How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog

Part 3: Facebook

The final instalment of a 3-part series on how to use social media to promote your blog.

You can find Part 1: Instagram along with some general social media tips here: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/23/how-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-blog/

And Part 2: Pinterest here: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/23/how-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-blog/

Facebook

The granddaddy of social media especially for those of us of a certain age – Facebook is the social media platform I felt most comfortable with adapting for business use.

The way that I have converted my previously solely private account for promotion of my blog is to add a page. I did this mainly as I really didn’t want to annoy my friends and family by constantly uploading my content to my private account. There’s also the issue I’ve discussed previously of having separate areas for personal and business use, which allows you to keep your business use on brand.

Even though my followers are smallest on my Facebook page at a very modest 22 only, looking at the stats, I expect that my target demographic in terms of age are more likely to be using Facebook than say Instagram or Pinterest even.

There’s also the issue that Instagram and Pinterest are of course visual social-media platforms primarily whereas my content is more article-based. Users of Facebook, I believe, are more likely to be expecting to read more detailed content as opposed to simply looking at an image/quote as on other social media sites.

I also get far more referrals from Facebook to my website than on any other platform save for the WordPress Reader. The click-through rate is much higher leading to higher traffic as a result.

At this stage I’m not sure if that’s because I’m more comfortable with Facebook or because that is where my demographic is most likely to be found or some other reason. It will be interesting to see if the other social media accounts start converting more of my audience into website hits once I get more familiar with these. Having said that, I know that when I’m on Instagram or Pinterest, I rarely go to someone’s website, choosing instead to go over to their Profile only. Really then, I have Instagram in particular purely to raise my brand awareness and not because I expect referrals per se. Pinterest, as I indicated in Part 2, is more of a filing and sorting system for me, although I do of course upload my own content there too.

You still have to grab your reader’s attention but what I like about Facebook is that I can play to my strength (e.g. content rather than images) far better. Catchy titles and excerpts are important here as you’re aiming to get your reader to want to read on enough to click the link to the full article rather than simply scrolling through their feed. Images are still important of course, but less so than Instagram and Pinterest, for my content anyway.

Over the last 7 weeks, I’ve noticed the following have worked for me:

DoDon’t
Set up a Facebook page just for your website/business including links to your website and related social media accounts so that posts to your website are automatically uploaded to your page on Facebook.Expect your Facebook followers to grow overnight – this has been the slowest platform for attracting followers but good for engagement of followers
Match your page to your brand-style on your website and other social media accounts including your logo and a matching cover photo so that people start to become familiar with this.Bombard your followers on your personal Facebook account – I know that there is a feature to invite your friends to follow your account but I have to admit that I really don’t like it when my friends do this to me. Let your friends know that the page is there and if they wish to follow it, they will do because they want to, not because they feel guilt-tripped into doing it!
Remember to review your “Settings” – I have mine on far more accessible features on the basis that I want as many people as possible to see it, unlike my personal account.Make your page a carbon copy of your website – I made this mistake at first and got very little follower interaction as a result. Once I started seeing that photo carousel and slideshow posts as well as videos were popular on my Facebook page, I soon changed my strategy to include more of this just for my Facebook followers.
Familiarise yourself with features such as “Creator” and “Publisher” which I’ve found great (although a little unresponsive in terms of speed), in creating unique slideshows and carousels of photos that have proved quite popular in terms of engagement.If someone contacts you on your page, don’t dawdle with your response if possible – mine is currently 20 minutes, which needs to improve if I want their “badge” as a quick responder.
Do include detail about yourself in the “About” section. I kept this on-brand by simply copying and pasting from my “About Us” section on my website once I’d reviewed it to see if it would work or if it needed tweaking.If you decide to use advertising to promote your page, don’t be afraid to invite those people who engage with your ad to like your page. I felt nervous about this at first, like I was being too pushy, but actually, I had a reasonable conversion rate as a result of doing this.
Use the “Services” feature to set out a basic menu of services and rates for whatever your business/website provides.Facebook has its own analytics page so don’t forget to take a look at those stats too occasionally especially when strategy planning.
If you host any events, e.g. we recently held a WWF Fundraising Event, be sure to add this to the “Events” menu on Facebook to promote the same amongst your current followers.Depending on the type of business user you are, within settings you can set up what tabs feature first on your page so don’t forget to reorder these as to what you think is most likely to draw your followers in.
Consider using advertisements to increase your reach and followers – ads I’m using are approximately £1.00 per day and you can set how long they run for. I even got something like £15.00 worth of free advertising when I first set the page up so definitely use this at least to promote your website and see whether paid advertising in this sense works for you.Don’t worry about being a little informal – at first, I was a bit too formal with my approach to Facebook – when I mellowed a bit and put on some quotes and images rather than just articles, the interaction rate improved.

