Two of the most frequently asked questions in the blogging world are “How do I get more followers?” and “How do I get more shares?” These are most extremely important issues, especially if you are looking to monetize your blog and work with brands at some point. You need to start creating a following from Day One.
But, connecting with interested parties and getting that share engagement can be difficult for new bloggers and veterans alike. Here are five of my favorite (free) tools for increasing your social media reach.
Piktochart – Visual marketing is big this year, regardless of your niche. Pictures get clicks. Pictures get shares. Infographics are one of the more popular visual marketing options but they can be extremely difficult and time-consuming to create if you don’t have the correct tools. Piktochart has templates available that you can modify for your content needs. The free account is limited, but a new template is featured each week.
Hashtagify – If you are using Twitter, Instagram or Google+ for promoting your blog and connecting with your readers, hashtags can take you places quickly. Or they can be a total waste of space if you aren’t using the right ones. Hashtagify will help you uncover popular hashtags, related tags and also the top influencers using those tags regularly. Make friends with the influential bloggers. Engage the influential brands. Always include a tag or two when space allows.
Ritetag – Now that I know some of those popular hashtags, I want to get a little more information. It’s never a bad thing to verify your data. Ritetag has browser extensions that will show you the discoverability of a hashtag as you tweet. Maybe that popular hashtag is entirely too overused to be useful any longer. Maybe there is a better option. Ritetag can also audit your Twitter timeline for opportunities for improvement. Edit and reschedule those tweets from within Ritetag.
BuzzSumo – I love BuzzSumo for a few reasons. Not only can I search for a topic and see what type of posts are being shared (lists, videos, infographics, etc), but I can also see who is publishing those. If it is another blogger in my niche, it’s probably a good idea to make friends here. Or, at the very least, see what they are doing different from me to get that level of engagement. Is it a brand? Maybe I should be engaging them more. I can also exclude giveaways from my results which will always be skewed. You can also search for influencers in your areas of interest.
PinGroupie – Many bloggers outside of the cooking niche struggle with Pinterest. It can be difficult to build momentum initially. Group boards are a great way to increase your Pinterest reach in a way that will bring long-term results (I.e. not getting a bunch of fake followers from giveaways). Finding group boards? Time-consuming. PinGroupie allows you to easily find popular Group Boards in mere seconds. You can also view the description – which likely contains the invite requirements – without leaving PinGroupie.
BoardBooster – When it comes to getting more Pinterest traffic, I love this scheduler. You can set up new posts to be dropped out to specific boards over a period of time. You can put your best boards on a loop so they are continually being updated. You can schedule your best Pins to be posted on the best Group boards at the best times. And BoardBooster will let you know the average Repins and Likes per board so you know where to focus your time.
Swayy – This is a great place to get content to share on your social media profiles. Add in your keywords and Swayy will provide you with the trending links in those industries. Facebook for one gives more leverage to those links already receiving a lot of engagement. You may find your reach is far better when sharing only those things with a proven track record. It’s one reason I rarely put up my own posts on Facebook until they have gained a little street cred on their own.
Social Sprout – This is my new favorite tool for social scheduling. It isn’t free, but it has been well worth the cost when compared to hiring someone to manage my Pages for me. I can easily schedule Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ updates for days or weeks out. I can drag and drop updates as needed. I also get in-depth reporting on both Page and Post levels to see what type of content is and isn’t working for my audience. Social Sprout will also help me find influencers to connect with.