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Blogging 101: Plug In to Social Networks

Today’s assignment: if you’re active on a social network, set up Publicize or highlight your profile in a widget or menu item. If you’re not, explore your social options to see whether one might be helpful.

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While there’s no exact science to building a readership, social networks — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest — can play a big role. No blog is an island. Clicking Publish is one step of blogging; getting your work out and attracting readers other than your mother or best friend is just as important.

Today’s assignment: if you’re active on a social network, set up Publicize to link the account to your blog or add a widget highlighting your profile. If you’re not, explore your social options to see whether one might be helpful.

Why do this?

  • Networks like Facebook and Twitter are full of new readers waiting to find you.
  • Social networks can act as an extension of your blog, giving readers another place to connect and you a place to share other thoughts and links.

Tip: if you’re not sure you want to wade into social networks just yet, no worries — after all, you’re already using WordPress.com, which is a network of its own. Take today to strengthen your presence here: go back over any assignments you still want to work on, leave some comments, or write that post you’ve been mulling over.

If you’re a photographer, try Instagram. A food or style blogger? Pinterest waits for you. Hoping to building a business? LinkedIn. A generalist, or not quite sure where your audience is? Twitter and Facebook. Think about how to use the platform, too. Simply sharing your posts isn’t enough — that’s no different from following your blog. You’ll want to engage with other members, share other content (like links you love), and use it as a place to extend conversations that start on your blog.

We’ve covered the most popular networks: if you’re still exploring the social landscape, take a few minutes read about PinterestTwitterFacebookLinkedIn, or Instagram to see which one is most appealing and feels best for your blog.

If you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter, or Path, connecting your account to your WordPress.com blog is easy — head over to Settings → Sharing in your dashboard, pick a service, click “Connect,” and follow the prompts:

publicize

(Here’re the detailed step-by-steps for FacebookGoogle+, and Twitter.)

Now, before you publish a post, you’ll have the option to share it automatically — confirm the box is checked next to your account in the Publicize box at the top right of your Edit Post screen. Uncheck the box if you’d rather not share. You can also customize the message (or tweet) that appears with your post (the default is your post title).

If you don’t want to add more content to the sidebar (or don’t have a sidebar), you can add a link to you profiles on your “About” page or your menu.

You can also highlight social networks in your sidebar — there are widgets for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and you can use text and image widgets to create your own custom links and graphics.This can be a great way to bring attention to your profile and reinforce your blog’s look and feel.

Have a social profile to share, or interested in how others use social networks? Discuss in The Commons.

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  1. I have my blog linked to Facebook, and it has helped increase my views and follows to a small degree. I am thinking about starting Twitter after a friend gives me a “Twitter Tutorial for Non-Techies” class. I find most of my followers right here in the blogging community so I’m curious if other bloggers have good results by linking to social media. Thanks Karen 🙂

    http://fillyourownglass.wordpress.com

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Twitter is awesome, depending on how you use it. Like anything, the more you put in and engage, the more you get out of it. I find that going in with an attitude of just trying to increase page views will likely lead to disappointment. Instead, make it something you enjoy doing and then any benefits are icing on the cake rather than more work and drudgery.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Excellent advice, thank you! I don’t have a Facebook page specifically for my blog so it is just set to publicize on my personal page when I make a new post. I would want to do the same with Twitter and definitely not have it solely to ask people to read the blog. I appreciate your taking the time to answer. 🙂

        Like

    2. Hi Karen 🙂 I can tell about FB – which I hate and never use for myself – but my friends without WordPress asked me to link it so they could get updated without checking it out every day. Well, that make sense. You know the drawback – it is hard to keep it alive. I invited some of my friends only yesterday, as honestly I want people to be active on page and how many vegetarians there are among my friends? So I am afraid to end up with a dead page, which is hardly useful.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I agree totally. What followers I have are from the WordPress community and a few personal friends. I have two blogs connected to FB and nothing happens there.

