Build Engagement Without Having to Share Links on Social Media

How to properly leverage social media to build engagement for your writing.

You need to realize two things to leverage social media to promote your writing:

  1. Social media DOES NOT like to promote posts with outside links.
  2. Social media LOVES to promote posts that engage their audience.

The keyword here is to engage THEIR audience.

Audience attention is expensive. All social media–Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram–has incentive to keep people on their platform. The longer the audience stays, the more ads they see. The longer the audience stays, the more money the platform makes.

Why would Twitter want to push up a post that has a link to another platform? THEY WOULDN’T! They lose money every time someone clicks away to somewhere else. That’s why Twitter pushes down your posts with links. Unless, of course, you pay to promote that post. Then they are making money again.

Instagram doesn’t even allow links on posts. Unless, again, you pay them, then you can include links.

Here’s what DOESN’T work

You write a blog post and share it on every social media platform. Even if you have 100,000 followers on each platform, your blog post will only get a handful of additional views. At best. 

Aren’t you frustrated at writing an excellent piece for it to fall flat? You spent time and effort and creativity juju to make something you thought the world would flock to and adore. But they didn’t. 

Quite simply: social media platforms have no incentive to share your work.

Here’s what DOES work

This process involves two steps:

  1. Write an original piece and share a customized version of it on each social platform.
  2. Write a new related article for your blog/site and copy the people who engaged with your first piece from all the other platforms.

Let me give you an example. Take this article that you are reading now. I am writing the entire thing out to post on my blog. I will then copy it onto Medium, including a canonical link to my blog post. I will then edit down this post to fit into each social media platform as a stand-alone post. For instance, this post’s essence will fit into 240 characters on Twitter, including a picture. I WILL NOT post links on Twitter, etc. to this article on Medium or my blog.

Later this week, I will write a NEW article on Medium. I will include pictures from my engagement from THIS original article from the social media platforms. I will copy the people that are on Medium that interacted with me from other social media platforms. 

Here’s the theory

Medium has no incentive for keeping people on their platform. They have no ad revenue, and they make no additional money the longer people stay online. If anything, they LOSE money for people spending time on their platform. People pay $5/mo to read articles; the longer people read, the more Medium pays to keep their servers running. It would be profitable for Medium to have people pay $5/mo and never show up to read anything.

However, Medium DOES promote articles that people engage with: claps, shares, comments, and reads. As far as we can tell, if your read percentage is higher (over 50% read-to-view ratio), your content gets promoted more in the tags that you use.

How do you get over 50% read-to-view ratio? Your title and picture certainly have a HUGE impact. Depending on the audience view (mobile, pc, viewing a particular publication’s home page, seeing an email, etc.), your potential readers may see your first paragraph. An opening hook also increases your read-to-view ratio. 

Here’s another thing that works:

  1. Engage a lot of members of the community.
  2. Don’t wait for them to find you.
  3. Find them and then include them in your writing. 


Social media buries posts with links in them. Write a piece of content and share it in different forms build specifically for each platform. THEN, write a new article on your blog/Medium and call out everyone who engaged with the other platforms’ first piece.

This part is allowed

As long as my call to action is under 20% of the article, the blog/Medium gods are happy. So, I’ll keep it simple. Consider following me on Twitter @LifeisPresence and joining my mailing list. I promise not to sell you anything; I’ll send you my books for free. It’s all love!

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