Love it or hate it, social media is impossible to ignore if you want a successful blog. It will be the number one source of traffic as a beginner blogger. Your efforts on Google will take longer to kick in. So which is the best social media platform to grow your blog?
Starting out it’s far better to focus on one or two social media platforms. If you spread yourself thinly across several platforms you’ll end up failing to find traction.
This may sound like a contradiction but I do recommend you sign up for all the platforms you can think of using your new blog name (or something similar, for example, my Twitter handle is @HatchSimply).
Because you may want to use these platforms in the future so it’s best to
mark your territory now.
Which Social Media Platform?
Which platform you use will depend on where your customers hang out. Thinking about the type of customer you want to attract will help.
Answer these questions:
- Is you blog aimed at businesses or consumers?
- What’s the age profile?
- Are your customers typically male or female?
Your answers will help you choose a platform. Better still take a look at successful blogs in your niche and find out where they generate their traffic.
My focus is on Pinterest for my lifestyle blog. Pinterest is a baby in terms of Monthly Active Users (MAU’s), but it’s a super-engaged community of pinners actively searching for new things. Just because it works for me doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your blog.
Choose Your Social Media Platform
Here’s my run down of the top platforms to help your choose your focus:
It’s impossible to ignore the social media power of Facebook. Despite all the recent negative publicity, they still have 2.74 Billion MAU’s. That’s a lot of people.
Approximately 80% of adults in the US and UK have a Facebook account and it’s the only platform with high usage across all age groups. A good choice if you’re trying to target a senior market. I suggest you need a Facebook presence even if it’s not your first choice of platform for driving visitors.
In the past, I’ve grown substantial numbers of Facebook followers for an online business and been frustrated by Facebook randomly deleting followers. I once lost 2000 followers overnight.
Unless you’re spending money on Facebook adverts, Facebook will only show your posts to a selection of your followers making it difficult to engage viewers in posts without spending money.
This is the best post I’ve seen about succeeding with the new Facebook algorithm. Succeeding on Facebook is about creating engagement and Facebook Groups are a way of building conversations and providing space where your followers can collaborate.
You don’t need to create your own Facebook Group. Joining and engaging in existing groups on Facebook can help drive traffic to your new site. Search for groups in your niche by inputting your subject in the Facebook search bar and selecting Groups.
For example, let’s assume I have a blog about mountain biking. These are some of the social media groups that popped up when I searched for Mountain Biking:
Not all are relevant for a blog about mountain biking. I can ignore the buy and sell groups, but the We Ride Mountain Bikes with it’s 20K members and 10+ posts a day looks interesting.
WARNING: Before you sign up for a group and start publicizing your blog, there’s an etiquette you need to follow.
- Request membership.
- Agree to the group rules.
The group rules will normally ban self-publicity. This means you need to be subtle. Get to know the group. Provide helpful comments.
Then, and only then, link to helpful posts on your own blog. Be very careful to avoid anything that can be seen as direct selling. The plan is to become an influencer.
YouTube has 2.29 Billion MAU’s. It’s used by around 75% of the adult population in the US and UK. YouTube is owned by Google and consequently, Google loves YouTube.
Embedding your YouTube videos into your blog is a great way of boosting your SEO ranking.
In terms of driving visitors to your blog, YouTube can be less useful as a source of social media traffic. It’s hard to get viewers to leave YouTube and click through to your blog.
Starting a YouTube channel should be on your to-do-list but it won’t have an immediate effect on visitor numbers to your blog.
Instagram has 1.22 Billion MAU’s, predominantly in the age group 18 – 35. Slightly more users under 35 are men and over 35 are women.
Instagram has a highly engaged social media audience compared with FaceBook. It’s a visual platform. If you’re not producing unique attractive images, I doubt it will work for your blog.
There are bloggers who’ve had huge success on Instagram. There are also bloggers who’ve found it a tough platform to crack. This post will help you get started.
Before launching in and using Instagram take a look at other Instagramers in your niche.
Does it look as if they’re having success with the platform? What could you do differently or better?
Last year, TikTok went from almost complete obscurity outside of China to “that platform” known to everyone for its
annoying uplifting dance routines. TikTok now has over 689 MAU’s and is here to stay.
I’ve heard of some bloggers getting incredible results with TikTok. They’re using it to build a following rather than drive traffic to their blogs. This is one of the best guides I’ve found to getting started with TikTok.
It’s hard to find the latest updated figures for Tumblr but it’s estimated at 642 Million MUV’s although I suspect it may be lower as Tumblr has declined since its heyday. That said it’s still has a big following. Almost 40% of users are under 25. If your target audience is young adults, Tumblr may be worth considering but I suspect for bloggers there are better options.
It’s a very visual medium but it’s also used as a mini-blog with longer posts. If you’re new to Tumblr and think it will match your audience, this is a good starter guide.
At 442 Million MAU’s, Pinterest is still small compared with the social media users enjoyed by FaceBook. Yet, bigger isn’t always better.
Pinterest is basically a search engine and users are actively searching for ideas, products, and solutions to their problems. This can make Pinterest an excellent source of traffic.
Pinterest users are predominantly female and represent all adult age groups. It’s become a huge community for Mom Bloggers and Etsy Creators. In its early days, it was an incredibly easy way to grow blog traffic – you could just keep recycling the same old material and still build a good following.
Times have changed but Pinterest is still a good source of traffic. These days, just like most social media platforms, to do well on Pinterest you need frequent fresh content.
A downside to using Pinterest is that as a relatively new, rapidly changing platform the goalposts keep changing. Tips and advice from Pinterest experts can quickly become outdated.
Twitter has 353 Million MAU’s and a loyal user base. The platform has a high under 25 following and almost 80% of its global population is under 50.
In the US the gender breakdown is 50 – 50 but worldwide the split is 68% male and 32% female.
It’s used for both Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing. Cracking the Twitter code takes frequent engaging tweets.
Linkedin is estimated at 220 Million MAU’s. It’s rumored to be a declining platform. However, it remains an important social media platform for professionals and businesses. It’s used to build authority in a particular sector and can be a good way of building trust in your brand.
If it fits your target audience, find out more about growing your Linkedin profile here.
Conclusion – Pick The Right Social Media Platform For Your Blog
There’s no point choosing a social media platform just because it seems everyone else is using it successfully.
The platform has to be a good match for your specific audience. Find out where your potential customers are hanging out: that will be the right social media platform for you.