By now we all know that blogging is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to grow your audience and business. According to a major study done by a New York City tech firm, approximately 70% of consumers learned about a new company through reading their blog posts rather than through paid advertising. It goes without saying that blog posts are far more enjoyable to read than a paid advertisement. For one, they are passive rather than aggressive. They aren’t exactly selling you something so much as they are teaching you something.  But how do you do it properly? Many companies have tried to harness the power of social media, but have failed or come up short. That’s why we are going to cover how to grow your audience by promoting like a pro.

Follow trends in your niche and relate to them

People have always been creatures of habit, and one of the most interesting social aspects of our herd mentality is the ever-popular “fad”. Trends come in tidal waves, and the explosion of social media has only magnified it. Think of “Tulip Mania”, where Dutch people sold their houses for a single flower bulb, or silly bands where children made their parents pay god knows what for a small piece of rubber, or disco where people, well let’s not get into that. These trends have permeated history, and are a valuable tool for you. Some advocate piggy backing, but we don’t. For example, if a major trend hits in your niche, say, if a major dog breeder recommends pit bulls as family pets, you can take advantage of this if you are a German shepherd breeder. Tweet them, or mention them in your post, and title the blog “German shepherds vs pit bulls: the advantages of both” and then add “do you still agree with @whoever?”. Basically, you want to find somewhere this trend is happening, and twist it to your advantage.

Tip: Concentrate on movers and shakers in the industry. Joining in on popular “hashtag” conversations, and subtly promoting your posts within them.

Use images to promote

We have already covered the importance of images, and most people are aware that adding visuals to your content marketing scheme is important. But few are aware of how important it is. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets according to tech company bufferapp. Not just any old image, though. Make sure the image is crisp, beautiful, and relates to the post. This should go without saying. On top of that, make sure the image catches their eye and shows something important. Now the real pros in this industry know that the best images are ones with information. Why? Because people don’t want to waste time reading anything they don’t have to. If you put all of the important information in one place, it makes you much more appealing. Consider putting an image with some statistics, percentages, numbers, graphs, or something like that.

Tip: People love graphs. Use them. Consider charts, visual percentages, or infographics. Those who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t.

Interact with as many people as possible

They don’t call it social media for no reason. We are social animals, and there is a natural inclination within us to interact with each other. When people do things like share you, interact with you, or retweet you, do your best to do anything that you can to get back to them. This means retweet them, mention them in a comment, give them a shout out and thank them, or whatever you can. Not only does this show that you care, but it will help you with advertising. Imagine this situation: “Fan tweets famous celeb. Famous celeb retweets. Said fan runs screaming to her friends. They verify by looking it up. Twitter goes wild for new retweeted fan. Everyone shares your names together”. Sure this isn’t what is going to happen for non-celebs, but in a nutshell it’s what we are after. Making them feel a part of something will endear them to you. It is how you grow a brand.

The good thing about social media is that it is incredibly effective if done right. When you combine that with the fact that small businesses that blog generate 126% more leads than those that don’t, you see why blogging and promotion on social media is so important. When you harness the power of this platform, and  promote like a pro, you will find yourself growing more powerful by the day.