Social media plays an important role in our marketing efforts as a blogger, empowering us to put our content in front of a vast number of people every day. Work smarter rather than harder by focusing on these 10 things that all bloggers should be doing on social media!
There is no denying the incredible power that platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter possess, connecting millions of people from across the globe with the click of a button. However, many bloggers find themselves quickly overwhelmed with the amount of effort required to maintain their social media profiles. Like a digital black hole, these platforms can eat up valuable time with no benefit to be seen if we aren’t careful!
Your time is valuable. For this reason, the first step to making the most out of your social media efforts is to identify which activities are worthy of your time and which aren’t. Putting your effort into these activities will ensure that you’re seeing a benefit for the time that you are investing.
Pay Attention to Branding
When someone visits your social media accounts, you want them to instantly know that this is yours. For this reason, it is important to focus on a clear, unified brand image across your blog and all social media profiles.
Take a look at the way your social media profiles are set up. Is it clear that they are associated with your blog, or would someone have to go searching to find that information? Utilize every opportunity you have to make this as easy as possible for your potential readers in order to increase the traffic you are driving back to your site. This includes a carefully worded personal bio, identifying your blog and the topics that you cover, as well as your selection of profile and header images.
If you have a logo, your profile/header images are a great place to include this. Are you currently offering a major giveaway or free product on your site? Your header image is a great place to highlight this. Pay attention to the colours, fonts and style that you use in creating the image to ensure that it aligns with your blog.
Remember, your blog and social media accounts should all flow together as one unified online presence.
Identify Your Target Audience
When you are writing your blog posts, who are you writing for? Are you a beauty blogger focused on introducing stay at home moms to the best supermarket brands available? Do you write for fitness buffs that already invest their time and energy into maintaining their best shape? The better you understand your target audience, the more focused your posts will become.
Try this exercise: Sit down and close your eyes. Picture your ideal reader. You don’t want just a vague idea, but rather an actual person as though they are standing in front of you. Once you’ve created that image in your mind, grab a piece of paper and write out every detail that you remember – How old was this person? What lifestyle do they lead: Career-focused businessman? Stay at home mom? Outdoorsy traveller?
Once you understand this, always keep this person in mind. This is who you are writing for! If you are debating posting or sharing content – your own or something that you found interesting from an outside source – ask yourself if it would appeal to your target audience. This will increase the chances that your community is going to connect with the content that you are sharing and continue following your account.
One of the biggest mistakes that many bloggers make is their failure to remain consistent on social media. The different algorithms used by our favourite platforms all have one thing in common – they are designed to reward regular activity both on your part and in the engagement of your audience.
If someone discovers your social media profile and you haven’t posted in weeks, they are likely going to believe that you are no longer using it, and pass up the opportunity to connect with you. At the same time, those who do follow you are going to forget about your account if you aren’t showing up in their feed from time to time. You aren’t going to see a good engagement rate if you aren’t giving your audience something to engage with!
Master the Art of Scheduling
Staying consistent may seem like a lot of work. After all, not everyone has the time to be logging onto their social media accounts every single day to post. Good news! There are some incredible tools available that will allow you to schedule your content in advance, freeing your time throughout the week. In fact, most bloggers are able to schedule an entire week worth of content in a single hour!
If you put the question of which scheduling program is best out to the blogging community, you are sure to get a number of different answers. Why? There are several great options depending on what features you are looking for and which layouts you prefer. The best advice that I have is to give a few different tools a try and discover which are most comfortable for you. Some are free, while others may come at a cost but with more features.
Some options worth checking out include:
– Hootsuite (my personal favourite)
Allow Your Personality to Shine Through
I’m going to let you in on a little secret about blogging and social media – there are A LOT of people out there just like you trying to make this work. The key to coming out ahead is to differentiate yourself in some way from every other blogger out there. Sure, you can try doing this by getting big brands to work with you, or through some wild publicity stunt designed to attract attention. However, the easiest way is simply to BE YOU.
