You’ve finished writing or creating content, but you’re really only halfway (some would argue less than halfway) to the finish line. After you’re done writing, the next step is to distribute your content to your target audience.
A number of social platforms can help you reach your target audience through a mix of organic and paid posts. The secret is understanding where your audience hangs out and reaching them there. Use this handy social media distribution checklist to figure out what to do on each platform as a starting point.
What to do: Get the word out to your LinkedIn network. LinkedIn allows users to share their blog post as status updates to the main news feed. LinkedIn will automatically populate the post title, image and short preview text, but you can edit the title and preview text, if need be. This option is perfect for brand pages, as well as individuals.
When to do it: Right away! Once you publish the post, within the next day or so, share it on LinkedIn. According to social scheduling tool Buffer, sharing LinkedIn posts between 8:00am and 4:00pm Monday to Friday gives you the best shot at reaching your connections.
How often to post: This depends on a number of factors, including when your post was published and what types of engagement it’s gotten from your connections (the more likes and comments, the more people will see it). You should monitor a post’s reach and share it again after a few days to reach more of your connections if it hasn’t reach as many people as you’d like.
Republish on LinkedIn:
What to do: LinkedIn sometimes gives more attention to posts shared through their publishing platform, meaning more eyes will see your work. Simply copy and paste your post in its entirety to LinkedIn’s publishing platform, upload a header photo and select tags.
Pro tip: include a link back to the original blog post or other blog posts on a similar topic to drive traffic back to your website. Currently, only individuals are able to post through LinkedIn’s publishing platform, so if you’re a brand or company looking to post, select a spokesperson to publish the post on their personal profile.
When to do it: Let the post live on your own blog for at least 2-3 weeks. After that, it’s fair game to republish on LinkedIn.
How often to post: Once for each blog post. Similarly, not every post needs to be republished, so choose wisely based on your connections.
Further reading: How to Turn Your Employees Into LinkedIn Content Superstars
What to do: Twitter can be an amazing platform for sharing your blog posts. Draft a creative tweet that explains what your blog post is about, include a shortened link to the post and upload an image to increase engagement. Be sure the image is sized appropriately for Twitter – 440px wide by 220px high, minimum.
When to do it: Right after publishing the blog post.
How often to post: Often. Twitter moves very quickly; in fact, the lifecycle of a tweet is quite short. If someone doesn’t see your tweet within about 15-20 minutes of posting, they almost certainly won’t see it at all.
Twitter is the one social platform where it’s okay and even encouraged to post often. However, that doesn’t mean you can copy and paste the same tweet over and over again. For each blog post you write, draft 3-5 different tweets and schedule them out over the next several weeks.
Further reading: The Complete Guide to Twitter for Your Content Strategy
What to do: It’s becoming more common for even B2B brands to promote content on Facebook. To share a post, pull a compelling sentence or quote from the post, or pose a question that might generate some discussion. And don’t overlook devoting some budget to boosting posts on Facebook. The social network’s got some serious tools that allow you to zero in on who you’re trying to reach based on location, interests, age and gender.
When to do it: Promote your post on Facebook within the first few days it’s live on your blog. Consider your Facebook audience when posting; for example, does your audience typically hang out on Facebook at night? During the workday?
How often to post: Once or twice, max. Be sure to spread the posts out if posting multiple times.
Further reading: 7 Facebook Marketing Tips to Help Increase Engagement
What to do: If your audience uses Pinterest, and if you’ve got some especially visual content, you should pin it there.
Pro tip: consider joining collaborative boards specific to your industry. Once approved, you can pin your blog posts to their boards, as well, further increasing your reach and possibility to be repinned.
When to do it: Shortly after publishing your post. If you’re pinning to more than one board, spread out the pinning by at least a few hours, if not a couple of days.
How often to post: One time per blog post.
Further reading: Grow Your Pinterest Following: 5 Simple Steps for Brands
What to do: Just as with Pinterest, you should post to Instagram only if your target audience is there. If they are, you reuse visuals you’ve posted on other networks. You might also consider creating separate images based on stats or facts from your post. Then, you can pull a sentence or two from your post to engage your readers. (While Instagram was used mainly for posting interesting pictures with short captions initially, it’s grown to include longer content.) You can change the link in your profile to the link of the blog post for the next few days to encourage your followers to check out the post.
In addition to traditional Instagram posts, there are a number of newer ways to reach your audience, like carousel posts, advertisements and Instagram stories.
When to do it: Anytime within the first few days after publishing your post.
How often to post: One time only.
Further reading: How to Get Noticed: 3 Instagram Marketing Strategies
What to do: Just like Instagram and Pinterest, post only on Snapchat if your target audience consumes content there. Snapchat remains a mystery to many brands, but it isn’t difficult to create a Snapchat story. Take a photo of your blog post and get in front of the camera and talk about some key points from the post to engage with your Snapchat following in a different way.
When to do it: The day the blog post is published. Snapchat generally stays very current.
How often to post: You’ll probably only talk about each blog post once, but use this strategy every time you publish a blog post to keep consistent.
Further reading: Snapchat Content Strategy: How Marketers Can Win With Snapchat
What to do: When you write a strong post that is relevant to your audience, consider sending a dedicated email to your list with a snippet or preview of the post and a link to encourage them to read on. Some folks who blog less frequently send an email out to their list every single time they hit publish. Find a frequency that works for you, but don’t forget to share your content with your audience.
You should also consider sharing older posts on a sidebar to keep readers engaged. This is a way to drive traffic to your “oldies but goodies.”
When to do it: The day the blog post is published. Depending on your website’s capabilities, you may be able to automate this task by creating an email template that pulls the opening paragraph or snippet of text you specify and including a call to action.
Make it easy for others to share:
What to do: It’s important for you to share your own work on your personal and company social media accounts, but it’s even better when others share your work. Why? That all-important third-party influencer endorsement. Make it easy for others to share your work by giving your readers the tools to do just that.
- Ensure that your blog uses a social sharing plugin to allow readers to share your post with one click. See the social icons at the top and bottom of this post? Share, please!
- You might also want to consider using Click to Tweet calls-to-action within your blog post. This awesome (and free!) tool allows you to write your own tweet that will automatically populate when a reader clicks on it to promote your post.
Yes, distributing content takes time—and you’re likely not devoting enough time to it. But it’s imperative for content marketers to begin thinking more about how they’re going to get eyes on their content after it’s created.
As with anything in marketing, this checklist is a starting point—you’ll have to try what works best for your company (and your audience) to set your own social media distribution schedule.