As you’ve seen, one good way to get the word out about your site is to get your
readers talking and sharing on social media sites. But you don’t need to wait for
them to do the work for you—if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you can
use it yourself to announce new content.
This technique is often called publicizing, and it’s not quite the same as the social
sharing you learned about earlier. Sharing is when a visitor introduces new people
to your content. Publicizing is when you tell readers about new content. The difference
is that the people you tell probably already know about your site. Your goal is
to get them interested enough to come back.
Publicizing is an increasingly important way to reach your readers. Twitter fanatics
may pay more attention to tweets than they do to email messages. Facebook fans
who won’t bother to sign up for an email subscription might not mind liking your
Facebook Page and getting notifications from you in their News Feeds. For these
reasons, many WordPressers choose to publicize their posts.
WordPress.com sites get a built-in Publicize feature, and self-hosters can use the
Jetpack plug-in. Either way, you need to connect your site to the social media account
(or accounts) you want to use. To do that, choose Settings→Sharing and then
click Connect next to the appropriate social media icon.
The Publicize feature springs into action every time you publish a new post. However,
WordPress lets you control the process using the Publish box.
Once you write a post, look in the Publish box. Next to the word “Publicize,” you
see a list of the services you can use to publicize your post. Click the Edit link, and
more options appear (Figure 12-11). You can choose to tout your post on only some
services, or none at all. You can also edit the message that WordPress sends out to
announce the new post. Ordinarily, WordPress uses the post title for the message,
but you can substitute more descriptive text.