While I'm part of blogging groups on Goodreads, most are lifestyle bloggers and not exclusively book bloggers. Having experienced book bloggers in your network will help reduce stress by having someone you can turn to with questions and for words of encouragement.
  • Link to your reviews. I write a short review, usually a few sentences, upon finishing the book and then when I write the full review for Girl Who Reads I add the link. I don't get a lot of traffic from Goodreads, but my older reviews will often get new views from there.
  • Connect Goodreads to Twitter and Facebook. My reading updates and reviews are shared on the other social media channels so I don't have to remember to post them there and it saves time.
  • Be cautious. Goodreads has become a hotbed for bullies and trolls. My advice is to use it as it is intended - to share book love. Be careful what you post in groups until you are familiar with the other members. Things can be taken out of context or read in ways you never intended on all the social media platforms, so just think twice before posting something that might be offensive or taken the wrong way.
I hope this overview of social media for your blog is helpful. I've written more extensively on each of these platforms if you need more help or ideas for implementing them with your blog. I will be wrapping up this series next week, so if there is a topic I haven't covered and it's causing you stress with your blog let me know.

And for a bonus tip this week I guest blogged on Write Divas about when and how to hire a publicity assistance. 

Donna is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. She reads most genres (NO horror or erotica), but her favorite books are psychological thrillers and stories that highlight the survival of the human spirit against unbelievable circumstances.


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