If you prefer to see how some of these strategies that I’ve started implementing work in practice, head over to:

https://www.facebook.com/HolisticLivingWithCarla/

Remember that these are just my observations on how I’m learning to work with Facebook as a business-user in a relatively short period. No doubt there are other tips and tricks that you find work well for your blog – feel free to add these to the comments below!

This brings this 3-part series to an end. I do hope that you have found something helpful within it. Our next update for bloggers will be available from 21 July when I’ll upload the monthly stats update.

As ever, feel free to share this article if you think others will benefit from its content.

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog

Part 2: Pinterest

Part 2 of a 3-part instalment on how to use social media to promote your blog. You can find Part 1: Instagram along with some general social media tips here: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/23/how-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-blog/

Pinterest

I’ve used Pinterest for years on a personal basis but only converted my account to a business account linked to my blog around 6 weeks ago when the blog launched.

The way that I use Pinterest mainly is as a source of inspiration, a kind of sorting office or filing system for topics that I may wish to blog about in the future or that I find resonate with the Holistic Living with Carla brand.

I still use it on a personal level as well and have a number of “secret” boards that I keep locked just to me if it’s something that I don’t feel it is appropriate to share to followers but that I’d like to keep.

Like Instagram, Pinterest is almost entirely visual based. That’s not to say that there isn’t any text or information that you can add to your “pinned” posts or boards but no one is likely to be reading much of that information if the visual effect of the pin doesn’t grab their attention first.

My learning points from the last 6 weeks of using Pinterest for business purposes include:

DODON’T
Create a Pinterest account or convert your personal account to a business accountUse faulty links as Pinterest penalises these. Ensure any links you include do work and review these from time to time.
If your blog account permits it, “claim” your website on Pinterest (lots of articles online about how to do this).Forget to include sub-categories within the board topics to really help your followers find what they’re looking for with ease.
Start creating and/or organising your boards – you want to make it as easy as possible for your followers to be able to find what they’re looking for.Just post your blog content – whilst Pinterest is quite different to other social media platforms in a lot of ways, interaction and support of like-minded users is an area in which it is still similar to other social media platforms.
Ensure that you use the “Edit” feature for each board – this is where you can add that all important text and information such as what the board is about and link to your website. It’s also where you can maximise publicity with a good “keywords” strategy.Forget to make use of the “tried it” feature. This is a great way of recommending someone else’s post to other Pinterest users and the poster will be pleased with the interaction, so much so that they may well return the favour.
Make it easier for readers on your blog to “pin” or “save” your content directly from your blog to their Pinterest account by adding the Pinterest logo to your blog.Have too many boards – this is fine with a personal account I think but when I converted to a business account, I tried to make the boards themselves more general with then 4/5 sub-categories of smaller topics in each one.
Have a consistent “pinning” schedule or use one of the many apps available such as “Later” to help you do this.Forget to work on the aesthetics. Take a moment to review how your Pinterest account looks to other users. For instance, do you want a static cover at the top of your account with your favourite pins on there or would you like this to be updated with most recent pins?
Engage with others on the platform, pinning their posts and following either their whole account on Pinterest or just the boards of theirs that interest you.Underestimate the power of brand style, colour, font, etc too. I tend to be more into this on Instagram but think about whether you would like consistent colours and the like so that your followers come to recognise your brand quickly.
Review the analytics regularly to see which of your posts are most popular and at what times/with whom so you can refine your Pinterest strategy to maximise results.Post uninspiring or “boring” images – try to think about how your pin will stand out from the extensive number of pins constantly being uploaded to users’ feeds.
Use the “Explore” feature to see what’s “trending” on the platform – this can be used as inspiration for your next blog topic.Forget to re-use your pins in your other social media platforms. I often use Pinterest and Instagram in conjunction because of the visual appeal similarities of posts but would still individually alter the accompanying text for each site to best suit the platform.

If you prefer to see how some of these strategies that I’ve started implementing work in practice, head over to https://www.pinterest.co.uk/HolisticLivingWithCarla/pins/

I can’t say that I’ve started using all of these strategies myself yet but this week I’ve managed to get around halfway through re-organising my boards and pins into better labelled categories and sub-categories. Once this is updated, I plan to move onto the aesthetics and branding of Holistic Living With Carla so that content is more readily associated with my brand as an advertising technique, that whilst time-consuming, is in fact in money terms, cost free.

You can of course run ads yourself on Pinterest. I haven’t written about it as I haven’t tried this yet and until I feel as though the account is branded and as aesthetically pleasing as it needs to be, this isn’t an avenue I’m ready to pursue just yet.

So again, these are just my observations on how I’m learning to work with Pinterest as a business-user in a relatively short period. No doubt there are other tips and techniques that you find work well for your blog – feel free to add these to the comments below!

The final instalment of this short series, Part 3 will take a look at Facebook social media strategy and will be available next Sunday. Check back then if you think that this is where you’d like to focus your social media strategy.

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog

Part 1: Instagram

It’s been only 5-weeks or so since I started my blog, Holistic Living With Carla, and it’s been both fun and a bit of a baptism of fire at times!

