How to effectively share blogs and articles on Social Media

small__312407445If you’re a blogger and hang out a lot online, sharing your own and other people’s posts becomes second nature. But hang on, not just hang out. Are you doing enough, or could you add a lot of value just by writing a few more words?

I thought so. Just click on all those icons and bingo. But when doing that to share my own posts, those of my dearly beloved columnists’ and those of others whom I admire, I wasn’t impressed with the resultant traffic.

Although of course there was traffic and a flow of readers, it crossed my mind that I wasn’t making full use of the options. The reality is that on many platforms you have the option to describe what you’re sharing in some detail – not all social/business media restrict you to just 140 characters

And since I have been taking more time and trouble over sharing my own posts (and those of my columnists) I have seen a very encouraging jump in views and reads. I apply the same principle when I share others’ posts and articles and I hope it works to bring their writers more traffic. From feedback I’m getting, it seems to be doing a good job for them, too.

So how can you enhance sharing for yourself and others?

Let’s take a look at the main SocMed platforms I use, anyway, and then maybe you can bring us up to speed on the other platforms that you use? That would be great if you can! But for now…

medium_8563255639 (1)Facebook

You can write quite a lot about an article or post on Facebook, but what really counts here is targeting – depending on whether it’s on your personal timeline, your business page, a friend’s timeline, or a group, you have a good few sentences in which to tell readers why they will find the particular article or post of interest.

In all probability it’s worth restricting yourself to a sentence or two, though, as longer comments tend to get truncated by Facebook so readers have to click on “see more” which they may not be inclined to do.

However because you can be so specific, don’t fall into the trap of using the same pre-amble across several different groups, especially if you know that some members will be, well, members, of more than one of the groups you target.

To use the same preamble across several groups looks tacky and tells people that you can’t be a*sed to regard them individually. Bad news. Use your imagination to vary your preambles; it won’t be that hard, because each group is likely to be different so requiring a different slant on what you’re sharing.

Twitter

Twitter laughs in your face if you try to be verbose to the tune of anything more that about 110 characters, never mind 140, if you want to include URLs and hashtags and all the rest of it.

You need to get your abbreviation MoJo working here and think in terms of a few words to enhance something. In my case, provided that the original tweet is pretty short, when retweeting I’ll add a few words like this … // WELL WORTH A READ.

The trick is to pick up not on “keywords,” necessarily, but on trigger words that will resonate with your fellow Twitterers. And don’t overdo the hashtags – they are supremely irritating for readers who want to get a true feel for the content rather than a cascade of – essentially – advertising.

Pinterest

Although Pinterest originally was set up as a pictorial platform, don’t forget that you are allowed about 500 characters’ worth of description with each pin. That gives you plenty of time to say something about your image and, if relevant, tell viewers to read on to find out the whole story. Some of my busiest US traffic is from Pinterest and I value it a lot.

Just ensure you make it clear that they need to click through and read something else. Here’s an example of a recent Pin I put up on Pinterest, with a picture of a can of Spam…and it got a lot of interest/traffic:

“Over the last few weeks I have been collecting some of the more creative and enriching spam comments my kindly filter gathered for me on HTWB, and before hitting the “vaporize” key on them I thought you’d enjoying sharing my favorites…” join humorist and best-selling author Suzan St Maur on HowToWriteBetter.net for some hilarious spam and her even funnier remarks…read on!

LinkedIn

small__4613342990This platform offers you just over 200 characters in which to share an update “above the fold” (so readers don’t have to click on to read everything). Don’t forget, however, that if your LinkedIn updates are linked to Twitter, as mine are, the Twitter versions will get truncated at 140 characters or less.

In these circumstances, if you’re clever, you can ensure that your main message is established before the 140 character mark and although the whole 200-odd-word comment must make sense in its entirety, the first 120 or so get your main point over.

If you belong to LinkedIn groups obviously you will want to tailor your introductory comments appropriately for each group. NB: sharing a post (your own or someone else’s) across numerous groups simultaneously on LinkedIn is considered “bad form,” so be sure to reel your promotional efforts out very gradually.

Although LinkedIn is 99 percent business, I find I get some useful traffic to my humorous posts here on HTWB, especially on weekends, provided that I describe the posts in question in the update boxes.

Google Plus

Google Plus will only show the headline and featured image of your blog post, so you need to introduce it individually. The comment box, like Facebook and others, allows you about a sentence or two “above the fold” without readers having to click on to see more.

If you belong to various communities on Google Plus, as I do, once again you can share a post across more than one of them, but be warned that many members get very hot under the collar if you “cut and paste” posts into a number of communities. Despite the fact that your article or post is not trying to sell them something, they see multiple postings as spam and will soon kick you out of the communities or block you. So one size fits all does NOT work here, or anywhere else in SocMed, for that matter.

The answer is to roll out your shares over a few days, posting only in one or two places at the same time. This spreads the load and doesn’t offend the spam-haters.

Stumble Upon

This is another very useful platform, especially if you’re aiming at US traffic. Since I started writing a couple of sentences about whichever article or post I’m sharing (of ours on HTWB, which I can track) I’ve seen a huge leap in visits from there.

You might find Stumble Upon’s categories a bit off-the-wall – I do, especially when you consider that there is no category for “blogging” (although there is one called “weblogs”) or “online marketing” (only “business”) … but on the other hand “billiards,” “Hentai Anime,” and “quilting” feature on there. Go figure.

Ushi, VK and other non-English language sites

small__2513908782As you would expect, you need to remember two key issues here: one is that English is not their first language and in any case what you write as a comment to go with your link is likely to be translated, and two, they may not be as attuned to your topic (or that of the article/post you want to share) as much as you are.

blogging,writing,blog writing,business,newsletter,HowToWriteBetter.net,How To Write Better,Suzan St MaurSolution? Don’t hesitate to write a comment, because that will lead readers into what you want to share – but keep it simple, using non-figurative English that will translate easily.

And as I said above, please share your own thoughts and experiences of making personalized comments when you share articles and blog posts on Social Media… am looking forward to that!

More help to produce and share great content: (instant downloads)

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write
“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English
The MAMBA Way to make your words sell“…how to think  your way to superbly successful sales writing

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Thoughts

  1. Excellent advice as ever Suzan, thank you!
    I have been intuitively sharing across G+ over time, a post following the oft receipt of up to six of the same post, same author who has yet to ‘work out how to play’. Unlike others, I am unlikely to cull these accounts unless they fail to take a hint. We all have to learn right! G+ is a tricky one and along with FB and the dynamic nature of the platforms it is easy to fall foul!
    Changing the ‘why I am sharing this’ is a really goods point. I am increasing the ‘why’ for those I share with, and sometimes I slip!

    • Thanks for that, Bob – great to see you here. Changing the “why I am sharing this” message makes sense, really, because every group is different and so will be coming at the topic from a slightly different angle. Come back and visit again soon!

  2. I would like to also apologise for neglecting to read through my last! I will go and cull myself ;-/

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