Before we dig into how you can best promote your site, your products, and your services on the top social networks, let’s talk about some best practices that will help you make headway here.
Complete Your Profiles Thoroughly
Some people sign up with a random nickname like john29fh. These sites have massive branding potential, so give it some thought and see what’s available before you register at all!
Many times, you have the option of registering your real name (or a pen name), or a business name. Even if your site is branding around a business, you can still brand your name as the leader of that site.
Go through each blank in the profile spaces and complete the answers if applicable. Whenever someone goes to your profile, it boosts their trust in you when you’re open and sharing things.
Even if you’re on there for business, it’s a good idea to include answers when it asks for personal hobbies, favorite foods, and that sort of question. People want to get to know the person behind the site.
Don’t Be a Spammer
Spammers have no clue what they’re doing in terms of building relationships – and they don’t care to. They just use volume and automation to try to make money, and there’s nothing respectable about their strategies.
When you’re on a social network, consider it like you’ve been invited to someone’s home for a dinner party. You don’t walk up to someone you’ve never met and shove your business card in their hand and tell them you sell siding for their house.
Instead, you walk up and introduce yourself, find out about their interests and show genuine enthusiasm. Then the conversation takes a turn to your interests, and you start a discussion about that.
Social networks work the same way. You want to post about a myriad of topics, not just business. People want to see the cute picture of your new puppy or hear about something amazing that you had happen to you.
It’s these interactions that enable them to support your business and promotional posts. They get to know you as a person, so they welcome your entire spectrum of conversation.
Seek Out, Follow and Interact with Your Audience
It’s easy to feel anxious and excited about getting traffic to your own site. You want to post in a fury and see what kind of results you get. But slow and steady wins the race!
You need to go onto the social networking sites and seek out those people who are talking about your niche and start interacting with them. That doesn’t mean saying, “Hi! I’m in the diet niche – follow me back, please.” How spammy!
You want to interact with their posts. For example, if someone posts something about not being able to sleep due to stress, you might causally ask, “Have you ever tried aromatherapy to induce sleep? Lavender works like a charm for me.”
How do you find people to follow? You could use hashtags, but it’s also good to go to your competition and see who is following them. For example, on Twitter, you can look up a keyword like stress and it will show you people who use that word on the site – primarily those whose accounts use it a lot.
So you might get this person as one result: https://twitter.com/ReducingStress/followers – you can click on Followers to see who their target audience is, and begin interacting with them. They’re already following at least one stress relief profile, so if you’re reaching out and being helpful, they’ll probably follow you, too.
Social networking is a nice blend of being there to be helpful for others, making friends in your niche – both customers and competition (which should be viewed as potential JV partners), and sharing your offers. Sounds better than promoting your products, doesn’t it? Sharing resources is a helpful thing.
Use Images and Video Along with Text
Text is great! It helps people find your posts in social media. You can use keywords and phrases and even hashtags to help people navigate to your relevant content.
But it’s also been proven that on social networks, posts with a little something more – like images or videos – get more interaction and more shares than posts with just text in them.
You never want to just steal someone else’s pictures. But you can:
* Take pictures
* Create images online – memes, slides, etc.
* Purchase pictures from iStockPhoto or DepositPhotos, etc.
It’s really easy to accomplish. For example, let’s say you were reviewing a book that you bought at Barnes and Noble, but you wanted people to buy it through your affiliate link on Amazon.
You could snap a picture (a “selfie” as they’re commonly known) of you reading the book – and then post something on a social network like this:
“Really enjoying The Power of Story by Jim Loehr – highly suggest it if you are your greatest obstacle!” (insert link and include image).
These kinds of posts stand out better than just text posts. They grab the attention of the eye. If you use stock photo purchases, you can purchase the smallest images (which are really quite large).
As for video, you can use a screen capture tool like Camtasia (there’s a freeware version too) – or record yourself on your smart phone or other video device, and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and share it on social networking sites.
There are dozens of social networking sites that are popular with different demographics. Let’s go over the top ones and you can then scout out other places where your content might work well, like Instagram, LinkedIn or Tumblr for example.
Some people ignore Twitter because they think it’s ridiculous to have a social network where you only have 140 characters (not words) to share a thought. But those benefiting from the branding and traffic think otherwise.
The key is to know how to properly use it because millions of people are on Twitter consuming information and sharing it virally, and for you to neglect it because you can’t grasp it isn’t a good enough excuse.
Register your name or business/site name as your Twitter profile. You can have more than one – you just need more than one email address. But don’t start out with multiple accounts because you’ll get overwhelmed trying to manage everything. Start with one. That may be all you need.
Fill out your profile and make sure you use a real image of yourself for the Twitter profile pic. Don’t leave it as an egg – your profile will almost always get reported for spam if you start promoting links to other people.
You should also work on getting a professional header and background picture made for your Twitter profile. There are people on Fiverr who specialize in this. Have them create the colors you want and include the URL to your site on the background.
As you create info products, you can also have those ecover images added to the profile background and/or header image.
Start your Twitter journey by finding people to follow and by interacting with your competition (AKA: future JV partners). Mix up your posts and share personalized items and promotions back to your blog.
