If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Here at Financial Social Media, we have our own version of this old adage: If you produce great content, but no one reads it, does it do you any good?  By promoting your content via social media, you not only make more people aware of your blog, podcast or newsletter but also present yourself as an authority. And when readers feel as if they know and trust you as an industry expert, your chances of gaining clients improves. The good news is that promoting your content doesn’t have to be a big, resource-draining expense.

Here are some free ways to promote your content on social media:

  1. Use a dashboard to post on all social networks. Leave no social media behind. Promote your content on the core platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. There are several different types of dashboards (Hootsuite, Gremln, Buffer, etc.) which you can use to schedule all your statuses in bulk and which allow you to post similar statuses across multiple platforms.
  2. Create a posting schedule. Create a schedule which you can use to keep track of where you promote your content and when. The dashboards mentioned above can help you do this. Don’t promote your content only on the day it goes live but continue promoting it throughout the week. There’s so much communication on social media that your message could get lost. Plan on posting up to 3 times on the day your content goes live on Twitter and once on Facebook and LinkedIn. Repeat this a few more times the rest of the week, including a on Saturday or Sunday.
  3. Join LinkedIn groups. This is something everyone should do because it shows you’re engaged and interested in industry topics. When your blog goes live, share it in each relevant group by starting a discussion and linking your blog. LinkedIn is very big on deleting content that appears to be spam-like. Therefore, you can stand out by posting custom, quality content. You may join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn—a huge audience!
  4. Pin your blog to Pinterest. Include an enticing image in your blog (for which you have rights) and pin it to your Pinterest account. Images are a great way to get people to engage with and share your content.
  5. Utilize your employees. When you do start posting about your content, encourage your employees to share the post on their social networks. The more people who share your content, the more people will see it.
  6. Include a strong call to action. Don’t forget to tell your audience what to do with the content you share with them: “Read my latest blog” or “Click to learn more about your retirement number.” It’s surprising how simple instructions lead to real results.
  7. Follow up. Make time in your schedule to respond to any retweets, comments or LinkedIn discussions that result from sharing your content on social media. Staying engaged with your audience is just as important as getting your content out there in the first place.
  8. Add a “share” button. Adding a “share” widget to your blog page will make it easier for readers to share your content with their social networks right from your website.

These simple practices will help you expand the reach of your content and increase your website traffic. You have great things to say, so make sure people listen.

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and President of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.