Do You Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog?

How do you use social media to promote your blog?

If you write blog posts, you probably have some desire for people to read them. On WordPress, it’s not too hard for people to find you if you use tags and interact with other bloggers, but what if you want a wider audience? If you choose to go out looking for readers, social media is one obvious place you might go to promote your blog. Or you may hate social media and want to steer totally clear, or you may be somewhere in the middle. This post looks at what social media promotion might look like if you’re so inclined.

Connecting WordPress to your socials

WordPress lets you automatically share your posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr (do people actually still use Tumblr?). You can set this up by going to My Sites > Tools > Marketing, and then click on the Connections tab.

You can verify your site with Pinterest and Facebook so those platforms know that the person who owns those social accounts is the same person who owns your website. This can be set up by going to My Sites > Tools > Marketing, then clicking the Traffic tab and scrolling down to Site Verification Services.

Twitter

I’m not a fan of Twitter, which is actually putting it lightly, as most of the time I despise it. It seems like auto-sharing your own posts in the hopes of passively bringing in traffic doesn’t accomplish all that much, so I stopped doing that quite a while back.

Twitter blog promo threads

There are a variety of Twitter accounts that run promotional threads where people can promote their latest blog posts. On these threads, people will often write that they return all comments (i.e. if you leave a comment on their post, they’ll leave a comment on yours).

I’ve never actually participated in these, but they strike me as a really inefficient way to drive traffic to your blog. Since these threads are so tit-for-tat, it seems like they require a lot of effort, yet they seem unlikely to build an audience that’s likely to return to your site without you continuing to actively participate in these threads. I’m also not keen on spending a bunch of time reading and commenting on blogs I have no interest in just because I’m doing the returning all comments thing.

While these threads are certainly a way to get views and comments, I’d be curious to hear from people that do participate in these what you think of their efficiency.

Pinterest

Pinterest is my preferred social media platform because it’s really not social media; it’s more of a visual search engine. There’s very minimal person-to-person interaction, and you don’t get a feed focused on keeping up with what specific people are posting.

Because Pinterest is content search-oriented rather than person-oriented, follower numbers are a lot less important than other platforms. Creating pins involves work upfront, but pins can bring in big traffic long after they’re published without any work on your part. Pinterest is a pretty substantial source of traffic for me, and prepping pins to go with posts doesn’t require a lot of mental energy.

One thing I find weird about Pinterest is that most of my new pins don’t get much action; it’s the older ones that do well, which is the exact opposite of how Pinterest says their algorithm works.

Pinterest tips

I’ve been using Pinterest pretty much since I started my blog, but a lot of things about it remain rather mysterious and/or just plain weird. Here are a few things I’ve learned, though:

  • Canva.com is useful for creating pinnable images, although the annoyance factor seems to be increasing regularly. Pinterest’s optimum dimensions are 1000×1500 px.
  • Even if you’re not running your blog as a business, switching from a personal to a business Pinterest account gives you access to more features.
  • The way you name and describe your boards impacts how findable they are and the pins that are in them are. Pinterest gurus say that your board covers should all have a similar look (and unlike other pins, they should be square). Pins seem do better when they’re in boards that are more popular, so lately I’ve been combining boards and using sections to organize them. I haven’t been doing that long enough to tell if it’s helping me at all.
  • Your pin descriptions matter in terms of how findable your pins are when people search. You can also enter alt text that helps people using screen readers (as well as search engines).
  • Hashtags can be used in pin descriptions, but I”m fairly sure that they don’t actually accomplish anything.
  • You can save pins you’ve already created to multiple boards, but Pinterest is less keen on this than new pins. I will typically save each pin to one additional board a few weeks after originally posting it.
  • You can join group boards, but from what I’ve read, they’re a lot less effective than they used to be at broadening your reach. The stuff I pinned to group boards never did well, so I’ve stopped doing it.

Instagram

I don’t use Instagram enough to have much of a sense of how useful it is for promoting individual blog posts. It’s probably easier now that you can use links in your Stories, and I can see it being a way to let people who are already in your community that you’ve got a new post up.

While I can see Instagram being a decent way to get people to your site more generally, I’m curious to hear from others who are more frequent Instagram users whether they find it’s a good way to promote specific posts. How often are people actually looking at a post in their Insta feed, clicking through to the person’s bio to click the link in bio, then selecting a particular post link from whatever link in bio tool you might be using? That’s quite a few steps, and every extra step seems like it would decrease the likelihood of people following through.

I also wonder how many people are like me and tend to compartmentalize their social platform use. When I’m doing my WordPress thing, I like to stay on WordPress, and while I’m doing my Insta thing, I like to stay on Insta.

Other platforms

I don’t have a Facebook account, but I get a decent amount of traffic from other people (I have no idea who) sharing my posts there. I get substantially more traffic from Facebook than I do from Twitter, even though Twitter is something I actually use (albeit rarely).

I can see LinkedIn potentially being useful, depending on how connected and active you are there and what your blog is focused on. It doesn’t really strike me as the kind of platform where auto-sharing every post is likely to be a very high-yield activity. I share the odd blog post on LinkedIn (mostly book reviews) and get a handful of visitors a month coming from there.

