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Optimize Blog Content for Social Media with These 4 Effective Tactics

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Photo Credit: ePublicist via Flickr

This is a guest contribution from freelance blogger and writer Alicia Rades.

When you get a notification that someone tweeted or liked your latest blog post, you get excited. You can’t help but crack a smile and do a little fist pump because someone shared your content.

If you feel like the king (or queen) of the world and you do a little dance every time someone shares your blog post, get it out of your system now. Today you’re going to learn how to optimize your blog posts for social media, and when your notifications are ringing off the hook, you’re simply not going to have the energy to do a little dance every time someone shares your blog post.

Why do social shares matter? Well there’s the obvious. Social shares help spread the word of your content and brand, which helps drive more traffic. But what you should really care about is the fact that Google cares about social shares, so the more shares you can get, the better your pages will rank in search engines, which drives even more traffic to your site.

Check out these four effective tactics to help you optimize your blog content for social media to better promote your business.

1. Craft Your Headlines Wisely

Your headlines are perhaps the most important part of your social media strategy. Since your post title is the first thing your followers read on social media, you have to hook them so they’ll move on to read and share the post.

You can learn all about crafting powerful headlines for social media on Social Media Today. As this post mentions, it’s important to use emotion to grip your readers, but let’s dig deeper into optimizing your titles for social media.

First, let your readers know what the post is about so you can better connect with their interests. Someone who sees this title on Twitter isn’t likely to click on the link because they don’t know what to expect:

Trial and Error: How to Know When You’ve Got it Right

Okay: what exactly are you going to be talking about? This article could easily cover a range of topics, from learning how to parent and trying different recipes to discovering what works for you on social media. Instead, incorporate keywords that will connect with people’s interests. Some alternative titles include:

  • Trial and Error: How to Tell if Your Parenting Methods are Effective
  • How Using Trial and Error Can Help You Create Tastier Recipes
  • Discover Which Social Media Tactics Work for You with Trial and Error

Another important headline tactic is to keep it short. Most bloggers try to keep their headlines under 70 characters. Why do bloggers do this? Because any longer than that and your entire headline might not show up alongside your links. This means readers could lose valuable information that’s meant to hook them.

2. Use a Photo with Your Content

Social media websites like Facebook and Google+ usually feature a picture when you share a link to your content. But when you don’t set a photo for your post, your link doesn’t look as appealing.

Don’t think it matters that much? According to MDG Advertising, blog posts with compelling images receive a whopping 94 percent more views than those without. [Tweet That Stat!]

To make the most out of this, you have to consider a few things.

First, where can you find compelling photos? Glad you asked. You have several options:

  1. Take your own photos or hire a photographer to take photos for you.
  2. Find free photos on sites like CreativeCommons.org or Compfight.com. (Most of the time you have to attribute the image within your post.)
  3. Purchase photos on stock image sites like CanStockPhoto.com (photos starting at $2.50) or Getty Images (images starting at $25).

Once you’ve found an awesome image, you have to make sure it will show up properly when you share it on social media. In some cases, the social network won’t associate the image with your link if you simply insert the photo into your post. If you’re using WordPress, you can set a featured image, and Facebook and Google+ will usually use that photo alongside your link. To make sure, consider downloading the Facebook Open Graph Meta Tags for WordPress plugin, where you can choose which photo will show up with your link on social media.

3. Create Meaningful, Strong Quotes within the Content

When you have something interesting or meaningful to say, you can make it easy for your readers to share the quote by offering a “click to tweet” link. Since this tactic doesn’t require a lot of work for your audience and it easily draws attention to the sharing option, people are more likely to tweet your post.

A few ways to do this include:

  1. Head to ClicktoTweet.com and create your tweet. Generate and copy your link to incorporate it into your content. Easy peasy!
  2. Install the Click to Tweet by Todaymade plugin onto your WordPress site. In the CMS, click on the Twitter icon in your edit bar. Input the text you want people to tweet, and the plugin will create a box with your text in it and a “Click to Tweet” link.

Creating meaningful quotes isn’t only helpful for getting people to tweet your content. You can also use these quotes as a marketing tool to capture readers’ attention. Simply include the quote in your updates when you share the post on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn to draw readers into your words.

4. Include a Call-to-Action

If your main purpose is to increase exposure on social media, ask people to share your content.

But it’s not always effective to simply say, “Please share my post!”. You sound desperate.

Instead, connect with your readers and make them want to share the content by focusing on how they feel or have felt reading your piece. Don’t just tell them to share your post, either. Tell them exactly what to do by mentioning which social media platform to share on so you don’t leave them with too many options.

Here are some examples of good calls-to-action:

  1. Loved these ideas? Let everyone know by liking this post on Facebook.
  2. Do you share these same views? Tell the world by sharing this post on Facebook.
  3. Rise to the challenge and help spread the word by tweeting this post.