One of the first things to get to grips with as you launch your site is social media. There’s such a variety of options available with this, your starting point is probably going to be narrowing these options down to a few that you feel will best work for you and your blog.

It’s tempting to add as many social media buttons to your site as possible but I don’t recommend this – at least not at first. Using social media is a form of marketing and for me, whilst it’s a necessary part of building a blog, it’s not my primary goal. I’d rather be spending the majority of time building quality content that I can promote to a few social media sites rather than spending all my time marketing.

There are apps out there such as Tailwind that post to multiple social media sites at once and you can link to other social media platforms to save time by posting once to multiple social media types. I haven’t used Tailwind or similar apps but I did try, at first anyway, uploading one post to multiple platforms. Whilst it was more efficient on my time, what became pretty obvious to me fairly quickly, is that this wasn’t as effective as posts carefully crafted to that platform’s particular strengths and uses.

Essentially, the lesson for me here was to do different, more targeted posts to the social media platforms I’d chosen to work with which quickly and noticeably resulted in better engagement.

The 3 social media platforms I currently use are:

  • Instagram;
  • Pinterest; and
  • Facebook

There are of course other options such at Twitter and Tumblr for example but these were the 3 that I felt would be of most use to me for raising my brand awareness. I already had personal accounts for Pinterest and Facebook but using these in a business/promotional sense is, I’ve discovered, a very different kettle of fish!

Now, instead of uploading a post to my website and then just adding one social media link on these 3 sites, I instead consider what post I could add that is most likely to catch the attention of my audience on each platform, based around the topic I’m blogging about, which has seen a greater success rate already in bringing my social media audience over to the blog itself.

In this 3-part series, I set out some basic dos and don’ts that I’ve incorporated into my social marketing technique based on the last 5-weeks usage and social media strategy as a way to hopefully help others tweak their marketing efforts for maximum results. Part 1 focuses on Instagram, with Pinterest featuring in Part 2 and finally, Facebook in Part 3:

Instagram

If you’re already familiar with Instagram then you’ll have a head start on me as, until blogging, I’d never seen the point in it, choosing to stick with Facebook only for my personal social media.

For business-purposes, however, it makes sense to find a way to promote your product/services/talents, mainly through photographs and images, that are eye-catching enough to stand out from the thousands of other images on the platform being constantly uploaded, attracting likes, or better yet followers, to your profile and, in the case of a blog, then getting these people over to your website. Some of my learning points have been:

Do

Don’t

  • Only post your best quality images or memes and try to adopt a colour scheme that works well for you – this meant I had to delete all of my posts and start again – I personally stick to a colour scheme for say 9 posts and then bring in a new scheme but others prefer to stick to one or two colours throughout;
  • Use the “Rule of 3” to post images as that is how they’ll be displayed on your board. I like to have 3 related posts next to one another, some as memes, some as photographs but all connected to one another in terms of topic;
  • Add text to explain the image you have posted below the image itself, that is helpful or entertaining to the audience and, if appropriate, add a link to your blog post/website.
  • Add relevant hashtags only – you can have up to 30 here but I tend to limit myself to 10 so it doesn’t look spammy;
  • Use an app like Follow Cop which I personally use (for free) to track which of my followers are users genuinely interested in my content and which are just playing the old “follow/unfollow” game to boost their own follower numbers.
  • Check out the profiles of those who liked your images or have followed you and return the favour if you think you both have something in common.
  • Use hashtags that are too popular as your post has less chance of being seen;
  • Post spammy comments asking other users to DM (direct message) you for a collab (collaboration) if you plan on asking them to buy your product at a discounted price, for them to take pictures of themselves using it, which you’ll then use on your site. This is not a collab.
  • Unless you actually want to buy a product yourself, don’t get caught out in scams like the one above yourself. There’s nothing wrong with politely saying no thanks or even just ignoring these types of comments.
  • Follow and then unfollow to boost your own follower numbers. It’ll be caught onto pretty quick by most users and just wastes everybody’s time, seriously affecting your popularity;
  • Post too often or too little; there are different views on this but I currently post 3-posts at a time, at least once every couple of days.
  • Post content that is not consistent with your brand – if you’re using Instagram for your business or brand, then don’t post content that could hurt this. If you think you’re going to want to post images unrelated to your brand, it’s better to have separate personal and business accounts so as to not mix business with pleasure.

For those of you who prefer a visual example, feel free to check out my profile on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/holisticlivingwithcarla/

These are just basic observations from my own limited experience, I’m sure that there are many others that I’ve not included. The key thing is to not get too caught up in the figures and stats, whilst also recognising when a particular strategy is or isn’t working. You can then tweak or adjust your strategy accordingly and hopefully the above gives you some ideas for what might work for promoting your brand/services/talents on Instagram.

Part 2 in the series will be uploaded next Sunday and focuses on Pinterest social media strategy so be sure to check back then if you found this topic of assistance at all.