Bloggers are encouraged to establish both social media and content marketing plans before starting their blogs. But how do these two types of marketing differ?
Social media allows you to listen to, engage with, and target your audience; it’s a way to get your blog’s name out to the right people. It helps you to build a community of interested followers by sharing content, campaigns, and promotions.
On the other hand, content marketing is the art and science of creating content that’s both valuable to your audience and relevant to your brand. It’s partly what you produce — your blogs, vlogs, graphics, etc. — but it’s also how you entice people to view it. You draw in your audience through content marketing techniques such as email newsletters, campaigns, and social media marketing, attracting blog visitors by educating, entertaining, and inspiring them.
Think of it this way: content marketing is a strategy deployed across many channels (outlets), whereas social media is a channel. And since you need social media to promote content, content marketing and social media do overlap, but you should still think differently about social posting versus posting content.
What’s the best time to post?
Though social media marketing is an accessible outlet for content marketing, every platform handles posts differently. When you share can be as important as what you share.
Sprout Social says mid-week is the best time to post for most social channels:
- Facebook: Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., with the most consistent engagement happening on weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Instagram: Wednesday at 11 a.m., though Friday between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. is also good; the most consistent engagement is Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Twitter: Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m., with the most consistent engagement found on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- LinkedIn: Wednesday at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and at noon, with most consistent engagement happening Tuesday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
If the best time to post for social media marketing is the mid-week morning, it makes sense that the best time to post to your blog would be the same — more people are online then, and you’ll get more traffic if you post during high-activity hours. However, your amazing blog post could get buried by all the noise online at that time.
The best time to post on your blog depends on your target audience and content goals. While most users read blogs in the morning, more men than women read blogs in the evening. You get more views on Monday but more comments on Saturdays. It all varies. On a platform like WordPress.com, where users can discover blogs in real time, it could pay to post on a less busy day.
Create once, share often
Once you create content, you need to promote it. But you face a dilemma here: post too often and risk being annoying or don’t post enough and risk being forgotten. Again, every platform is different, as is the advice of every expert; the average life of a tweet can be as little as 15 minutes, whereas a Facebook post could linger for days.
For example, social media expert Louise Myers suggests the following posting frequency:
- Facebook: preferably once per day, but a minimum of three times per week
- Twitter: at least three times per day
- Instagram: one to two times per day
- LinkedIn: no more than once each business day
Social media marketing has a low barrier to entry — it’s free to create a page and post to it — but social is becoming increasingly “pay to play.” Algorithms and news feeds have been tinkered with so much that the only way to get posts seen is to pay to boost it or use targeted social advertising. Boosting isn’t essential, though. Social media marketing for bloggers is what you can afford in budget and time; encouraging your audience to share and engage could be enough to raise your reach.
Don’t forget, you should create once and share multiple times across many channels. That way, your blog posts will have a better chance of being seen by the right people.