Make it easy for readers to share your content by offering easy-to-find sharing buttons (because let’s face it, no one wants to waste time copying and pasting). A few excellent plugins that offer easy-to-find buttons include:

Let’s put some of these strategies to the test. Enjoyed these tips? Do your friends a favor and let them in on these blog writing tactics by Tweeting this post with the share buttons above.

Alicia Rades is a freelance blogger and writer. She manages a blog called The Writing Realm and offers blog writing services on her website at AliciaRadesWriter.com.

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Comments

  1. Alicia Rades says:

    Thank you for having me today!

    • Alexis Smith says:

      Hi Alicia!

      Thank you for writing such a helpful article. I think I’ve gained more insight to the possibilities of social media more. Plus, that ClicktoTweet tool is so clever! I can’t believe I have not heard of it until now. Care to share any other nifty tools? :)

  2. Jane says:

    Photos/images go a long way in social media and they can contribute to the virality of a post (more than the actual content itself). Social media is totally different than our blog.

    The classic/standard format won’t work there. Depending upon the interests of the audiences in different social media sites, we have to (re)purpose our content for social media – in other words optimize in a way that the re-purposing is integrated within the post.

    I usually include catchy images with blog post titles and short link written on them. This way, those images are right there inside the post and they can be shared on Google+, Facebook and Pinterest as well.

    Thanks for the nice tips Alicia.

  3. I really liked the way that you touched upon making headlines that simply peak the user’s interests. All too often people forget that what they have written needs a great headline to attract social media users to their content.

    ClicktoTweet is something that I have been meaning to incorporate into my own blog. In fact, I am going to do that right now as I always seem to forget. I have been noticing many blogs using ClicktoTweet, and I like that it adds that little extra sharing pizzazz that many pieces of content seem to be missing.

    Great article Alicia!

  4. LeslieZ says:

    Alicia, great post and I loved your call to actions.

    I know I need to do the call to action at the end of every post, but your twist on it is excellent and engages the readers. I’ll be using this type of call to action in my next post.

    You mentioned some great plugins. Does adding too many plugins slow down the loading of your blog?

    Thanks,

    LeslieZ

  5. DK says:

    Hey Alicia, Your post gave some good insights into a few tools that at least I was not aware off. The click to tweet plugin looks like a good option to increase interaction on your blog as well.
    For Facebook open graph meta tags and twitter cards, I prefer using the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. They have some nice options that can automate most of these and in addition also does a decent work in terms of SEO. While SEOPressor also does a similar thing, it is a paid option and hence one might want to skip going for it.
    Social Share of course matters a lot and your tips can surely help increase the social shares on our blogs.

  6. Sanusi says:

    Alicia Rades thank for compiling great information for optimize blog content for social media,
    I mostly agree with
    1. Good headline
    2. Photo with your content
    3. Call to Actions

    This is all i use most time am dealing with social media.

    Thanks i love this Article.

  7. jeet sejwal says:

    Good article about Optimize Blog Content for Social Media with These 4 Effective Tactics. But i think the the good tactics is Create Meaningful, Strong Quotes within the Content.It is very effective.

  8. I must say that these tips are very effective in optimizing content for social media.

    Points number 1 and 2 are to be done in a way which appeals to the audience. This is because it will help to grab the attention of the onlooker.

    Headlines must be done in a way which invites a person to want to read more and also using eye-catching image is a must.

    Great tips, thanks for the tips.

  9. I like the tips you gave for a good CTA. I’ve been working on some but they aren’t yielding as much as I had hoped. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Alvie says:

    100% agree, and i always put a photo in my post :)
    i still believe that images speak louder than words

  11. Rightly said.. I agree …images are saying our posts reputation…

  12. Mika says:

    Alicia, thanks for the tips.

    The headline examples are particularly handy in visualizing ways to accomplish what you said.

    Having good, descriptive headlines not only helps with social but SEO also without being keyword spammy.

    A couple other good and inexpensive options for photos I like to use are Everystockphoto, Fotolia and iStock – some of which I have been able to get pictures for as little as $1 each by buying credit packs.

    Floating social bar is a good WordPress plugin for making your sharing request more noticeable. As you scroll down the page the shrimp bar floats at the top so it is always there and visually noticeable. This is on my blog posts right now if you want to see an example.

    After installing that plugin on a couple of sites my shares went up considerably.

    AddThis is notorious for slowing down your site considerably and many of the other share plugins redirect through 3rd parties so it’s a good idea to read the reviews at the WP repository before installing them.

    I also think that bar is a classy way to do it. Asking for shares in any way sounds a bit desperate in my opinion. It just feels to me about the same as if I were to say:

    “Did you like this comment? Please visit my blog and sign up for my newsletter. ”

    Yes that is what I would love if people did, but I also think it sounds desperate asking for it. I think being subtle with it and doing my best to produce high quality content suits my personality better. I do agree that calls to action are effective though.

