how to distribute your content

A wise human once said, “Work smarter, not harder.” Maybe that person worked in marketing. Maybe they were on their 150th tweet about their startup’s new product, when the idea hit them like a poorly-parked car rolling down Lombard Street: all that time spent creating new content? They could’ve been creatively repurposing it. D’oh!

Before you have a Homer Simpson moment of your own, fear not. If you’ve got the smarts to whip up a stellar blog post, you can also get major mileage out of that single piece of content. Social media is the key:

1. Tweet It

As simple as it seems, this concept works best when it’s reinforced as a habit (repetition is key). Whenever you’re getting ready to publish a blog post, consider all the different ways it can be broken down into 140 characters.

For example, if you’re writing a piece on local breweries, think about how you can distill the message of your post into a sharp, short sound bite. Like, “#Kolsch or #Hefeweizen? Berkeley’s @BigBarrelBrewery has us seeing double, and no, we’re not tipsy.” Paired with a link to your related blog post, it establishes a relatable voice and tempts readers into responding.

You’re not restricted to one tweet, either! A few days later, schedule the same link with a different, equally provocative caption (or an image), and watch the clicks come in. However, don’t hammer out tweets that focus solely on your business and items you’re hoping to promote. Switch it up: curate content, reach out to people, send some purely conversational tweets… these tricks will make your feed more lively and engaging.

2. Facebook It

On Facebook, you’ll use similar strategies as Twitter, but you won’t be limited by a specific character limit. Before you hit “share,” make sure that you’ve got a striking visual to accompany your text, and think about whether or not your text will provoke a response. A sense of voice is important, so don’t be afraid to make it personable.

For example, if you’re blogging about health insurance, you could link to your post and tack on a question like, “Today, we’re breaking down the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act. Raise your hand if you’re ready for cheaper, more reliable options. Oh, everyone? We thought so.” When in doubt, statistics, quotes, and opinions are always interesting (people go online for either entertainment or information). Throw in some hashtags as well: in this case, #healthcare, #affordablecareact, #insurance, and their ilk would work well.

Like Twitter, don’t feel that one blog post can only become one Facebook post. Find time pegs, like breaking news stories and trending topics, that you can associate your brand with. Just be sure to spread out your posts over a few days, so that they get fresh eyes each time. Finally, you can always bring back older content as a #tbt; you can revisit last year’s posts if they’re newly relevant!

3. Instagram It

Some people only think of Instagram as a place to share cat photos, and those people are misguided. If you’re writing blog posts, you owe it to yourself to share them on Instagram!

You’ve got several options for luring in readers. One is to screenshot the post itself – blogger Alexi Wasser of the sex and relationship site ImBoyCrazy.com excels at this, pairing screenshots of her confessional blog posts with captions linking to them. They show just enough content to grab interest without giving the entire post away, and they populate Instagram with images of her site (bonus: people remember images more than text!).

Another option is to grab a more abstract photo that echoes your post’s content. If it’s about spring fashion, show a girl wearing a flower crown and heart-shaped sunglasses, and include a link to the post in your caption. Often, striking visuals will cut through readers’ hesitation towards committing to a longer post.

4. Pin It

While you’re at it, why not upload your blog to Pinterest? As with any site, it’s got a unique community of members who might be more active there than on other platforms. Choose a striking image that represents your business and message (like this one, with a link to great quotes). Upload it to Pinterest, along with a caption that includes a link and short synopsis.

Recipes are a classic example: you can say “Baked Chicken Cacciatore — An Easy Weeknight Staple, Crowd Pleaser, and Kitchen MVP.” As you’re tagging the pin, think about what words people might search for, and capitalize on it. In this case, “Cooking,” “Chicken,” and “Dinner” will get more results than something ultra-specific, like your brand name (although you should also include that).

A Note on Linking Accounts

While platforms like Instagram allow you to publish content simultaneously on multiple platforms (like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr), resist the temptation – you don’t want to oversaturate your audience with the same exact thing, multiplied by five. Quick and easy changes, like varying text and images, can draw different sets of eyes, whereas if you’re replicating one post on all of your platforms, readers might ignore them.

Instead, consider your audience – on Facebook, for example, you might want to go more in-depth with your caption, whereas something short and enigmatic could lure your Twitter followers. Use different images with each post, and you’ll increase your chances of catching someone’s eye.

Go Forth, and Multiply!

Don’t be afraid to multiply your work on your social sites! If you’ve written great content, you owe it to yourself — and your business — to disperse it far and wide. And with such a large, diverse online audience, these multiple platforms will increase your reach, audience, and (ultimately) impact.

Now that you’re a little bit hipper to how blog posts can blossom into an infinite number of shareable tweets, posts, and pins, let’s keep this conversation going. Subscribe to Contentools’ blog for more tips on using blogs and social media for your business. And if you need help developing a content strategy, or creating content, get in touch with us.

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