I think most beginner bloggers will eventually come to appreciate the importance of Blogging and Social Media. If one wishes to grow their audience and increase engagement, social media interaction is paramount. And the earlier you start, the better. In fact, I would say that your social media accounts should launch at the same time as your blog does.
Which Social Media Networks should I join?
As a blogger, the social media networks you choose to join will be predominantly a personal choice. But some things you may wish to consider:
- Choosing networks that are popular: The benefit of choosing networks that are popular such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Youtube and Pinterest is that there are hundreds of millions users and you’ll potentially have access to a massive audience.
- Choosing networks that are less well known: The potential benefit of joining lesser known networks is, because those networks are less saturated, you may stand a better chance of getting noticed. Some such networks don’t necessarily lack for users, they are just perhaps not as well known as others. And even where user numbers are lower, you may be talking about quality versus quantity. For example, lately I’ve been thinking of joining StumbleUpon which has about 30+ million users (versus Twitter which has 300+ million users).
- Choosing networks that you know you will use: There is no point in joining a dozen networks if you a) won’t have the time actively maintain engagement on all of those networks and b) don’t enjoy using them or they don’t fit your needs. Do you like to share pictures? Perhaps you should focus on Instagram or Pinterest. If you want to “converse” regular with readers and other bloggers, then Twitter is a great platform. It is better to join fewer networks and concentrate on optimizing your engagement on those networks. To start with, I would recommend joining at least 2-3 networks. You can always add more as your blog grows and you become more comfortable.
Always remember, when creating your social media accounts, your Blog Name should be reflected in your username. For example, my blog is http://beautyisles.com and my twitter handle is @beautyisles.
How should I engaged and how often?
It’s difficult to offer a “one size fits all” approach to the level and kinds of engagement that will work for everyone. So instead, I’ll outline some of things I tend to do:
- Twitter: Usually, I send between 5-8 tweets per day, unless I’m participating in a Twitter chat. Which, by the way, I highly recommend if you’re a blogger. It is a great way to interact with others who share similar interests and to get your blog out there. Xomisse maintains a fantastic list of twitter chats here. Try not to send too many promotional tweets. Some days, I’m guilty of this – where most of my tweets are promoting blog posts. But I try not too do this too often. Use twitter to really engage – to ask your followers and other bloggers questions. To respond to questions they may ask.
- Instagram: I make an attempt to post to Instagram at least once per day. Sometimes it’s to share images related blog posts, but I try my best to include content that stands alone. In other words, pictures that are unrelated to a Blog post and are more “in the moment”. I think this is important – your Instagram account shouldn’t just be a regurgitation of your blog but an additional platform where your readers and followers can engage with unique content.
- Facebook: Some say Facebook is dead and while I agree that engagement seems to be down these days, there’s no harm in maintaining a Facebook page for your Blog. If remembering to post to facebook is difficult, you can always use a plugin to set-up automatic publication where your blog posts are published to your page.
- Google+: Until recently, Google+ was just something I used to automatically publish my blog posts. Lately, however, I’ve been trying to increase my engagement by joining Google Communities that are related to my subject matter and sharing my posts to those Communities, as well as checking out posts published by other users. If you’re using Google+, I would recommend making an effort to share your content as much as possible and to share the love with other users by checking out (and +1) their posts.
- Pinterest: This platform is newer to me and I’m still working on making the most out of it. Right now, I’m mostly sharing images directly from blog posts. Eventually, however, I hope to create images specifically designed for the nature of Pinterest that are related to my blog posts. I also need to work on my Pinterest engagement levels (liking and repinning images I enjoy).
- Flipboard: My current experiment. I’d heard a little about Flipboard here and there and thought it might be worth a go. Flipboard is a mobile app that aggregates articles, blogs posts, and news pieces into a magazine style user interface based around the users interests. So far, my engagement has been limited but I’ll see how things go.
Share the Love with Other Bloggers
Make an effort to visit other blogs – both those within your own niche and outside of it. If you enjoy their posts, leave a meaningful comment. Or, if you’ve come across a publication that really stands out to you – share it – retweet, repin, regram etc. Promoting another bloggers’ content is a great way to show them that you appreciate their hard work. Do this because you really enjoy the content and maybe, if they enjoy yours as well, they’ll reciprocate. And if another blogger stumbles across your blog and decides to promote your posts, take the time to check them out and maybe return the favour. These gestures go a long way in building your community networks and audience.
Finally, even if you couldn’t care less about reaching a larger audience, at the end of the day, blogging and social media interaction can be fun and rewarding. You can meet some great people, share your passions and learn new things. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth investing some (but not ALL) of your time. 🙂
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