Leveraging Social Networks to Extend Your Blog

The advent of blogging as a popular mainstream activity signified a new trend in communication. It is now possible for anyone to get their feet wet with self-publishing, and free, open source solutions like WordPress have played a large role in that. Traditional journalism has shifted from the front page of the newspaper to the home page of a Web site. When social networks like Facebook and Twitter emerged, the role of the blog changed again.

For some, blogging took a back burner to the means of instant communication, such as micro blogs and aggregation tools. For others, social networks gained importance, complementing blogging and blogs. Today, most blogs, traditional news sources, and public relations firms use social networks to extend their reach. Blogs that don’t have some kind of feature to share content across social networks are perceived as isolationist and likely have seen a decrease in their traffic over the past few years.

It is considered imperative to have integration with social networks to extend the blog’s reach. WordPress, for its part, has many plugins that integrate some aspect of social media. A quick search of the plugin repository shows almost 300 varieties of Twitter plugins and almost 100 varieties of Facebook plugins.

It is important to know the technical implementations of social network integration on the growth and sustainability of a blog, and equally important to have a good understanding of the marketing benefits of these tools. Realistically, there are plugins that automatically send a tweet of a Post title and URL every time you click Publish, but does this actually increase the blog’s traffic and exposure? As it turns out, less than you might think.

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