Don’t neglect to Retweet other people’s content to your audience if it’s worthy of sharing. They will often reciprocate and share your content for you when you post something share-worthy.
Every time you post a new blog post, head straight to Twitter and share it with a little bit of commentary. If you want to use a hashtag to make it findable, go for it – but don’t use 6 hashtags per post – that’s when people start to find it annoying.
If you want to, share images and videos on Twitter now, too. People can watch them or view them right in their stream.
Facebook is great for building relationships and sharing content with your audience that results in increased traffic to your blog. Some newbies mistakenly use their personal profile as their marketing profile.
Your close offline friends and family don’t want to hear about your niche (well, some of them might, but this isn’t the place for marketing). So create a Facebook Fan Page for your blog ad share information there, instead.
Your blog should have all of the social media links to your Twitter account, G+ profile, Facebook Fan Page, etc. But people will also find it right on Facebook when they’re searching for topics of interest to them.
Make sure you start by filling out your profile thoroughly for the fan page. Use a headshot to show who is leading the fan page. If you want to use a logo, you can do that, instead.
Include your hyperlink to your blog in the first line of your short description area. This is the first hyperlink your Facebook fans will see when they glance at your page to see what your page is about.
Monitor what gets posted by others on your page carefully. You want people to be able to connect with you and post to you, but you don’t want spammers to take over your fan page.
Just like with Twitter, you want to post to your fan page each time you make a new blog post. But you also want to share non promotional things. Use images, too – they get shared more often.
You can also boost some of your posts on Facebook. Boosts the posts where you expect to get a return on your investment with sales or commissions. It will default to $100 but you can lower it down to $5 to see how things go.
You can target your FB ad boosts to people who use certain keywords, by gender, location, age, and more. It will even tell you what kind of engagement you got on the post after you boosted it.
Some people have been ignoring G+ but it’s a huge mistake in terms of search engine optimization and authority in your niche. Google is the prime search engine that most people use.
They created a social networking site called G+. Unlike Facebook, your posts on G+ actually rank in the search engines if you make them public. So it stands to reason that you’d want to take advantage of this opportunity to share your content.
Each time you blog, add the link and some commentary to your G+ stream where your followers can give it a +1 (similar to a Like on Facebook) or share it with their followers.
This is known as creating a Ripple effect, and you can monitor who shared your content and who else shared their content that they shared by you. You can also look at any post that has been shared on G+ and see the Ripple effect for that.
This is convenient because it shows you which people are likely to share your niche content, too. So for example, if you have a blog post about social media, you might search on G+ for #socialmedia and see who has a post about that.
If it’s been shared 20 times, you can look at the Ripple effect to see who shared it and then engage with those people. When they see your interaction, they will visit your profile and if it’s filled out thoroughly, they’ll circle you and start to get updates from you.
Make sure you also implement Google Authorship for your account. What this does is connects your blog to your G+ account so that in the Google search results pages, your links not only include the typical title and blurb, but also your G+ headshot image.
Because so few people know about this feature, you might be the only one on the SERPs pages with your picture next to your search result – and this draws the person’s eyes to your result, even if you don’t happen to rank in one of the top two coveted spots.
Did you know that YouTube is the primary search engine for millions of people? They don’t even use Google anymore – just head straight for video information. So you want to be onboard in using video for your niche marketing.
Now if you’re nervous about putting yourself on camera, that’s okay. You eventually need to get past that fear, but you can always start with a screen capture video account.
You can use paid or free tools – like Camtasia or its freeware version – and create slides on your PC and record the screen. If you want to create a tutorial about how to install WordPress on your blog, then you can capture that in action and share it on YouTube.
Always make sure your videos have your URL shown in them for branding purposes. And let your videos get shared on the Internet so that it helps increase your exposure in the niche.
You can customize your YouTube channel with a look all its own (again, try Fiverr if you’re on a budget). Make sure you give your channel a trailer video and description, too.
If you have G+, you can record live hangouts on air in G+ and it will automatically upload them to your YouTube channel for you. You’re not limited to short times for your videos, either!
After you put a new video on your channel, make sure you go share it on Twitter, Facebook and G+, too. Hopefully your users will engage with you there and share your content for others to see.
If you happen to be in a niche where images reign supreme, then you’ll want to use Pinterest as one of your top social networking sites, too. Pinterest is all about images and sharing.
Some of the top niches on Pinterest include:
* Diet and fitness
* Anti aging
* Home décor
But you can also use images to promote other niches on there. For example, the stress relief niche would work well because you can include tranquil images. The relationship niche will work well because you can create memes and images to reflect love. And the parenting niche works well because the site is primarily female, and many Moms Pin things for their kids.
Use a good headshot of your self on Pinterest and have boards that mix up your interests. You don’t want it to be all about business. But have a board (or several) specifically for your topics.
For example, if you’re in the fitness niche, you might have a “Workout Routines” board, a “Healthy Desserts” board, and so on. Use Infographics and images that motivate and inspire and they’ll be RePinned by others, driving traffic to your site so that you can then convert them into a sale.