      Like

  2. One of the beauties of a blog for me is being able to explore topics (like mental health) that impact me directly but I don’t want attached to LinkedIn (unless I change careers). Likewise my photo forums are somewhat different community and I do not wish for them to overlap. At least not yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m blogging anonymously, so I would rather not have any connections with my personal social media profiles. I do have a Twitter for A Daily Crazy, but I found all of my followers via WordPress. I’m just not good at getting Twitter followers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, twitter followers are much like FaceBook friends at first. You start with your small community and hopefully build from there. I found that most of my followers (and still few in number) have followed after I have retreated or more often replied / commented on another tweet. Follow a few topics / companies / people you find interesting — read with they have to say and much like on here, do not feel shy to comment.

      Like

      1. That’s a good point. I just need to learn to to navigate Twitter, finding relevant topics/users that might be able to relate. I’m much better at using Facebook but I’m not ready to make a Facebook for my blog yet, I don’t think.

        Thanks for the advice!

        Like

    2. You can always connect an anonymous FB page, but I guess it adds a lot to your popularity. For example, here I am TantoVerde, I mean my blog is, and my FB page is the same. I do not hide my identity, I just do not want to spam my friends with my cakes 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I kinda get how you feel Mark. I don’t think I’ll ever connect my blog to LinkedIn. Having second thoughts with FB too since I just have way too many ‘friends’ there including some professional contacts.

        Like

  4. I have my blog connected to social network s. Sometimes I like to share my writings to my friends especially on Google+ The friends on Facebook never comment on my wordpress post though.

    Like

  5. Excellent advice! I have a twitter widget on my Linkedin and I feel like even something as small as the accounts I follow and retweets I post show a lot about my intentions with the site. I definitely plan to connect all of my sites now! Thank you Karen!

    Like

  6. Hey everyone! I’m a very active Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram user, and have occasionally shared my blog to my Twitter and Facebook account. But, if I continue linking my social media, I would like to have dedicated accounts for my blog presence. Has anyone here done that, and how is it working for you? Thanks!

    Like

    1. Just setup a Facebook page for your blog, as WP/ FB allow you to link to a page instead of a personal profile. If you’d rather keep things separate this is a good way to go, as you can manage multiple FB pages from one personal login.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi David, my blog is linked to my personal profile, and I know this is the case with other bloggers, too. I think it is a matter of personal preference as to which FB profile to link really. 🙂

        Like

  7. I have question about sharing buttons. I already use, that display the number of times a post is shared. Now if I switch to the wordpress buttons from the current social sharing buttons would my statistics like FB: 100, twitter 20 will be lost and we need to start from zero or is there a way to retain those number of earlier shares shown. Thanks

    Like

    1. Do you have a self-hosted site? If you’re on WordPress.com, there’s really nothing to switch between. If you’re self-hosted and using a plugin to display sharing buttons, I would imagine that the numbers would *not* carry over.

      Like

  8. This helped me so ,much. I have a Facebook and twitter but I did not really think to use them in the way that are explained. I really just use them to stay connected with friends and family but now I feel that I will make new ones just to help promote my blog so that I can get some followers and feedback. But like you said in your post about using Instagram for photos I use that for the photos that I create but I don’t get a lot of feed back from it. So I am still working on that. But thank you again for this post. Loved it!

    Like

  9. Hello,
    I already have this in place, and link my posts to LinkedIn and Google+.

    One of the challenges I am finding is that I then get reader engagement via the social network. For example, comments are left against the LinkedIn page, not my blog article.
    So while I may have an article that has generated interest, the commentary has been on LinkedIn and not WordPress.
    All commentary is good, but I’d prefer it on the blog, where the article originated, and is less transient.

    Has anyone else come across this? Have you found ways of getting around the issue, or don’t you see it as a problem?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My blog is linked to FB and Twitter. I face the same problem regarding the commentary left there as opposed to the blog. I haven’t yet found a solution other than ask people directly to comment at WP but I guess they do what they find more convenient to them.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Using the social networks is a great tool indeed, but you need to make an effort rather than trust ‘Publicise’. My blog is linked to FB, Twitter and LinkedIn, but to I am not sure this helps much. What I find helps more is having your own FB page. Mine is https://www.facebook.com/notanothertallblog, if you want to check it out. 🙂 Also, the automated Twitter posts are a bit useless (no hash tags, just the post title and the short link), so I always re-do them manually, to make sure I put all the necessary has tags. This is how people find you, using the # symbol.

