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For a lot of bloggers, utilizing social media is the cornerstone of their business. It would be impossible to reach out to so many people so quickly without the built in audience that different types of social media can bring. In the getting started guide I mention making sure that you select a domain that is viable across social media networks, and signing up for as many social media sites as possible with your new domain. So what happens after that?
Become a part of your community
If you are part of the community you’re blogging for, your blog is going to do better. It’s that simple. The great thing about that is that usually when we decide what to blog about, it’s because we’re already a part of that community. If you’re not already connected with others within the niche that you’re blogging about, now is the time to get connected! Via social media, find groups and individuals that you can connect with and participate in community discussions. Ask your friends if they know people with similar interests, find local groups, and check out blog cooperatives (for example, IHeartIfb is a fashion blogger cooperative). Remember, becoming a part of a community so that you can exploit them and make money off of them is not the goal. That will not end well for you or your readers. Becoming part of the community is so that you can be sure that you are bringing people relevant information and cultivate the ability to make a positive impact.
Keep your social media focused
You are an awesome human being, and there is certainly a million parts of you that everyone in the whole world would love. Some times that doesn’t translate so well on social media. While you (and me, of course) may think that our dog is the cutest thing that’s ever happened to the internet, the internet may not feel the same way. If you are running an Instagram account about your photography blog, don’t post a bunch of outfit selfies with your iPhone. If you’re running a food blog, post food pics! If you are running a fashion blog, try to stay away from posting a bunch of personal photos and stay focused on outfits and fashion related items. Just stay focused! When you feel like you’re getting a little off track that’s alright, just gently reel yourself back in and remember what kind of audience you’re hoping to acquire.
Don’t be afraid of hashtags
Learn about what hashtags are being utilized by people with the same interests as you (and your blog). Each niche will have it’s own hashtags that it’s community uses. The only way to know what hashtags are being used is by following other people and checking out what they’re doing. HASHTAG EVERYTHING!!!! It’s not silly or too trendy or any other weird judgement you’ve made in your head about hashtags. They’re necessary, and they connect people. Embrace them. If you want to try and create your own hashtags that’s great, but remember that you’re using them to connect so don’t neglect to use more popular ones too. As well as using hashtags, making sure that you @ anyone who the post may have to do with (brands or other bloggers included in the post) will help to get your posts seen by more people. If people are not sharing your posts when you @ them, do not be discouraged, it still helps to get your posts seen on places like facebook and twitter when you include more popular accounts.
Baby all your accounts.
DO NOT NEGLECT A SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT JUST BECAUSE IT’S SMALL! Be attentive to all of your accounts, whether you have 10 thousand followers or just 10. You can use social media tools like Hootsuite, that allow you to manage all your social media from one dashboard. Hootsuite let’s you connect three social media accounts and is free for personal use. Or, you can do it the old fashioned way (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!) and take the time to share posts across your accounts. You may not think that babying all your accounts is super important when you first start blogging, but six months down the road when you realize that there’s a lot going on over on twitter and you hadn’t paid attention to twitter at all you’re going to wish that you had spent a little time there. Recently, after months and months of having no traffic come in from Pinterest, I suddenly had a pin get popular and now 8% of my daily traffic is coming from there. Thank goodness I kept pinning even with under 500 followers.
Fill out your social media profile
If there is a space to put your website, PUT IT THERE. If there is a space to talk about who you are and what you do USE IT. Don’t neglect the portions of social media that are set up for you to create a larger audience!
Be professional, but don’t take your personality out of it
This is one of those things that may be a little bit difficult to explain, but basically don’t make your social media a place to talk about the things you would talk to a therapist about (unless that’s your niche!). Try to create a space where you get to engage your readers and share things you enjoy, while also making sure that your professional boundaries exist.
Change up your social media content
Just as you want to use different media options on your blog, you want to do this on social media. Think of as many different ways to share posts as possible. Videos, links, photos, status updates, do it all! On facebook don’t just share other’s posts. Post your own pictures, or find articles that you love that other people haven’t posted yet and share them. Even on Instagram, where the focus is photographs, you can find ways to share different types of media. Some times I want to show that I posted a YouTube video on instagram so I take a screen shot of the video, or post a clip from the video, and then link to where the video can be found. On Pinterest even if you are not a photo-heavy blog you can create promotional images with the title of your blog post and a relevant stock image.
That’s it! Well, that’s obviously not it… but it’s a good start. In the coming weeks I’ll have more specific posts about using different types of social media more efficiently and how to gain followers across different platforms. Remember, that when it comes to utilizing social media if you see something working for you go with it! Social media is new and semi-uncharted territory, so it’s absolutely possible that you could find a hidden secret. While there are tried and true methods to using social media, the great thing about it is that it’s being used in new and remarkable ways all the time. Don’t be afraid to be part of that!
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