What you want is for people who're interested in what you're writing to read your blog.
But who are they? How do you find the people that want to engage with you? It's time to find your 'target audience' and get them onto your blog. Yes, target audience is a buzzword, and yes it's overused. But that doesn't make it insignificant.
Let's take a look at some ways you can get potential customers onto your blog using social media.
When deconstructing the market, focusing on a small core allows you to see what’s important to them
Tommy Walker, CrazyEgg
Create an Ideal Customer
Before you go looking on social media to gain traffic, you need to define who you're actually looking for. If you haven't read it already, check out how to create a persona.
I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. Whilst I love it for promoting our and others' content, it's full of spammers. You know what I mean. Auto DM's, auto tweets, auto roundups. Follow, unfollow. Everything's gone automatic. Where've the people gone? Is it just full of Robots?!
Welcome fellow pilgrim. Are you a twitter addict? If you show any of these 12 signs you might be: [Spammy Link] 50+ comments r fun 2 ;D
Auto DM'r, Twitter
Okay, rant over.
So just how do you find your ideal customer on Twitter? Let's take a look:
Use hashtags - People adore hashtags, so use them to find your readers. Clicking on the 'Live' tab will help you find the not so well known accounts. Scroll down and make the effort to favorite, retweet or reply to insightful tweets.
Followerwonk - Followerwonk gives you the ability to find accounts based on overlapping followers. Find similar blogs to yours and use the 'Compare Users' tab to see who's following both. They're likely to be interested in your blog too.
Twitter Chats - Twitter Chats are great because they let you interact with real people (or maybe they're bots too?!). Find a popular, relevant chat and participate on your personal account. If you do this on your company account, it's pretty obvious you're not there to have fun. Nobody likes a party pooper.
Participation is key for reaping the benefits of Twitter chats. Ask and answer questions, add insight, discuss.
Juliet Barbara, Forbes
Have no shame. That's what I've learnt. Invite that person that you met once at that party 10 years ago, invite your spouse's sister. Invite everyone, because most people will ignore you anyway.
Facebook is a little more difficult when it comes to gaining likes, because it's a personal platform. That's why we recently shut down our Facebook page. Anyhow, let's take a look at some of the ways to build the community:
In plain sight - Show your Facebook page on your blog page. If a customer really likes what you're saying, chances are they'll look for a Facebook button because it's more personal.
Advertise - Unlike Twitter, Facebook ads are actually a reasonable price. You can target down to a certain demographic, based on pages viewed or even when they went on holiday.
Hashtags? - I'm not really sure this works, but you could include a hashtag on your posts. They're not as popular as on Twitter, but give it a go. Let me know if it works!
Okay, so let's all admit it. We're on G+ because of the SEO benefits, right? Since you're on it anyway, you might as well make the most of it. Here's how:
Communities - The best thing about this platform is the communities. They're actually great. Participate in discussions, add links or create your own.
Circles - Add relevant people to your circles. They're much more likely to engage with you because of the tight community.
I love reading - I sometimes get sucked into what I like to call a Medium or Quora 'Warp', where I just keep reading and reading until an hour disappears and I've forgotten I got the AeroPress ready.
Here's my long list of blogs I find great reads on, and here's how to make them beneficial for your brain and your blog:
Learn from others - On blogs, you'll find plenty of posts about mistakes or things that don't go quite as planned. From how changing a domain went horribly wrong to failing to hit goals. These make the best blog posts. Why? Because you can gain something valuable from them.
Comment & Discuss - Let the authors know how valuable their content is. I tend to do this a little too much (sorry if you've seen me comment on your blog too much!) but love to know that someone's enjoying what I'm writing, and I'm sure you do too.
- Find who you're looking for - You can't target everyone. Sort out your ideal customer before going any further.
- Twitter - Use Twitter to promote content & engage with followers. Whatever you do, don't send another spammy direct message!
- Facebook - Facebook is great for building a community, but it's tough to get likes. Invite everyone you know, maybe even your grandma.
- Google+ - If you're going to use it, you might as well get involved in Communities.
- Other Blogs - Read, learn, engage and share. Help other authors feel like creating content is worth their time.