With so many social networks available for businesses as well as individuals how many should you post your blog on? Is it really better to be on as many as possible or should you target where you post?
While the answer to this question can vary based on the size and genre of any blog, there are still 3 simple rules you should follow when deciding what social networks you want to publish on.
1.) How many networks do you have time to keep up with?
The first rule of social networking is be social. Therefore, when adding blog posts and other content to social networks it is important to remember that your postings need to be more than just one-sided. That is, you need to interact and respond as well as just send out information.
Many social media pages, and therefore the content behind them, are abandoned because they become boring or stale. When you decide to post on a given network make sure you have the time to devote to being social on it as well or your blog will quickly be forgotten or, worse, considered irrelevant by the folks who are being social
2.) Consider your audience
Social networks, like everything else, are not one-size-fits-all. You wouldn’t go to LinkedIn for information on craft beers would you? Would you advertise your technical blog on a network for abuse victims?
Use common sense when deciding what networks you post on and make sure the audience will gain something from your blog. Failure to know the audience of your social channels is just as bad as failing to know the audience of your blog itself.
3.) Social networks enhance blogs, they don’t replace blogs
One problem I often see with blogs on social networks is that folks are tempted to read the intro and pass on actually going to the blog. In response some bloggers have taken to long, elaborate posts on their social networks which could in fact better serve their community as a post on their blog rather than a blurb on a social network.
Remember that the idea of putting your blog on the social web is to drive more traffic and help build community. Your social presence therefore must be seen as a way to complement your blog and not provide content that would be better placed on your blog itself. When choosing where to publish this type of knowledge comes when evaluating sites that want entire pieces of content such as Tumblr and others. While they’re great for some things their tendency to become blogs in and of themselves can be a real detriment to the efforts on your main site resulting in fragmentation of your community and neglect of the content that got you where you are in the first place.
In the end, choosing social networks for your blog isn’t much different than choosing social networks for yourself. Just remember who your audience is, make sure you have the time to be social on your new social network, and don’t give away the baby with the bathwater when it comes to content.
How do you evaluate what social networks your blog participates in? Has your strategy helped drive traffic and success to your blog like your homed?