Experts Blog

Making Your Blog Social: Tips to Drive Comments, Engagement, and Sharing

By Erika Napoletano on Nov 28, 2011 - 04:22 PM

When you first start blogging, it’s easy to see your blog as an entity that’s completely separate from your other social presences like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Lots of words in one place, not so many words in another, right? But what you might not realize is that all of your social presences, blogs included, can work together to boost your audience’s participation in your brand and help carry your message far and wide. After all, what we’re really doing with any social presence is encouraging others to participate in our brands – so why don’t we look at some tips that make it easy for your audience to share?

Make it easy to share your blog posts: When you read a fabulous blog post, you want to share it. Make it a no-brainer for your audience to share by installing some simple tools that facilitate one-click sharing.

Social Sharing Buttons: My personal favorite is the Digg Digg plugin, as it incorporates pretty much all of the major social sites, allowing your visitors to share on the site of their choice with a click. You can choose the sharing buttons that will be displayed (like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn) to keep your blog clutter-free. You can also use other plugins like SexyBookmarks andShareThis.

Keep Tweets Brief: When you tweet your blog posts, keep the tweet under 120 characters. It makes it easier to retweet! Admit it –it’s kind of a pain when you go to retweet something and you have to reword it, shorten it, and otherwise manipulate it so that it will fit. Avoid irking your audience and keep those tweets short and sweet.

Social Commenting Systems: Installing a third-party comment system on your blog like Disqus or Livefyre gives your audience even more ways to share – they can share their comments on social outlets. You can also install CommentLuv, which includes a link to your audience member’s most recent blog post in their comment, giving them the opportunity to share their content by commenting.

Ask questions: It’s the most often overlooked way to drive blog comments. Instead of ending a post with a statement, why not ask a question? Let your audience share their ideas and resources with both you and your audience.

Participate: The easiest way to get comments on your blog is to be an active commentator yourself. When people see you participating on both other blogs as well as your own, they get that you’re into conversation and are more likely to converse with you in your own neighborhood. Not only that, being an active commentator shows other bloggers and authorities that you’re supporting their brand, making them that much likely to support yours through reciprocal comments and retweets or other shares from their side.

While every industry is going to have its nuances, these tips will get you going in the right direction and help you establish a more social blog. What I’d love to hear is what’s worked for you, what you’re having challenges with, and how we as a community can help you take your blog to the next level of sharability. Let us know in the comments – we look forward to helping!