I have something to confess: social media is something of a chore to me. I like it all in general terms, but in the blogging world, where a constant and consistent presence on social media is required, I often have a hard time keeping up. I'll be very into it one day and then the introvert in me (and I'm assuming many of you fellow bloggers/makers) wants to take a day or two off to recharge, free of constant updates and statuses.
But that, my friends, is not the way to internet success. As much as I'd love to tell you numbers don't matter, it's simply not true if you are trying to create a sustainable income. Yes, you want to focus on creating content you believe in, but at the end of the day, if your numbers are really low, that valuable content that you spent hours on won't even reach your niche audience- and those are the people who are dying to read it!
So what's an introverted blogger do? Well, if you're anything like me (meaning social media doesn't really come naturally to you), I think it's best to start with a plan. I've scoured the web and put together some of my favorite tips to help my audience (and yours) continue to grow.
1. Don't neglect Facebook. I know that some bloggers forgo Facebook altogether, choosing instead to focus all of their attention on Twitter or Instagram. In my opinion, that's a mistake. There are 1.44 billion users on Facebook which means it can likely be your highest click-through referral source. it's also a great avenue for sharing posts, crowd sourcing, and joining niche groups to help bring new readers to your site.
2. Do get a separate page. It's really important to have a Facebook page for your blog or business that is not your personal account. Doing so helps people remember your brand name and become familiar with your content.
3. Vary your posts. If all you do is share links to your own blog posts (guilty of this one), people will lose interest. Behind-the-scenes snippets, funny anecdotes, and additional pictures or videos will give people reason to continuously look to your page for interesting content. Sharing quality posts from other sites/bloggers doesn't hurt either.
1. Get real-real. Twitter is really fast-paced and interactive, making it the perfect place to be a little more opinionated and unfiltered. Keep in mind that you are always promoting your brand, so you don't want to push the envelope too far For me, this means avoiding anything overly negative and staying generally PG-rated, but to each brand their own. Just know yours and stick with it.
2. Utilize the hashtag. Sometimes using hashtags feels a little slimy to me, but the truth is they're necessary. They are basically free marketing, allowing people interested in your topic to find your content. Check the trending topics of the day and if one fits your content or your brand, make sure to use it. Hashtag wisely, though. Not all tweets need them and nothing turns me away from content faster than taking advantage of a trending hashtag when it doesn't even apply to the tweet.
3. Take part in Twitter chats. This is a very new area for me, but live Twitter chats are a great way to meet people in your niche. I recently took part in the #fireworkpeople chat (Tuesdays, 9 pm EST) and it was so energizing and motivational for me. I also really feel like I've already met new friends, a claim I've heard over and over from bloggers that is proving true.
1. Curate your account. If you are promoting a blog or business on Instagram, it's important that all your posts reflect your brand. Choosing a general vibe and sticking with a cohesive color scheme are great ways to make your brand instantly recognizable. It's easy to go through your account and edit out any images that don't add to your brand. If you are really having trouble in this area, you might want to consider a personal account that is separate from your brand.
2. Post often. As far likes and comments on images, general interaction on Instagram holds up pretty consistently throughout the day. Videos, however, are generally better received in the evening, when people are home from work, and Saturday and Sunday have the highest traffic and response rate overall. If you are anything like me and constantly forget to take photos, it can be helpful to set alarms at intervals throughout the day to stop and snap some pictures.
3. Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag. Again, I cringe a little every time I add a hashtag to my pictures, but it does help get viewers to your content. According to Who What Wear, the magic number of hashtags is a whopping 11! More or less will garner lower results. My favorite way to use hashtags is to participate in Instagram challenges (this is a great list of hashtags to take part in). I will also be launching my own hashtag challenge in July, #fwsbeautychallenge, with prompts to encourage fun experimentation with your daily beauty routine. Please make sure you are subscribed to future posts if you want to take part! It's going to be fun! :)
1. Get personal. This one's pretty simple, but adding your name to your blog/business title can help make your brand memorable and relatable to pinners.
2. Get vertical. Large vertical pictures have a much higher pin rate than their smaller counterparts. For visual proof, skim through your feed and see which ones pop out to you and which ones go unnoticed. And while we're on the topic, picture quality when it comes to Pinterest is crucial. If you are a food/DIY blogger or sell products online, pinning beautiful (and vertical) images can make this outlet your top source of click-throughs and sales.
3. Get rich. Utilizing "rich pins," which display your website name and icon under the pin, help to direct pinners to the source- you and your brand! They also give a professional look that can help garner more likes, pins, and overall traffic.
Well, now that we've got the tips for optimizing social media, it's time to implement them into your daily routine! If you're like me and love a checklist, these downloadable Social Media daily schedulers will help you step up your social media game and start growing your brand!
I've included a full-color and black and white version. These are based on my current social media goals and can serve as a good guideline, but in case you want to create a more personalized checklist, I've also included a blank printable where you can add in your own specific daily goals.
Click to Download:
Social Media Checklist (Full Color)
Social Media Checklist (B&W)
Social Media Checklist (Blank)
I'll be using these checklists myself and hope to increase my overall social media presence over the next couple of weeks.
Do you schedule your social media activity?