Social media is still fairly new and understanding how to connect the various social media tools is not easy. Yet, that’s where the power lies, especially when it comes to dynamic content like blog posts. I’m often asked how to get more exposure leveraging social media, so I thought I’d give you the “101” on connecting, specifically your blog with Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
First, this help assumes you have a hosted blog, particularly WordPress. You can get WordPress for free and install it on your own domain or site, as long as your site accepts PHP (hosted on unix or linux servers and not Microsoft servers) and you have the ability to create databases. It’s a little tricky to set up and configure unless you have a geek-streak like me. Let me know and I can help.
So, you have a hosted blog and you’re putting out regular posts. How do you let the universe know?
Twitter – Grab your Twitter handle and make sure you fill out your profile, adding your website URL. The rest involves plugins to WordPress, though Typepad probably has similar functionality.
Post blog to Twitter – Grab and install the Twitter Tools plugin. It not only notifies Twitter when you add a new post, it can create a blogpost from your tweets. It comes with additional features such as Hashtag, Exclude, and bit.ly URL shortener. You’ll need to get a bit.ly API code so that the plugin will push out your shortened URL.
Retweet this blogpost – Grab and install the Tweet Meme plugin. It lets readers retweet your posts and also keeps track of how many times your post has been retweeted.
Show my tweets – If you are successful with the Twitter Tools plugin (above), you will also have a widget that shows your tweets in your sidebar.
Follow my tweets – I like the Follow Me plugin, used on this site. Stays off to the side and isn’t too obtrusive.
LinkedIn – First create a company page for your business. As you are setting up your company profile, you’ll see “Company Blog” in the box on the left side. Make sure you add your blog’s RSS URL. Now check your personal profile. Be sure you have your company blog and Twitter handle listed there too. As WordPress notifies Twitter with a tweet announcing your post, that same tweet will show up in LinkedIn as a status update.
Facebook – First, create a personal profile. Then add the Twitter application and fill out the settings with your Twitter handle. Now all your tweets will show up in the live feed, including the tweets containing your blogpost announcements. To automatically post from WordPress to Facebook without going through Twitter, use the post-to-facebook plugin.
Facebook’s company fan pages are still coming along. For the life of me, I can’t find an automated way to push blogpost notifications. I still recommend you create a company fan page and for now, manually add blogpost notifications.
One last suggestion, add social links to your posts with the Sociable plugin. This gives your readers several options to share your posts for you.
Feel free to add your suggestions. Would love to know what’s working for you. If you’re struggling with this or have any questions, just ask. Together, we can figure it out.