Sharing Blog Posts: The Difference in Marketing and Spam
So you’ve just written a new article or a blog post and you’re ready to share it with the world. So you head off to social media to start sharing it.
You’re on the right track but there are a few things to know about marketing your content this way.
First, you need to understand what constitutes spam. That could cover a whole series of posts on its own so for the sake of this post, let’s refer to social media spam when marketing a blog post or article.
Here are some things that can be considered spam:
- Sharing the same post repeatedly.
- Sharing the post link without any note or additional info on why someone should click.
- Sharing nothing but your links on your account, never any dialogue or interaction.
- Sharing the link to other people or accounts unsolicited. This means sharing to news site, friends’ walls and fanpage who didn’t request that you share such content.
- Sharing with too many hashtags and/or abusing trending hashtags.
You may think it’s “marketing” when you post your link all over every single network you have and to every person you know but this is spam.
Real social media marketing is about building relationships with those in your networks so that when you do share something, they are interested in reading it. You don’t need to beg, plead or spam to get them to click.
Why Is This Spammy?
Ok, so if you’re guilty of doing these things, you might be feeling a little defensive right now. “Why is this spam?” you ask. Well, let’s break them down individually and discuss.
There’s a very good chance you’re not meaning to spam and you think what you’re doing is ok.You might even get angry, upset or offended when people are accusing you of spam.
Sharing the same post repeatedly.
There are few cases where you really need to share the same post to the same network more than once.
Some exceptions might be an ongoing promotion (like the $100 giveaway my friend is doing that I wrote about), or other time sensitive information. If you do share it more than once, you should always put some time in between the shares (hours or even days) and you should reword it each time you share it. Here are some examples:
- “Check out this great giveaway- $100 could be yours!” [link here]
- “You could win $100 via Paypal- get your entries here.” [link here]
- “How would you like $100 to do whatever you want with? Enter this contest for a chance to win!” [link here]
Sharing the post link without any note or additional info on why someone should click.
One of the biggest reasons people violate these rules and spam their followers is simple: pure laziness
It’s so much easier just to hit that automatic “Tweet” button and send the same post again and again. It takes a few seconds to reword your post on Facebook or add a new picture to it when you share it.
But if you don’t care enough to tell me a little about why you’re sharing it, why should I care enough to actually click on it and read it? Let’s be fair about it: when you have lazy efforts, you will get lazy results.
Sharing nothing but your links on your account, never any dialogue or interaction.
Your social media account is not an RSS feed. Your fanpage or Google+ stream is not meant to be a continuous flow of everything you ever write and post online. People could go directly to the source if they wanted that.
Why even bother to connect with you on a social network?
This is one of the biggest offenses I see among my fellow writing/blogger friends. They hear they need a Facebook fanpage to promote their writing (or Twitter, Google+, etc) so they make an account and then just start posting all of their links there.
Even worse, some just set up a feed to do it automatically and then never look at the account again. And then many of them will say they just don’t understand why people aren’t liking their fan page, why it’s not increasing their traffic, and similar complaints.
Your social networks are not a link exchange program. They are not a syndicated list of everything you ever publish.
It’s meant to be a way to connect with like-minded people, build a community, form and build relationships and when relevant, share your work with those who will be interested because they’re already interested in you.
Sharing the link to other people or accounts unsolicited. This means sharing to news site, friends’ walls and fanpage who didn’t request that you share such content.
Unless someone specifically requests that you share new posts on their wall or other social network, it is considered impolite to do so.
If you have a good friend you know will want to read it or if you are sharing with the person who inspired you to write it, these are exceptions. But going around placing your link on the accounts of others, in the comments sections or other unsolicited locations (like groups) is considered spam.
Linking when it is relevant to the topic and not against the rules of the site or group you are using is another exception. If I’m ever in doubt, I will say “I wrote a post about this” or “I have a blog on this topic” and if they invite me to share, I do. Since I have my links/website/blog all properly filled out in my profile, it’s also very easy for them to find it on their own if they are interested.
Sharing with too many hashtags and/or abusing trending hashtags.
You only need 1-2 hashtags per share. 3 is the absolute max that I recommend and this is only for special situations. Choose the best one or two tags to describe your post. If you’re not sure, take some time to look it up.
You do not need to tag your post with everything you can think of. This will NOT increase your reach. In fact, it’s more likely to have you labeled as a spammer and cost you followers or potential eyes on your content.
You also don’t have to include every possible variation of your hashtag. For example, a post about dogs does not need #dog #dogs #doggies #canines #fourleggedfriends #pooch #pets #mansbestfriend
Seriously, one or two is enough!
How to Market Your Post without the Spam
So now we understand why it is considered spammy but does this mean you need to give up on social media marketing altogether?
Of course not!
However, it’s really important to understand the process. Try to compare it to your in-life relationships and connections.
Would you barge into an office building unannounced waving a paper of your latest creation around and demanding that everyone look at it? Even worse, would you demand that they give you comments immediately on what they think of it? If we try to envision doing these things in real life, it’s a bit comical. (Ok, maybe we all know THAT guy who really would do it…)
Look at it like this: social media marketing does not equal advertising, at least not directly.
You might do some advertising in your social media but the point of social media is being social. It takes dedication and commitment to build up a real following on your social networks.
It won’t happen overnight just because you decided you have something nice to share. It won’t happen instantly because you just finished that new book you’ve been working on. It won’t happen because you just released a new product that you know will make “tons of sales”.
If you’re not willing to put the effort into your community, you cannot expect them to make the effort to click through your links simply because you put them under their nose.
True social media marketing is building a community.
We’re talking people who care about what you say and what you do. Readers who come on a regular basis to see what you have shared with them. People who value your opinion and trust you to give them ideas, advice or guidance.
When you’ve accomplished that, you can link drop here and there and your audience will be hungry for what you have to serve them up next!
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