Now that everything is neat and tidy, it’s time to focus on building yourself up on those social platforms. Why? Because writing good content is only half the battle. Marketing that good content takes time, energy, skill, and most importantly, strategy.
We’re going to talk about some of the major social platforms and some of the new and emerging platforms. AND… we’re going to talk about the anxiety you feel about all this.
I can’t handle one more platform!
Yes, you can. You just have to pick and choose the ones that are right for you. So let’s figure that out starting with the basics.
Working it on Facebook
Facebook is what I like to call a necessary evil. Want to know why we’re so screwed up? Because 63% of adult Facebook users get their news from the platform. That’s pretty scary since we already know that Facebook decides what we should and shouldn’t see.
If they want Kim Kardashian’s new baby to become a trending topic, they can make it so. Likewise, they can also decide how important your content is to the people who follow, friend, or like you.
Unfortunately, I can’t reveal the magic secret of Facebook because nobody really knows what it is. And as soon as someone figures it out, they’d changed it anyway. What I know is from personal observation, experimentation, and some very knowledgeable people.
If you have a page dedicated to your blog, you’ll want to follow a few simple rules.
- More content is better, contrary to the old rules.
- Post a variety of content types – a native video, a text question to your audience, a link to an article, and, yes, a link to your blog.
- Don’t post only your own content. Share content from Facebook or from other sources. Generally, keep your own content to 1 or 2 posts per every 10 posts.
- Have a call to action on your page. It’s easy to set up and encourage people to shop, sign up for a newsletter, or download an ebook
If you use your personal Facebook profile either instead of or in addition to your Facebook page, you’ll have to make some decisions, like:
- Who will you accept as friends? People you personally know or acquaintances through the internet?
- Will your blog content feel too promotional for friends and family?
- How do you feel about losing some of your privacy?
Regardless, I can’t imagine being in this space and NOT being on Facebook. At the very least, it allows people to tag you and your content when shared and also gain some pretty cool analytics about your fans (check out Insights for pages).
Creating Community on Twitter
Oh, how I miss the old days of Twitter. And so does everyone else who started in 2008-2009. It used to be very conversational and was how I met many of my online friends. These days, you’ll find Twitter is used for one of these purposes:
- A Twitter party – usually sponsored by a brand, usually with prizes. You’ll usually see a schedule of Q&A for an hour and you’ll find a who special breed of people on Twitter that live for these parties.
- A Twitter chat – this is a scheduled conversation united by a single hashtag and usually dedicated to a single topic. When done right, it’s a great way to talk to other people and share knowledge.
- Link sharing – Lately, it seems like this is all that’s on Twitter. If you follow the right people, you can discover a lot of great content throughout the day. And likewise, you and your followers can also share your great content.
- Building community/having conversation – I used to say that Twitter best represented my personality. It’s a great way to converse with people from all over the world and sometimes have really meaningful conversations 140 characters at a time. Oh, and you can even tweet with celebrities.
So do you need to be on Twitter? Yes. Whether you’re active or not, you need to be able to see when people share your content. And it’s often used as a quick and easy way to access a blogger (instead of email). I’ve had many business relationships start with a single tweet!
Pinning It on Pinterest
Here’s where I’m going to let you off the hook. You don’t HAVE to be on Pinterest. You can still generate great content that people will pin and share and you’ll benefit from the traffic. But the bottom line is that not all content is Pinterest-worthy.
How do you decide if it’s Pinterest worthy? It has to fall into category that makes it easy to classify. My advice? If it won’t fit into one of Pinterest’s own board categories, don’t bother.
Oh, but there’s an “Other” category at the bottom. Yup and if you’re looking for “Other” traffic, maybe it’ll work but don’t bank on it.
If you think you create content that fits into one of these categories, the next thing you need to do is be sure to include good pinnable images or graphics in your posts. Otherwise, forget it. If you’re looking for more advice on Pinterest, I highly recommend the Pinning Perfect course from BlogClarity. (affiliate link)
Link Up on LinkedIn
Do you consider yourself a professional in this business? (This business being social media, writing, marketing, etc.). Then you need to have a professional presence BUT…
Make sure you’re coming across as a professional. Here’s how.
- Use a good headshot for your profile. Some people say you need a professional headshot, to which I say, poppycock. You can certainly take your own decent photo, even a selfie. As long as it looks like you and there are no kids, dogs, products, etc. Make it a simple, well-lit, in-focus photo of you (and be conscious of your background).
- Add your experience. Don’t get cutesy with your title. You’re not the CEO or HBIC at your blog. You’re a writer or a blogger or an editor. You choose but don’t oversell yourself.
- Highlight your key campaigns. If you’ve worked with major brands as a result of your blog, include that as a bullet point of your blog responsibilities. There are people that look for that kind of experience on there.
- Connect with like-minded professionals. The rules used to be that if you didn’t know someone, don’t connect with them. These days, it’s acceptable to link with someone in your industry. And don’t be afraid to contact those connections if you’re trying to find the right person at a certain company.
- Be conscious of what you share. Only recently have I started sharing blog posts on LinkedIn but I’m selective. While this one might be of professional interest, I’m not sure I want to share my post about light bladder leakage with my professional community.
The best thing about LinkedIn? If you keep it up to date and you’re ever asked for a resume, export your profile to a PDF and voila – instant resume.
What About the Rest?
There are always emerging platforms or those that you hear you have to be on. Here’s a quick rundown of each and my take on them…
StumbleUpon – This was popular years ago and recently has made a resurgence. I tend to stumble my own posts and still manage to get decent traffic from it. I’ve recently joined a group where we stumble each other’s content (as long as it works for us) and that’s gained me visibility as well. It’s also a great way to discover new content.
Reddit – I’m going to be honest. I so don’t understand Reddit. Sometimes you can post posts but sometimes it’s only photos or discussions. And if you don’t understand the rules, you are quick to be ostracized (yes, I was banned from the Humor sub-reddit). For now, I’m staying away.
Periscope – Livestreaming is fun! Everyone is on Periscope and you need to do it too! No, you don’t. If you don’t like being in front of a camera, if you don’t like interacting real-time with strangers, if rude comments get you flustered, this is not the platform for you. But you never know until you try. And brands are become more open to you using this platform to bring an experience to your audience. Consider it a selling proposition.
Blab – I love Blab. In fact, I’ll be relaunching my talk show soon where I’m talking about all things influential. It’s like a Google Hangout but easier. If you have Twitter account, you can get on Blab. And most people are there just to watch what’s going on. Whether or not you want to participate is entirely up to you.
SnapChat – Wait -I’m not a millennial! Do I have to be on SnapChat? No, you don’t. But again, it can be another selling proposition for you and there’s lots of talk about using the Stories function for campaigns. If I sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s because I don’t. I haven’t ventured into this territory either… yet.
Did I give you enough food for thought? You don’t have to be everywhere. Pick where you fit best and make the most of the community you build there. And if you’re not gaining much traction, maybe it’s time to see if you can make your mark on a newer/different platform. If it’s outside of your comfort zone, it’s okay. That’s what Google is for.
If you missed either of the first two installments, you can find them here.
And stay tuned, I’ve got a few more weeks to help you better your blog!