Social Commerce Tips For Bloggers
by Josh Wardini
Blogging is really simple.
All you need to do is to choose a host for your blog, publish high-quality content and then sit back and wait for your adoring fans.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? As every hobby blogger knows, however, it’s nowhere near that simple in real life.
Adopting that kind of strategy could see you waiting a long time for your visitor stats to go up. I know because my first blog got a grand total of 6 views in 6 months. (Thanks Mom for visiting my blog on three separate occasions.)
Needless to say, it was pretty disheartening – I was expecting to get some six million views, not just six. What had I done wrong?
It was simple, I published my blog and expected people to come and find it.
Mistake One – No Research
What were people interested in learning more about? Many hobby bloggers go all-in guns blazing because they are so excited about what they have to say. That’s a huge problem. People go online to look for solutions to problems, to be entertained – to find out what they want to know.
If you have no idea what that is, you might get lucky and hit on a hot topic, but the chances are that your little blog will be more of a lonely voice in the wilderness.
Doing research upfront will let you know what people are interested in.
Are they looking for the best ways to score deals on eBay for example?
Or do they want to learn how to do something?
Find out what your readers will find useful.
If you get this right, you increase the chances of them sharing your blog with others and also becoming regular readers.
Mistake Two – Ignoring the Principles of Social Commerce
It doesn’t sound like something the hobby blogger needs, does it?
After all, it is not like you are selling anything, is it?
You might not be charging people to read your blog or selling a physical product, but you still need to approach this as a business. You are “selling” information. You want to get your blog out to the widest possible audience, don’t you?
That means paying attention to social commerce.
What is Social Commerce?
It is an integrative approach and is a relatively new concept. It’s about more than just marketing to a client through a range of different channels. It is about engaging with them and learning from them as well.
Say, for example, you set up a Facebook page for your blog. You then post a link to every new post. That’s marketing, plain and simple.
Now let’s say that instead of just posting links, you start to ask your followers questions about what they want to learn about. Or you ask them to comment on their feelings about a particular subject. You then take their responses into account when coming up with new posts.
That’s social commerce for hobby bloggers.
Let’s say that you were doing craft tutorials because you are really good at painting. You get a lot of nice comments about your work, and people want to know where they can buy it, so you open a Shopify store or an eBay store.
The next logical step is to market your finished works on Facebook. That too is social commerce rather than straightforward marketing because you have used feedback from your readers and followers to create a new product of your own.
Hacking Social Commerce
So, how do you go about winning at social commerce? It is actually a lot easier than you think. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get it right. All you need to do is the following:
Focus on quality content: Provide content that your followers will find useful and share it with them on a regular basis. How often you share will depend on your users, but for most bloggers sending out a link once a day or every alternate day is a good starting strategy.
Never spam your followers: You know what I am talking about here. This is where you create six or seven posts a day, irritating your followers rather than helping them. This is where those spammy comments that you see on forums come in as well – like the, “I’m earning thousands of dollars a day with this link” on a blog that is about interior design.
Create a sense of community: It can sometimes be difficult to see through the anonymity of the web that there are real live people behind the profiles that comment on your posts. Treat them like valued community members, and they’ll stick around and help you.
Nurture the relationships: This can be as simple as asking someone how their day went. Or follow up with a follower who was nervous about a test they had to have. It takes a few seconds of your day to follow up with someone and to start building a relationship.
Keep the conversation going: Most of us have had a relationship with someone who drained us. Someone who kept the focus solely on themselves. Someone who always talked about what they wanted and their problems. When it comes to building relationships with people, this kind of one-sided approach won’t take you very far. Engage with your followers on social media by giving them plenty of opportunities to speak about what they are interested in.
Here it pays to remember the old adage, “Treat people the same way that you would like them to treat you.” Let them see that you are human as well and demonstrate a sincere interest in them.
Support them as often as you can, and they will always appreciate you and reciprocate when they have a chance. When you are blogging, it is important to build up a cadre of loyal readers. By following the tips in this post, you will be well on your way to doing so.
From there, let your actions be guided by the most important asset that you have – your readers.
Readers, please share Josh’s social commerce tips so other bloggers learn how to use social commerce to generate interest in their blogs.