Thanks for your patience while I put together part 2 of my post on Social Media for Newbie Bloggers. In case you missed it, in part 1 I talked about the different types of SM and which ones you might want to consider focusing your energy on. In today’s post I am going to talk about how to increase your followers. I want to reiterate that these posts are based entirely on my own experience and I suspect different bloggers will give different advice.
The most important thing to remember is to create quality content. If what you’re producing is good, people will follow. If you find you’re putting a lot of effort into your social media and it just isn’t growing, it may be time to assess where you might be able to improve in terms of your content. Just my two cents! Okay more like my $5 since I’m about to word vomit all over you…
I realized in writing this post that many of my suggestions overlap across different SM platforms. I’ve amalgamated them all with a focus on what I deem to be the most important form of SM, Pinterest before discussing a few final ones. Alright, let’s get to it.
Applicable to ALL Social Media:
–Make your social media icons visible and everywhere. My pet peeve is when I go to someone’s site and I can’t find their SM links. Mine are the first thing you see on my sidebar and then pretty much all over the rest of the page.
–Make sure your SM icons WORK. You would not believe the number of times I have clicked on an icon and it brings me to a dead page. Check up on them every so often.
–Link your social media accounts. I have my Facebeook linked to twitter and my Instagram linked to Facebook and Twitter. Make sure each platform also indicates somewhere on it what your handles are on your various accounts. I am bad at remembering to check Instagram so I like being able to follow people on Twitter or Facebook where I am more apt to see their posts.
–Don’t just share your own content. This is especially true of Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Share quality content from blogs you read and enjoy. Not only does this give your followers an opportunity to see your interests, you are also more likely to have people share your content. Now, this isn’t necessarily a tit-for-tat basis. I had some amazing friends help me grow my social media following by telling their own followers about my blog. These people share the same philosophy on food, fitness and blogging as me so naturally I am more apt to share their content. I am also eternally grateful for their help and love being able to pay it forward so I often share blogs that I love on my own accounts as well.
–Hashtag. People search by hashtags ALL the time. I know people find it annoying to see a paragraph full of hashtags, but if someone is looking for #glutenfree recipe blogs to follow, the easiest way to find them is to search by that hashtag!
-Apply to join networks that are applicable to your blog. Not only can they be a great resource for information and make friends with similar interests, but they also often host “Flash Likes” in which you enter your social media account and in return for following other’s, they will follow yours.
–When all else fails, host a giveaway. As part of the entry to the giveaway, have readers follow your various SM accounts. I say this with a word of caution. Be picky about the giveaways you host. It’s not about having the most giveaways, but rather ones that people actually want to enter. Quality over quantity.
I had a lot of questions come from the last post asking about Pinterest. If you are creating any kind of content with pictures you NEED to start using Pinterest. This can range from recipes to workouts to reviews and pretty much everything in between. If you aren’t using pictures with your content, start. And yes, it is encouraged if not necessary to post your own content more than once. Now let’s talk about how to increase your Pinterest followers and reach:
–Create A LOT of boards. It’s not so much about the amount, but if you’re a food blogger who has one board called “Recipes” you may want to consider breaking it down into smaller, more specific boards.
-Organize your boards. Make sure each one has a cover photo that represents what the board is all about. And make sure the name makes sense.
–Pin good quality content. It’s not just about pinning your own content, but pinning other people’s content that visually looks beautiful. If there’s something you want to pin that isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, pin it to a secret board.
–Group boards.Group boards.Group Boards. The exposure you get from pinning to group boards is HUGE. More exposure = more followers/more traffic to your blog. Not sure how to join group boards? Check out Pingroupie.com. This site allows you to search by category and number of followers. Then go to the board and see if it is open to join and follow the instructions indicated.
I wouldn’t necessarily count them as SM platforms but they do drive traffic to your blog. My experience is that these are way more popular with bloggers than lay readers. Both are awesome blog readers so help your readers out and explain to them what they are!
As for StumbleUpon and Google+, I have yet to master these two. I haven’t found that these numbers reflect with the traffic on my blog. StumbleUpon thumbs up on the other hand can be HUGE as I mentioned in Part 1.
What techniques have worked for you? What questions do you have for me? Pick my brain!
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