Engaging, high quality online content is necessary but not sufficient to attract, engage, and build your audience. Like it or not, you have to promote your online content.
Before discussing what you should do, let’s go over some of the things you should not do. Don’t tweet the link to your article 10 times a day. Don’t clog up everyone’s Facebook news feed with repeated promotions for your content. In fact, 80 percent of your social media posts should be conversational or promote relevant content other than your own. Only about 20 percent of your social media posts should be self-promotional. Otherwise you’ll come across as a spammer. Here are more techniques for promoting your content.
Join LinkedIn Groups
With LinkedIn, you should be playing the long game. Join relevant LinkedIn groups and start participating in them. But don’t just join and immediately start throwing your weight around. Get a feel for the group and what they find valuable. Once you do that, you’ll know when the time is right to start sharing relevant articles in these groups. Look for opportunities in your LinkedIn groups where someone asks a question and you happen to have an article or post that answers it. Also look through LinkedIn Answers (and other sites like Focus.com and Quora.com) for opportunities to answer questions with links to relevant articles and posts.
Aim for 20 percent of Tweets where you promote your own content, and indicate authorship by including a phrase like “my latest post on …” If you’ve built a reputation for sharing engaging and useful content, people are more likely to check out content you wrote yourself. Rather than using a link shortener, let Twitter shorten the link so that your domain name appears. Generally you want to make your Tweets juicy with a particularly interesting statistic or other tidbit, but playing it coy once in awhile can help, too. The rare “mystery Tweet” saying something like, “This post was hard to write,” followed by your link can prompt people to click to see what you’re talking about. Just don’t overdo it.
Learn about Google Authorship. Have you noticed people’s faces appearing in Google search results? You can make your picture appear there too with Google Authorship. If you don’t have a Google+ profile, you need to create one now. Google Authorship lets you link your Google+ profile to the content you create. This simple step can significantly increase the chances of your search result being clicked on. As you continue to link your Google+ profile to your content, your AgentRank (sort of the personal version of PageRank) will increase over time. Again, you’re playing the long game, so make this a consistent, long term habit.
Facebook has an element of fun because it’s where people keep up with friends and family. If your Facebook posts are an endless string of bland admonishments to click on your latest article, you’ll turn people off. Facebook, like Twitter, is another place to follow the 80/20 rule: spend 80 percent of your posts conversing and sharing and only 20 percent of them actively promoting your content. Facebook offers some very useful Fan Page analytics that you can use to learn what’s working for you on Facebook, and where you could stand to improve.
Speaking of analytics, you should use them. Google Analytics will help you determine how your promotion efforts have affected your website traffic, and you can also make use of all-in-one metrics dashboards like HootSuite, Raven, and Sprout Social. Look at a range of metrics to determine what content engages your audience. It’s not exactly fun to look at the content that’s not engaging your audience, but it’s necessary to spot and correct problems.
Don’t forget about using your website itself to draw traffic. Recruitment advertising for digital publishers is the perfect way to make your website site stickier and open up a new stream of revenue. People seeking jobs in your trade or location will return repeatedly to look for new opportunities, passive job seekers will want to know what’s being offered even if they’re not actively looking, and happily employed people who like to keep up with their trade tend to peruse job listings as a way of taking the pulse of the industry.