I’m too old to see the appeal of Tiktok, so I don’t have much to say about that platform. As far as I know, if you have a Tiktok business account, you can add a clickable link in your bio, and use a link in bio tool like you would for Instagram.

I have strong doubts that anyone actually uses Mix, so I don’t think it’s a platform that’s likely to bring anyone to your posts, but sharing some stuff there can help your domain authority.

Social media management tools

There are a number of different tools that allow you to manage your social channels, including scheduling posts. What exactly your can do with them and what kind of analytics you get access to depends whether you use free or paid plans. The only scheduling tool I use is Pinterest’s built-in scheduler to do a day’s worth of pinning all in one go.

Tailwind lets you schedule things to share to Pinterest and Instagram, and it will suggest good times for you to post. It’s also got a tool to help you create graphics. Tailwind communities can also help to expand your reach.

Buffer is integrated with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Hootsuite works with all of those platforms, as well as Youtube.

If you want to learn more about being strategic with your social media use, Social Media Pulse offers free social media lessons.

Should you promote your blog on social media?

You may sometimes feel like you should be on social media to put your blog out there in the world, but you are totally free to ignore any and all shoulds that anyone is spouting regarding blogging. There is no universal law of blogging that says you must promote your blog on any specific social platform, or promote it at all. Just because a lot of other bloggers seem to be using one strategy doesn’t mean that you need to do the same thing. You do you.

It’s also worth considering what you’re trying to get out of your blogging experience. If you’re after community engagement, the traffic that you’re drawing in from social media probably isn’t going to be interacting with your blog in the same way as your WordPress traffic. If traffic without interaction does nothing at all to float your boat, social media promotion is probably a waste of your time.

Speaking of wasting time, social media promotion can be a massive time sink, and it’s probably worth revisiting every once in a while whether the benefit you’re getting out of particular strategies is enough to warrant the amount of time you’re putting in. It’s totally okay to say fuck it.

Now, over to you. Do you use social media to promote your blog, and if so, how? And if you don’t and want to spout off about how much you hate social media, feel free to go right ahead and do that. 😉

Blogging toolbox: graphics of toolbox and wordpress logo

The blogging toolbox series has tips to support you in your blogging journey. It includes these posts:

88 thoughts on “Do You Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog?”

  1. This is a good post, Ashley.

    When l first started to blog on WordPress, l did have Guy connected to Facebook and Twitter [Like you, l also hate Twitter – but l came from Twitter to WP and then left Twatter] But l got no resonation traffic, so disconnected them within a few months. I never bothered in all the years after that.

    However, I plan to connect to Instagram and Pinterest with Earthly Comforts as EC is a very visual blog with niche content. Pint and IG will be, l think, a more significant benefit to the content, but not FB and most assuredly not Twitter.

    One has to utilise social media platforms, especially to achieve broader audience readerships. But caution also needs to be exercised with which platforms you use and which are best for your content.

    For the first 6 – 9 months of this new blog, it’ll be a 100% campaign to build up external traffic. So platform marketing is the crucial way to go. That is not saying WP traffic isn’t needed, but that is an internal in-house audience.

    1. A combo of Pinterest and Instagram sounds like a good way to go for the business blog. Honestly, I have no idea how people manage to keep up a blog and stay active on more than a couple of social media platforms. Focusing on one or two seems like it would be more effective.

      1. Very much so, two is more than ample. Like you say, how people manage to sustain and maintain 2+ additional platforms is quite beyond me, but maybe that is when they purchase an automated service feature.

  2. Magda Regula

    When I started blogging less than a year ago, I naively thought that Instagram is for sharing images and that’s how I use it! Only found out quite recently that it’s actually being used for for ‘building following’.

    I sometimes manually share my posts to related Facebook groups but not that many people follow the link.

    I also very recently realised how social media can cause a massive overload in an autistic person, so I’m on a digital detox (still read your posts obviously!). It would be cynical of me to now try to use social media to promote my blog. I believe in my content and I’m waiting for someone to find me 😛

  3. About eight years ago when I had a totally different blog I did use social media to try and promote it. I found that it really wasn’t all that effective. I don’t promote my current blog at all and I’m satisfied with the readership that I have. I use Facebook messenger only (to communicate with family) and I am not on any of the other platforms. I find my life is a lot more peaceful without social media. Guess I’m old-school. I call people on the phone using a landline! 🤣

  4. Johnzelle Anderson

    Thanks for this post. I have 2 IG pages: one for my blog/podcast and the other is a loc/doing my daughter’s hair page. Going to try hootsuite out since I have a sponsorship on the loc page. It’d be nice to set the posts and forget them

      1. Johnzelle Anderson

        I tried to set it up and it was too complicated. I just save my posts as drafts then have a reminder on my watch to post on wednesdays haha

  5. When I used to be on Facebook I would share my blog posts there on past blog I used to write. But I felt it quickly dwindled as the rest of my experience there not related to my blog did.

