A quick guide to up your social game for your blog. Social Engagement is key today.
What it takes to be a successful blogger in this competitive market is evolving. It's no longer sufficient to put in a few hours writing at the computer and call it a day. Now, bloggers must engage heavily in social media and keep track of everything, even while on the go. Here's how to do just that.
Get the Right Apps
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The apps a blogger needs include the app for their blogging platform (Wordpress, Blogger, etc.), apps for all the social media they're using and a good social dashboard app like HootSuite, which gives you instant access to multiple social media accounts. Facebook and Twitter are essential, but the most successful bloggers employ as many social networking accounts as possible, including:
- Stumble Upon
Sync all the accounts together, and make sure each is synced with your blog. Use the same name on every account so users instantly recognize you. If necessary, upgrade the SIM card of your BlackBerry smartphone to a 64 MB card so you'll have plenty of room for your apps and updates.
Set Up Alerts
Google Alerts are the ideal way to stay in the loop. If you're to be a successful blogger or developer, you've got to establish yourself as an industry leader with inside information and the latest scoops. Google Alerts gives you industry news in real time, so you can be the first to post it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
When you get the news, make yourself relevant to the conversation. After blogging about the issue and sharing your post on social media via your BlackBerry smartphone, be ready to answer questions or address comments by users immediately. Make it clear you're engaged and invested in the issue.
Share Content (Not Just Yours)
Going mobile is important so you can continue to post content, respond to comments and establish yourself as relevant to your special field in the social world. Use your blogging platform app to keep readers and social media followers updated continually. Getting out of the office gives you a fresh perspective, which is the best fodder for writing fresh content.
However, posting, sharing and tweeting your own content isn't enough to establish you as an industry leader. You also need to share content others have produced. Sometimes you'll be talking about the excellent points they make, and other times you'll be explaining why they're mistaken. Either way, if all you're sharing on social media is your own content, you'll be an isolated island amidst a sea of interaction.
Make and Follow Up on Comments
It's easy to get so wrapped up in your own blog and followers that you don't pay much attention to other bloggers relative to your field. Use your time waiting in line, riding the train or waiting in the doctor's office to read relevant blogs and make insightful comments. Always select the option to follow comments so you can read and reply to additional comments.
Be quick to reply to readers who take the time to comment on your posts. Readers are seeking to engage with you, and if they go hours without hearing from you they feel neglected. The BlackBerry smartphone is ideal for allowing you to respond quickly and give your readers the feeling you're having a real time conversation. Plus, lots of comments on a blog post make it highly attractive to search engines.
Use Photos and Videos
As wordsmiths, we often forget our readers are highly visual folks. They're much more attracted to photos and videos posted on social media than lots of words on a page. While you're out and about is the ideal time to capture great photos and videos to share. Of course, share some of the visual content on social media immediately. But save some for adding to later posts when you're out of great ideas to make your content visual.
Sharing photos and videos of your activities is another way to connect with your readers on a more personal level. If they've seen the clips of you at the big conference or exciting show, they feel like they've shared something with you. If you've properly synced your social media accounts (or if you're using HootSuite), you'll only have to post the photo or video once, and it will show up to all your followers using other social networking sites.
Link Up With Related Blogs and Industry Leaders
As stated, bloggers can't afford to sit isolated on an island. However, when you are creating online relationships, you want to align yourself with the industry movers and shakers. This isn't to say you should act superior to the little guys or ignore them. But you do want to establish your reputation with the big fish, too.
Use your BlackBerry smartphone to read industry blogs from the top sources. For example, if you're a food blogger, you'll want to read and comment on the Blue Kitchen and La Buena Vida regularly. Once you've established a relationship with these powerful bloggers, ask them to engage in a link relationship. These links benefit both blogs by exposing them to larger readership bases.
Be Selective in Your Posting and Sharing
Having discussed the importance of regular, consistent posting and sharing via social media from your smartphone, it's worth some time to talk about why this process should be somewhat selective. First, you always want to verify information before sharing or reposting. It's embarrassing when you have to recant a story. Second, social media followers (on Twitter especially) are quick to unfollow anyone who constantly posts irrelevant, repetitive, or uninteresting information.
Snopes has an app for quickly checking urban legends before sharing on social media. Or, use the search engine on your BlackBerry smartphone to check the source. Social media sharing is most effective if you send out posts at regular intervals. Bursts of posts can be irritating, or could cause readers to miss everything you posted because it happened while they were away. One post every one to two hours is optimal.
Once you've taken blogging to the palm of your hand, you can bring your readers and followers everywhere with you. Social media is the ideal tool for the blogger ready to make it to the next level of popularity and success, and mobile devices are the best way to achieve this goal.