If you were to take a quick scroll down my Instagram feed, you'd see the three types of accounts I follow: reality TV stars, musicians, and food bloggers.
Yes, you read that right: food bloggers. And, while it might sound a little out of the ordinary that blogs are popping up on social media channels, like Instagram, it's not an out of the ordinary practice.
Blog owners can see great success on social media. They can engage with followers, use hashtags to find new ones and expand reach, and promote their posts. For instance, one of the bloggers I follow, Sweet Simple Vegan, has over 200,000 followers and posts new content daily.
But, how do blog owners, like Sweet Simple Vegan's Jasmine Briones, know whether social media is the right choice for their blogs? And … does every blog need social media?
Every business is unique, and so are each business' goals. If you're trying to make that decision, read on to figure out whether or not your blog really needs social media.
You may be on the fence about whether or not your blog needs social media channels.
According to one of HubSpot's social media marketing managers, Kelly Hendrickson, "If you’re asking yourself if your business’ blog should have its own social channels, the first question you should ask is, 'What is the goal of having a social account for your blog'?"
When you identify your goal, you can begin inferring whether or not a social media account will be useful towards the success of your blog. For instance, if your goal is increasing awareness, Hendrickson says, "A social account could be a possible solution. Helpful content in people’s feeds, that they don’t need to click out to see, can bring awareness to your blog and let the blog be seen as a valuable resource."
Next, let's go over some more signs that might signify that your blog needs a social media channel.
If your blog is company-specific, you may not need a heavy social media focus for it to be successful. On the other hand, if your blog is your business or your brand, then you most likely need social media channels.
For instance, Who What Wear is a fashion blog that started in 2006. The corresponding social media channels, like the Twitter account, highlight new content from the site.
Who What Wear uses social media to update fans on new content, share fashion-related posts, and engage with their audience.
Social media helps you connect with a large audience, so bringing your blog to socials is a great way to find new audiences. You don't need to sign up for every social media channel under the sun, but having an account or two builds your online presence.
Low traffic can be due to many different factors, like poor optimization. However, other than brushing up on SEO, another way to boost traffic is by having social media channels. When you post and use popular hashtags, you are exposing your content to an audience who might find it valuable.
"Clicks are getting harder and harder for marketers, so delighting an audience member in their feed builds real affinity for your business or blog," Hendrickson says.
When audiences don't have to click away from their favorite social media channel to engage with your content, they'll feel more inclined to read in your post. For example, if you were to boost your latest post on Facebook, it's likely that your followers will engage with the post because it's already a part of their news feed.
If you are providing valuable content to potential customers to increase your credibility by blogging, you can also bring that strategy to a social media account.
For instance, if you have a statistics-based post, a study, or an interview, you can use standout facts or statements from those blogs for content ideas on your social channel. That way, you are giving readers the same valuable information, just on a different platform.
Raising credibility can also serve as the goal for your content marketing strategy. You can plan posts for your blog's social media account with the intent of giving your audience a sneak peek into the types of posts you have on your website.
In a nutshell, if your blog is your business, or if you want to build awareness and validity to audience members who might have never engaged with your brand before, having a blog-specific social channel is a great idea.
You might want to focus your marketing efforts on other areas of the business, which could make it superfluous to create a social media account specifically for your blog. Company size, timing, marketing team goals, and audiences are all factors that might impact your decision on whether or not to start a blog social channel.
Let's go over some reasons your blog doesn't need social media in order to be successful.
Having a social media account for your blog means you will likely have multiple social media accounts, for one company, competing for visibility.
"The trouble with a business’ blog having its own social channels is that it can fracture a business’s social audience. It's two accounts for an audience member to follow, not one. It’s also two accounts for the business to manage," notes Hendrickson.
If your blog is a big part of your brand, you can still promote it on social media to raise awareness. Instead of having an entire account dedicated to your blog content, you can make blog posts a part of your content strategy and scale it to fit the needs of your business. Take this post, for example:
This post on HubSpot's Facebook account highlights a blog post, but it fits in as part of the business's page. This diversifies the content of the account, and gives the blog its own time in the spotlight.
You might work for a small company where it's all hands on deck. If that's the case, you're probably used to structuring your marketing strategy around the essentials. Running multiple accounts, plus an extra social media account for your blog, means you have to plan for an expansive content strategy.
Think about all that goes into managing an account: from visuals, content, to audience engagement. Then, ask yourself if you have the extra time to maintain and keep an active social media account for your blog. If that doesn't sound like it can fit into your schedule, maybe a social channel can wait for now.
Also, if you are already engaging with audiences regarding blog content in other ways, such as in email newsletters, you can think about how you can make your existing strategy more blog-specific, instead.
How does your blog content perform on social media? If you've never posted a blog on your social media accounts, test a couple posts and see how they perform before you create an entire account.
Perhaps you find that your audience on social media is more interested in other types of content and don't engage with blog posts. If that's the case, you might want to re-think making a social media account that is dedicated to delighting that audience with blog content.
Alternatively, if you want to build upon the audience you have while promoting blog content, think about how you can make blog posts your audience connects with. Remember, some parts of content marketing involve experimentation, and that's okay.
So, there are some downsides to having a social account just for your blog. Remember, your blog doesn't need a social media account to be successful.
You might still be on the fence about whether or not your blog could potentially benefit from having a social media account. If that's accurate, let's get into the good and bad of having a blog-specific social strategy.
If you've been a social media manager for a company before, you know that having a content plan is essential to the success of your accounts. When you're thinking about creating a social media account for your blog, you also must think about how to plan for it.
First, let's go over some positives of having a social strategy that's blog-specific.
For starters, you can focus on content that delights your blog readers. Your company's social media account is most likely centered around catering to your entire target audience. A blog-specific social strategy, on the other hand, can target your readers directly.
You can also save time with a strategy focused on blog content. You won't have to think about where your content is coming from, because you've created it before. This makes it easier for you to take those posts and turn them into dazzling, engaging posts that excite your audience.
A blog-specific strategy will also give you insight into how your audience responds to blog content on social media. If you use analytics software to track your data, you can begin to infer how your blog fits into the web behavior of your audience, and use that to improve your content.
So, a blog-specific strategy refines future content and optimizes existing content, which will excite your readers on social. But — what about the downsides?
"The challenge in creating a social strategy specific to just a business blog is that your content is largely limited to the confines of the blogs you create or your blog content strategy," Hendrickson says. "When you have a business social account, you are able to address the many needs of a customer to provide them value from your social content. This can have a wider range potentially than your blog."
While you can create content that will delight a specific section of your audience, you are also limiting the chance for your content to be diverse with a blog-specific strategy. You can make other content that supports your company's social media account, but if the main purpose of the account is to support your blog, that has to be the majority of the content.
"This can trickle into how you target and promote social content to certain sections of your audience as well," Hendrickson adds.
When your content source is reduced, your strategies for showcasing and promoting that content are also diminished. Some of the methods you're using to bring your social media content to audiences might not be as successful.
You also might be restricting the audience that will find your brand if you limit the type of content you produce on social media. If your company is young, closing the potential reach of readers could hurt your overall website traffic.
While some blogs on social media show massive follower counts, others have probably not seen the same success. Remember to think about why you want to start a social media channel. If you can accomplish those goals with the pages you already have, you might save time.
Alternatively, you may have found that the only way to make your blog shine is by starting a social media channel. If that's true, great! I can't wait to follow your business's blog's social media account next.