Even with the increased number of individuals using social media (hi, my grandma is now on Facebook. liking all of my photos.), a lot of people still think of anything on social media as “play.” You should see the weird looks I get when I’m on my phone and I tell someone, “I’m working.”
Yes, social media is super fun, but social media is also an incredible tool for connecting with your audience, spreading the word about your new product, services, spiffy new blog posts and so much more.
The problem is…where the heck do you start?
And what in the world is up with snapchat? (ps follow me for lots of food and cat pics–> semihealthnut)
I decided I would start a little series called Social Media 101 for the newbie blogger who is slightly overwhelmed. If that’s you, or you just want to learn a little more, let’s get started!
Social Media 101: An Overview
If you’re serious about getting traffic to your blog and creating relationships with your readers and fellow bloggers, you’re going to need to get on social media. Each social media outlet has a unique way of building your blog brand.
One tip that goes for all social media outlets: don’t only share your own content. This took me forever to realize and still takes some extra planning on my part. Share the love! Not only is it the right thing to do, but it helps to create relationships with other bloggers who can also support you and your blog.
My favorite all around social media tool: Bufferapp
I’ve listed out these social media platforms in order of my most favorite, but really it’s up to YOU which one you choose to focus on.
The image above is from my food + fitness blog account. I would say I’ve had it about 4-5 years, but really started working on it about a year and a half ago. My followers in July of 2014 were about 1k and now, January 2016 they are 5.3k as a result of a lot of work. I definitely think it was worth it as I get a large chunk of my traffic from Pinterest now. All of this to say…I’m excited to write a post exclusively about Pinterest soon! But for now, let’s get into the basics.
Why should you use Pinterest?
Pinterest is essentially a search engine of photos. It also tends to be the top source of referral traffic on most blogs. You can generally “pin” an image from any website on to a “board” with the topic of your choosing. Use Pinterest to promote useful content by way of images. This works best for blogs that are very image-centric, but other websites are certainly taking notice and making sure their images are “pinterest-worthy.”
Top Tip: Pin a lot.
At least 10+ pins per day. I know that sounds like a lot, but the more you pin and the more pins you have in general, the more that Pinterest will show your pins.
If you don’t have time to be pinning that often, there are awesome tools you can use like Tailwind for scheduling pins. Once you have at least 1k pins on your board you should also look into looping your pins using Board Booster. Hands down, these are the best social media tools I’ve found for Pinterest.
Again, this is from my food + fitness blog account. I could definitely show you screenshots from my ALB Designs accounts, but I’ve only had them for a couple of months and the numbers aren’t super impressive. I want you to believe I know my social media stuff!
Why should you use Instagram?
Instagram is a great way to connect with readers and fellow bloggers by way of sharing beautiful images. Use Instagram to share useful photos, interact with other bloggers and readers and to promote products or sales.
Top Tip: Hashtag #allthethings.
Instagram users are big on hashtags and use them to find similar content. I tend to hashtag a couple of things after my original post and then in the comments, use my whole list of saved hashtags.
Why should you use Facebook?
Everyone is on Facebook. If you’re wanting to reach the widest audience, Facebook is the place to go. Facebook also offers great ads if you’re willing to spend a few bucks.
Top Tip: Share more “real” photos on your Facebook page.
Think of things that you would share on your personal profile and use the same tone on your Facebook page.
Why should you use snapchat?
Snapchat is like a behind-the-scenes look into your life. There is no way to edit the photos or video (except for goofy “filters”), so there’s also not as much pressure for them to look perfect. On my semihealthnut snapchat account, I tend to share meals I’m eating, video of getting active outdoors and my cat, Zoey. It’s a very personal way to connect with your audience.
Top Tip: Play around with it. This is a new social media app, so there aren’t really any rules.. have fun with it! There’s a lot of goofy filters to play around with and you can even find some location specific ones.
Again I am showing off my cover photo I made for ALB Designs. (I can make you one, too!)
Why should you use Twitter?
Twitter is a great way to connect with brands and to share content with your audience. It’s also really easy to “re-tweet” or re-share content from fellow tweeters you think your audience will like. You can easily send a message to someone or reply to questions or comments without having to do so through a picture (like on Instagram or Pinterest) or through another post (like on Facebook).
Top tip: when retweeting, try to add something extra to that tweet. I don’t always do this, but I know it makes the tweet stand out more if it’s personally me telling my audience why that particular tweet is important.
BONUS: one tool I love for my blog to help readers share my content on Twitter is called “Click to Tweet.” You can compose a tweet for your readers specifically to share, so they don’t have to come up with anything clever themselves.
[Tweet “Social Media 101 // Tips, tricks and the best social media platforms explained. #iheartblogging”]
So there you have it! Those are the top 5 social media platforms I use and I will be diving into each one further in the weeks to come.
My suggestion to the newbie social media-izer:
Pick one or two to focus on at a time. Otherwise you will be running around in circles trying to update everything. Build up your following in those one or two and then pull back a bit and focus on other ones.
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What’s your favorite social platform? Why? My personal favorite is Instagram because I’m such a visual person. I could get lost for hours on it!
Did you find this post useful? Share it on Pinterest!
Linking up to: Thinking Out Loud
PS If you’re interested in my top social media tools, you can get a FREE ebook on the topic by subscribing here!