    Like

    1. Angie,

      Just back from checking out your fb page. Blog next!

      I’m curious, though. Did the followers on your fb page for your blog come from people who were reading your blog already, or was it the other way around? I guess I’m wondering how strangers find fb blog pages if they’re not already following your blog? (I had a fb page for a previous blog, but not sure if I used it effectively. Wondering if it’s worth setting up another for the new blog.)

      Thanks, Angie,

      Aileen

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Aileen, thanks for checking our my FB page! I must say that yes, most of my followers there are my own FB friends, but somehow more people follow me now (about 40 people, out of 95 altogether). When I write articles about something specific, I tend to post the link on various groups and pages on FB, which is how people find my page I think. For instance my most recent post I publicised on the tall people groups, as well as on Dorothy Perkins’ FB page, and got one of my records of visit yesterday.

        Not sure if this answers your question, or did I get you confused??

        P.S. I will follow your blog now, so feel free to follow back. Oh, and I now have 211 followers as opposed to 100, which has got a lot to do with Blogging 101! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Happy to follow, Angie!

        Thanks for explaining this. I never linked my fb page to any group pages. So I was really just posting to people who already knew me. I’m not very familiar with the whole group pages thing. Can you just show up on a page, or do you need an invitation?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi @AileenHunt, it depends on the settings of the page I guess. Mine is public, so anyone can view it. If you would like for the posts to appear in your news feed, though, you must have ‘liked’ the page. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. In my opinion social media is like Kindles. Everyone can use it but it’s not for everyone. I had a few social media pages that were connected to my blog but later realized that they only brought a handful of visitors to my blog compared to search engines. For me social media did not do that much. So I got rid of them and am now getting more visitors through search engines, other links, and even WordPress than I ever did with my social media pages combined! Bloggers should really determine if their blog would do well on social media by examining the stats and your goals for your blog.

    Because EVERYONE is jumping to social media, it makes the content more “crowded” for the viewer so the viewer is only going to sort through so much. It’s also way more work trying to keep every social media page updated everyday. If your goals require social media presence than you should go for it, but know that you don’t have to in order to have a successful blog. My goal was always to bring more visitors to my site. Social media did not do that for me because people just “liked” the pages and went about their day. I’m proud to have a social media free blog now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I really enjoyed reading this blog. Even though I am already on all the social media you wrote about. I liked how you broke down each media and gave a brief description. You are right about connecting all social media to blogs. It makes you more marketable and have more feedback. I’ve connected my blog to my twitter and I hope to gain more followers and feedback. One social media I wouldn’t connect is my LinkedIn. It’s more professional and more for job reference. But I have added blogging and word press as a skill, which is always good.

    Like

  13. Having an explanation on why we should follow your tips on blogging is very enlightening. I am currently taking a PR class and seeing some other peoples perspectives on why this is so important in networking and getting your voice heard is reassuring me that I am in the right place as far as a career path. Knowing that my generation is so tech savvy and with you touching upon the apps I use every day makes me realize that I am already ahead of the game. I really enjoyed your post and look forward to reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have a very active twitter page and a not so active facebook. It’s probably a lot easier to share automatically than to go in a promote manually, like I do now. I really hope this will help!

    Like

  15. Hey all, I just have to share this with you! Today’s topic must have stirred everyone’s interest a great deal, as I have totally beaten my record of view on my blog and nearly my new followers record. One post (@beautyfromwithin2out) was inspired by a comment I made, so for a first time ever I re-blogged a post. Thanks for such a great class, WordPress!!

    Like

  16. I tried to connect my Google + doing exactly what’s suppose to be done in Settings and all. And I accepted it and all. However, it still wanted to connect to my other Google + account, which I don’t use. So I deleted that account and tried again to put in my active one. Did everything that I was suppose to and it won’t work. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do to fix this?
    Thanks

    Like

  17. I have invested most my time and energy to my Facebook account. But I am starting to branch out with my other social media accounts. I hope to use Facebook as a base for my readership.
    Blog: ohmyliba.wordpress.com

    Like