What do I mean? There may be 1000 bloggers all review the same brand of mascara. If you stick to sharing nothing but the bare facts, all of those reviews will be interchangeable. Why? It’s the same mascara regardless of who is holding it. So, what makes your review stand out? Allow your personality to come through in your work. People want to create a connection with you, which builds trust and, in turn, loyalty.
Creating Vs. Curating Content
When planning out your week of social media content, you want to include a good mix of created and curated content. What does that mean? The most successful social media accounts have a mix both of their own content and quality content from other creators.
You want to be careful to select high-quality content that appeals to your audience. For example, if you are a travel blogger, you could share a well-written piece from another travel blogger about their experiences at a specific resort or a post that provides great tips for booking your next flight. The key is to make sure that you are selective with your content. Sharing poor content may have a negative impact on the trust your audience has in you.
If you are plugged into the blogging community at all, you have likely heard this advice many times before, but this list wouldn’t be complete without it. Hashtags are one of the greatest tools available for extending your reach on social media and drawing in potential new readers.
Take some time to research the hashtags that are associated with your niche on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. One of the easiest ways to get started with this is simply to look at the accounts of other creators that are performing well and discover what they are using. From there, you can search other posts using that hashtag, revealing other options.
One tip to keep in mind: The best hashtags to use are not the ones that are used the most often. These are often oversaturated, and you will quickly find yourself lost in the sea of posts. Instead, find those that fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, with enough traffic that people are following it, but small enough still that you can still be seen.
Re-Post Older Blog Content
While your social media accounts are obviously a great way to announce the newest content that you are publishing, don’t miss the opportunity to bring some of your older content back into the mix.
Take a look at all of the blog posts that you have published since your blog was first created. Identify the posts that are still relevant today and make a list. You have likely picked up new readers over the weeks, months or years that you have been writing, readers that may have never seen this great content from your past. As for the readers that have been with you from the beginning, they may have forgotten about a post that wasn’t relevant in their lives when they first came across it, but it is now.
You can manually schedule these posts along with the rest of your social media or, if you want to take it out of your hands entirely, there are plugins available on WordPress that will allow you to set these posts to automatically be shared on Twitter at a set interval, such as ‘Revive Old Post’.
Visual Content is King
While there is significant emphasis on the quality of your written content when you are blogging, the world of social media is a little different. Posts that contain eye-catching visuals including pictures, videos and infographics receiving significantly more shares, clicks, likes and comments than those that are solely text-based. This isn’t to say that every single post you publish has to be visually based, especially on Twitter. However, don’t neglect to include visuals in your rotation!
Do you have a specific post that you are trying to drive traffic to at this time? Try creating a couple of different visual posts that you can share, giving you more opportunities to catch the attention of both your loyal audience and other potential readers. I recommend using Canva to create professional looking graphics
Connecting and Engaging With the Greater Community
Finally, and arguably the most important piece of the social media marketing world is the need to make an effort to connect with others. It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason! If you want a loyal audience that engages with your content, you have to be willing to engage with them as well! This includes replying to comments, acknowledging those who go out of their way to share your content and making the effort to have a real conversation.
Remember what we said before about allowing your personality to shine through? This is a great opportunity for just that! Your audience wants to get to know YOU. Engage in conversations with them, sharing your own personal thoughts, opinions and experiences, but also asking them to share theirs in return.
Your audience isn’t the only group of people that you should be making an effort to connect with on social media. The blogging community is a great source of inspiration, support and encouragement if you make the effort to plug into it. Consider participating in Twitter Chats, joining Facebook engagement groups like the Unapologetically You Community, or plugging into group boards on Pinterest. Not only will this help you to get your content in front of a larger audience, but it can also lead to great collaborations and a strong support system that you can turn to when needed.
What is your favourite social media platform for blogging, and why? I’d love to hear your vote in the comments!