Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Blogger’s Guide to Growing Your Social Media Platforms [Blogger Broadcast]

Having a strong social media content strategy is a critical way of marketing your content as a creator. Building a strong and loyal community of followers over various platforms is no doubt a challenging feat but certainly possible. You just need to be armed with the right tactics to create branding success using social media platforms.

It is important to understand the following:

-          The best times to post on your social media.

-          How to divide and share content over each platform.

-          The importance of scheduling social media posts in advance.

-          How to curate an Instagram theme and strong visual aesthetic for your brand.

-          Photo editing apps to use that make your life easier.

-          How to tag brands and using hashtags effectively.

Consistency is Key
I’ve mentioned consistency numerous times throughout this book already but it is a crucial step. You must have a solid strategy to consistently promote and re-promote your content using your selected social media platforms. Each time I release a new piece of content, I like to tweet, post on Facebook and put up an Instagram story letting my followers on those platforms know about that new feature.

Cross Promoting Platforms
A simple way to leverage your existing platforms and watch each of them grow is to cross-promote between your social media accounts. If you post a YouTube video on a topic, following it up with a blog post is great added value. Even better is to link the blog post in the description bar of the YouTube video and embed the YouTube video within the blog post. This paired with your social media strategy is a solid marketing strategy and provides you with great levels of exposure. Following this same principle, you can mention in an Instagram post about a Facebook live you have recently done or in a tweet about going to watch your Instagram story. Not only does this cross over your audiences on each platform but it might even alert them to the fact that you are an avid user of that other platform they use all the time but didn't follow you on. Using each of your platforms to strengthen each other will only increase your audience size and loyalty. 

Scheduling Content
Taking the time to sit down and schedule your social media content is the biggest hack in the book. It not only saves you so much actual time but also lessens your stress levels about keeping up with platforms and takes away that mental fog caused by constantly thinking about posting on social media. We are about to go into some depth about the time it takes and methods you can use to schedule your social media across all platforms. Also, refer to the resource for this chapter, which provides you with a scheduling template for your own use.

Facebook: Take an hour out of your week scheduling out all of your Facebook posts. I like to post around four to five times a day on Facebook between 8 am and 8 pm with a few hours between posts. In that one hour, per week, I go through the scheduling of those four or five posts over the following seven days. This is a real time-saver because it means I’m not constantly stressing out deciding what to post or what time to post. It only takes an hour out of the entire week to organise your Facebook content. That said I still like to update it manually once a day to promote some of the new content that has been posted. I use the Facebook scheduling system for this.

Twitter: Make it part of your morning routine to schedule a handful of posts for that day or make part of your night-time routine to prepare for the next morning. This helps to remain consistent, ensuring you post at peak times. There are often moments during the day where you get distracted and are so busy that you forget to post. Scheduled tweets depend on the day and on what new content you have recently put out, so this is why I recommend scheduling tweets daily or every couple of days. I use Hootsuite for this. 

Instagram: I like to post on Instagram anywhere between one and five times a day depending on whether I am doing anything interesting at the time. That said I like to remain consistent with a theme. For me, that usually consists of columns in a block colour and one that is primarily white. This type of theme is visually appealing (and also appeals to my own slightly obsessive-compulsive tendencies), but it also provides consistency. For me, the white column is for ‘flat lays’ and quotes, while the block colour columns allow some flexibility for when I post an OOTD, a sunset or anything lifestyle-related. If you want to keep your Instagram strictly beauty-based then an all-white flat lay theme works extremely well. I switched from the all-white theme to my new theme once my posts became more lifestyle-based rather than just centered around beauty.

Snapchat or Instagram Story: I like using this app as a way to show the behind-the-scenes aspects of the blog. It also creates a personal connection by showing facets of my personal life. I think what makes Snapchat so appealing is being able to see what people get up to in their daily lives, without filters or blurring tools. It is like an unedited and raw way to connect with someone. I now have a Snapchat family whom I talk to every day, who message me in response to my snaps, and we often end up chatting about things too, which is a bond that I never expected to form through Snapchat.

Creating an Instagram theme

This is one of the most asked about topics when it comes to using Instagram as an extension of your brand. The thing I love most about Instagram is how visually appealing it is. There is something so fun and creative in choosing an Instagram theme, selecting pictures that have synergy with your theme and editing them to fit in. We have already spoken about the importance of creating a strong visual presence that easily and effectively communicates your brand to your readers. The core rationale is always the same; you want to create a visual representation of you that is immediately recognizable and impacts your audience. The ideal scenario is where one of your readers is casually scrolling through their feed when they see a piece of content you have posted and subconsciously identify it as your picture, without having to double check the username of the person who posted it.

To successfully curate a strong Instagram theme, it takes only a few easy methods and is much simpler than it originally might seem.

1. Pick a colour scheme. Have just two or three primary colours that you will use to primarily make up your theme. White is a practical colour that works well with other colours because it is usually easy to find a white wall or background and keeps the feed looking bright and clean. Otherwise, you can do something really funky with a blue, yellow and pink theme where you enhance these bright colours in each photo you post. For this to work, you will need to have some reliable photo editing apps handy (we will get into this a bit later). I feel like Instagram has consistently developed more towards the trend of light and brightness with pops of intense colour and crisp, clear photos.
2. Try to ignore your urge to spontaneously post a random picture just because you like the picture at the time and not because it fits your Instagram feed. I love using Instagram stories to share these parts of my life but don't feel it necessary to incorporate these things into my permanent feed. Besides, an Instagram story now allows you to permanently save your uploads in categorised folders also kept on your profile so this content can be revisited at a later stage. 

Using hashtags effectively

On all social platforms, it is important to understand how to tag effectively. Tagging the brands that you are talking about and using a few hashtags can really make a difference to how well your social media posts do. This is especially the case with Twitter and Facebook, where your content will be pushed more into feeds once you attach it to a brand. I also love to tag brands because it allows the reader to learn more easily about that brand. It also allows the brand to see the work you have put into their products. The effective use of hashtags reaches a relevant audience and displays your content to new followers. My biggest tip for using hashtags is to have a set that you use regularly to type in the notes section of your phone so that you can easily copy and paste whenever you post new content to social media. Even better, social media scheduling programs often have the ability to store regularly used hashtags so with the click of a button you can insert your favourite set to be posted along with your caption. I also recommend always improving and developing this set of hashtags based on where you see the most traffic coming from and which keywords seem to work best.

The best view is to see social media as a platform of opportunity and your personal ally to help promote your personal brand. It just takes a few well-educated decisions about the strategy you use to have social media marketing working for you rather than being a slave to it.

Blogger Broadcast is a blog series dedicated to helping build and grow your blog, YouTube channel and social media influence. Each instalment of this series will bring a new topic, dishing the dirt on everything you have always wanted to know about becoming a successful social media influencer and addressing pain points aspiring bloggers may be experiencing. 

This series is based on my book ‘A 3 Step Guide to Turn Your Blog into a Career’ where each chapter addresses a small yet critical portion about being a blogger and when combined puts together a full picture of the industry as well as a clear path to follow for success. The included resource pack allows you to work through activities that equip you with the skills required to prepare you for your career.

You can visit Pro Blogger Career HERE, join the FB Community HERE or purchase the book HERE.


Jessika said...

This was such a helpful post. I have been planning to start my own blog. Thanks for sharing all the tips and tricks!


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