Monday, February 22, 2016

Social Media: Keep It Simple

Lately, I've been answering a lot of questions about social media from my blog friends. In January, I decided to place my focus on growth, especially in the world of social media. All of my platforms grew, with some growing over 100 followers in a month. I set new goals for this month and I've already surpassed them on several platforms. I haven't used follow threads to grow my platforms this year - it's all been genuine growth. Nora (of The Petite Mrs) recently told me that I should share my methods on the blog. I'm taking her advice - you're going to be getting all of my tips today.


Before I share my strategy (or lack of strategy) for each platform, I want to share a few overall thoughts with you about social media.

1. Social media should not stress you out.

2. You don't have to be on every social media network out there. For example, you won't see any tips for Periscope in my list. It doesn't fit my personality.

3. You should at least try each social media network. Like I said above, you won't find any Periscope tips from me. That doesn't mean I haven't tried it out - I have. I just didn't like it, so I don't put my focus there.

4. Everyone is going to have a different strategy. The tips I'm sharing work for me. They may not work for you.

5. Don't force it. If you don't like a platform, get rid of it.

6. Automate and schedule as much as possible.

7. Check out the March Blogger PJ Party for all things social media! (Date has not been announced yet! If you join the group that I linked, you'll be the first to find out about it though!)

Now that I've given you my overall advice, let's get to the tips and how I use social media to support my blog! (And of course, I've linked you to all of my social media networks in case you want to check them out!)

Facebook
I love Facebook - it helps me keep in touch with family and allows me to network with other bloggers. I don't love Facebook's algorithms though. I've found that they make it hard to genuinely grow a following on there. I primarily use Facebook groups to share my content. I also post select blog posts to my personal page (ones that I think my friends and family will enjoy.) As far as my blog page, I schedule posts to it using CoSchedule. I schedule posts immediately after writing them and then I don't have to worry about them again. I'm currently in the process of trying trying out a few new ideas on Facebook. I'll definitely update you on how those do!

Instagram
I love taking photos and therefore, I love Instagram. It's also one of the platforms that has seen a lot of growth in the past month or so. My strategy for Instagram is super simple. I take photos of things I'm doing and I post them to Instagram. Then, I tag them in the comments with related tags. I also interact with others through likes, follows, and comments. I don't spend hours creating the perfect photo and editing it to perfection. I prefer to use Instagram to showcase my day to day life. I don't post blurry or bad photos, but I also don't overanalyze every photo.

I aim for 3-5 photos a day but it's not an exact range. Instagram is definitely not a place to spam people. By spam, I mean posting three photos back to back. I will actually unfollow people who regularly post streams and streams of photos. Space your photos out over the course of the day! Save the streams of photos for a Facebook photo album!

Pinterest
I'm still fully developing my Pinterest technique. I will share a few of the (somewhat drastic) things I did in January to help my Pinterest.

First, I deleted a lot of boards. I transferred their pins to other boards in some cases, but overall, I deleted most of my boards. I was looking to streamline down to a few categories that matched my blog. I somewhat accomplished this but I'm still working on making it even more streamlined. I lost several followers in the process of doing this since people sometimes only follow one board.

I also tried out BoardBooster. I can't say enough good things about it. Just with the free program, I have seen an increase in repins and followers (and that's after I lost followers by deleting boards). It takes a little bit of time to set up, but once it's set up, it's easy to manage. I recommend doing their free trial to see if it's a fit for you!

I'm still working on my Pinterest strategy. I joined Pinterest before I was ever a blogger and I'm still learning how to make it work for me as a blogger. A lot of the time, I just use it to find new things and to get new ideas for my blog. One of the things I'm working on is remembering to pin every blog post after it's live.

Twitter
I used to hate twitter - it seemed like a waste of time and was hard to keep up with since it moves so fast. I recently developed a love of Twitter and it has become a major traffic source for my blog. I've developed a super simple method of keeping up with twitter an I've acquired 150 new followers in a little over a month. (Remember, I didn't use follow threads to gain these followers!)

Hootsuite's free version has been my big helper when it comes to twitter. I will be sharing my exact method in this week's newsletter (in a printable format), so I highly recommend joining the newsletter list if you haven't already. You'll also get a nifty to do list just for joining!


Snapchat
Snapchat is the last of the social media networks that I'm going to talk about today. I have tried out a lot of the other networks - they just weren't a good fit for my personality and my blog. Remember - that's a choice that only you can make!

Snapchat is my place to share behind the scenes pictures and videos. I love sharing exclusive sneak peeks, clips from my travels, and overall silly things with friends and followers. It's a place where you can see the silly, whimsical side of my personality. Feel free to friend me on there - hodgepodgepam - I almost always friend back, especially if you send me a snap!


Well, there you have it - an overview of how I used social media. I'm working on a more detailed strategy for each of the platforms and I'll be sharing those as I find the strategy that works for me. Don't forget that you can get my Twitter strategy this week in the newsletter!
 

Which platform is your favorite? Why? Which platform do you hate or avoid?


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