    Now its just Twitter with my current blog and I feel it helps to get views, as stats do go up if I tweet lstest post, or re-tweet that post again later.

    I have joined in odd times where I have commented on someone else’s blog and they do mine. But I don’t do this regular as it would be extra pressure for me. But at least I have found another blog I like to read from participating in this.
    There has been some that did not comment back that said they would. But I know from other bloggers experiences that this happens anyway. So again another reason I won’t go here regular. I just do it if I see a post I like.

      1. I correct myself. From where I was looking, I forget if I click on something else it does tell me where they came from to view my blog and country, along with other information like browser, window operating system.

  6. I don’t promote my main blog outside of here, but sometimes I’ll share a post on FB using my writer’s blog. I’d love to get back into using Pinterest again!

  7. I mainly use instagram to promote my blog. Honestly, it doesn’t bring in much traffic. Now, creating content for instagram is a hobby for me. I as another outlet to express myself and give mini updates on how I’m doing.

    I also have a twitter account that I don’t use, but my blog is still connected to it. I tried out Facebook but that doesn’t help with promotion either. It’s just tiring keeping up with more than one social media.

  8. I use Insta as a more visual byproduct, or supplement for my blog. I’m not sure if anyone on Insta has the attention span to click links, they’re there for the pictures which in itself also tell a story ,(like blog posts do). My experience is is people like you on Insta they may google you or go to your profile to see where else you create output, but reading blog posts directly from Insta seems to happen less frequently in my case at least. (I do have some lurkers from Insta.)

    I’m fascinated by what you said about Pinterest, a platform I have not gotten involved in at all.

    1. Pinterest is interesting but behaves weirdly. I don’t dislike Insta, but I don’t like it enough to put in the effort that I’d need to for it to feel meaningful.

      1. I’m going to try this. I’ve been using Quora to answer questions with links to a topical post of mine but haven’t seen much traffic from it. Then again, I just started doing that a few weeks ago. I read about it on a few sites as a way to promote your blog, so we’ll see if it pans out.

        1. I sometimes answer questions on Quora and the link to my site is in my bio, but I’ve never tried including post links in answers. Quora is a strange beast. The idiocy of some of the questions can be pretty mind-boggling.

          1. For sure. I turned off notifications in the app because I was getting the most ridiculous, pointless questions. You have to really find good questions and hope they’re not meaningfully answered already otherwise you’re fighting for views. So far this month, about 400 answer views of mind have translated to maybe 10 blog views. Not reassuring.

  9. Even though I now have an Fb account, it’s for personal use, like to share stuff with friends and family. Blog sharing isn’t too much of a concern for me there.

    Also, yes, I still hate social media and regularly question my decision to make an Fb account, like I’ve literally got my profile page intro set to tell everyone I have no clue how long I plan to stay. What am I doing with my life… 😅

  10. I’ve never promoted my blog – why would I? For the past 25+ years I’ve been an early adopter of just about everything and – never found any use for any of it. I don’t get Twitter – I just don’t. It’s impossible to follow a conversation. Pinterest is a waste of space, I don’t see the point to it either. IG is fun – takes no time at all and now you can post from your desktop. Like my blogs through the years I have no theme, no purpose – I just please myself. One of my blogs is linked in my bio – don’t know which one. I rarely post anything on FB – tho perhaps maybe 10 years ago- a few friends and I bounced stuff off each other rather frequently – mostly conversations via music videos.

    Blogging has become something I just do for myself. I miss the old days (old fogey lament) when we really were a community – it’s not like that anymore. Your blog and Rory’s are the only one’s I ever comment on – and not all the time – because no one wants to be interactive. Conversations are not encouraged.

    I know I sound all negative and grumpy – I’m really not. Just taking a break from a really good book – “Lessons in Chemistry” – and then I have set myself the chore of cleaning bathrooms – then back to my book!

    1. That was definitely a good thing when Insta started allowing people to post from desktop and laptop.

      It’s interesting how the blogging community fluctuates over time. And now there’ll be no more Rory’s blog – it’s like the end of an era.

  11. Okay, spouting away! I have no time to waste on ‘social media” … at least the platforms that are currently popular (and it’ll change tomorrow and someone will launch a new one. Gawd. Stop the insanity.)

    I don’t like that damned option, so I don’t employ it. I know a shite ton of people who use all that you listed and probably some you didn’t know about. I just don’t care. If they want to read my blog, they have to jump the WordPress hoops to come over. And those are complicated hoops according to several IRL people who have tried. I’m not bothered.

  12. I promote my current blog on IG only. I’ve recently posted links in a FB group that is specific to my blog focus, but not to FB at large. With my older blog I did a lot of blog circles and carnivals with blogs on similar themes. Pinterest was fairly new at the time and while I didn’t specifically promote it there, many of my posts have been pinned. I haven’t written on that blog in years, but it still gets occasional traffic. My best guess is that it’s from Pinterest. My blog is not my business, so I don’t feel compelled to drive a lot of traffic to it, though I admit I get a small thrill when I see people have been reading what I put out there.

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