    The click to tweet method is better. I’ll have to check that out.

    • Alicia Rades says:

      Great suggestions. I like what you said about a call-to-action vs. a click to tweet option. Sometimes a call-to-action is fitting, though. For example, I contribute to one site that concludes with a question and then says, “Tweet us to let us know” or something like that. Since they don’t use comments on the blog, it’s a great way to show readers what to do next.

      Thanks for the other suggestions, too!

  13. Such a lovely blog. This article is very helpful regarding Optimizing Blog.

  14. Thanks for this great post. Social media offers a lot of opportunity and it is important to utilize social media channels well . With the right content, you can be sure that you will have your space in social media, earn followers, and make your brand truly remarkable.

  15. Tutor Online says:

    Well said.. I totally agree …images are saying our posts reputation…

  16. Great article.

    The 70 characters or less tip for headlines is a good one. I use ClickToTweet from time to time. It’s a useful social media too.

  17. Definitely agree with all the points here, although I think you really have to be careful with #1.

    One of the newest Facebook trends for advertisers is to make the titles so catchy, to the point where the content only barely relates to what the headline states it is about. Of course, this is used by advertisers who don’t really care if you read what’s there or not, they just want your click.

    Anyhow, this is making users extremely skeptical of titles that seem to promising to be true. I guess what I’m trying to advise here is to simply ‘keep it real’, because fake advertisers are ruining it for the rest of us.

    Thanks for sharing, Alicia!

  18. Marcelo says:

    Hi Alicia,

    Great blog post!

    I like the idea of using strong quotes and use a WordPress Plugin like Click to “Tweet by Todaymade” to share the quote on Twitter. I have Social Media Share buttons on my webiste but never Tested “Click to Tweet” before. Brilliant tip, I will use it in my next blog on Friday and see how it goes.

    Thank you so much for writing this brilliant article, we can see that you put a lot of effort on it!

  19. Alicia, It’s ideas like these that remind us that not everything is about SEO and backlinks. Thanks for reminding us that an engaging audience can be found in many more places. In addition, you can actually connect with and relate to your audience much, much better by following your steps.

    Thanks,
    Elvis

  20. Tania Saeed says:

    Thanks for the Supperb Article. Its really help me a lot .. 10/10

  21. Very Very Very Nice Post ! Darren You Rock Really.. You Make Everything Looks Simple! Really this post is going to help me alot and thank you for sharing the social sharing button website i am gonna add one for my website for sure !

  22. Jason Wilson says:

    I’ve leant from experience that a strong headline along with photos that have a true impact make a lot of difference between an average post and one that creates viral activity which then creates backlinks and hopefully a lot of social presence. Great post though!

  23. Uday Ghulaxe says:

    Including nice photos to blog post really mmakes great sense .
    And we all know pictures say louder than the letters. And the sharing buttons you shared here are really awsome Add this is my favorite.

  24. Nice article Alice! I’ve been meaning to learn how to do the whole ‘click the tweet’ thing and now I know. Cheers. :-)

  25. John W says:

    I like you thoughts on adding a photo. It takes a little more time but it’s certainly valuable.

  26. Md Tajuddin says:

    Hi Alicia!

    Thank you for writing such a helpful article. I think I’ve gained more insight to the possibilities of social media more. Plus, that ClicktoTweet tool is so clever! I can’t believe I have not heard of it until now. Care to share any other nifty tools? :)

  27. Gina K. says:

    Thanks for the article and advice. Increasing our social presence is one of our 2014 goals and these tips should definitely help.

  28. Layton Mills says:

    I’m still yet to nail the headlines! I think someone needs to start a business purely on curating catchy and attractive headlines. Thanks for sharing :)

  29. Jack says:

    Nice tips! Thanks. Might be good to share some of plugins that is save to use.

  30. Lokapriya says:

    Pretty good tips which should be implemented as standard. Great post nevertheless, and certainly a great help

  31. dacey003 says:

    excellent info thanks for the article i have also a business website and blog really got this new idea to promote my website and blog

  32. kartik chugh says:

    Thanks for this great post. Social media offers a lot of opportunity and it is important to utilize social media channels well . With the right content, you can be sure that you will have your space in social media, earn followers, and make your brand truly remarkable.

  33. Usman says:

    Hey Alicia,

    Thanks for share here the great tip with us. Its a lovely blog.

  34. Daniel says:

    Some great Blogging advice, Alicia.

    I Agree regarding social and promoting a site…..and it is something I need to get back into again

    I think if people use a balanced approach and cover all bases from on page optimization, SEO, as well. As off site methods such as social and site promotion, And getting more involve in various communities such as forums…

    Like the suggestion regarding using quotes in a way that highlights a particular point that we wish to emphasize ……and this can look really great to….if done properly and with a bit of style….

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