It can be easy to think that running a social media campaign is as easy as setting up a Facebook Fan page and posting your stuff, but you will soon recognize that this method is less than effective.
In fact, we really shouldn’t discuss social media at all until we discuss the objective for a social media campaign. Your purpose is to capture readers on your website so that they become community members rather than passers by. You will occasionally sell to passers by, but it is the size of your community that determines the monetary value of your blog.
There are a few hidden dangers with social media that you must be aware of. First of all,amassing a community on social media means the monetary value of your blog is not entirely in your control.
Although I have over 100,000 people who have liked the Facebook page for one of my blogs, Facebook makes it so that my status updates are now only viewed by about 35,000 of those people on average. Overnight, I lost a giant chunk of my audience.
My point is not to avoid Facebook, but that you need to balance your social media community presence. Since that change, I have begun a serious and concerted effort to develop a community on Google Plus as well. This balanced approach is insurance for algorithm changes that could impact my ability to contact my audience.
The safest way to develop a community is to build an email list. If you have the email address of your readers, nobody can stop you from contacting them. You will eventually learn that your email list is like an ATM machine. Once you have developed a following of a few thousand email subscribers, you will be able to send out an email and immediately get sales—immediately. Nothing is as valuable to a professional blogger than his or her email list. That is so important that I must say it again, “Nothing is as valuable to a professional blogger than his or her email list.”
Your email list is so valuable that you must treat it carefully. Do not email too often or sound too spammy or people will stop reading your messages or mark you as spam. But if you provide value to your email subscribers, you will soon see that every email will earn you several thousand dollars.
But in addition to your email list, you will want to be on social media. You will quickly learn that certain social media sites are more valuable to bloggers than others.
Here is the rundown:
Everyone has a Facebook, and the connections you make here are very valuable. When someone clicks on a Facebook Share Button on my website to share an article with their friends, I usually see about 9 clicks to the site happening because of that one share.
While I am certainly maintaining a Facebook presence for my blogs, I am moving more and more to Google Plus.
Not everyone is on Google Plus yet, but there are enough people that it is now a viable social network. Developing a following on Google Plus is powerful because it means that they are more likely to +1 your articles. Google has already acknowledged that they are taking +1s into account when determining search engine rankings.
Also, Google Plus hangouts are a powerful way to develop a community.
Some people love Twitter, but I am not one of them. I have a following of 4,000 followers, yet each tweet I send out with a link to one of my articles generates only 25 clicks. Ouch. Twitter is an exercise in screaming into the wind. There are so many tweets in most people’s feeds that they simply won’t see your stuff.
To be fair, there are many bloggers who use Twitter effectively, but it seems as I talk with colleagues, my experience is typical. Your tweets won’t be seen.
Depending on your topic, LinkedIn is often overlooked. I recently consulted a friend who is creating a website on how to write resumes. I told him he was absolutely crazy to focus on any social media platform other than LinkedIn.