How’s your new year going? Are you taking charge? Getting things done? Did you forget to go the gym and maybe had a donut one morning for breakfast? Don’t worry. No judgment here. We’re approaching the new year in a different way – by cleaning things up to better your blog.
If you missed last week, Clean Up Your Act, it was all about getting your blog up-to-date technically and from a content perspective. If you didn’t finish, it’s okay. It can be an ongoing process but I recommend at least fixing a few things on your list so you have a sense of accomplishment. Then schedule some time every week to keep maintaining your blog and making it better.
This week, we have smaller, more actionable items that aren’t directly related to your blog, but they are important in your overall marketing strategy. We’re talking SOCIAL.
Your Better Your Blog Goal: Revisit Your Social Platforms
It’s time to clean up your social platforms and here’s how to do it.
1. Take inventory of all your social platforms.
Chances are you’re on most of the major platforms out there. And if you’re not, I recommend you at least have an account. At a minimum, you should be on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I also highly recommend Instagram and Pinterest. And if you’re up for it, set up your Periscope account as well.
Although, as bloggers, we tend to spend a good deal of energy on content creation, the “if you build it, they will come” mantra is outdated. I find the most successful bloggers spend as much time marketing their content as they do creating it. This is where your social platforms and the strategy for each will come into play.
Twitter is ideal for link sharing – whether it’s you sharing your links or your peers. Tweeting and retweeting content is a good way to expose your blog to new audiences. Link sharing has been the downfall of Twitter and purists wish it was still about conversation. But the new reality suggests it’s a platform for both – great conversation and discovery of interesting content.
Facebook is what I like to call a necessary evil. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s a great traffic driver, whether from your personal account or professional page. And it doesn’t appear to be going away.
LinkedIn is a different beast that some bloggers feel isn’t relevant to them. If your blog is your business, you should absolutely be on LinkedIn. Write your online resume and remember that managing your blog is more than just writing. You probably have more technical, marketing, and social media skills than you realize. It’s also a great place to make business connections and share posts relevant to a professional audience.
Instagram is one of my favorite platforms. It’s a way to share visual aspects of your life and even microblog about them. While you may not have great success with Instagram traffic to your blog (there’s no direct way to track referral traffic from Instagram), you may actually build a community and/or set yourself up for Instagram-specific opportunities.
Pinterest is another platform specifically for getting your content noticed. Just be aware that your content needs to be Pinterest-worthy and content good, pinnable images. And forget some of the old school models. Pinterest now uses an algorithm to render content to users. It’s not necessarily about the numbers – it’s about the quality of the pins.
Periscope scares a lot of people. In order to be successful, I think it helps to have a strategy for how to use it to complement your online presence but it helps even more to be comfortable with being on camera and improvising to take advantage of your audience.
2. Fine tune your image on each platform.
It used to be that you needed consistency across all of your platforms. I followed that model too. The same bio, the same photo, the same everything in order to keep “on brand.” We’re now not just the sum of our parts. Some of the individual parts matter too. Bloggers are now influencers and that influence on Instagram or Periscope may be of more interest than your blog.
My recommendation is to have some consistency (like using your REAL NAME in the user details for each account) and photos that aren’t entirely dissimilar but tailor your bio to the users of that platform. Here are some of my examples.
Most important things: Your photo (not your logo), your name, and your location!
Most important things: Your name, what you post, and your email address (for Instagram opps).
Most important things: Your title, your work experience, and a professional-looking headshot!
Most important things: Your website link, some emoticons, and your bio (make it relevant to Periscope and not just the Twitter bio it defaults to!)
3. Get rid of dead weight.
One thing I absolutely detest on social media is the dreaded follow-unfollow game. Sure, I’ve come to expect it on Instagram if I see that you’re selling oils, wraps, or anything to do with lashes, but it is an actual strategy for people to follow you so you’ll follow back and then they unfollow you. Why? They’re trying to build their following while keeping the proportion of who they follow low. It gives the illusion of popularity.
Well, I’m here to tell you something. Numbers still matter. Yes, engagement totally matters, as does influence. But generally speaking, your numbers can get you noticed. It’s time to keep track of it all and here are three tools I recommend to help you clean up who you follow.
This free service scans and takes a snapshot of your audience, categorizing who you follow into groups like Not Following Back, Inactive, Fake, etc.
While I don’t have a strict rule about only following people that follow me back (I usually follow people I’m genuinely interested in following), I will often unfollow those that ManageFlitter who have gone dark (it surprises me to see who has dropped off of Twitter!) and at least glance at the other categories to see how things look.
Many people I know use Crowdfire which is more of an all in one app. You can see the same type of information for both Twitter and Instagram (and for multiple accounts). I have it too and find it’s a great mobile solution for me for tracking Twitter followers late at night. Because that’s what I do for fun.
Crowdfire is available either as an app or on the web.
As for other platforms like Facebook, you’ll need to develop your own strategy for how to manage your friends and boost your followers. I keep my personal profile and professional page separate. I tend to accept friend requests only from people that I’ve had a personal enough interaction with that I remember them. I will say, however, Facebook has been a huge driver of traffic for me (from my personal page) that I may open it up even further. The choice is yours.
Stay tuned for next Monday when we dive even deeper into social platforms, including some of the more out of the ordinary (StumbleUpon, Reddit, Periscope, Blab) and see how to make them work for you.