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Strategic Tips to Make Social Media Work for Your Articles

Updated on February 19, 2013

So you have published an article or blog post and want to share it with the world. This part of online life is almost as crucial as writing the article itself! Let's look at the most popular social media sites and plan the best way to showcase your work.

Pay attention to traffic trends
In my years of blogging, I have noticed that there are distinct times when posting a link on Facebook or Twitter works well to drive traffic. When you think about the average American (and your own Internet time), it stands to reason that there are "hotspots" during a 24 hour period. Here they are:

  • Early morning- This is before work, when people are eating breakfast and looking at the day's headlines
  • Lunch time- Many full time employees love to use their lunch hour to surf the web
  • Dinner time- Surprisingly, happy hour is also a good time, especially on Pinterest because people are searching for dinner ideas!
  • Nighttime is primetime- This is when I see the most traffic from social media links

If you post a link at 10am or 3pm, you might risk losing a lot or all of your traffic, simply because people are not online as much! Your post will drop lower and lower in the feed so people who are quickly checking Facebook will not see it.

What about the weekends?
Weekends typically mean a drastic drop in traffic. Rather than posting links on Saturdays and Sundays, use the time to spruce up your site or research ideas for new articles. The only exception to this rule is Sunday night. This seems to be a busy time for my traffic, so I aim to have a really spicy article or blog ready to go by 8pm on Sunday evening.

Do you have followers from all over the world?
Obviously, the time of day will not be as much an issue for you if you have a following from around the planet. However, if that is the case, you probably are not reading this hub because you already have more traffic than you can handle!

What site is best for that crucial first link?

For most of us, there is a lot of overlap in our friends between Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (I realize there are lots of other social media sites, but these are the big three). If you publish an article and then begin pasting links everywhere, most of these people will see it three or four times. You want to play hard to get- a little bit anyway. So here is an important question to ask yourself:

Based on your online content, which site would work well to highlight the content?

For example, if you have posted a craft, food, or DIY hub, Pinterest is a great place. Make sure the first image on your article has a great wow factor so that it will catch the viewer's eye. Here is a tip about the pin it button on hubpages articles:

**It will automatically grab the first image in your article or post. If you would rather highlight a different image, copy and paste the URL address first, go to Pinterest, and click on add a pin (manually). Pinterest will then pull up the images and and you can scroll through and pick the one you want to highlight.

Facebook or Twitter
If on the other hand, you have written a real political or controversial article, consider posting it on Facebook- where people love to comment and have running commentary. Twitter is great for all sorts of content, but I find success when I post links about writing and technology.

The point is, pick the priority social site and make sure you post a link at an optimal time of day!

For Facebook, it is important that it grab an image that highlights the article. This is why you must be careful what picture is placed first. Twitter does not post photos in the feed, so it is not as crucial.

Adding tags to Twitter
Make sure you add a couple of hash tags to your post. Try to think like the masses and place a tag that people would readily use. #parentingisfunny might not be as popular as #humor and #parenting. You get more publicity if you post the tags that way.

Consider your following numbers too
If you are done writing an article and it is nighttime, use the prime time of day to post to the site that has more followers. If you only have a few followers on Twitter, do not make it the first place you post.

Space out the links

Okay, so you have posted that first link at breakfast time. Now you must exercise extreme self-control and wait a couple hours. You realize that if you post all your links immediately, by lunch time- it will be so far down in the feed, all the mid-day viewers will not see it!

Once lunchtime comes around, go ahead and post the link in the next social site. Keep in mind, if you are young and have a lot of single friends, post your first link at nighttime, your second in the morning, and so on. Know your audience.

Around dinnertime, you can post another link on another site, or perhaps you can re-post your link if you know that your friend's feeds are super popular. Make sure you make the rounds to all the sites by spacing your links out over the course of 24 hours.

Make sure to comment on your own link

Do not just post your link. Add a comment that provides a hook of some sort. People tend to glaze over pasted links but will read the personal commentary above the link. If you have something interesting to say, they may click on the link. Something as simple as font size will change the way viewers read your posts.

Look at the image below- if all I did was post the link, people would not click on it as frequently as they do when I add a question like, "Anyone hate stale cereal?" The font size is bigger, it is a personalized note about the link, and drives more interest through piquing curiosity.


Market yourself!

When I wrote an article about black tea, a tea company contacted me to ask if I would write a review for their products. You do not have to wait for people to get in touch with you- why not get in touch with them?

Let's say for example you write an article about a new video game or app. Get in touch with the webmaster or owner of the company, send him or her a little note explaining your article, and give them permission to link it to a customer review area. If they like it, you will have successfully created a back link from a bigger company with a wider audience.

I have written personal blog reviews and emailed the resort telling them about it. They re-blogged my article and created a back link to my blog. Not bad!

Etiquette for re-posting

So after 24 hours, give that article a rest. If you are writing every day, you will have plenty to keep you busy. I usually wait at least a week or two before I consider re-posting an article I've already shared. Sometimes I wait for an opportunity from someone else. If a friend posts a question or status update about her crazy kids, I take the opportunity to comment back first, then add a link to the related post or article.

Try to observe what annoys you about the people you follow and don't do those things! I have one person that I follow that will post nothing for a day on Twitter and then furiously tweet 50 times in an hour. It is not an effective way to get people to read your work.

I hope these tips have helped. Let me know if you notice any difference in your traffic after strategizing your social media activity!

-Julie DeNeen


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